If you are looking for a commercial freezer, it is important that you know the basics before making your purchase. Commercial freezers come in many different styles and sizes, so which one is right for you? There are so many options out there, which makes choosing difficult. No worries! This best commercial freezers guide will help guide you to find the best commercial freezer for your needs.
First, we will cover the different types of freezers for commercial businesses. Next, we’ll look at what to look at before deciding on a commercial freezer. Finally, we’ll list off some specific recommendations depending on your purpose: restaurant or foodservice business owner, caterer, grocery store owner, or small business owner with limited space.
Let’s dive into everything you need to know about commercial freezers so that when it’s time for freezer shopping, you can be confident in your decision!
What is A Commercial Freezer?
A commercial freezer is a specialized freezer that is designed to be able to hold up under heavy use. This means they are usually larger than a residential model and can also withstand more extreme temperatures without breaking down.
Ultimately, it’s used for storing meat, produce, and other perishable food products and increases the longevity of the products via freezing preservation. Commercial freezers are mainly used by business owners, catering organizations, supermarkets, wholesalers, and restaurants.
How Do Commercial Freezers Work?
Commercial freezers work through the direct contact of cold air and ice. The refrigerators use a compressor that is powered by electricity or gas to create this mixture, which can be different degrees depending on need.
A freezer works because it draws heat out from the freezing compartment. The process starts when the refrigerant goes into the compressor, where it is compressed. The temperature of the gas at this point is pretty high. As the hot, gaseous refrigerant moves through various coils in the freezing system, it loses its heat and starts to cool off.
Then, the refrigerant goes into a condenser, where it turns back into liquid form. The cool gas moves through the coils of the evaporator and gives up its heat to turn water in the coil into ice. This process takes out all other heat sources from within the freezer, so it’s able to cool down everything inside quickly.
What Are The Different Types of Commercial Freezers?
There are quite a few different types of commercial freezers. The most popular type is a refrigerator-freezer combination, but there are also chest freezers and upright freezer types.
Here are a few of the most popular types of freezers:
A walk-in freezer is commonly found in grocery stores or large commercial catering establishments. It’s used to store perishable food, such as meat or produce, for an extended period of time. It’s ideal for those who have a lot of space because, as the name suggests, you can actually walk into the freezer.
A chest type is a more affordable alternative to the walk-in freezer that can be used in residential spaces. It doesn’t allow for nearly as much room, but it’s perfect if you don’t have too much food storage or space restrictions. Chest freezers are also usually easier to clean and maintain than other types of freezers.
Chest freezers are ideal for those who want to store a small amount of food but don’t have the space or money for an upright freezer. This is also the type of freezer that you’ll typically find in the supermarket, and they are usually more affordable than other types of freezers because food is slightly more inconvenient to access.
An upright freezer is similar to what you would see in a household, except the commercial version is notably bigger. They are tall freezers, can be single-door or double-door, and are commonly used in restaurants. The primary benefit of an upright freezer is that it can store food in a much more organized fashion than a chest-type freezer, but dif often takes up much more space.
A downside for some people might be that the upright freezer is more expensive. However, they’re ideal for a range of businesses, from those with limited space to those with a lot of space but not quite enough for a walk-in.
A fridge freezer is a type of commercial refrigerator that’s split in half, with one side being the freezing compartment and the other being for storing fresh food. This type of appliance can be found at groceries stores or convenience stores to store chilled foods like produce.
The primary benefit is that it saves space because they’re not separate appliances – you only need enough space for one, and you can store both refrigerated and frozen goods. The downside is that they can be quite bulky, can also be quite expensive, and take up a lot of space.
A draw freezer is a type of freezer that’s usually only seen in restaurants. It stores chilled food and is most often found between the kitchen and dining area or near a bar with an ice machine to offer customers drinks on demand.
Draw freezers are more or less exactly as they sound – freezers that are in the shape of drawers. Imagine a bedside cabinet or a small chest of drawers, and this is exactly what a drawer freezer looks like. It’s perfect for those who want to store perishable foods but don’t have much space, as they’re not tall like the other types of commercial freezers. However, they don’t always have a lot of room inside for food.
Great for food delivery services or moving catering organizations (like food trucks or temporary restaurants), a portable freezer is a great way to store and keep food cold without being connected to any other appliances.
The downside of this type of commercial refrigerator is that it doesn’t have the same types of features like an upright or chest-type freezer, meaning you can only use them for storing perishable foods. They’re also more expensive than most other types.
