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Freezers in the kitchen are perfect for preserving foods and ingredients you intend to use sometime in the near future. People who have a lot of items, however, usually discover their freezers will quickly run out of space. The upright freezer attached to your refrigerator can handle the occasional meats, vegetables, or frozen waffles, but if you want more room, the only answer is a chest freezer. These freezers are standalone units that increase the space you have available to use. With so many different options, things can get confusing when you are searching for a new freezer to buy.
Where do you start? Begin with the size you think you need. Chest freezers are measured in cubic feet, and the more you have, the more food you can store. You should also decide if you want a stationary or portable freezer. Stationary chest freezers are far more common, but battery or generator operated freezers exist for long hunting and camping trips, or road trips and parties. Finally, pay attention to any small details or accessories. Temperature controls and frost drains are standard features on most freezers, so minor differences like build quality and portability might help you make the final choice.
To get you started, here is a list of the best chest freezers you can buy.
01 of 08
Best Overall: Igloo FRF472
You don't need too many bells and whistles in a chest freezer to get the job done. Most people, in fact, would prefer a well insulated box with lots of space. The Igloo FRF472 is one such box. At 7.2 cubic feet, the box’s interior is large enough to store a lot of food over many weeks, months, or even years depending on the item. If you intend to have a supply of frozen foods, this freezer will give you plenty of space to stock up.
Durability is one of its best qualities. While you might not think a freezer needs to stand up to much abuse, it doesn't hurt to make sure it can. Depending on where you put the freezer, scratches, dents, and dings can build up over time, compromising the insulation. Freezers located in basements and garages are especially at risk. With the Igloo’s tough exterior and compact design, you will have some piece of mind wherever you choose to put it.
02 of 08
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Commercial Cool CCF52W
Bigger isn't always better when it comes to chest freezers. Most people forget they still have to find a place to put their large, oversized box. When space is limited, a smaller 5 cubic foot profile is desirable. That is why the Commercial Cool CCF52W is the perfect runner up for the overall best chest freezer. It offers many of the same basic capabilities as the top pick, but with a smaller body that can fit into tighter spaces.
The 5 cubic feet this freezer offers will allow you to store up to 185 pounds of frozen foods. It's a perfect size for hunters and fishermen looking for a place to store their game. Homeowners and families should also find the smaller profile useful for a condo, apartment, or smaller home. Like other chest freezers, the top access means you won't have to worry about making extra space around the freezer in order to open the door.
03 of 08
Best Medium: RCA 5.1
The RCA 5.1 is another medium size option for people wanting a good balance between location convenience and storage capacity. On the outside, it is compact enough to fit in many small spaces without rearranging the room. On the inside, the space seems to expand as it will offer extra options for organizing food that other freezers often lack.
The RCA comes with several shelves you can put virtually anywhere in the freezer. It sports various grooves built into the sides of the freezer where the shelves can slide and lock into place. This offers the potential for custom layouts to store different foods at different levels and locations within the freezer. If you want to separate your meats from your vegetables, this is an excellent choice.
04 of 08
Best Energy Efficient: Danby DCF038A1WDB1
Large freezers and other appliances can use a lot of power, which will normally impact your monthly utility bill. Energy efficient freezers can help mitigate with a smaller footprint and a better insulated interior. The Danby DCF038A1WDB1 will give you up to 4 cubic feet of space in a footprint of only 25”x22”. With its well-insulated cabinet and lid, it will use less electricity to maintain a cool interior temperature, especially compared to other freezers of similar or larger size.
This freezer is a breeze to clean if you experience any unexpected spills or messes. The sides are coated with vinyl to provide a nonstick surface around the entire interior. An easy clean interior liner is also present to prevent messes from staining or ruining the inside frame.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Large: Danby DCF072A2WDB1
You don’t need to sacrifice space to save money on your electric bill. The Danby DCF072A2WDB1 proves it by taking everything its smaller 4 cubic foot cousin has and scaling it up to a large 7 cubic square feet. With a lot of space and energy saving features including extra insulation, this freezer offers the maximum potential in keeping foods frozen without using a lot of electricity.
The freezer also uses the environmentally friendly R600a refrigerant. While this won't affect the quality of your foods, it will keep your freezer running efficiently for a long time. The conveniently placed thermostat will also give you easy access to control the temperature. If you decide to store specific types of food, you can tailor the interior temperature and save even more energy and money.
06 of 08
Best Small: Midea WHS-129C1
If you live in a small apartment or condo, you may be concerned that a chest freezer is too large to fit in your space. In this case, consider the Midea WHS-129C1. This is a small 33.5”x22” freezer box with a respectable 3.5 cubic feet of usable space. You won't be storing large amounts of supplies in this freezer, but it makes a great companion to a small kitchen or even a mini fridge.
Despite its small size, the WHS is designed for easy access. The door opens and locks in increments between 45-75 degrees. As you are loading or unloading food from the freezer, this feature will keep the lid open without slamming down on your fingers. The incremental design allows you to minimize the amount of cold air that escapes, depending on the size and amount of food you put into it or take out of it.
07 of 08
Best Small Portable: Koolatron 29 qt.
Portable chest freezers are in a different league from their at home counterparts. To survive transportation and outdoor abuse, they need an extra tough shell and power that doesn't rely on a wall outlet. The Koolatron 29 qt. Voyager makes up the smaller end of the portable freezer spectrum. At 29 quarts, this freezer is small enough to carry around with enough supplies for a few meals. The interior is large enough to hold several packs of sodas and sandwich supplies or snacks.
The freezer’s hardbody design can take the abuse of traveling and outdoor use. It is safe to rest the body vertically or horizontally, so you don't have to worry about crushing the freezer if you accidentally place in an awkward position. Finally, the 12V power option takes this freezer a step up from your typical insulated cooler. Plug it into your car’s cigarette outlet to have a consistent, arctic temperature chilling your food and drinks.
08 of 08
Best Large Portable: Dometic CFX-95DZW
More time spent outdoors means you will need a larger portable freezer. The Dometic CFX-95DZW nearly doubles the amount of space you have available compared to smaller, portable options. Best of all, it comes with a variety of cords and power options so you can keep it running at home or from your car. Reinforced corners and stainless steel hinges will keep this freezer together during rough moves.
The best feature about this option is its dual compartment design. If you want to take foods that require refrigeration instead of freezing, each compartment can run either as a fridge or a freezer. Dual lids and independent controls mean you can easily setup the CFX as a portable fridge/freezer combo or keep both compartments at the same temperature for double the storage space.