Should You Keep A Chest Freezer Full?

Chest freezers are the most economical freezers. They reduce trips to the grocery stores and keep food fresh for long periods. Now that you have the ideal chest freezer, you'll need to stock up. Chest freezers make life so much easier. You can put store-bought meals, home-prepped meals, raw foods (meats and vegetables), and drinks in chest freezers for months. The question that makes us pause goes: how much is too much in a chest freezer? We've done our research so we can give you the answer.

Yes, you should keep a chest freezer full! Chest freezers are designed for cold storage and need to be filled to the capacity indicated. It isn't good to keep your freezer half empty. On the other hand, don't overfill your chest freezer. When warm air gets into the freezer when it's opened, it should be able to cool fast to keep the food constantly cold. Proper air circulation is necessary so as not to overheat the compressor.

Continue reading to see how best to fill your freezer. We'll also give a few recommendations on what to consider when buying a chest freezer.


Freezer in a home for portioned frozen meats and meals so food can be purchased in bulk and stored during the pandemic.. Should You Keep A Chest Freezer Full

How to fill, load and arrange a chest freezer

No matter how big or small your chest freezer is, it has its capacity. Proper arrangement of food in the chest freezer helps it stay fresh longer. For more efficiency, fill your chest freezer to capacity. Follow these steps to get the desired results:

Defrost and dry the freezer

Before putting any food in your chest freezer, ensure that you defrost it and dry it thoroughly. A clean chest freezer works smoothly and will help save energy. More so, the water won't be absorbed by foodstuffs stored in the freezer.

set temperature

Set the temperature in your freezer not too high to avoid overheating and high energy bills. Every chest freezer has a guide on temperature gauges. It is important to follow these instructions for proper food storage. High temperature settings could also cause frost burn on meats.

Arrange your food

You must arrange food in your chest freezer. This is primarily for easier access and to save time. Don't throw your food in the freezer haphazardly. Some foodstuffs could go bad or overstay in the freezer. When food is not properly frozen, it could cause food poisoning. Keep foods that you frequently eat at the top.

Put larger or bulkier foodstuffs and containers with food at the bottom. The coldest place in the chest freezer is the bottom part which is excellent for meats. The best way to achieve an organized chest freezer is by using freezer baskets. A well-arranged freezer also helps in proper air circulation.

Check out these Pomeat deep freezer baskets on Amazon.

how high can you fill a chest freezer?

A chest freezer needs to be 3/4 full for it to work efficiently. Never leave your chest freezer half empty. When a chest freezer is filled to the required capacity, there's less space for warm air to take up. This means that the freezer will use less energy.

A well-packed chest freezer maintains cold better than an empty one. Use bins and chest freezer baskets to make sure air circulates throughout the chest freezer. The rule of thumb for loading a chest freezer as mentioned in this video is loading not more than 2–3 pounds per cubic foot of unfrozen food.

Note: Put freezer bags, milk jugs, or containers with water in the chest freezer when your chest freezer is half empty. This will help maintain the efficiency of the freezer. This will give you enough ice to make cocktails for family and friends!

can a chest freezer be too full?

Yes, it can! Too much of anything is dangerous. When your chest freezer isn't freezing food well, it could mean that it is too full. An overcrowded freezer has poor air circulation because the vents are blocked. If you are unable to close the freezer door, then it's way too full. When you overtask your freezer, the condenser will burn out.

Can you overpack a chest freezer?

No, you can't. Filling a chest freezer beyond its capacity isn't advisable. The freezer will overheat and won't keep the food as cold as it should. Your food will go to waste because the temperature in the freezer won't be cold.

What is the best way to load a chest freezer?

The most important thing to note is that you'll be loading your chest freezer with warm food. The chest freezer will absorb the heat from the food. Allow the freezer to cool enough every time you are loading it. Don't put too much food at once. Load your chest freezer, especially larger ones, in intervals.

What happens when you overpack a chest freezer?

An overpacked chest freezer, as we've seen, won't have proper air circulation. The air vents will be blocked by the items you've put in the chest freezer. The warmth in the freezer will defrost it. Reducing the temperature in the freezer won't help. Unfortunately, the compressor will be overworked.

What to consider when buying a chest freezer

The most important thing to consider before buying a chest freezer is the cost. There are other things to consider when purchasing a chest freezer. Bear in mind that chest freezers, like most appliances, are long-term investments. Here are a few things to consider before you make a purchase:

  • Size: The size of your chest freezer is very important. This could be based on how big your family is, how often you host, where you live (remote or rural areas), or hobbies (hunting, gardening). These situations could mean you have to buy food in bulk or store excess produce. The external dimensions and capacity need consideration.
  • Location: You'll need to know where you will place your chest freezer. Ensure that the location you pick to place your chest freezer is ideal for it. You should be able to access it easily. Whether you want to place your chest freezer indoors or outdoors, this is vital to note.
  • Lights, Indicators & Alarms: In cases where the freezer is in the garage, opt for a chest freezer with interior lighting. Children might forget to close the freezer properly; a door alarm will be an important feature. To avoid opening your freezer often to check if it's working, purchase one that has a power-on indicator. Some chest freezers have alarms that go off when the temperature is too high.
  • Convenient Shelving: For proper food storage, you'll need good storage facilities in the chest freezer. Freezer baskets help in keeping your freezer organized and reduce food wastage.
  • Locks and Controls: Safety locks on your freezer will help keep your food safe if the freezer is situated in the garage. Easy-to-use controls will help you regulate the freezer temperatures.

To Sum It up

Chest freezers must be kept full and not half empty to maximize their efficiency. Don't overfill your chest freezer so that it will serve you longer and save you expensive repairs. Keep your freezer organized at all times. This helps keep the freezer cold and the air circulating properly.

When you load your freezer properly, food will stay fresh longer. Always keep an eye on children to make sure that they don't forget to close the freezer door. Ensure that you read the freezer manual thoroughly. Proper utilization of any appliance means that it will serve you longer.

One comment

  1. It’s best to fill a chest freezer, but it can be overfilled??? Either it’s full or it isn’t. The only way it can be too filled is if the lid can’t be shut!

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