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Posted: 3/5/2006 5:06:52 AM EDT
I just acquired (for free) a 5 year old upright energy efficient GE freezer. I'm excited as I'll now have a place to store extra meats & veggies & whatever.

What temperature is best to set it at? I have a thermometer I have inside it now so I can gauge the temperature - as the gauge goes from "1" to "6"....

Thanks! I wasn't sure if it was 32 degrees, 20, 15, 10, 0????
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:17:18 AM EDT
the closer to zero the better. Rule of thumb is colder = longer storage of product. Colder also uses more power so try to find a balance.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:32:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2006 5:36:40 AM EDT by Admiral_Crunch]
I keep mine at 0F. Anything above 15 degrees is asking for trouble, as some things might never freeze. 32 is the freezing point of pure water, but those salty juices in that chicken might not freeze until you get down to 20 or so.

Also, if your freezer is colder, that means stuff you put in it will freeze faster, which is good. Foods that freeze slowly are mushier when they thaw. I always put new stuff on the bottom shelf to freeze.

The colder temps also keep partial re-thawing to a minimum if the door is opened a lot or if the power goes out for a little while.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:37:37 AM EDT
Oh, by the way. If you are storing say... a dead body. I set the decomposed body freezer at -20 f. Keeps the stink down.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:53:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By clutchsmoke:
Oh, by the way. If you are storing say... a dead body. I set the decomposed body freezer at -20 f. Keeps the stink down.



If your dead body is decomposing, that means you didn't get it into the freezer soon enough.


Amateurs....
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 6:59:16 AM EDT
Ideally your freezer should be at -5 º F and no warmer then 0 º F for long term storage of meats and other foods. Only store short term food items in the door shelves.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 10:53:02 AM EDT
I think I'll keep it at 0 degrees Farhenheit and call it good. I was skeptical about setting it to anything higher. Also, I would imagine that the more 'stocked' the freezer is, the more apt it is to stay cold if the power went out (obviously). Any other bits of useful information out there re: freezers?

Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:02:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:
I think I'll keep it at 0 degrees Farhenheit and call it good. I was skeptical about setting it to anything higher. Also, I would imagine that the more 'stocked' the freezer is, the more apt it is to stay cold if the power went out (obviously). Any other bits of useful information out there re: freezers?





Oh yeah. Not only that but the temp will stay more stable when you open the door to get goodies out. You won't have to refrigerate as much dead air that just spills out when you open the door. If you don't completely fill it up with food right away, you may want to consider filling some clean 2 liter soda bottles 7/8ths with water and putting those in there.

Other useful bits:

check it daily to make sure it's actually working
monitor the temp regularly
keep the coils clean
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:03:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:06:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2006 11:06:58 AM EDT by rkbar15]
If you have unused space freeze gallon jugs of water and keep them in the freezer. The food in the freezer will stay frozen longer in a power failure and you can use the frozen water jugs to keep the frige cold.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:18:09 AM EDT

right on, good tips guys, thanks
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:19:32 AM EDT
if you set it too cold ... do you need to worry about "freezer burn" or other damage to the food?

Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:27:12 AM EDT
You get freezer burn from the water in the food that evaporates because the packages aren't sealed properly. If you use a vacuum sealer to package your food you won't get any freezer burn and the food will stay edible for years.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:34:40 AM EDT
set to absolute zero or below
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:34:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
if you set it too cold ... do you need to worry about "freezer burn" or other damage to the food?



I don't think colder temps will save you from feezer burn. Freezer burn happens when your food doesn't have an effective moisture barrier to keep surface moisture from leeching away. You'll also get ice deposited all over the outside of your food. The way to beat freezer burn is to make sure whatever you're freezing is wrapped tightly in foil or butcher paper so that moisture can't get in or out. Then put that into zip-top freezer bags or wrap tightly in a few layers of saran wrap. That will act as a barrier to keep funky freezer odors out of your food.

Also, label your food and date it.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:36:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cleatus:
set to absolute zero or below



Wow. That's one cold freezer you got there! If you can get something below absolute zero, I think the scientific community would love to get a look at your freezer.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 12:41:33 PM EDT
Does freezer burn adversely affect the food's quality? It's simply ice collected outside the food, it shouldn't hurt it....I wouldn't think....
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 1:00:17 PM EDT
Freezer burn is dehydrated areas of the food. If it's just a little on the surface of meat you can cut it away before cooking. If it's deep into the meat you should throw it away as it will taste horrible.

Like I said the best way to freeze stuff is by using a vacuum sealer. It's a lot easier then hand wrapping and the food won't get freezer burned or develop that freezer taste and smell. If you hand wrap meat you should double wrap it.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 3:56:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
Freezer burn is dehydrated areas of the food. If it's just a little on the surface of meat you can cut it away before cooking. If it's deep into the meat you should throw it away as it will taste horrible.

Like I said the best way to freeze stuff is by using a vacuum sealer. It's a lot easier then hand wrapping and the food won't get freezer burned or develop that freezer taste and smell. If you hand wrap meat you should double wrap it.



Cool, good to know...

I'll be getting a vaccuum sealer eventually, but it won't be till Christmas probably....money's tight this year.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 4:00:50 PM EDT
0 to -5 is probably optimum, but for storing things like hard ice cream, -10 is best to keep it hard.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 4:11:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GUNGUY1911:
0 to -5 is probably optimum, but for storing things like hard ice cream, -10 is best to keep it hard.


The trucking industry sets refrigeration units on trailers to -20 to transport ice cream...but you wouldn't want to scoop ice cream at that temp.

My GE refrigerator kicks ass (sorry DrFrige). The temperature adjustment knob on the freezer goes from 0 to 9. The manual says to initially set it at 5 and go from there. I set it to 5, and my thermometer went to -20. I keep it at 3, and the temp is about -5.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 7:15:21 PM EDT
Correct!!! Forget the temp... just scoop the ice cream. If it is too soft, the freezer is too warm. If you are bending spoons trying to scoop ice cream, or have to let it sit out on the counter for 20 minutes before you scoop, the freezer is too cold.

If the ice cream is just right, the freezer is set right.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:55:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Correct!!! Forget the temp... just scoop the ice cream. If it is too soft, the freezer is too warm. If you are bending spoons trying to scoop ice cream, or have to let it sit out on the counter for 20 minutes before you scoop, the freezer is too cold.

If the ice cream is just right, the freezer is set right.



Depends on where you store your ice cream. A thermometer really is a necessity for proper freezer maintenance.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:57:46 AM EDT
How do you guys store water in the freezer without warping & distorting any container you put in there? I was thinking of 2 liter bottles and filling them 3/4 full to allow for expansion.
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