Help and advice

Choosing a freezer for summer treats

As summer days start to seem like a slightly less distant prospect, some people will already be planning for long afternoons in the great outdoors. But what would summer be without some frozen treats to help you cool down?

Of course, for ice cream and other cold delights, you’ll need a freezer that’s up to the job. If this seems like a perfect excuse to replace your current model, then here are a few things you should consider before you decide on your purchase.

Type and size

Broadly speaking, the type and size of freezer will be limited by the space you have available. However, a certain amount comes down to personal preferences, such as whether you find it easier to get things in and out of a chest-size freezer or an upright. Do bear in mind that chest styles tend to have much more space, but can be awkward when it comes to finding things. On account of their size, they may need to be kept outside of the kitchen, which can be less convenient.

If you aren’t sure where you can fit a freezer at all, you could consider an integrated unit. This is a great option for a sleek, modern look for your kitchen, because the front panel looks like all of your other counter cupboards, and means you can use any excess space in this area. However, integrated freezers are often quite small, given that they are meant to fit under counter space.

Features

With technology constantly advancing, it’s hardly surprising that even the humble freezer has acquired some pretty high-tech features in recent years.

At the more basic end of the scale, many models will now come with their thermometer on the outside. This is useful, as it means you don’t have to open the freezer to make sure the temperature is correct, and can keep an eye on it in passing.

Fast freeze is another handy feature to look out for. It’s a setting that allows you to put non-frozen or freshly prepared food into a dedicated section, where it will freeze quickly without raising the temperature in the rest of the unit.

A frost-free freezer is based around the same technology. The difference is that it allows fast-freezing in the entire freezer. The quick freeze times mean that ice crystals are either unable to form, or much smaller than in a standard model. In turn, this reduces the need for the tedious and labour-intensive chore of defrosting, which is definitely a plus.

Efficiency

In the European Union, all freezers are sold with an energy efficiency rating between A and G - A is the most efficient, and G the least. As you might expect, an efficient freezer will be more economical to run, so make sure you check out this key bit of information before you make any decisions. As a rule of thumb, chest freezers are slightly more efficient that upright types, although this will vary by model.


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