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Frost Free vs. Manual Defrost Freezers

Many people come in around this time of year looking to increase their food storage space and are left with a question: do I go frost free or manual defrost?

Both have advantages and disadvantages. It’s important you make the decision that’s right for you and your family.

Frost free-

No maintenance is needed with these units. The temperature is pulsed to keep frost from building up inside the unit. This eliminates the need to defrost the unit, but also shortens the shelf life of the food you store inside. There is also a cost associated with this feature, so expect to pay a little more for the convenience.


These units will need to be thawed out every 8-12 months depending on your neck of the woods. The benefit is the temperature remains constant so food lasts up to double the time.

If your unit will turn over its contents rapidly, and is just an overflow for the kitchen, then frost-free may be the way to go… BUT if you have a side of beef or a whole hog on its way then don’t be lazy! At some point you will get sick of steaks, and you’ll be happy to be able to store them longer without feeling like you’re racing the freezer burn clock.

Which one will you pick?

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