A display freezer is a type of commercial refrigerator that’s usually found in grocery stores. They’re not as tall as an upright freezer but are taller than chest-type or freestanding refrigerators and can be either single door or double-door.
The main benefit of this type of machine is the ability to store more food while also being able to store chilled and frozen food. They’re not as common in small stores but are perfect for those who have a lot of space available.
An under-counter freezer is a type of commercial freezer that’s usually found in restaurant kitchens. They’re different from other types because they double as a kitchen workspace, and chefs can use the space above the freezer to go about their usual kitchen prep work. Then, chefs can simply reach below their workspace to access frozen ingredients.
The benefit is that it offers more storage or workspace than an upright or chest-type freezer without taking up valuable floor space. The downside is that some freezers don’t actually have much space inside.
A low freezer is a type of commercial refrigerator that’s usually found in convenience stores and gas stations. They’re different from other types because they’re situated lower to the ground, meaning that they take up much less space.
The benefit is that it’s perfect for small stores looking to save space and is often cheaper than other types of commercial freezers. The downside is that they don’t offer as much storage or features like an upright or chest-type freezer.
What Should You Look For In A Commercial Freezer?
The first thing you’ll want to consider when buying a commercial freezer is the space available in your building where it will be located. Is there room for a large appliance? Or do you need one with less depth?
Next, think about how many people will use the unit on average per day. This will need to be a factor because the more people opening and closing the freezer regularly, the more powerful it will have to be to maintain temperature.
The last major factor to take into consideration is cost. Consider the cost of the unit and make sure it fits into your budget, but don’t forget that energy efficiency can have long-term benefits. Consider these things before deciding what size and type of commercial freezer are perfect for your business
The size of the freezer can be a crucial deciding factor in what type of freezer you buy. If there isn’t much space available, then an under-counter or single-door fridge freezer unit might be the best option for your needs. However, if storage and features are important to you – like an upright refrigerator that stores both chilled food and frozen food – then a larger model such as a chest or a double door freezer might be better suited for your business.
As well as size, internal capacity will also be very important. Some freezers may take up a small amount of space but have very limited storage space inside. So, as well as the floor space the freezer takes up, also be sure to consider how much storage you’ll have inside.
Do you need a digital temperature gauge? Do you want a freezer with a lock for additional security? Do you want an upright or chest-type freezer for chilled and frozen food storage, or do you need just a single door to store perishable foods?
Before deciding on what type of commercial refrigerator is best suited for your needs, think about what features you’re looking for.
The next thing you’ll want to think about is energy efficiency. Energy-efficient commercial refrigerators are more expensive than non-energy efficient models, but they could save money in the long run because they have a lower running cost for electricity. This will both save your utility bills, bring down your restaurant’s overhead, and contribute to a healthier planet. So, it really is a win-win.
Ease of cleaning
You’ll also want to think about is how easy the freezer will be to clean. For example, if the freezer is made of stainless steel, it will be easier to clean than other materials because, normally, you can simply wipe stainless steel down with a damp cloth.
Kitchen hygiene is essential, so make sure you pick a freezer with an easy-to-clean surface and preferably removable shelving inside too.
Do you need to defrost?
Some people might need to defrost their freezer, which is just as important as maintaining the temperature and cleanliness of your kitchen. So when buying a commercial freezer, the easier it is to defrost, the better.
Another thing to consider is the power rating. It’s important that the freezer has enough capacity and space for your needs, but also an appropriate level of power for its size. Ultimately, the higher the power rating, the less energy it will consume and the more efficient it will be.
The doors on a commercial freezer can also be an important factor to consider when buying one. What is the best type of door for your needs? Do you need double-doors or single-door refrigeration?
You’ll want to think about how easy it will be to access what’s inside and if there are any features such as a digital temperature gauge or lock for additional security. You’ll also want to consider the handles, as full-length or built-in handles are much more durable long-term than bar handles which can break or wear down.
Lastly, how much can you afford to spend? This is an important factor before making a purchase. Commercial freezers are expensive items – some cost more than $30 000! Think about what your budget might be so that you can narrow down your search.
The Major Differences Between Commercial And Household Freezers
There are several major differences between commercial freezers and the ones that you might have at home.
First of all, there are a lot more features available on commercial freezers than household models. This is because most people don’t need many extra features for their personal freezer – they’re freezing much smaller amounts of food.
