Is Your Freezer Set to the Right Temperature?

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

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

The Ideal Freezer Temperature

The freezing point for water and many foods is 0° 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.

Does a Colder Temperature Mean More Freezer Burn?

Nope. Freezer burn occurs from exposure to air, not excessive chill. To prevent freezer 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.

The Other Key to Freezer Performance

While a low freezer temperature setting is crucial, there’s another key element to ensuring that the freezer works properly: circulation. Freezers need 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 this hard-working appliance running smoothly, find out 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 temperature

Food kept in a freezer at 17º Celsius will keep safe indefinitely, though the texture and flavour will deteriorate the longer it’s kept.

Next, find out the best fridge temperature to keep food safe.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home