There are several things to consider when purchasing a freezer. First, are the practical considerations of location and power supply. A porch or garage will do, but the freezer will likely wear out faster due to exterior heat. Close to the kitchen is ideal for accessibility and security of precious goods.
A reliable power supply that is grounded and not overburdened is necessary in order to store the food long term. The highest quality nutrition keeps the longest in a deep freezer of at least -20 degrees F. 0 degrees F is for short term (3-6 months) storage only.
The next issue is how to gauge usage. A popular metric for FishHuggers is one pound per person per week. Let’s assume a 6 month supply for a family or group of 4. That looks like 96 pounds total, which will easily fit in a small chest freezer or medium upright freezer. Price determines how cold the freezer will hold and how long it will last. Low end freezers are rarely worth the price and in our experience, typically barely make it past the warranty period. Commercial freezers are worth the extra money because your food will maintain its quality for much longer. Used freezers are great for your yearly supply of green chile or an abundance from the garden to process later, however, it can be difficult to determine age or condition, and freezers are rarely repairable.
All freezers are more efficient full. Bags of ice or water bottles and gel packs are a great way to keep your freezer full as you eat the food. Beware of colorful packaging for processed foodstuff. The pigments used to decorate boxes are toxic and contaminate with off flavors found in freezer burn from poorly packaged or mishandled frozen goods. In this case, oxygen is the enemy, so when you find a broken or frosted package, consume it next or feed to pets if undesirable. Perfect vacuum sealed product can last years in the right freezer without compromising flavor or nutrition.
My favorite “barn find” deep freezer was built in the early 1960’s. It’s decorated with custom turquoise paint and chrome trim over a solid steel body, and has a rainproof lid. It hums all day at -23 degrees F and was built to last, unlike anything today.
There is always a risk of loss, from blackouts to freezer failure and theft. Food security and predictable quality motivates me to invest in food harvested at its peak, which encourages seasonality. This forward thinking method supports my ability to serve my favorite meals any time of the year, like a boss flexing for no one to see. 💪 “We are grateful” echoes in my ears when we eat real food as a family isolated from the noise and fear of the world around us.
If you have further questions or need assistance purchasing a freezer, let me know, I’m here to help.
Pro Tip: Purchase a freezer thermometer to keep in your freezer so you’ll always know its temperature. These are widely available at most grocery stores and online.