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Saturday 04 December 2021
Market Update Autumn 2021
With supply chain issues in some sectors becoming quite newsworthy, here is our quick update on the chest freezer market right now.
Thankfully, we are not seeing a repeat of the supply issues we had back in the summer of 2020 when there were precisely no chest freezers at all for sale!
Supply does seem good across all retailers at the moment with plenty of choice on the different brands and freezer sizes.
What we are seeing is some price fluctuations, likely due to the extra shipping charges incurred when importing from abroad. Most white goods are manufactured in China.
These price changes are most apparent on small freezers, with the 100 litre models prices bouncing between the usual £120 and higher £160 mark.
Medium Sized, Best Value
As always, freezers in the 200 to 300 litre size bracket represent the best value for money with perhaps only an extra £10-£20 being added to prices.
Here are the best deals right now on small, medium and large sized chest freezers:
Extra Large Freezers - 400+ litres
Hairer HCE-429F £479
When a chest freezer is just too big and you don't have the space, consider a mini freezer - also known as counter-top or table-top freezers.
These mini marvels can chill down to -18 degrees just like a normal freezer but take up a fraction of the space, and will happily sit on any counter top just like your toaster or microwave.
Their compact size and low running costs also make them ideal for caravans and motor homes.
WE ARE pleased to announce a new utility we have created that will help you narrow down your options when searching for a new chest freezer.
We know how confusing it can be with so much choice and jargon to comprehend.
Our new Chest Freezer Chooser will show only relevant products based on your budget and size requirements.
THERE are many resources for recipes on the internet, but American websites tend to use imperial measurements such as cups or fluid ounces.
We've just created a handy reference guide and a printable PDF which will allow you to easily convert these measurements into the metric equivalents you are a little more familiar with.
The Boots Advantage
DID you know that Boots, the popular high street chemist, has been selling kitchen appliances online for a few years now?
Their online-only store is managed by Appliances Online (AO) so when you buy from Boots you get the same low prices and free delivery plus you'll receive Boots Advantage points - 4 points for every £1 spent.Read More
CHEST freezer makers are notoriously stingy when it comes to providing a decent amount of baskets with their products, so many people ask us where they can easily obtain extra baskets from.
We've found a number of places online that have a good range of chest freezer baskets for popular makes, as well as some more obscure ones.
YOU'VE probably been searching high and low for a chest freezer that is also frost-free (just like your fridge freezer is) which can prevent that thick ice build-up.
Sorry to disappoint you, but there aren't any. Here's why - and what to do about it.
THIS Indesit chest freezer has an interesting party trick (literally!) At the flick of a switch it can turn into a normal fridge and chill (not freeze) items down to about 4 degrees Celsius.
Why would you want this? Think of those social gatherings (remember those?) where you had lots of party nibbles or drinks that you wanted to keep nicely chilled but there was no room in your kitchen fridge?
Or maybe you have a home-based catering business where it would be really handy to keep your latest culinary masterpieces chilled and away from family fingers before delivering to clients.
A SMALL chest freezer can be extremely useful as a backup to your main freezer, or if you simply don't have the space or budget for anything more substantial.
In this updated article, we take a look at some of the smallest chest freezers on the market (less than 150 litres) that are great value for money and all offer something different in their own little way!
New Garage Safe Chest Freezer Range from Currys
CURRYS have just revamped their freezer line-up and there are a couple of new models worth looking at.
Branded Logik - Curry's own range of appliances, both are extremely good value with 198 litres of usable space (just about the cheapest freezers at this size) and can work right down to -15 degrees Celsius so perfectly happy in the garage!
If you don't fancy the traditional white finish, then a sleek black version is available for a small extra cost.
The Benefits of Frozen Food
YOU may remember that scene from the Fawlty Towers episode "Hotel Inspectors" where Basil explains to a guest that the peas were frozen, but were fresh at the time of freezing!
It might be one of the few useful things he's said, but it is true - food that is frozen straight after picking or preparing is as good as fresh food. Here are some other benefits of frozen food:
- Reduce food waste and save money by freezing leftovers or unused food so that you can use it another time
- It's quick and convenient to have a wide range of food on hand that is ready to cook
- It can often be cheaper to bulk buy food and keep it in the freezer for the months ahead
- Today's modern chest freezers are so much more economical than previous models
- Increasingly, manufacturers are guaranteeing their freezers will work in a garage or shed so they don't need to take up any valuable space indoors
JUST as we have got used to A or A+ rated appliances, it's all change from March 2021 as a new rating scale comes into effect for various household appliances.
