Freezing is a simple and easy way to preserve foods for a significantly long period of time. Hence, a freezer becomes a staple item for a modern household. However, there are several variants of freezers, and you are wondering which one is the best. Below, we will help you understand the pros and cons of fridge vs freezer.
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Size and Storage Capacity
Most freezers nowadays are available in two versions. The first version is the fridge freezer. Nowadays, most if not all refrigerators come with integrated freezer compartments. They are definitely very convenient and space-friendly. You can have a refrigerator and a fridge freezer in one. According to Wikipedia, freezer-on-top-refrigerator-on-bottom has been the basic style since the ‘40s, until modern refrigerators broke the trend.
If your kitchen has a very limited space, getting a refrigerator with a fridge freezer is definitely the most sensible choice. However, don’t forget that a fridge freezer has a very limited storage capacity. A smaller refrigerator’s fridge freezer typically only has a capacity of about 2 cubic feet, whereas a larger model may have a capacity of about 10 cubic feet. So, it can only stock up foods for a few weeks or months.
The second version is the stand-alone freezer or deep freezer. This unit is not integrated to a refrigerator; it is specifically designed to freeze foods and drinks. Hence, it requires a dedicated space in your kitchen. See also: Pressure Cooker vs Steamer.
However, deep freezers typically have larger capacities. It usually ranges from 5 cubic feet to 25 cubic feet. With a deep freezer, you can stock up lots of foods for long periods. A deep freezer is more recommended if you want to stock up foods for several months’ supplies.
A freezer operates to maintain the internal temperature at a specified level. Whenever the freezer is opened, some heat from the outside comes into the compartment and increases the temperature. When this happens, the freezer has to work harder to reduce the temperature back to the suitable level, hence consuming more energy.
Fridge freezers are generally less efficient than deep freezers in terms of energy consumption because they are opened more often. In addition, fridge freezers usually have doors that are opened in horizontal directions. This design allows you to reach the foods more easily, but it also allows more heat to come in and disrupt the internal temperature.
On the other hand, deep freezers are more efficient because they are opened less often. If you want to save up some money from your electricity bills, consider getting a chest-style deep freezer. It has a door that is opened vertically. This design minimizes the amount of cold air that gets spilled out and the amount of heat that comes in, thereby improving the efficiency.
Ease of Use
Fridge freezers are generally easier to use. They allow you to reach the contained foods more easily. Many models are already equipped with racks for easy organization. All but the lowest-end models nowadays are already equipped with the self-defrost feature. This is very convenient, as you will not have to defrost the fridge freezer manually.
On the other hand, deep freezers may be less convenient to use, depending on the model that you choose. There are upright and chest-style deep freezers. An upright model is usually equipped with racks to allow easy reach and organization. Some chest-style models have racks, some others don’t. At some point, a chest-style model will require you to dig through the stocked foods to find what you need.
If you want to buy a deep freezer, the price usually indicates whether it has the self-defrost feature or not. An expensive model is usually self-defrosting and easier to maintain. A cheap model often requires manual defrosting.
Durability and Longevity
When choosing between fridge vs freezer, don’t forget to consider about the durability and longevity. There are indeed good-quality refrigerators that can last for long years, but they generally don’t last as long as deep freezers. A fridge freezer may start to lose its performance after two or three years.
On the other hand, deep freezers are typically more durable. Most deep freezers can easily last for more than five years, especially if maintained properly. Some people even use deep freezers that they inherited from their parents, and these models are still working well.
An old refrigerator model may be equipped with just one temperature control unit. The control unit only adjusts the temperature for the freezer section. There is an internal passage that enables some cold air from the freezer to go to the refrigerator compartment. With such model, the freezer usually cannot be set under 10 degrees, because temperatures under this level may cause the foods in the refrigerator section to freeze.
However, nearly all modern refrigerators nowadays come with separate temperature control units for the freezer and refrigerator compartments. This allows the freezer compartment to be set to 0 degrees or lower, regardless of the refrigerator compartment’s temperature.
On the other hand, deep freezers have no problem in keeping freezing temperature. You can easily set the temperature to 0 degrees or lower to freeze and preserve the foods.
Storing foods in the refrigerator is good if you are going to consume the foods within a few days. Refrigerated foods are quicker to cook. You don’t need much time to heat it up. However, refrigeration will not preserve foods for more than several days.
If you want to stock up foods for months, you should freeze the foods. Freezing can help to stop the rotting progress, as it freezes all bacteria or yeasts activity. Note that frozen foods require some thawing time, so they take longer to cook.
Fridge vs Freezer
|Fridge Freezer||Deep Freezer|
|- More space-friendly, as it is integrated to a refrigerator||- Requires a dedicated space|
|- Limited storage capacity||- More spacious storage|
|- Typically higher energy consumption||- Usually has lower energy consumption|
|- Easier organization and maintenance||- Relatively difficult organization, may require manual defrosting|
|- Relatively less durable||- Generally more durable|
Fridge vs freezer have different pros and cons. A fridge freezer may be more space-friendly and easier to use, but it doesn’t have much storage capacity and only suitable for stocking foods for a few weeks. A deep freezer offers more spacious storage, better durability, and higher efficiency; it is suitable for stocking foods for long periods.