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Endesa - Electricity, Gas, People

The ideal temperature for a freezer

Published on August 2, 2019

The temperature at which you preserve your frozen foods is more important than you think. If the temperature is too low, your food can lose its properties, but if it is too high, it could end up spoiling. 

The refrigerator is the king of appliances because it must always be operating. And along with it, its twin brother: the freezer. Equipment capable of freezing any item in order to avoid it going off, so that it can later be defrosted and can thus recover the same qualities that it had before its “hibernation”. 

However, setting a very low temperature could cause the frozen foods to end up damaged. On the other hand, a temperature that is too high could cause the food to not be preserved and end up spoiling.

It Depends on What You Are Freezing

The ideal temperature of your freezer depends a great deal on the food that you have in it.

The general idea is that it freezes at 0ºC. But, that is not the reality. Water solidifies at 0ºC, but to freeze fruit, vegetables and meat, -18ºC is necessary.

There are many exceptions to these rules. Foods with a high sugar content, such as ice cream, need a temperature of only -12ºC. But fish must be frozen -20ºC between 24 and 48 hours before being consumed in order to eliminate all traces of the Anisakis parasite.

Water freezes at 0ºC, but for food, we need approximately -18ºC.

Between 0ºC and -24ºC

If you are freezing food with a high water content (such as a pineapple, for example), you will not need to lower the temperature much beyond 0ºC. But the majority of foods need to be much colder. Otherwise, you risk the proliferation of all types of bacteria and micro-organisms that spoil your food. 

Many freezers permit adjusting temperatures down to -24ºC. That temperature can keep your food in good condition for a long time, but there is the risk that you are demanding too much of your appliance. Besides high energy consumption, your freezer may wear out before it should.

Temperatures that are too low (from -20ºC) can impair the texture, colour or taste of a food

What, then, is the ideal temperature?

Manufacturers have agreed that the best temperature for your freezer is -17ºC. This value provides a margin of error that allows keeping food frozen without damaging them while preventing the growth of bacteria.

The ideal temperature for a freezer is -17ºC, although it can be changed according to the food being frozen.

Five Extra Tips to Care for Your Freezer

As a free bonus, we are offering you some tips that will help you to improve the performance of your freezer, extend its useful life and save energy:

  • 1. Put a thermometer inside: Even if your model has an integrated digital thermometer, you can check if it is operating correctly by adding one and always having two sources of information about the temperature.
  • 2. Do not freeze hot food: Wait until it is at room temperature in order to avoid raising energy consumption and spoiling the rest of the food inside.
  • 3. Do not overfill the drawers: it may reduce the performance of your freezer.
  • 4. Open the door as little as necessary: freeze several things at a time and try to close it as soon as possible to safeguard the internal temperature.
  • 5. Clean it regularly: No one in their right mind keeps food in a dirty place.