If something goes wrong in your home freezer, it may not matter as much to you if some items melt or spoil, but when running a business, this could be catastrophic. So these businesses will invest heavily into getting the best possible equipment before inadequate freezers can cause costly damage to inventory and profits.
Commercial freezers also tend to be larger than residential models. They often have much more storage space inside too. This is because homeowners typically only need a small, basic house freezer, while restaurants or grocery stores might have entire freezers full of items to store.
Another major difference is that commercial freezers are more energy-efficient than residential models. This can either be due to their design or because they’re operating in a commercial building that is more likely to have energy-efficient appliances and lighting.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of commercial freezers:
The advantages of commercial freezers
- They have tough exteriors – commercial freezers are made from durable, heavy-duty materials (such as 304 stainless steel), which means they’ll last a lot longer than the flimsy-made domestic comparison.
- They’ll degrade much slower through wear and tear than household ones will.
- They are larger and have considerably more storage space than a household freezer, which is perfect for anyone running an inventory-heavy business.
- They have a much more stable cooling capacity – the average household freezer with a small compressor can’t keep up-to to the level of cold required for commercial purposes. So, you often get an uneven cooling with some parts being colder than the others and even freezing at the back.
- They have a sleek, professional appearance – the design of commercial freezers is carefully thought out because it needs to be functional but also visually appealing.
- They will maintain their temperature inside much better, even with frequent opening and closing that happens in a commercial kitchen.
- Commercial freezers come with more features – because they are often larger and more expensive than household models, there will be more features for the business owner to enjoy, such as digital temperature gauges and locks for additional security.
- They typically come with commercial warranties that can last 5 years or more.
The disadvantages of commercial freezers
- They’re much more expensive than the household models.
- They are also not as easy to transport because they are usually big and bulky.
- They consume more energy, making them more costly to run. However, this is mainly due to their increased size and internal capacity.
- They cost much more to maintain and repair than household freezers, but they do come with a commercial warranty which does help.
- They take up much more space in the kitchen – especially for small businesses. This is a disadvantage because it will limit kitchen space.
Commercial Freezer Best Use Tips
Here are some top tips for getting the most out of your commercial freezer:
- Always keep track of what’s inside your freezer – if you have a commercial freezer, it’s important to note what’s inside as well as keeping an inventory list. This can both help with stock take, stock rotation, and prevent food from going to waste.
- If your business is storing perishable food in your freezer, remember to keep the temperature at or below 0° F (-18° C) – this will ensure that it doesn’t spoil.
- If you are storing frozen goods for long periods of time and need some more space, try wrapping them tightly with plastic wrap before placing them inside a resealable bag, so they don’t have any contact with the air.
- If you buy a commercial freezer, make sure that it’s large enough – if it doesn’t have enough space for what your business needs, then this will be an expensive mistake and can quickly lead to stock shortages or wastage in the future.
- When freezing food, try to freeze it flat. It will help to keep the food in a more stable position when you need to take it out of the freezer. Once they are solid and frozen, you can organize them however you like. This also helps to optimize the space in the freezer.
- Freeze in manageable portions – once you’ve defrosted food, you can’t freeze it again. But once the food is frozen, it becomes very difficult to separate. So be sure to freeze in reasonable portion sizes. This way, you won’t end up having to defrost more than you need and potentially waste food.
- Defrost fish and seafood quickly by placing them in a bowl of cold water.
- Organize your freezer into sections – for example, keep all chicken in one area, all red meat in another, and all liquids (such as soups and sauces) in another. This will save you lots of time rummaging around in eh freezer looking for things.
- Defrost things slowly will preserve the taste – a slow thaw overnight in the fridge is much better for the food than a quick emergency zap in the microwave.
My Top Commercial Freezer Recommendations
True 2 Door 1388L Cabinet Freezer T-49F-HC
This cabinet, built-in freezer is large enough to suit any business and looks great with its stainless steel design.
It’s fully insulated, keeping the temperature stable even when you open it frequently, which makes it perfect for a busy commercial kitchen. It can hold up to 80kg of food per shelf, so there will be no shortage of space for your frozen goods.
The True T-49F-HC Cabinet Freezer offers buyers a combination of performance and reliability that is unmatched by other models. The freezer offers eight full-size robust shelves as well as lockable doors to secure your ingredients.
In addition to these features, the timed defrost, and advanced insulation allows for frequent defrosting times and minimized energy costs.
