Upright vs Chest Type Freezers

My wife wants to get a new freezer and she and I are having a disagreement over the type.  I want her to get a box type freezer, she wants an upright model.

Her reasons are that it is much easier to see what you have.  No digging through a pile of frozen foods with cold hands.  Probably the most convenience feature of an upright freezer is the ability to better organize the frozen foods, making it easier to monitor and rotate contents to keep frozen foods current

Me I contend that a box type freezer is more efficient and uses less electricity because when you open the door the cold air does not flow out the bottom of the door.  Remember cold air settles to the ground.  In addition, in a power outage I content that a box type freezer will stay cold longer than an upright, especially if you have to open the door.

A box type freezer could still be of some use in a grid down situation.  You can seal it and fill it with salt and meat.  It would not take much to make one watertight.  Upright freezers are more expensive than chest models yet provide less usable storage capacity; a difference of about 10 – 15% less.  You can also unknowingly leave the door ajar on an upright wasting electricity and food.

(Yes I agree with his logic, but he doesn’t do the cooking or even gets into the freezer. He only sees the cooked version of the meat. Not the freezer burned meats and fish that get left behind because I can’t find them or the frozen hands that are hurting from taking everything out. So I hope the chest type is big enough for him to fit in when I finally blow up.  Preparedness Mom)

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Does anybody have any additional suggestion either way?


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13 thoughts on “Upright vs Chest Type Freezers”

  1. Compromise
    do what she wants LOL
    seriously choose the battles, the meat making will still work if you lay it down. I dunno i’ve had both, currently have a chest, prefer the chest but kinda a whatever to me because realistically grid down I can get whatever kind of freezer i want because the abandoned ones will be a plenty

  2. Instead of saying one of you is right, and one of you is… Preparedness Mom, I’ll just explain my set-up and see if it might work for you. First – chest freezer for all reasons already listed (and I’m the cook, so I do have to deal with it on a regular basis).

    I have lined the bottom with gallon jugs of water, then placed a heavy sheet of cardboard on top (so nothing can slip down between the jugs). Not only is this yet another place for emergency water, this will dramatically extend the time your food stays cold if power goes out. Also, it keeps me from almost falling in trying to reach something on the bottom. I would recommend doing this slowly by adding just a gallon every day or two. Doing it all at once will force your motor to run for a long time and scare you into thinking it might overheat (ask me how I know).

    Hope I haven’t offended!

  3. After multiple attempts at organization, I finally found something that worked for us. I used foam-core board as dividers in my chest freezer to separate the chicken, beef, seafood, and prepared foods sections. That way, I have a limited space to search in and can tell at a glance which foods I need to resupply. My prior attempts at organization involved wire baskets and wire shelves, but they did not go high enough to maintain the sections I needed.

  4. An upright freeze is okay if everything you are putting into the freezer is square or rectangular, so that all stack well. However, it’s a problem when you have rounded items, like frozen whole chickens/ducks/turkeys/whatever. They are unstable and can roll out. If you have a box to keep them to prevent this problem, you are back to the problem of not knowing what you have.

    On the other hand, chest freezers, while handling awkwardly shaped items well, are hazardous to life an limb for short people. There’s nothing so painful as balancing on the edge of the freezer trying to reach stuff on the bottom, as mentioned above.

    I have a small chest freezer and a small upright. Jugs of milk go in the bottom, and awkward items on top of them: anything rounded or long and skinny (frozen salmon for example), and all the squarish items go in the upright.

    Both units were second hand.

  5. GET the chest model they cheaper to run n TEND to be better insulated too, get some square MILK CRATES, fill one w/ beef, one w/ pork, one vegies, etc. I old & pretty crippled up but this works for me… 😉

  6. If I may..
    I have a chest freezer.. had it for years. We did the milk jugs with water to make the false bottom thing too… works well. However, I too do all the cooking and the fishing in the freezer for the meat. Frankly, it’s a pain in the hands and a few other places too. My back is getting bad and I don’t want to be constantly leaning over the chest freezer.
    This year I knew I was going to freeze in a big way and wanted another freezer. I chose a large (expensive like crazy) frost free upright. It has digital temp control, an alarm for the door ajar, etc.
    The point of this story is this… I put meat and water in the chest freezer. I put the fruits, veggies, baked goods and frozen meals in the upright. I’m in and out of the upright constantly and I can see at a glance what I need. I wouldn’t trade it. The new upright is very energy efficent, and is able to be laid down as needed to make the salted meat as needed… Good luck with your decision.

  7. Chest Freezer.
    Two months ago my grandmother passed away and the whole family came home for the funeral. During all the commotion of family being in town, the upright freezer (next to the other fridge in the garage) was opened many times by mistake. Eventually someone left it slightly open – like 1 inch – and the next morning my mother lost all of their meat – Alabama is too hot. This would not happen with a chest freezer. Even if you don’t have many visitors, don’t forget about extended family. Just watching this happen once (with a funeral on top) was enough for me to rule out an upright for my future purchases.

  8. Here’s your answer: “If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!” Although you both have valid points you can make do with either design. We’ve had both a chest freezer and the upright and have moved to the upright because it is simply easier to use on a day-to-day basis. I know you’re interested in the <0.1% where a chest freezer would be better than an upright (a major power outage) but you really need to consider the times when everything is normal and the electrons are flowing and therefore which design would be better suited to your lifestyle.

  9. I have only had an upright. I lovet it! would not trade it for anything! And I like the comment “If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!” It is so true. Who is going to be using the freezer more often?

  10. Save Space Consider repacking food into smaller containers. Anything in a half empty cardboard box is a great place to start. Cut off the reheating instructions and put them along with the food into a freezer bag and label the bag with the type of food and the date.

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