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Food Safety: Keeping Food Fresh Ideas relating to canning all types of foods, can also cover freezing for preservation, long term storage, avoiding spoilage and other safety concerns.

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Old 07-16-2004, 12:04 PM
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Buying a Freezer

I want to buy a freezer. I have a family of 5. I have to be able to get it through the basement door (probably a 30-inch opening) and I can't spend TOO much money on this.

What should I look for? Upright or chest? Frost-free or manual? What size is good? I don't do actual once a month cooking but I do cook in batches and would do more of that if I had the place to put it!
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Old 07-19-2004, 02:22 PM
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For long term storage without that strange taste in your food, get a manual defrost. The self defrosting dry your food out during the defrost cycle. They are OK in a fridge compartment where you keep just stuff you go thru quickly, but a manual is recommended as a regular freezer.
I like an upright. The chest freezer you have to keep digging to the bottom to find what you want. Stuff gets lost in there. It would be too hard on my back. Besides, the upright doesn't require as much floor space, either.
Let us know what you get..
We are thinking of buying a new one since ours is about 30 years old. Never had one problem with it. Think I put in a new bulb one time. That is all. Only defrost it once a year even now. I just wait until this time of year when it is about empty, defrost, then start filling it up with all sorts of produce and good stuff.
Freezing Costs
Freezing has advantages and disadvantages for food preservation. The two main advantages are that the procedure is simple and that it keeps food more like fresh produce than any other method of long-term preservation.

A disadvantage is the cost to buy and operate a freezer. If you already have one for convenience, freezing inexpensive sources of produce can be an economical way to provide a variety of high quality fruits and vegetables during out-of-season months. Also, home frozen foods can be preserved to your own taste or special diet needs.

Some costs associated with freezing food include:

initial cost of freezer, divided over 20 years if new, nine years if used;
lost interest on cash outlay for freezer;
maintenance and repair;
electricity needed to reach and maintain 0 degrees F;
packaging materials;
water and fuel to prepare food for freezing; and
added ingredients, such as sugar or antidarkening agents.
The initial cost of a freezer varies with size, type, special features and age. New freezers should require little repair the first year or so. However, in the long run the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends an expected repair cost on new freezers of 2 percent of the purchase price per year. For used freezers, this rate may be higher.

The money put into a freezer may or may not have been invested to bring cash income or to pay debts. If the interest from an alternative investment is considered in the cost of owning a freezer, base the rate on the return that would come from some other investment.

Research shows that it takes 0.l kilowatt hours (kwh) to freeze a pound of food and lower its temperature to 0 degrees. The electrical energy required depends on many factors. Some of these are:

Temperature of room where freezer is located. Freezers in warmer rooms use more energy.
Frequency of door openings. The more a freezer is opened, the more electricity it uses.
Size of freezer. In general, larger freezers use more electricity than smaller ones.
Insulating properties of freezer. In general, better insulated freezers cost more to purchase but less to operate.
Freezer maintenance. Clean condensor coils and defrost freezers as needed.
Amount of food in freezer. A full freezer uses less total electricity as well as less electricity per pound of food to maintain 0 degrees.
Turnover of food. Because the cost of maintaining food in a freezer mounts daily, the food preservation cost of a food stored six months, for example, will be less than that stored one year.
Type of freezer -- chest or upright. In general, chest freezers store foods more economically than upright freezers. However, upright freezers may be more convenient to use.
Type of freezer -- conventional defrost or frostless. Frostless freezers cost considerably more to operate than conventional defrost freezers. For example, in one study at 7 cents per kilowatt hour, a l5-cubic-foot frostless freezer cost $123.27 per year to run versus $81.37 for a 15-cubic-foot conventional defrost freezer.
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