Undercounter freezers provide a compact way of storing frozen products near your cooking line or serving area. They are all made to fit under a counter, but where in the restaurant it is located, the amount of clearance it will have, and what you will be storing in it can influence which freezer you will need.
Undercounter freezers have one or two doors, or two or four drawers. Drawers work best for storing pans of food, so they are great for keeping meat and produce handy by the cook line for chefs to access without having to open boxes. Drawers are also very easy to reach into without having to step away from the range or griddle if the freezer is by the cook line, where swing-out doors require you to step in front of the freezer to retrieve your items. Drawers are sometimes better for areas with limited space, because you only have to open the drawer to the depth that the item you need is stored, which can help with traffic flow in the kitchen.
Doors that swing out are usually preferred for storing packaged items, as the shelves offer more options for organization. The smallest undercounter freezers have only one door, but the wider options have two doors that swing out in opposite directions. Because those doors have to swing open all the way to give access to the freezer's contents, they can sometimes impede traffic in a smaller kitchen, but this same feature can make stocking simple.
Under-counter freezers can have their compressor mounted on the side or back. Back-mounted compressors often mean you may lose some storage capacity to make room for the refrigeration components, but those models take up less room, so they can fit into a smaller space. Side-mounted compressors add some width, but make a front exhaust possible, which can minimize the side clearance requirements. If the exhaust is on one of the sides, the freezer will not be able to be flush against a wall or other equipment, even if the compressor is on the back or bottom.
Some undercounter refrigerators and freezers have a worktop that can be used the same as counter space. These are meant to provide more work space instead of sliding under a pre-existing counter. These will often feature a backsplash, to keep the wall behind the freezer clean. This backsplash may be bolted or welded on, or it may be all one-piece construction with the worktop. The one-piece construction lacks seams, making it easier to clean.
Undercounter freezers that do not have bottom-mounted compressors may sit flush to the ground, but most have either legs or casters. Legs can allow you to clean under the machine to some extent, but if you will want to move the unit regularly to clean underneath and around it, casters may be the best choice for you.
In the interest of protecting food safety, it is important to always know what temperature your undercounter freezer is keeping your food, and the location and type of thermometer can determine how easy that job will be. Many of these units have interior thermometers, meaning you have to open the door to check the temperature. Thermometers that are mounted on the outside are available in dial or digital format. Dials are more common, as they are more economical, but digital displays tend to be much easier to read.
Some undercounter freezers also feature a refrigerated section. These undercounter refrigerator freezers have two or more sections, and are great for keeping both refrigerated and frozen products in the serving area or cook line without having to have two pieces of equipment. Like other undercounter freezers, it can come on legs or casters, and the compressor can be mounted on the front, side, or back. Most undercounter refrigerator freezer models allow you some flexibility in choosing which sections you want to be freezer or refrigerator. Having your undercounter freezer and refrigerator all in one piece of equipment can save you a lot of space and use less power than two separate machines would.