Most chest freezers that are currently rated as A+ will be classed as F under the new system.
THIS freezer is from Curry's own value-for-money 'Essentials' range, and packs 95 litres of usable space within it's compact dimensions and is pretty economical to run.
It's reasonably quiet too but if you don't want it in the house it'll work great in the garage - down to -15 degrees Celsius in fact! It also has a handy front drain port though on the downside only one basket is supplied.
WITH so many chest freezers on the market it can be difficult selecting the right one, particularly if you are on a tight budget.
In this updated article, we've researched the latest models and found the best affordable chest freezers in each size category - whether it's an additional overflow freezer to your main one, or a big deep freeze for the whole family.
NEW from Haier is this HCE-519R - an update to their popular BD-519 model. This version has the same large capacity but now has a handy LCD readout of the inside temperature.
This monster freezer has a whopping 519 litres of space - apparently that's 28 bags of shopping!
Haier is a Chinese make that has a long standing partnership with premium German brand Liebherr, so the quality should be pretty good.
It's reasonably priced considering its capacity, and is an ideal freezer for a large household.
WE WERE asked the other day about the weight of a particular chest freezer which got us wondering as to how heavy they actually are.
Why would you need to know the weight of a freezer? Maybe you are planning to collect one yourself, or perhaps the delivery company won't take the freezer upstairs if you live in a flat.
Get The Most From Your New Chest Freezer
HERE are some simple and straightforward tips to make sure that you get the most out of your new appliance - it's not always a case of just chucking all your shopping into it!
- There is a limit to how much can be frozen within a 24 hour period. Don't exceed this as it can raise the temperature possibly leading to a partial thaw
- Only freeze top quality, fresh clean food
- Try to prepare food in small portions so that is can freeze more rapidly; this will also help when thawing out as you only need to thaw the amount required
- Wrap food to be frozen in cling film or foil, and make sure that the package is as airtight as possible
- Transfer your shop bought frozen food into your freezer as quickly as possible to prevent partial thawing
- When filling your freezer, try not to keep the lid open too long.
- Don't put fizzy drink cans or bottles into the freezer as the containers will explode and possible damage the appliance
- Frozen liquids like ice lollies and ice cubes can cause skin damage if you handle them too quickly after removing from the freezer. Allow a couple of minutes before touching or consuming them.
- When positioning your freezer, make sure the plug socket is easily accessible in case of an emergency and you need to switch the unit off
DO YOU know how much it costs to run a chest freezer? Although they draw relatively little power overall, there are some big variations between freezers.
Bearing in mind the ever rising cost of electricity, here is our comparison graph that shows all current chest freezer power ratings and energy usage.
Is Your Food Safe in a Powercut?
THANKFULLY powercuts are a rare occurrence these days, but have you stopped to think how safe the food in your freezer would be during a powercut? You need to look for something called the "rising time".
Food Starts Thawing at -10c
Manufacturers and retailers might also call this the "powersafe time" or "food safe time". In any case, this is the length of time that the temperature of frozen food takes to rise from the normal -18 degrees Celsius to -10 degrees Celsius at which it will start to thaw and spoil.
Average Rising Time Over 18 hours
The rising time does vary from freezer to freezer. A lot of freezers can keep food safe for well over 18 hours which is good news as most power cuts rarely last this long. However we are disappointed to see LEC freezers have a rising time of only 5 hours.
Premium Brands Offer Better Times
At the other end of the scale, some brands like Bosch and Miele with their thicker insulation and better build quality have rising times of 48 hours or more. Some cheaper brands like Beko and Logik also have impressive rising times.
Helping You Decide
When we can get that information from the manufacturer, we are now starting to show the rising times on our products pages to help you choose the right freezer for your needs.
If food has started to thaw, you should use it promptly or dispose of it if you are really not sure. Do not re-freeze without cooking, especially meat and chicken. Only bread is safe to re-freeze once defrosted.
Chest Freezer Questions and Answers
WE are often being asked freezer related questions, some of which are already answered in our buyers guide or some of our other news items below.
However, to help you out, here is a quick rundown of some of the most frequently asked queries - hope it helps!
At the very low temperatures that these units work at, frost will inevitably build up, so no freezer is completely frost free. Some of the more expensive ones do have valves or fans to circulate the cold air more, but even these will need defrosting at some point.
