Freezers often have a fast freeze option button. Many people don’t really understand what it’s for. It’s a useful function and something that should be used regularly, but many people never use it at all.
What Does Fast Freeze Do?
It’s there for quickly freezing items not already pre-frozen. If you are placing fresh food inside a freezer then ideally you should have lowered the temperature beforehand ready to accommodate it and facilitate as quick a freeze as possible. If not it will slightly warm up surrounding food as well as taking longer to freeze. You may need to pre select the fast freeze button as early as 24 hours before.
How Does it work?
Essentially the fast-freeze button bypasses the thermostat and just keeps the compressor running to get the freezer extra cold. Adding fresh food causes the temperature to rise. Some of the instructions listed below say to keep it on for up to 24 hours before adding extra food, which does seem a little extreme but it’s most likely for if you were putting something large like an unfrozen chicken in there.
Check Your Instruction Manual
Check your own instruction book if possible (Find instruction manuals for most appliances). Instructions may vary from freezer to freezer, but here are the instructions for one of my freezers, which is a small basic front opening freezer (with 3 drawers). They give an idea of how it should be used.
1: Add fresh food to the bottom drawer or compartment because this is the coldest. Cold air always falls to the bottom so a fridge or freezer are always a little cooler there. If necessary move food already in there elsewhere else in the freezer to make room.
2: For between 5 and 8 Kg of fresh food select the fast freeze option 24 hours before placing inside the bottom drawer. If food is between 2 and 5 Kg the pre-freeze time can be reduced to 12 hours
3: If under 2 Kg you can put on the fast freeze as you load it in. Once the fresh food has been inside for 24 hours the fast freeze can be switched off.
It also makes sense to at least turn on the fast freeze button a few hours before going shopping if you know you will be loading the freezer with various items even if they are all frozen at purchase time. Do this especially if some of them aren’t actually pre-frozen though.
This should make sure your freezer is at the right temperature or below and help minimise any temperature increase caused by having the door open whilst loading. It will also bring any items partially thawing out in transit down to the correct temperature quicker. Don’t forget about it and leave it on though.