Regardless of the fact that a refrigerator freezer may provide sufficient frozen food storage in residential settings, that’s not the case in commercial restaurant settings. With that being said, having an entire freezing unit to keep your products frozen is essential for the quality of the food that’s being prepared in your kitchen.
In your search, you’ll come across two basic types of commercial freezers – upright and chest. There are trade-offs to both types, so you’ll have to choose based on your needs, budget, the installation process, energy efficiency and convenience. And even though both types of commercial freezers typically come in similar sizes, there’s still a difference in their capacity. You’ll come across models that have a self-defrost mode, and models that do not. All of these aspects should determine which type is better and more suitable for your business. Let’s take a look at the specific features of both types to make things simpler for you.
Commercial Chest Freezer
Commercial chest freezers are the most economical type, simply because every inch of the freezer can be utilized for storing goods. Even though there are some models that have self-defrosting, most of them don’t, which means you’ll need to spend a couple of hours to do it manually. However, due to their built-in sidewall insulation, these models hold cold temperatures incredibly well, which translates in low energy consumption. As a matter of fact, a chest freezer can still stay cold in a power outage for a few days, depending on the quantity of goods inside.
Additionally, these freezers come with at least one wire basket which can be of immense help when it comes to organizing the contents inside. You can separate the different types of foods by using cardboard boxes for better organization. However, working with a chest freezer usually involves a lot of moving frozen foods around to find what you’re looking for.
Furthermore, chest freezers can easily accommodate long, large and odd-shaped items, which you’ll find yourself having a hard time placing inside an upright freezer. Some models have a bottom drawer which you can access from the outside of the freezer. However, while this feature adds convenience, it takes away from the freezer’s capacity.
Depending on the size of the chest freezer, the width will vary accordingly. So, you’ll need to ensure that there’s plenty of space to place it, but more importantly, you’ll need to ensure there’s plenty of headroom above it so you can fully open the door. Don’t neglect the measurements before buying, just so you make sure you have a spot for it. Lastly, consider the path to the inside of the building, the doorways and the corners you’ll have to go through.
Commercial Upright Freezers
Upright commercial freezers are usually the more expensive option, yet they provide about 10-15% less storage space. However, most upright freezers feature self-defrost, which consequently impacts their price. Nevertheless, you should still check with the retailer whether the freezer has that feature or not. Perhaps the biggest advantage of upright freezers lies within the ability to organize frozen foods inside them. This feature makes it rather easy for you to monitor and rotate contents in order to keep them current.
Furthermore, some models have versatile storage systems with removable and adjustable storage bins, adjustable and sliding shelving and pull out bins or baskets. All of these features make sorting and storing the contents much easier. However, you won’t be able to fit large turkeys or long frozen products without having to remove a shelf.
And last but not least – space. When it comes to installation, you have to consider the vertical space in the location where you plan on placing the freezer, but you also shouldn’t completely neglect horizontal space, as commercial models can be quite large. Also, bear in mind that you’ll also need space for the door of the freezer to be able to fully open and close.