How to avoid ice crystals forming in a self frost freezer

Written by theresa curry
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Frost build-up was a common problem in freezers before the invention of frost-free freezers, or freezers that use a timer to periodically heat the evaporator coils, preventing frost build-up. However, ice crystals can still build up in frost-free freezers. With some simple steps, you can avoid frost crystals forming.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Freezer
  • Freezer thermometer
  • Suitable freezer storage containers

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  1. 1

    Avoid moisture, which is turned into ice at freezing temperatures. Wipe frozen food packages dry if you see any moisture on the outside. Wrap frozen food tightly so no moisture leaks out. Use only airtight plastic or glass containers for freezing. Cool them first in an ice-water bath, so condensation doesn't form on the outside of the food and form frost.

  2. 2

    Do not open your freezer except when necessary. Keep food in daily use, such as ice cubes and ice cream, in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. Transfer items from your freezer to the freezer compartment of your refrigerator once a week. Opening your freezer every day, especially in the summer, allows humid air to rush in and frost will form.

  3. 3

    Make sure your freezer is in good condition. If you find it forming ice crystals regularly in spite of proper food handling, check the thermometer to make sure it is at or around -17.8 degrees C. Check the rubber seal to make sure that it is tight. Make sure the freezer is a few inches out from the wall so that there is good air circulation around the coils.

Tips and warnings

  • Re-wrap containers that are not air tight and rewrap meat in freezer paper or several layers of aluminium foil to make sure no moisture dampens the surface.
  • If your freezer continues to form ice crystals, call a refrigeration mechanic to service it.

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