3-section Reach-in Freezers Buyer's Guide
A three-section reach-in freezer offers an easy way to provide kitchen staff with access to a large amount of frozen goods quickly, and finding the right commercial freezer can have a big impact on your kitchen's workflow. Learn more about available three-section freezers to help you find the right one for your commercial kitchen.
Three-section reach-in freezers are all of a similar size, but interior cubic feet measurements can vary by about six feet between models, so the size is still worth taking note of.
Even more important than the cubic feet measurement, however, is how the space is used. Check how many shelves come with each section and what increments they can be adjusted in. If you will be storing pans of food, you may want to choose a freezer with pan slides instead of shelves in one or more sections, and will need to make sure that option is available with the model you are considering.
Three-section commercial freezers are available with glass or solid doors, or a combination of both. Solid doors provide better insulation, but glass doors allow you to see what is inside the freezer before you open it, resulting in less time that the door is open, which can save you money in utilities. Glass doors are triple-paned for the best insulation possible and heated to prevent condensation. Solid doors also offer the option for recessed handles, which can prevent injuries in busy kitchens, or save those few inches of space in small areas.
Self-closing doors are another great feature that is available on three-section commercial upright freezers. This prevents doors from being left open, which can cause the compressor to work harder and allow food to warm to unsafe temperatures. Those door hinges also often have a stay-open feature when pushed open to a certain angle, usually 120 degrees, which can be convenient when stocking or taking inventory.
Dutch doors, which are half-sized doors with two doors per section, are another door option available on reach-in freezers. These doors limit the amount of cold air that escapes when a door is opened and can help keep your frozen items better organized.
The compressor's location on a three-section upright freezer can greatly influence how the equipment performs and how often it needs to be serviced. Top-mounted compressors are best used in a kitchen that does not get too hot, as rising heat can make the compressor work harder, which can shorten its life and raise your utility bills.
A bottom-mounted compressor may suck in flour, dust, and other debris that settles near the ground, which means that it may need service more often. However, its location near the floor makes it easier to access than a top-mounted compressor, which can make service calls shorter and cheaper. Bottom-mounted compressors have the added advantage of putting the bottom of the interior of the cabinet a bit higher, allowing you to reach the items on the bottom shelf of the freezer without stooping.
Some three-section commercial upright freezer models have special features that make them easier to use, safer, or more energy-efficient. External thermometers can help you ensure that food inside is kept at safe temperatures, and make HAACP record-keeping quick and easy. Easy-read digital thermometers can make this process even simpler. Some three-section commercial freezers feature temperature alarms to alert you if the temperature rises above safe levels, so you can remove the product inside before any of the food is ruined.
Another feature that is meant to help keep freezer temperatures stable is fan delay. This feature halts the freezer's fans when a door is opened to avoid pulling in warm, humid air, then resumes air circulation once the door is closed. LED lights are an optional feature available on some models that can make the products inside easier to see, as they are brighter than the standard incandescent lights. LED lights are also the most energy-efficient type available. Some models come with standard or optional door locks to keep your products safe from unauthorized access.