Are you, or is anyone you know, a Temperature Control Freak? You know the type; constantly fiddling with air conditioning and refrigerator controls and reporting on them to anyone within earshot. Well, I have such a friend.
TCF, as we will call him, has a digital temperature controller/thermostat and tells me that 39.2°F is the perfect temperature for his fridge. How he comes to this conclusion is beyond me, and quite honestly I don’t want to ask. Suffice to say that he’s happy with that after several months of laborious experimentation. And then there is the freezer ...
Now a fridge can only be between a narrow band of temperatures; too cold and it’s a freezer, too warm and it’s not a fridge. But a freezer can be kept at any temperature below freezing; from marginally frosty to cryogenic. It’s all down to how you intend to use it.
Foodstuffs will be preserved as long as they are frozen, but the appearance and edibility when thawed will differ with different temperatures and time. In Europe there is a star rating system for freezers as follows:
· 1 Star: 25°F/-4°C – Storage time for pre-frozen products one week.
· 2 Star: 12°F/-11°C – Storage time for pre-frozen products up to one month.
· 3 Star: 0°F/-18°C – Storage time for pre-frozen products three to twelve months dependent on type of product.
· 4 Star: 0°F/-18°C – Storage time for pre-frozen products three to twelve months, and is also designed for freezing product.
NOTE: 4 Star freezers typically have a “fast-freeze” setting that employs a lower temperature when used for freezing.
So, at what temperature does TCF keep his freezer? Well, actually, he’s a live-aboard whose boat never leaves the dock and which has a marginal freezer with very poor insulation. So therefore the poor thing runs non-stop and TCF is found to be constantly checking the temperature. He only keeps ice and vodka in there, plus some unidentifiable stuff of indeterminate vintage which is probably part of some dubious experiment, but to him his freezer is indispensible.
We suggest a good starting point for a boat freezer as 12°F/-11°C. From there you can go higher or lower dependent on the usage, and then crank it to the max for a while to get your bragging rights for the yacht club bar.