- Sturdy design
- 8 full-sized shelves that can hold 80kg of food each
- Timed defrost
- Advanced insulation features
- Quite expensive
- Kerbside delivery only
Polar U-Series Triple Door Counter Freezer with Upstand 417Ltr
Polar’s new U-series three-door counter freezer would be a valuable addition to any professional kitchen. Designing for performance and remarkable capacity, this freezer delivers 358 liters of usable frozen storage space and a remarkably efficient countertop that’s perfect for everyday prep.
Adjustable shelves offer plenty of inside space for organization, making it easy to quickly find food times. In addition, the freezer features a self-closing door that can open from 90° and stay up on its own – saving time at the end of a busy shift.
These freezers are built to the highest commercial specifications. They feature powerful forced air cooling for reducing food wastage and conserving taste. Polar U-Series refrigeration reliably low speeds and high humidity to keep a consistently cool temperature even when the unit is accessed frequently.
- Efficient cooling
- Capable of holding 358 liters, room for a lot of food
- Adjustable shelves and self-closing door
- Might be too small for some kitchens
Foster 504Ltr Chest Freezer FCF505LX
Foster 504 Litre Chest Freezer is a high-capacity freezer for use in cafés, restaurants, and bars. This freezer is robust and reliable. The commercial freezer features a lockable, stainless steel lid that provides additional workspace, a handy control panel with an on light, and a thermometer, and it’s easy to keep food fresh and accessible.
The freezer has a temperature range of -21°C to -18°C and features one-way rollers on the bottom, which means it can be easily maneuvered around a space. For ease of use, the lid stays open when opened, making it easy to add or remove items and keep it clean. Plus, the removable magnetic seal can be easily removed, and the white laminate is easy to wipe down.
- Sturdy design for increased durability
- Lockable, stainless steel lid
- Easy to clean
- Can be tricky to access food at the bottom of the freezer
Polar C-Series Upright Freezer 600Ltr
The Polar C-Series freezer is an excellent commercial freezer for professionals who need a reliable appliance. The 469-liter capacity means you’ll have plenty of room for all your ingredients over the six fixed shelves. This maximizes the frozen storage capacity of your kitchen.
The digital thermostat allows you to control the freezer precisely, and a constant readout displays the internal temperature. The freezer door offers a tight seal and is lockable, offering increased security compared to typical home freezers. Nonetheless, it is designed for everyday use in less challenging environments.
- 469-liter capacity
- Six fixed shelves
- Digital thermostat
- Easy-to-clean removable seal
- Only designer for less busy commercial kitchens
Question: How can I find spare parts for my freezer?
Answer: Some repairmen will offer spares for your freezer if you call them up and ask. However, this is not an assurance, so it’s always best to check with the manufacturer before buying anything that may be a spare part or accessory.
Question: What size of commercial freezers should I get?
Answer: The most important thing to do when considering what size of the commercial freezer to get is to consider the number of people who will be using it and the space you have available. For example, if you have a small business and work alone, then buy a smaller commercial freezer for personal use. But if your business has more than one person working with food, such as in restaurants or convenience stores, buying a larger model may suit you better because there’s more space for storage.
Question: What is freezer burn?
Answer: Freezer burn is when ice crystals form on the surface of the food. It can make it dry and inedible.
Question: How do you prevent freezer burn?
Answer: If you want to keep things fresh for longer, then try wrapping them tightly with plastic wrap before placing them inside a resealable bag. This helps to keep frozen food fresh and also helps prevent freezer burn.
Question: How cold should a freezer be?
Answer: Freezers should be kept at or below 0° F (-18° C) in order to prevent food from spoiling. This is also the commercial standard. Freezers that aren’t maintained at this temperature will make it a breeding ground for bacteria and will quickly lead to food going bad.
Question: How do you defrost frozen meat?
Answer: The best way to defrost meat is by placing it in the fridge or under cold running water, but if there’s no time for that, then try using your microwave. If you use this method, be sure not to overheat it.
So, there you have it, the ultimate guide to commercial freezers! We’ve covered the basics of how commercial freezers work and what to look for before buying one. We hope this article has given you some valuable insight into what commercial freezers are and how they can make your life easier.
Hopefully, these insights will help lead you in the right direction when it comes time to purchase a new commercial freezer or replace an old one that’s starting to break down. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to save money on your monthly energy bills or a hotel manager who wants the most efficient freezer for their kitchen, there’s a commercial freezer out there for you!