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Chest Freezer Buyer's Guide

What is a chest freezer?

A chest freezer takes the form of a large rectangular box (though some smaller models are cubes) that opens from the top, as opposed to a more conventional upright freezer that has a front opening door. They are popular in commercial applications due to their larger capacity and flexibility.

Why choose a chest freezer over an upright freezer?

The main advantage a chest freezer has over a more conventional upright freezer is economy of space.

Every part of the freezer can be utilised and large quantities of frozen goods can be stored compactly, which is often important in a commercial catering environment. They are also better for storing larger items that may not fit in to an upright freezer.

The downsides that are worth bearing in mind are that access to individual items can be tricky as there may be some leaning in and rummaging around required. They also take up a larger amount of floor space and you will need to ensure that there is sufficient space above the freezer to open the lid.

What sizes are chest freezers available in?

The volume of chest freezers is measured in litres and they typically range from 180 litres up to 650 litres. The smallest freezers have a similar footprint to an upright freezer, while the largest are 1.8 metres long. Most are similar in terms of depth and height, typically 750mm deep and 850mm high, though this can vary. The size that will be suitable for your requirements will depend on the quantity of food you are likely to need to freeze and the space you have available.

What additional features should I look out for?

High Temperature Warning

A chest freezer with a high temperature warning will sound an alarm should the internal temperature become too high. Some also have a door open alarm and a power failure alarm, which is operated via a back-up battery.


Some chest freezers come with lockable handles. This may be useful in catering establishments where access to kitchens outside of operating hours is not restricted, such as in hotels.

Counterbalanced Lid

A counterbalanced lid will not drop down once opened, meaning that you will have two hands free rather than having to use one to hold the lid open.

Internal storage baskets

Whilst one of the main benefits of a chest freezer is the large amount of usable space, it can also be useful to have storage baskets that sit within it in order to store smaller or opened items or to separate different goods. These are removable and the size and quantity of the baskets varies from freezer to freezer.

Manual defrost or frost free

The vast majority of chest freezers are only available with a manual defrost option. This is more efficient than a ‘frost free’ freezer and food will keep for longer due to there being fewer fluctuations in temperature. It does mean that the freezer will need to be emptied and defrosted periodically though.

Sliding lids

Most chest freezers will have lift up lids, however some have sliding lids, which are usually made from glass. This means that access can be easier in areas with restricted head room, but a drawback is that only half of the freezer is accessible at any one time.

Wheels and Castors

Some chest freezers are fitted with wheels or castors meaning that they can be moved around with ease. This is helpful for thorough cleaning of the area around the freezer or in any other situation whereby the freezer may need to be moved around.

Additional Advice for Buying your Chest Freezer

If you would like further information on our range of Chest Freezers, or to speak to our sales staff to place an order, then please contact our specialist Capital Sales team on 0844 725 9494 Option 1

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