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Homenavarrow Freezer cooking recipes navarrow Freezer cooking help & tips

How long does it take a new freezer to get cold enough to freeze things?

If you are buying a new freezer, and you want the delivery company to take your old freezer away with them, it raises the question of what to do with your frozen goods in the meantime and if you should be making alternative arrangements to keep your frozen items frozen while your new freezer works on getting cold enough to freeze things.

Depending on the type and size of your freezer, it generally takes anywhere from 12-24 hours for your freezer to become cold enough to keep food frozen. A good way to test this is to put an ice cube tray with fresh water into the freezer - when the ice cubes are frozen, it is cold enough to freeze your food properly.

Of course, you also want to ensure you leave the freezer door shut as much as possible, so cold air doesn't escape. So resist the temptation to check it every hour from the moment you plug it in. Wait at least 6 hours before you take your first peek, but a good time frame to expect is 12-24 hours.

If you have food you need to keep frozen in the meantime, a good ice chest or cooler with some blocks of ice will usually be sufficient to kee everything cold - just don't leave it in the sun or any other warm spot. And again, try not to open the cooler frequently, as this will also mean the ice will melt faster. You could also try and check with neighbors to see if they have freezer space they will alllow you to use. And if it is an expected purchase, try and plan your meals in the days and weeks leading up to delivery day by using food out of the freezer, so there is less food to store and move.

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