You may have been told that jam-packing your freezer isn’t a wise move, but what if we told you the opposite? Well actually, let’s make one thing clear: If your freezer is so full that you can barely shut it, then you may be running the risk of your food thawing prematurely. Not to mention, it’s a complete hassle to have to be prepared to catch the stuff every time you open the door to take something out. But there is a way to organize your freezer in a way that leans toward the packed side that’s actually the correct way to store your food.
See, the key is to keep the freezer full, but not to the point that it’s overflowing. (There’s definitely a turning point.) We know you may like your frozen foods (and leftovers!), and if you happen to go a little overboard during a grocery trip, have no fear. There’s a real reason why you actually want to have a packed freezer.
Why exactly would I want a packed freezer?
The answer is energy conservation. A freezer and refrigerator use up quite a bit of energy to keep your food cold. With that in mind, it’s important to utilize all of that chilled air the appliance produces so that none of it goes to waste. In other words, the more you have in your freezer, the more energy efficient the appliance is.
Think about it this way: a packed freezer will maintain a colder temperature better than one that’s empty. Why? When you open up its door, you let cold air escape and, naturally, warmer air flows in. Another important thing to note is that a majority of the energy a freezer expends is devoted to cooling down the air. So, when your freezer is filled with food items, the appliance won’t have to work nearly as hard to cool what would otherwise be empty pockets of space.
Remember, the frozen food items in there are frozen, so when you do open the freezer door and allow warm air to sneak in, the frozen items positioned in the front act as the first line of defense. Ultimately, less energy is used when the freezer is full, but not too full—you still want air to circulate, so the way you organize your food is important. Plus, overpacking your freezer can end up blocking the vents, which will make your freezer less efficient—and your food go to waste.
Frozen food doesn’t last forever, though, so be mindful of how long your food items have been in the freezer, too. There are several signs that indicate it’s time to toss out that frozen food such as freezer burn. But if you make sure to organize your packed freezer the right way without overstuffing it, you’re doing things right by your food and your fridge.
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