I pretty much have my pantry design figured out, and with no time to spare. I have two days to (1) run all of my electrical wiring for outlets, switches, and fixtures, (2) insulate the back wall, front wall, and pantry ceiling, (3) remove the excess spray foam insulation from the breakfast room ceiling, (4) remove the old door frame that leads from the pantry to the sunroom and add studs, and (5) add additional framing to the front wall (non-structural framing, but more on that later). So the next two days will be jam packed, because the drywall guys will get here bright and early on Thursday morning to drywall the pantry and the breakfast room! I’m so excited!
But the last piece of the pantry puzzle that still has me stumped is the freezer. In my last post, I showed you the layout that I’m considering with the freezer.
That’s the left wall of the pantry. And when I started planning the pantry, I envisioned a really awesome upright stainless steel (yes, I’m finally coming around on stainless steel 😀 ) freezer.
And then a few of you came along and taught me that there are some serious differences between auto defrost and manual defrost freezers that I need to consider. Quite honestly, I had no idea that there was even a difference, other than convenience. And really, I just assumed that most, if not all, modern freezers were auto-defrost. Well, that’s not the case.
So after reading those informative comments (this one was the most thorough and helpful to me), and doing a bit more research, I decided that a manual defrost was the way to go for our purposes. Here are the bullet points:
–Auto defrost freezers are more convenient, since you never have to defrost them.
–Auto defrost freezers use more energy.
–Auto defrost freezers are more prone to freezer burning your food.
–Food lasts longer in manual defrost freezers, with less chance of freezer burn.
–Manual defrost freezers, as the name would suggest, must be defrosted periodically (twice a year or so).
So while I’m content with my choice of a manual defrost freezer, I’m a bit shocked at the lack of variety. So far, I have yet to find a large, pretty, stainless steel manual defrost freezer. I’m beginning to think such a thing doesn’t exist.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a large (20 cubic feet) upright manual defrost freezer in anything but white. And finding one with a reversible door is practically impossible. Every one I’ve found that fits the bill (large, upright, manual defrost) has a non-reversible door, so they all open from the left to the right.
It’s fine, though. All of that is fine. I can deal with having a utilitarian-looking white freezer, and I can adjust to having a non-reversible door. So with all of that in mind, I finally chose this GE 20.9 cu. ft. Manual Defrost Upright Freezer in White. The reviews on it are great.
But the final question is…
Do I really want to put it in my pretty new pantry? On my new hardwood floor? Where I’ll have to defrost it twice a year? I just don’t know.
On one hand, it would be so convenient having it in the pantry, especially since that’s where I plan to keep my vacuum sealer. On the other hand, designing the pantry around a big freezer has been way more of a challenge than I expected. It’s amazing how a 12 x 8 pantry suddenly feels very squished and cramped once you plan for a large freezer. Plus, we all know that I’m not a neat person. I’m quite messy, and I just don’t know that I trust myself to defrost a freezer twice a year on a hardwood floor.
The other option would be to put it in the garage, which is also very convenient to the kitchen.
At first I considered installing a door from the pantry into the storage room at the back of the garage. I thought that would be convenient to vacuum seal the food in the pantry, and then just step right outside the door there to stick it in the freezer.
The pros of that design are that it’s convenient to the pantry, and since the back storage room floor is the same level as the pantry floor, there would be no steps to navigate. The con is that having a door on that wall of the pantry would drastically reduce the amount of storage that I could build on that wall. Plus, it would add more work having to build a doorway, but it’s doable.
Another option would be putting it in the storage room, but having the access through the existing garage door, and creating an opening (a cased opening with no door) into the back storage room for easy access.
The pros to that idea are that I could build out the platform where the current steps are, so that I wouldn’t have to go up and down steps, and the freezer would still be out of the way in the in the storage room. The con is the same with the first option — I’d have to build a doorway into an existing load-bearing wall, but…been there, done that, and can certainly do it again.
The final option would be to put it right outside the door in the breakfast room.
The pros are that it would be the easiest option and there would be no construction necessary. The con is that I’d have to go up and down steps every time I want to put something in or take something out of the freezer. I’m not so lazy that I can’t walk up and down steps, but at the same time, I want things to be convenient.
So tell me your thoughts. Do you have a manual defrost freezer? And if so, where do you keep yours? How often do you defrost it? Do you find that it’s a messy process? Is it something that you would have no problem doing inside on a hardwood floor? Or would you only consider doing it on a concrete floor (e.g., in a garage)?
Talk to me, people! I have to make this decision ASAP! 😀