Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tips for Defrosting a Freezer

Do you have a freezer? I hope it is "Frost-Free"! If not, follow my "tested and approved" tips to make this dreaded but necessary job a littler easier and faster!

No, this is not an ice storm or the North Pole; this is my freezer - AGAIN!! 

"Why did we buy a freezer that I have to defrost?" 

I have asked myself this question many times, and I am unsure of the answer. For years, we used a borrowed "chest" freezer that my parents had bought "used", and it was time to buy our own. Most likely, we bought this upright freezer that has to be defrosted to save money. I have decided that when it quits working, we will replace it with a "Frost-Free" version, but the problem is, these freezers seem to last forever! I did this defrosting job again recently, so I hope my tips help you! Always consult your owner's manual before attempting this task!

First, empty the freezer. Throw away all outdated and/or freezer-burned items. Put the "quick thaw" items (ice cream, meatballs, vegetables, etc.) in the freezer section of your refrigerator/freezer. Oven Mitts and/or gloves can be used to protect your hands!

Put other foods in ice chests/coolers with ice. Ice frozen in large containers is great for this. Open the ice chests only when necessary to prolong the coldness and keep the foods frozen longer.

Put pots of water on the stove, and heat to boiling. 

Next, unplug the freezer from the wall outlet.

A word of caution: The freezer should be open during the defrosting, so you will need to prop and/or tape the door open. Take care when children are present that the door is secure so it will not close if a child should happen to climb in.

Carefully put the pots of boiling hot water in the freezer.

Remove the plug from the bottom of the freezer (if applicable). Pliers are helpful for removal of the plug. If the plug is frozen, wait until it thaws before removing.

Put low pans on the floor in front of the freezer to catch the water as it thaws. Mine has a plastic tube, so I place the end in one of the pans and switch it to the other when it is full to make emptying less messy.

When the pans are almost full, dump water in a bucket. Using a small pot to dip the water makes this task easier!

Replace boiling water in the pots as it cools.           

When defrosted, use baking soda and water to thoroughly clean the freezer racks, sides, and door. Dry completely.

Re-plug and let the freezer get cold before returning food to freezer.

Nancy's Notes:

  • I used 5 pots of boiling water, and I reheated and rotated them as they cooled.
  • Put a small bowl of water in the freezer. When it turns to ice, you know it is 32 degrees or colder!
  • Organize and group like items as you return them to the freezer.
  • Using this method, my freezer was defrosted in 2 hours!

Clean and dry - Now it's time
to organize!

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