What Temperature Should Freezer Be Set To

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🧊 Keeping your food in a freezer can extend its shelf-life and save you time and money in the long run. But, setting your freezer temperature too high or low can cause your food to spoil or freezer burn.

So, what is the ideal freezer temperature? Let’s explore the answer to this question in detail.

Hello, MonsterWoodshop Readers!

👋 Freezing food is one of the most efficient ways to keep it fresh for longer periods. It’s one of the best things you can do to prevent food from going bad, especially if you buy groceries in bulk, or have leftovers you’d like to save for later. As you have found yourself on this page, you’re probably looking for answers about what temperature to set your freezer to.

Well, you’re in luck! This comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know about what temperature your freezer should be set to. But, before delving into details, let’s understand what a freezer actually is.

What is a Freezer?

🧊 A freezer is a specialized compartment in a household or commercial refrigerator that’s used to store perishable food and other items at temperatures below freezing point. A freezer can be a separate unit or a section of a refrigerator.

Typically, freezers have temperature options that range from -10°F (-23°C) to 0°F (-18°C). However, the temperature that your freezer should be set to depends largely on the type of freezer you have, its age, and how much food it holds.

Types of Freezers

🧊 There are two main types of freezers:

Type of Freezer Description
Manual-defrost freezers These freezers require periodic defrosting (every six months to a year), where you need to turn off the appliance and let the ice melt manually.
Frost-free freezers Also known as self-defrosting freezers, these appliances are designed to prevent ice buildup. They have heaters that defrost any built-up ice automatically.

Factors That Impact Freezer Temperature

🧊 Several factors can affect the freezer temperature setpoint. Some of the most important ones include:

  • The type of freezer you have
  • The age of your freezer
  • The ambient temperature of the room where the freezer is stored
  • How many times you open the door
  • The amount of food stored in the freezer

What is the Ideal Freezer Temperature?

🧊 While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, the ideal freezer temperature should be below freezing (−18 °C; 0 °F) to prevent bacterial growth and maintain food quality. However, some foods, such as ice cream, require a slightly higher temperature (about -13°C; 8 °F) to keep their texture.

It’s important to note that setting your freezer temperature too high can cause food spoilage, while setting it too low can lead to freezer burn.

What is Freezer Burn?

🧊 Freezer burn is the result of food being exposed to air inside the freezer. It causes the food to dry out, leading to a change in color, texture, and flavor. It can also give the food a tough, chewy, or leathery texture.

This condition occurs when the food is not tightly wrapped or when there’s an air leak inside the freezer. To prevent freezer burn, you should wrap food tightly in foil, plastic wrap, or freezer bags. You should also make sure there are no air leaks inside the freezer.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Freezer Temperatures

🧊 Now that you know the ideal temperature for your freezer, let’s explore the strengths and weaknesses of different freezer temperatures.

Low Freezer Temperatures (0°F; -18°C or Lower)

🧊 At low freezer temperatures, food can be stored safely for an extended period. This temperature is ideal for foods like meat, seafood, and poultry. However, setting your freezer temperature too low can cause freezer burn, which can result in the food’s poor quality.

Medium Freezer Temperatures (-5°F to 0°F; -21°C to -18°C)

🧊 This temperature range is suitable for storing food for three to six months. It’s perfect for items like frozen dinners, fruits, and vegetables. Freezing food at this temperature can keep it fresh while preserving its texture and flavor.

High Freezer Temperatures (0°F to 10°F; -18°C to -12°C)

🧊 This temperature range is ideal for storing ice cream, bread, and other foods that you want to be able to scoop or slice easily. However, foods stored at this temperature won’t last as long as foods in colder temperatures.

What Temperature Should Your Freezer Be Set to?: Table

Type of Food Ideal Temperature (°F) Ideal Temperature (°C)
Meat, fish & poultry 0°F to -2°F -18°C to -19°C
Fruits & vegetables -5°F to 0°F -21°C to -18°C
Baked goods & ice cream 5°F to 10°F -15°C to -12°C


1. Can a freezer be too cold?

🧊 Yes, setting your freezer temperature too low can cause your food to freeze too quickly and increase the risk of freezer burn. So, it’s important to set your freezer temperature just right.

2. Can a freezer be too warm?

🧊 Yes, setting your freezer temperature too high can cause your food to spoil and increase the risk of bacterial growth. So, it’s important to set your freezer temperature below freezing.

3. Can you leave food in the freezer for too long?

🧊 Yes, food can develop freezer burn or become unsafe to eat if left in the freezer for too long. It’s recommended to label your frozen food and use it within the recommended time frame.

4. How often should a freezer be defrosted?

🧊 This depends on the type of freezer you have. Manual-defrost freezers should be defrosted every six months to a year. Frost-free freezers don’t require defrosting as they have self-defrosting mechanisms.

5. What should I do if my food is freezer burned?

🧊 You can trim off freezer-burned sections of food before cooking or discard it altogether. If you prevent freezer burn from happening, you can reduce waste and save money!

6. Can I freeze eggs?

🧊 Yes, you can! Although, it’s recommended to beat them lightly before freezing them, as eggshells can crack under extreme cold temperatures.

7. Can I freeze milk?

🧊 Yes, milk can be frozen and stored for up to three months. However, you should leave some room in the container, as milk may expand when it freezes.


🧊 Setting the ideal temperature for your freezer can be tricky, but it’s essential to prevent food spoilage and reduce waste. You should always consult your appliance manual to find the recommended temperature for your freezer model.

As a general rule of thumb, the ideal temperature for your freezer should be below freezing (−18 °C; 0 °F). Remember to keep your freezer clean, organized, and free of clutter. This can help you store more food and also help you find it quickly when you need it!

Thank you for reading this guide and we hope it has been helpful to you.


🧊 The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only. MonsterWoodshop assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents on the service.

In no event shall MonsterWoodshop be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action of contract, negligence, or other torts, arising out of or in connection with the use of the service or the contents of the service.

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