Chest Freezers

Talk to me about chest freezers. This post is prompted by my spontaneous desire 2 days ago to store rhubarb in the freezer the way I do other summer fruit that is only available fresh for a month or a couple. I did a neighborhood shout out and ended up with about 20 lbs of rhubarb yesterday when I was seeking 10… But now there is no room for the strawberries and blueberries that are coming along.

I actually have 3 fridges in my house (yikes!) but the actual fridge space of 2 of them is less than half used. I could easily consolidate into 2. But the freezer space, another story. That would be a hard. Someone would have to sleep with frozen peas and steak under their pillow.

Seriously though, large freezer capacity is very appealing to me. But I worry about organization. Standard freezers with a fridge come with shelves or bins etc. My image of a chest freezer is just one big deep drawer. Once you put something in the bottom of it, there it will live for 20 years, unless you are ready to remove the 40 things sitting on top of it. Please tell me this isn’t the case and that you find chest freezers useful and easy to use!


Exactly the reason why we have an upright freezer

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Is there such a thing? The shape of a fridge but all freezer? Maybe that is the solution to my fruit obsessions!

ETA: Yes! I just googled it! The thing exists!

So now I’m going to ask for recs on brands and models… thank you @Harters I had no idea.

Upright freezers are very common here. Much more space efficient than chest freezers as they have a much smaller footprint.

This is the one we bought a few weeks back to replace an ancient beast.

we have a smallish chest freezer - two baskets - left for beef, right for pork
and in the “bottom” I use corrugated boxes for frozen veggies/whatall by grouping.

I put up corn off the cob in 1 gal bags - all in one box

  • tomatoes semi stewed - in qt bags - all in one box
  • we buy whole fresh fish - too much for one meal so all fish portions in a box…

just tossing stuff in never ends well…


I have an upright and a chest freezer. The upright is used for things that are in frequent use and easy to store. I freeze stocks and pasta sauces in 2 cup containers that stack. Frozen fruit and veg, bread products along with small things that fit easily in the door shelves are in the upright.

The chest freezer is for bulky or oddly shaped and/or less used things. Bulk meats, and larger bags of foods, along with flours go in there. Everything is separated out into stackable plastic crates or cloth bags. Nothing gets thrown in without sorting. If you store like this, nothing gets misplaced or forgotten.

The most important thing is to LABEL CONTENTS AND DATE EVERYTHING!!!

It’s a hard lesson I learned over the years, but it makes the most difference. I also do this for refrigerator and dry goods items. There is no guessing to contents and the dates will let you know if things are good/dodgy/done.

When used efficiently, freezers are a real help in saving money and extending the harvest.


Ok - so I’m hearing that we are not at the mercy of an ordinary chest freezer’s single big drawer. But that people partition it out themselves with boxes or plastic crates. Good idea. I think I still like the upright with shelves idea, but now the chest freezer doesn’t seem quite so daunting. Is there typically a big price differential between the two types? And if so, which on average is less expensive?

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I’m exactly with Jammy. One of each. The upright for frequently needed or smallish things (including garden veg, fruits, berries, nuts, leftovers, etc.), the chest freezer for big, bulky, long-term storage items: large cuts of meat, whole fish or chickens, etc. I go with canvas sacks with long handles for organizing the chest freezer. They mold themselves into odd-sized spaces, and if there’s no place to put one down (in our garage), I can sling them over my shoulder as I dig down for the one I need.

ETA: And oh, yeah: labeling and dating, keeping an inventory, and sticking to a rotation is a must.

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We bought a chest freezer because unfortunately we have no room in either the kitchen or garage for a full-sized stand-up freezer. You’re right about it being one big drawer, which is kind of a pain (and yes, who knows what all we have in there!). We use it primarily to store frozen fruits and vegetables–including overflow from our garden–and leftovers that we made too much of to use up before they go bad. I think the ice cream maker canister lives at the bottom.

Lol - we bought one with a compressor (?) last year so we wouldn’t have to freeze the canister. That was a big pain.

I have a Frigidaire upright that I bought 10+ ago. It is on the lower end of freezers price wise but has worked fine. When I thought it was broken last year (just needed gasket replaced) I thought about getting a Gladiator freezer. They open with your foot which would be nice if like me you take arms full of food to freezer. I know someone who has one and they seem to be of good quality.
Gladiator 17.8 cu. ft. Rolling Freezerless Refrigerator in Black GARF30FDGB (


Wow that ain’t cheap.

No, it is not. Was happy when gasket fixed old freezer. That Gladiator was one of the few uprights available at the time. It was at the height of the cargo ship backup.

I feel you. Our dishwasher broke in August last year. We ordered a new one immediately (Bosch). Got it about 3 weeks ago.

Bought my first chest freezer a couple of months ago but I live in a teeny, tiny house and so I got the smallest one I could - 3.5 cu. feet and the footprint is basically 22" x 22" - but only two of us and that works well. It was pretty cheap, under $200. I got it because we started getting a monthly “meat” box order and I needed the space to store the extra meat coming while stocking up a bit. I keep a spreadsheet of what is in there and try to remember to update it as I take things out. Not perfect I’m sure but gives me a general idea. And I definitely label / date everything in there too as someone mentioned.

The worst thing about it, which I’ll have to deal with sooner rather than later, is frost. I try to keep the lid shut as much as possible to minimize but it is already building. You have to spend a lot more to get frost free and they were generally much bigger than our space would allow. I also just got a portable battery “power station” for it in case the power goes out (storm season just arrived!) - which cost significantly more than the freezer itself but is close to what the value of the meat is inside it at the moment.


Chest freezers tend to be less $$$ than upright.


My only rec is for a frosts-free model. We had an upright freezer that required being defrosted several times a year. We gave it away in perfect working order and replaced it with a frost free, aka self defrosting, model that we LOVE.

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What kind?

I can’t think of chest freezers without thinking of Bernie and The Gentlemen, two fun freezer flicks.

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Whirlpool, probably 10+ years old,.