Fridge-Freezer vs. Chest Freezer: A Cool Showdown

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When it comes to keeping things cool in the kitchen, deciding between a fridge-freezer and chest freezer has a whole raft of factors to consider. Each appliance comes with its unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice could depend on issues such as available space, specific freezing needs, size of family or budget.

The Fridge-Freezer: A little bit of both

The fridge-freezer is a bit of a chameleon, offering a dual-purpose solution for preserving both fresh and frozen items. Here's why it might be the right choice for you:

Pros of the Fridge-Freezer:


Having a fridge and freezer in one unit is undeniably convenient. You can easily transition from grabbing a chilled beverage to selecting frozen ingredients for dinner, all without leaving the comfort of your kitchen.

Space Optimisation:

For those with limited kitchen space, the fridge-freezer is a space-saving superhero. It combines two essential appliances into one, making it a practical choice for apartments or smaller homes.

Ease of Access:

The top or bottom freezer configuration in fridge-freezers allows for easy access to frozen goods which can be arranged in anything from drawers to shelves. This also gives quick visual access to the frozen items too.

Energy Efficiency:

Modern fridge-freezers are designed with energy efficiency in mind. The ability to keep fresh and frozen items in one unit often translates to lower energy consumption compared with maintaining two separate appliances.

Cons of the Fridge-Freezer:

Limited Freezer Space:

The freezer compartment in a fridge-freezer in most instances will be smaller compared to a dedicated chest freezer. This limitation can be a drawback for those who require extensive frozen storage space.

Temperature Fluctuations:

Because the fridge and freezer share the same cooling system, opening the fridge frequently could lead to temperature fluctuations in the freezer, affecting the long-term storage of frozen goods.

Organisation Challenges:

With limited freezer space in a fridge-freezer, storing frozen items can require some strategic organisation and thinking.

The Chest Freezer: The Big Chill

For those who swear by the "more is more" philosophy, when it comes to frozen storage, the chest freezer is a perfect solution:

Pros of the Chest Freezer:

Ample Storage Space:

The primary advantage of a chest freezer is its vast storage capacity. This makes it an ideal choice for families that like to buy in bulk or individuals who enjoy meal prepping and freezing. In New Zealand chest freezers are a favourite with hunters or people who do a lot of fishing as they have the size to cope with the freezer space required.

Long-Term Storage:

Chest freezers are designed for long-term storage. They maintain a consistent low temperature, preserving the quality of frozen items for extended periods.

Energy Efficiency for Large Loads:

While a chest freezer may consume more energy than a smaller freezer compartment in a fridge-freezer, it is often more energy-efficient when it comes to storing large quantities of frozen goods.

Customisation Options:

Many chest freezers come with removable baskets and dividers, allowing users to organize and customize the space based on their preferences.

Cons of the Chest Freezer:

Space Requirements:

Chest freezers are bulky and require a dedicated space. If you have limited floor space, finding a suitable location for a chest freezer might be challenging. Many people opt to store chest freezers in their garage particularly if they have an internal garage or it’s located near the house.

Accessibility Issues:

Retrieving items from the bottom of a chest freezer can be cumbersome, especially if the freezer is fully loaded. It might prove difficult for individuals with back or mobility issues.


Unless you are very disciplined about arranging and rotating items by date, in a chest freezer, they can remain hidden until the next clean-out and restock.

Not Ideal for Fresh Items:

Chest freezers are optimised for long-term frozen storage. They are not designed for the frequent retrieval of fresh items, which can lead to temperature fluctuations and compromise the freshness of the contents.

The Verdict: Fridge-Freezer vs Chest Freezer:

In the fridge-freezer vs. chest freezer showdown, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The decision ultimately hinges on your specific needs and the dynamics of your household.

If space is at a premium and you need both fresh and frozen storage, the fridge-freezer is probably a better choice.

On the other hand, if you're a bulk shopper, a person who loves to freeze seasonal bounties (including spoils from hunting or fishing), or a family with a penchant for freezing meals in advance, the chest freezer is your go-to. Its ample storage space and long-term preservation capabilities make it ideal for your needs.

In the end, the winner of this showdown depends on your lifestyle, space availability, and freezing habits.