Best Chest Freezer Review – Top 5 Coolest List For May. 2017
It can be frustrating to come across an amazing sale on frozen food at the supermarket – unless you have a deep freezer that gives you plenty of room to stock up.
It can be frustrating to plan a party for a large group – unless you have a deep freezer and can handle all the food you’ll be serving. It can be frustrating to bring in an enormous summer or fall crop of apples, peaches or berries – unless you have the best chest freezer and can store stacks of fruit pies to carry you through the winter.
People who buy their first chest freezer soon find themselves asking two questions, “How did I get along for so long without one?” and “How did I manage to fill this freezer up so fast?”
The Best Chest Freezer – More Usable Space, More Efficient and Less Expensive
The biggest obstacle to purchasing a deep freezer is, of course, space. Most kitchens aren’t built to accommodate another full-sized appliance, and not everyone has room in their basement or garage for a dedicated freezer. The space problem forces many people to settle for an upright freezer with a relatively small footprint. But by far the best choice, if you can fit it somewhere in your home, is a chest freezer.
These short, wide appliances are most likely what come to mind when you hear the term “deep freeze.” They have more usable space than an equivalent upright freezer because they aren’t filled with shelves and don’t use small door racks. Chest freezers stay colder more reliably than tall, refrigerator-shaped freezers and don’t normally cause freezer burn, because they don’t have automatic-defrost cycles. (You’ll find a few with a defrost function on the market but as convenient as that might sound, auto-defrost detracts from performance.) Chest models are also more energy-efficient and quieter than upright freezers. And the icing on the ice-cream cake: chest freezers are usually less expensive than narrower, tall models with the same amount of interior space.
There are a few minor drawbacks to these units such as the need to bend over and dig deep to find what you’re looking for, and the occasional annoyance of performing a manual defrost. But most people who’ve had both types of appliances swear by chest freezers.
Deep Freezer Buying Considerations
Generally speaking, these freezers are big boxes that keep things very cold – so there aren’t a ton of options or special features to look for when shopping. What matters most are the obvious facts and specifications: their footprint, the amount of space inside, whether they have dividers or baskets to help with organization of stored food, how well they hold temperature and their energy-efficiency ratings. Oh – and of course, their price.
There’s much less of a quality difference between deep freezers than you’ll find in most appliance categories. Even so, we’ve chosen a “best” model and four runners-up – stay rugged up while the Groom+Style review team take you through our best chest freezer top 5 list.
1. Frigidaire FFFC22M6QW 74” Chest Freezer
If you’re going to be storing a lot of frozen food, you might as well get a chest freezer that will let you store a lot of it – that is, of course, if you have the room. And if your home will accommodate this large 22-cubic foot Frigidaire, it’s the best home unit you can buy. It’s the most expensive chest freezer on our list, and it has a footprint that’s more than six feet wide and two feet deep. With this baby in the garage, though, you can shop at Costco to your heart’s content.
Frigidaire builds this freezer in America, and builds it well. The walls are thicker than you’ll find on most competitive models, with a proprietary ArcticLock construction system which promises to keep food frozen for two days in the event of a power outage. The FFFC22M6QW can maintain temperatures at temperatures as low as -10° with very few “hot spots,” so food stays frozen and free of freezer burn for as long as required.
We’ve mentioned that this huge chest freezer has a capacity of 22 cubic feet, so you may be wondering how that equates to the amount of food that can be stored. As a rule of thumb, you can store about 35 pounds of meat (including any packaging material) for each cubic foot in a freezer. So you’ll be able to freeze a lot of cows (or well over 1,000 pints of ice cream) in a unit this size. It does not have auto-defrost, and as we’ve mentioned, that’s a good thing for chest freezers. What it does have, though, is a built-in drain to make things easy when it’s time to defrost your unit.
This chest freezer comes with four adjustable storage baskets to help with organization (and you can purchase additional baskets or dividers from Frigidaire), inside LED lighting (many of these freezers don’t have lights inside at all), a “power on” indicator and a keyed lock. The FFFC22M6QW is not Energy Star certified, but it only costs $38 per year to run continuously, a very good spec for a freezer this large. It’s extremely quiet, too.
It might take some families quite a while to fill up this Frigidaire chest freezer, but those who need lots of freezer space will find it to be one of the best investments they’ve made.
Facts and figures for the Frigidaire FFFC22M6QW 74” Chest Freezer:
2. GE FCM11PHWW 10.6 Cu. Ft. White Chest Freezer
When you don’t need a monster of a chest freezer, check out GE’s 10+ cubic foot model. It is suitable in size for the average family that likes to keep plenty of frozen food on hand (remember the rule of thumb; for freezers 10 cubic feet = 350 pounds of meat). And it requires much less floor space than the Frigidaire, with a width of 51 inches compared to the Frigidaire’s 73 inches.