We've written a whole article on this! In summary though, the rule of thumb has been that a chest freezer cannot be reliably used in an unheated outside space (garage, shed, outbuilding) where the ambient air temperature will be below 10 degrees Celsius. However, more manufacturers these days are making freezers that can safely withstand much colder temperatures. You can find them on this page.
It's quite straightforward. You need to remove any food inside and switch the freezer off. As the ice melts it will run out of the drain port if fitted. It's easier if this port is located at the front rather than the side or rear. Some cheap freezers may not have a drain - then you'll need to scoop or mop out the water!
This depends on its energy use and that depends on its size. Typically though a chest freezer will cost £30 to £40 per year in electricity use so much less than £1 per week. Bigger freezers tend to be more efficient than smaller ones per litre of storage. Check our Chest Freezer Energy Consumption comparison page.
Which freezer is best?
This is primarily going to depend on what space you have available - they do take up quite a bit of floor space especially width wise. Also, how much are you going to use it? 100 litre freezers are quite small and ideal for flats or as an overflow to your main freezer but may be too small as a main freezer for a family.
A QUESTION we are often asked is "Can I use a chest freezer in a garage or other unheated outbuilding?"
We all know that many people do keep their fridges and freezers in garages and experience no problems at all - sometimes this may just be down to luck!
We have written an in-depth article on this, and identified those freezers that are confirmed to work safely in these conditions.
Disposing of Your Old Chest Freezer
IF YOU are purchasing a new chest freezer you may be wondering how on earth to dispose of the old one, particularly if it's no longer in working order (even the best chest freezer will give up eventually).
A number of retailers have an optional recycling service that can take the old one away when they deliver your new model - expect to pay around £20 as an additional cost.
Some local councils will collect bulky items including old appliances for free - it's worth checking their website for details.
It's important to prepare for this though: make sure the old freezer is unplugged, emptied and defrosted before collection. Also ensure there is a clear path so both the new freezer and the old one can be moved with the minimum of fuss.
If you need to dispose of the freezer yourself, then visit this handy website:
Just enter your postcode and it will highlight on a map the location of your nearest recycling depot that will accept old freezers.
Register Your Appliances!
IT'S important to register any new household appliances that you purchase for 2 very good reasons:
- You may receive an extension to the warranty or guarantee period
- You can be advised of any recalls that the manufacturer makes to a product if they have identified any potential problems with it
You can now do this easily through the website, Register my Appliance, and you'll also some useful household safety tips. It's run by AMDEA, who are an independent UK trade association for the manufacturers of small and large domestic appliances.
The Magic of Refrigeration
HAVE you often wondered how your chest freezer works? Just how can it maintain temperatures as low as -18 degrees for an average running cost of around 12p per day?
We realised the need for refrigeration back in prehistoric times when people would gather ice in winter and store it in cool, dark caves or insulated dugouts for when the warmer weather arrived.
Luckily things have advanced a bit since then, although the basic principle of keeping items cool in an insulated container remains. Read more about the history and workings of refrigeration on this very informative Wikipedia page:
Chest Freezers: all you need to know
Here is a quick summary version of our exclusive buyers guide - read the full version here
Why Buy a Chest Freezer?
In short, you can save money and have more choice.
- Bulk buy food cheaply to use over several months
- Have a wider range of food options at meal time
- Reduce waste by freezing some leftovers for later
- Food that is frozen straight after picking or preparing is as good as fresh food
A Freezer in the Garage?
If you're looking for a freezer suitable for the garage, look out for models specifically designed for use in unheated outbuildings - more and more manufacturers are producing such freezers these days.
Measured in litres, the Net Capacity is the total usable space available inside for your frozen food.
The energy rating (A - G) and consumption (kWh) give an idea of how economical the freezer is to run (it's running 24/7 remember). The best appliances are rated A+ or even A++.
Measured in decibels (dB), this tells you how noisy the freezer is - useful if you will be keeping it indoors.
Food Safe Time
(Also known as rising time). How long frozen food in the freezer is safe for in the event of a power cut.
This system freezes food quicker while still retaining flavour and texture. Can be a manual switch or an automatic system (in more expensive models).
A lockable lid is a useful security feature if the freezer will be kept in the garage or other outbuilding.
A counterbalanced lid means it will stay open at a set angle and won't slam shut.
A front drain is more accessible and makes manual defrosting easier. Some also use special crystal bags to absorb moisure or fans to keep air flowing and limit frost build up.
Read the Full Buyers Guide