Is Your Freezer Set to the Right Temp?

Love to store make-ahead meals in your freezer? Be sure that your food stays fresh by finding the right average freezer temperature.

To make sure that food stays safe and fresh, you’ll want to keep it properly chilled. What’s the average freezer temperature for optimal performance? Read on.

The Ideal Temperature Range

The freezing point for water and many foods is 0º Celsius, so you might think that your freezer would be safe set around there. Wrong! The ideal temperature for freezers is -17º Celsius. The colder temp ensures that food freezes through, and prevents deterioration. (Here are the food storage guidelines that you wish you knew earlier.)

Does a Colder Temperature Mean More Freezer Burn?

Nope. Freezer burn occurs from exposure to air, not excessive chill. To prevent burn, which causes an off taste and texture, wrap food tightly. Bonus points if you wrap food in two different materials: a plastic freezer bag, which you can press the air out of, and then a second layer of aluminum foil. To become a stockpiling pro, learn how long you can really freeze food.

The Other Key to Freezer Performance

While a low temperature setting is crucial, there’s another key element to ensuring that the freezer works properly: circulation. Freezers need proper air flow to maintain the proper temperature and keep every zone of the freezer equally chilled. Don’t cram the freezer full, and avoid blocking the fan. To keep it running at peak performance, this is how often you should really clean your freezer.

More Tips for Optimal Freezing

  • Defrost your freezer regularly, to keep it working efficiently (and prevent ice build-up from taking up valuable real estate!)
  • When adding food to the freezer, consider putting it in the back to encourage yourself to eat foods that have been frozen longer
  • Use a freezer thermometer to keep track of the temp

Food kept in a freezer at the proper temperature will keep safe indefinitely, though the texture and flavour will deteriorate the longer it’s kept.

If you want your food to last even longer, here’s the best way to stock your fridge.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home