While cold storing foods, the freezer temperature plays a crucial role in maintaining the food quality and taste. The ideal temperature is said to be 0 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius. Here is an information on the same.
Cold storage of foods in the refrigerator is a popular method of preservation that all of us are familiar with. The refrigerator (or simply fridge) is configured with a heat pump that does the function of transferring heat from the inside of the unit to the outside environment.
The temperature inside the fridge is lower than the ambient (or room) temperature, usually a little higher than the freezing point of water. While, a unit maintained at temperatures lower than the freezing point of water is called a freezer.
In today's refrigerator models, a small compartment of freezer is usually included. However, you can also opt for separate freezer units. Either way, setting the recommended freezer temperature is of utmost importance to keep the foods fresh without altering their taste.
Otherwise, food items exposed to inconsistent or inadequate temperature range may become unpalatable for consumption. In order to avoid such a case, you need to be aware about the average recommended temperature of the freezer and steps to make these adjustments.
Ideal Freezer Temperature
Nearly all food items contain bacteria and other microbes. Maintaining them at a favorable temperature promotes the growth of bacteria, which in turn produce toxic substances. This is where, preserving food with cold storage comes in picture.
By keeping foods in refrigerator, microbial growth is slowed down; while freezers are effective to stop bacterial growth and multiplication. To get this effect, we need to monitor the temperature settings of refrigerator or freezer.
So, what is the recommended temperature? The average freezer temperature range is 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) or lower. While, the correct temperature range is 40 degrees F (or 5 degrees C) in case of refrigerators.
How to Set Freezer Temperature
As mentioned earlier, foods kept in an incorrect temperature alters their texture, flavor, taste, nutrient content, and more importantly, the food safety of the stored items.
Thus, consuming foods that are preserved at an ideal temperature range is not only good for taste, but it is crucial for our health. As per food experts, for every 5 degrees increase in the ideal temperature, the adequate time period that the food can be stored is reduced to half. Also, a very low setting leads to ice buildups that reduces the freezer space.
The instrumentation and temperature knobs may be different for varied freezer models. Hence, before you try your hands on setting the temperature, make sure you go through the user manual provided by the manufacturer.
In most units, the temperature control dial has numerical markings from 0 to 10. You can adjust the knob and keep it at 3, which is a standard level for majority of the freezer models. Nevertheless, if you have meat items in it, you can consider lowering the temperature to a colder setting.
On the contrary, a colder temperature level lower than 3 is not necessary, in case you stuff lots of foods in the freezer. In such a condition, every item acts as an icepack and keeps the adjacent ones cold.
You do not have to be very diligent regarding accurate temperature maintenance. Nevertheless, monitoring and maintaining it at correct levels will increase the shelf life of foods, as well as the durability of your home appliance.
An easy way to check the temperature of the freezer is using a thermometer, which you can keep between two frozen goods. Observe the reading and you can understand whether your freezer temperature falls within the ideal range or not. Accordingly, change the setting until you get the ideal temperature that is required.