Maintaining Your Freezer
Most people buy a freezer and stick it in the corner hoping for the best. There are a few hints that will help you get the most out of your freezer.
- To help maintain an even temperature in your freezer, never freeze more than 3 pounds of food per cubic foot of your freezer. If your freezer is 10 cubic feet, do not freeze more than 30 pounds of product. If you add too much frozen food, you may raise the temperature of the freezer, causing your already frozen foods to defrost.
- Try not to overload or underload your freezer. Try to keep it about 2/3 full at all times, this is the optimum space for allowing air circulation and minimal effort for the motor to work to keep the food frozen. If you don't have enough food, fill it with containers of ice, or fill old milk jugs 3/4 full with water and place in the freezer.
- Try to defrost your freezer every 2 months or if the ice reaches a depth of more than 1/2 inch.
- Label and date all foods stored in the freezer with print and/or braille labels.
- Store similar items together. I found some small plastic coated wire baskets that I use to separate different kinds of food.
- When you place something in the freezer, check on it in about 24 hours. If the item still is not completely frozen, check your freezer temperature. The dial should read no higher than 0ºf. Usually between -10º to -20º is better.
If you think your freezer isn't keeping things cold enough, place a zip lock bag of ice in the top of your freezer. If the freezer gets too warm the ice cubes will melt.
Continue to check to see if there is any water in the bag. If there is, it means that your freezer did not stay cold enough and your food may not be safe to eat.