A Whirlpool® freezer with a variety of frozen foods inside

What’s the best freezer temperature?

The recommended freezer temperature to keep your food safe is at or below 0°F (-18°C), but your freezer may need to be set higher or lower depending on its environment and other factors.

The typical freezer factory setting on Whirlpool® Refrigerators is a great starting point at the recommended 0°F (-18°C). Read on to get more answers to your freezer temperature questions.

What should a freezer temperature be?

Frozen food should be safe to eat indefinitely if your freezer stays at or below 0°F (-18°C). Freezing your food stops most bacteria from growing. Keep in mind that if you store food for a long time, it may be susceptible to freezer burn or have a different look and taste. Learn how long you should keep meat frozen.

What temperature is too warm for a freezer?

The recommended freezer temperature to keep food safe is at or below 0°F (-18°C), making higher temperatures less reliable for long-term freezer storage. However, freezer temperatures may need to be adjusted by a few degrees to account for factors like location, humidity or outside temperatures.

Storage tip:

Keep your freezer full, but not packed. Keeping your freezer around 75-80% full helps retain cold air. If the freezer is fully filled, food may block the internal air vents, making it harder to distribute cold air throughout the freezer.

Is your freezer temperature set correctly?

Always start with the temperature recommended in your freezer manual. Wait for about 24 hours after any temperature adjustments, then check inside. The temperature is likely optimal when:

A no moisture icon

Surfaces are mostly frost-free

If there’s lots of snowy frost, the temperature might be set too low for your freezer to remove moisture. An icy covering near the door gaskets (rubber seals around the door's edge) means they may be letting in air. If ice is all over the interior, your door may have been left open.

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Your ice cream is solid

While ice cream’s ideal scooping temperature is 6° to 10°F (-14° to -12°C), that’s too high for long-term storage. It’s best to store it at 0°F (-18°C), then let it warm up a little before serving.

No freezer burner icon

Your food is free of freezer burn

Freezing hot food or a large amount at a time can cause swings in temperature, so let food cool first, then add one item at a time to the freezer. This should help you avoid dryness and flavor loss.

What causes freezer burn?

Common culprits that lead to freezer burn include improper packaging or temperature, as well as too much time spent in the freezer. Cold, dry air is more likely to permeate foods that aren’t tightly wrapped, left open or stored in frequently fluctuating temperatures, which can cause drying.

To help protect the look, taste and texture of your food, be sure to properly package items and set the freezer temperature correctly. You can also help keep frozen food fresh longer by avoiding long storage times.

Can your freezer be too cold?

Yes, you can set your freezer temperature too low. It is recommended to keep your freezer at 0°F (-18°C). A too-cold freezer might not negatively affect your food, but it could raise your electricity bill. 

Lower temperatures matter most when you’re adding new food, since fast freezing helps reduce texture and taste changes.

Whirlpool® Upright Freezers with the Fast Freeze setting allow you to quickly drop the temperature when you’re adding new items, chilling large amounts of food fast by driving freezer temps 10 degrees colder than the lowest setting.

How do you adjust the freezer temperature?

The environment around your freezer can affect how cold you should set it. If it’s in a garage or basement, you may need to adjust the temperature to account for humidity or outside temperatures. Only make small changes and wait at least 24 hours between changes to allow your freezer to adjust.

Power outage tip:

If you lose power, don’t open your freezer door unless the outage is expected to last over 24 hours. A full freezer can usually stay cold enough for around 48 hours—or 24 hours if it is only half full.

A person selecting the freezer temperature A person selecting the freezer temperature

Where are the freezer temperature controls?

On standalone freezers by Whirlpool brand, the temperature controls are normally on the inner sides or at the top center. While some refrigerators have separate control panels for the refrigerator and freezer, most have a shared control panel. You may find it on the inner sides, on the door or at the top center of either compartment.

Some freezers let you change the temperature in degrees, while others have numbers for general temperature ranges. You might press the up and down arrow keys or turn a dial to adjust. Check your manual for specific instructions. If you’re ready to upgrade your freezer, shop the full collection of Whirlpool® Top Freezer Refrigerators.

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Shop Whirlpool® Freezers

When it comes to stocking up on your favorite foods, you can never have too much storage space. With a Whirlpool® Chest or Upright Freezer, you can maximize your food storage potential and enjoy plenty of room to keep your frozen items organized.

Whether you’re looking for a standalone model or a full-size refrigerator with top or bottom freezer options, browse the full collection of refrigerated food storage options by Whirlpool brand to discover the appliance that’s right for your home.

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