The GE doesn’t have a proprietary system for building its freezer walls, but they’re thick and maintain the unit’s lowest temperature of -5° quite well. You can depend on the temperatures holding for the long term as well, since this unit does not have an auto-defrost function. Like the Frigidaire, it also has a built-in drain for when defrosting time comes.
The two chest freezers share most of the same “additional” features including inside lighting, a safety lock and a “power on” LED indicator. The GE only has three storage baskets, but they’re easy to lift out for cleaning or just to make a little more space for tall items, so we’ll give this model an extra point for flexibility.
The FCM11PHWW is Energy Star certified with a yearly operating cost of about $24, it’s quiet, and it works well. If we were only ranking smaller models on our list of top 5 best chest freezers, this GE would be #1. We still consider it #1 for those who aren’t looking for a beast in the basement.
More details on the GE FCM11PHWW 10.6 Cu. Ft. White Chest Freezer:
3. Danby Deep Cooling Designer 9.6 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer
We mentioned at the start that very little distinguishes our top-5 chest freezers, and this unit is a good example. It’s ranked third on our list because it’s smaller than the GE, but could easily be ranked higher because of its lower price. The Groom+Style review team would suggest reading all the way through our reviews in this category before making your decision, because the best chest freezer for your needs is really what determines the “best” unit.
Danby is a Canadian company that makes great refrigerators and freezers, and their manufacturing quality shows in this Deep Cooling Designer model. (Groom+Style are not sure what makes this a “designer” chest freezer; it’s rectangular and white, like the earlier entries on our list.) The footprint is a few inches smaller than the GE’s, and the box has about one cubic foot less of interior space. It can hit -11° as a low temperature, and with foam insulation in the walls and lid it maintains temperatures well with very few “hot spots.”
There are only two lift-out bulk storage baskets on the Danby and no interior lighting or safety lock, but it does have an interior separator as well as a defrost drain (like most chest freezers, there’s no auto-defrost function) and a “power on” indicator, as well as adjustable leveling legs. This Energy Star certified unit will cost about $25 per year to operate.
Groom+Style really like Danby refrigeration units, and this chest freezer doesn’t disappoint.
Looking even “deeper” at the Danby Deep Cooling Designer 9.6 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer:
4. Midea WHS-185C1 Single Door Chest Freezer
10 cubic feet is a lot of freezer space for many families, who simply want “an additional freezer” to handle the overflow from their kitchen unit. The Midea WHS-185C1 is an economical choice that serves that purpose well, offering five cubic feet of interior space at a very affordable price. (There are two other models in this Midea line, a seven-cubic foot chest freezer for $250, and a 3.5 cubic foot model for the same price as the larger one we’re reviewing – no, we don’t understand pricing sometimes, either.)
How does Midea do it at much lower prices? For starters, the freezer is made of iron with a stainless steel door; not quite as attractive as the units we’ve looked at so far but more than acceptable for a basement or garage. Then there’s only one storage basket, no defrost drain (this is once again a non-auto-defrost model), no lock or interior lighting. It’s also not Energy Star certified, and has a somewhat high (for this size of freezer) annual operating cost of $26.
But it can hit the lowest temperature (-14.8°) of all the units on our top 5 best chest freezer list, and you may not need the extra features to store your extra chicken breasts, ice cream and apple pies. In that case, a this deep freezer is just what the chef ordered.
Specifications for the Midea WHS-185C1 Single Door Chest Freezer:
5. Avanti CFC86F0WG 43” Glass Top Display Chest Freezer
This chest freezer is designed for, and marketed to, small shops and businesses – it’s the type of freezer you dig into for a frozen treat when you stop for gas or visit a local convenience store.
The Groom+Style review team include it here because there are those who find it helpful to be able to see what’s inside a deep freezer without opening it, it has a “fast freeze” function which is terrific – and it’s priced competitively with home models, with 8.6 cubic foot of well-designed freezer space.
As on the freezers used in stores, the two glass doors on this Avanti slide open instead of swinging up and there are rollers on the legs so it can be easily moved. It holds temperature well, has three storage baskets, a power indicator, a defrost drain and a safety lock, and while it’s not Energy Star certified it does have a commercial UL listing.
This chest freezer isn’t for everyone. It could look perfect in your game room or man cave, though – or give your garage a touch of commercial class while providing lots of extra freezer space.
A closer look at the Avanti CFC86F0WG 43” Glass Top Display Chest Freezer: