This morning I defrosted our freezer. The job was long overdue, I'd been putting it off through pure laziness if anything. It's not a particularly fun job, but it is very necessary.
Freezers should be running at -18 degrees Celsius at highest, lower temperatures are obviously better however they will be using more electricity! Freezers are a great aid at home for preserving food and they do so just by slowing down the decomposition process. They do not however stop the process. This is why there are recommended limits on the time you should store food in your freezer.
With anything temperature controlled there is a thermostat and a temperature sensor inside the freezer compartment. In our freezer the temperature sensor is located at the back, top-right of the freezer compartment. When the freezer frosts up dense ice normally forms towards the top of freezer. Over time this can freeze over the sensor. This could mean that the freezer does not know the correct temperature of the compartment, worse case it thinks it's colder than it actually it.
I normally get all the food out into freezer bags, preferably in winter/early spring time so I can put them outside in the cold. Get all the drawers out and get loads of saucepans filled with boiling water in there to produce steam to melt the ice. If you decide to chip away at the ice, please do not do what one of my friends did and use a screwdriver. He pierced one of the elements when he was stabbing the ice meaning that the freezer was then broken. Toughest tool you should use is the plastic ice scraper supplied with the freezer.
Obviously take the opportunity to wash the drawers if you have them, and inside the compartment. I believe you shouldn't use strong detergents, I just use a washing up liquid and hot water. When you come to switching the unit back on let it cool down for half an hour or so before filling it back up with the frozen food just so that it doesn't start to defrost the food that you are putting back in.
I'm not trying to tell you how to suck eggs. I decided to write this because I've seen so many freezers, including ones in businesses, that are not defrosted regularly. It can mean that the freezer is working too hard and can break down. This could end up with a freezer full of perished food.
If I've reminded you to check your freezer I'm pleased because it means this article has worked. As I said, not a fun job however once you start defrosting the freezer you can give it a good clear out and you'll no doubt find lots of food you'd forgotten you had.
- Written by Stuart Edge
- Category: General News
- Published: 19 April 2013