Which is better for small livestock farm meat storage: chest freezers or walk-in freezers? I measured actual power consumption for our chest freezers and compare it to a walk-in freezer’s consumption, as well as reviewing other pros & cons: space efficiency, reliability, emergency power considerations, ease of use, etc.

-We do not offer farm tours or accept visitors
-We do not sell from the farm
-We do not ship our farm’s products
-We do not sell live animals

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PO Box 269
Lansing, NY 14882


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28 thoughts on “Comparing Chest vs Walk-In Freezers For Small Farms: Operating Costs, Storage Space, & Convenience

  1. Karen W says:

    I appreciate the energy usage info. I've done something similar for my household needs – I have three small chest freezers, two in the garage and one in the house. They are currently full of beef, pork, chicken, veggies, butter, milk, cheese, broth, fruit, etc. The house freezer has some of everything, and as I use it up I replenish from the garage freezers – when I empty one it's time to unplug & defrost, then wash up and have ready for the following fall when it will be filled up again. I have wondered if a larger chest freezer would be more efficient per cubic foot than smaller ones. I have one (probably 20 years old when I bought it at a garage sale more than ten years ago) that doesn't seem to be keeping things as cold as it should (frozen, but not down to 0 degrees) I'm debating replacing it with a larger one when the time comes, and permanently unplugging a smaller one to have on hand should one stop working. Your research will help me make a good decision – thank you.

  2. Randal B says:

    Fyi, If anyone is considering a walk-in. You can always install 2 condensers and two evaporators. The upfront cost is higher but if sized right one system can maintain the unit below freezing in the event of the other breaking down. We have done this for customers with expensive product like seafood and meat. The chest freezers are the way to go for most smaller operations though.

  3. Sheena's KetoVore! Life says:

    Great video thank you I would love to learn more about the what to do on your meat chickens πŸ“ I’ll look and see if you have any old videos I just love your rain video your wife has a beautiful spirit your both a lot alike you definitely complement each other have a blessed weekend looking forward to your next market video

  4. LongboatAline says:

    Another consideration – given enough insulation, the holding time of a closed chest-freezer (time until a unit cut off from power will rise in temperature enough to be of concern) is long enough to last through an entire day (more, actually). That makes them ideal candidates for circadian power schemes, such as solar energy. All it needs is some electronics to make sure they are powered at intervals during the day to match the power generated (and to avoid the whole lot stampeding on at the same time when power returns), ideally based on temperature. Perfect usage for solar power and less of those expensive battery packs since part of the energy gets used right away when it is available.

  5. James Spry says:

    Thanks Pete! Have been looking at whether it is better for us to go walk-in or keep our chest freezers. Now you've saved me a lot of hassle! I don't have to worry until we get to 20 chest freezers. Which is a while away, so I've got time to plan it and save up for it. 😁

  6. Robert Hoover says:

    you also have the flexibility to change the freezer to a fridge with an inexpensive thermostat. I use mine to let the chickens go through the riggermortise cycle before freezing or to hold a harvested hog before butchering. Bought a 7ft freezer last year was $800.00.

  7. David Adam Kemp says:

    The nice thing about walk-ins is that you have better material handling. You can palletize and don't need to unload by hand. We use mini pallets with dollies on our farm and it saves labor and your back. Wheel it right into the truck and off you go to market.

  8. Shawn Calhoun says:

    Neglecting how loaded and how long it is open, another pro vs con is the natural density of cold air. A chest freezer won't lose much of it's cold (or more accurately gain heat) when it is opened, where as a walk in will allow hotter air to enter through the upper area of the doorway as cold air escapes through the lower portion… The cold dense air in the walk in will pour out through the door way and suck in warmer less dense air.

  9. Tractor Doctor TV says:

    just wanting to know how are you guys able to butcher your own poultry and then be able to sell it at the market. the reason I asked the state I live in states that all animals poultry included must be double inspected before you can sell it at a market or in a grocery store.

  10. jackC says:

    I'm sure that this story is not the ordinary life of a chest freezer. Many years ago my aunt was going to get a larger freezer.as her family was growing. She had an International Harvester chest freezer. I'll guess that it was 30 cu ft and 10 years old. She offered the freezer for $25 in the sixties. My parents knew the age and after they used it for 25 years. My friends had a large garden and filled it with meat and vegetables. I would ask them if the freezer was still working. My parents only wanted $25 the amount that they paid for 25 years of service. Over the years I would ask how the freezer was doing and always responded that it was still running. The freezer finally said good bye after a total of 46 years of keeping everything frozen.

  11. John Lanich says:

    Hey Pete, I’m thinking about getting a half a beef. Can I ask your opinion what size Chest Freezer do you think I would need for the Beef? 7 Cubic? 10 Cubic? or bigger? What the average amount of weight for a half a beef? Thanks.

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