At What Temperature Should A Chest Freezer Be?

A chest freezer is reliable when it comes to preserving food for longer. You must set the right freezer temperature to preserve frozen products for longer as temperature affects the quality of frozen food or beverage. To avoid issues with your frozen goods, we have researched the right temperature for your chest freezers.

The ideal temperature for a chest freezer is 0° Fahrenheit or lower. The low temperature slows down the deterioration of the food you choose to freeze. Meat, vegetables, and other perishable goods are safe for eating if frozen at the right temperature. To maintain the right temperature, set the thermostat of your chest freezer in the middle, or between 2 and 3. Allow the freezer to adjust to the colder settings for at least 24 hours. You can check the chest freezer's temperature with a freezer thermometer.

The temperature also reflects the working condition of your chest freezer. There might be defects that cause the fluctuations of temperature. As a result, the unstable temperature causes issues with your frozen food. Keep reading to learn the importance of setting the right chest freezer temperature.


Woman putting food into a chest freezer, At What Temperature Should A Chest Freezer Be?

Why Is It Important To Get The Right Chest Freezer Temperature?

A chest freezer is great for storing frozen foods in bulk. Chest freezers also help maintain the freshness of food for longer. If you want to avoid spoilage, a chest freezer is your best bet. To get the benefits of freezing, you must know the right temperature to set.

The International Institute of Refrigeration recommends a minimum temperature of 0° Fahrenheit. The low temperature inhibits the propagation of microorganisms in food. Experts found that vegetables or fruits deteriorate 2 to 3 times slower in very low to negative temperatures. The lower the temperature, the better quality you can have for your frozen goods.

To avoid spoilage during power outages, be sure to set the chest freezer at 0° Fahrenheit at all times. Food can remain frozen in the chest freezer for 2 to 3 days without electricity.

What Is The Best Temperature Setting For A Chest Freezer?

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The thermostat settings around number 2 or 3 maintain 0° Fahrenheit temperature. If the temperature is too cold, you can turn the knob to a lower number. Likewise, if you need the freezer to be colder, turn the knob to the next higher number. Allow at least 24 hours before adjusting the thermostat again.

When setting the temperature, avoid the unnecessary opening of the freezer door. The warm air interrupts the circulation of cold air inside the freezer. There should be a stable temperature to keep your food and beverages frozen.

The best way to know the chest freezer temperature is by using a freezer thermometer. Modern chest freezers have built-in and digital thermometers to check the temperatures periodically. You can still manually check the temperature with a dial freezer thermometer, similar to the product below.

Check out this Taylor Precision freezer thermometer on Amazon.

Is A Chest Freezer Colder On 1 Or 5?

The thermostat of your chest freezer allows you to set the temperature. The common thermostats have numbers from 1 to 5. There are some brands with the number 7 as the highest setting. You can also find other thermostats with MIN, MID, or MAX instead of numbers.

The number 1 setting is the warmest, while the number 5 is the coldest. The numbers do not correspond to a specific temperature. Regardless of the number, setting the temperature will depend on your needs.

The highest number that you can find on the thermostat is also the most energy-consuming. Avoid costly electric bills by setting the freezer temperature at least a day ahead.

Also, if the temperature is not stable, your energy consumption increases. Frequent changes to the thermostat affect the quality of frozen products. If you do not know what number you should set in your chest freezer, keep reading below.

What Number Should My Chest Freezer Be On?

For normal conditions, you can set the chest freezer at MID or between settings 2 and 3. If your chest freezer has temperature settings up to number 7, turn the knob to number 4. Keep the chest freezer settings in the middle to conserve energy.

To achieve the ideal temperature, fill the chest freezer with other frozen goods. Try to fill the freezer until the full capacity. Frozen food helps circulate colder air, which helps in freezing. As much as possible, avoid any warm air coming inside the freezer.

Can Your Chest Freezer Be Too Cold?

Even at 0° Fahrenheit, the chest freezer can already be too cold. Some chest freezer brands allow temperatures as low as -40 to -76° Fahrenheit. Low-temperature chest freezers are ideal for commercial as well as for household use. Learn about the pros and cons of keeping the chest freezer very cold below.


An advantage of a very cold chest freezer is how it can help maintain the quality of food and beverages. Very cold chest freezers are great if your food needs a stable freezing temperature. Even with the frequent opening of the freezer door, there is a lower rate of warm air coming inside.


There are also downsides to a too cold chest freezer. First, the chest freezer unit requires more energy consumption which increases electricity bills. Second, a too cold chest freezer causes the build-up of ice and frost, although you can read through our post on how to prevent ice build-up in your chest freezers if you want to evade this potential issue.

A too cold chest freezer can be a sign of damage to the defrost heater or evaporator fan motor. To avoid malfunctions, you need to defrost your chest freezer. It would be best to check how often you need to defrost a chest freezer to maintain its working condition.

Can A Too Cold Chest Freezer Cause Freezer Burn?

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Worrying that your frozen food can have freezer burn when the temperature is too cold? Well, most people have this misconception that too cold temperature is far from being the cause. Cold temperatures do not actually cause freezer burn. Very cold temperatures are even beneficial in maintaining the quality of frozen food.

Freezer burn is a result of moisture loss in frozen food. The evaporation of air makes the food look dry, discolored, or tough. The causes of freezer burns include fluctuations in the temperature, the presence of air in packaged frozen foods, freezing hot food immediately, and storing frozen goods for a long time.

You're on the safe side, though, even when the chest freezer temperature is too cold if you follow the tips below:

  • Keep the chest freezer temperature stable.
  • You can blanch your uncooked vegetables before freezing.
  • Repack your food in freezer-safe and air-tight containers. Take as much air out from the containers before freezing.
  • Fill your chest freezer at least 75 percent of its capacity. You can also freeze beverages or make ice to help speed up the freezing time.
  • Properly label your frozen products by indicating the expiry or best-before dates. You can track food to consume or dispose of by looking at the labels.

In Closing

The chest freezer must maintain a minimum temperature of 0° Fahrenheit or lower. Your frozen foods can last longer at a suitable temperature, which you can regulate using the chest freezer's thermostat. Setting your freezer at 2 or 3 achieves the ideal freezing temperature. If you want to make the freezer too cold, there are brands with 5 as the coldest setting.

The temperature of your chest freezer is vital for the preservation of food. If you fail to set the suitable temperature, your food might get freezer burn or spoilage. You can always check the temperature with a freezer thermometer. Set your chest freezer at the right temperature to get the most of your frozen food and beverages.


  1. My chest freezer doesn’t have numbers it has MID, MIM and MAX. What temperature should I have when just plugging it in AND what temperature should I keep it at. Thank you.

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