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When Can I Put Frozen Food in the New Freezer I Bought?

Updated February 21, 2017

After installing a new freezer, most homeowners are anxious to fill it with purchased and homemade food for safe, long-term storage. However, if the food is placed into the unit too soon, it could be irreparably harmed and inedible.

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Recommended Waiting Period

Since most freezers are at room temperature when they are purchased and delivered, they need time to chill to freezing temperatures before being filled. A minimum of 24 hours is the recommended waiting time. If the environment in which the freezer is placed is abnormally hot, waiting longer before adding food is recommended.

Food Storage Guidelines

Putting room temperature food into a new freezer demands more energy to freeze than previously frozen or thoroughly chilled items. Placing foods into freezers that are not pre-chilled promotes the formation of ice crystals, which can damage the fibres in meat and poultry or make soups and sauces thin and watery.

Freezer Placement Hints

If a freestanding freezer is placed under a shelf or other barrier or against a wall, a gap of at least 1 inch should be maintained between the freezer body and surfaces so the appliance's condenser receives adequate ventilation. Improper ventilation requires the compressor to work overtime, which uses more energy and can increase frost build-up.

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About the Author

Cassie Damewood has been a writer and editor since 1985. She writes about food and cooking for various websites, including My Great Recipes, and serves as the copy editor for "Food Loves Beer" magazine. Damewood completed a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Miami University.

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