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If any of you needed proof that I should really get out more - I am about to provide it. I have been excited about buying a new freezer, for MONTHS. I've researched on review sites, I've used price comparison sites, I've ogled expensive models that are well out of my price range, and I've even trawled around real life shops opening doors and peering inside. I had a freezer, but it wasn't very good. It was quite elderly and had a tendency to frost up fast. The pull out drawers were not very compliant in their duty, and things were hard to find.
To cut quite a long and not very interesting story short - this is the one I have chosen, and last Friday, after several stupid price increases (special mention to Pixmania, who cut the VAT on the same day as putting up loads of their prices in quite an arbirary way - this freezer leapt by more than 10%...) it was delivered.
I should explain, that my excitement comes from the promises that a huge freezer like this brings - namely that from now on I will batch cook and bake, my freezer will teem with wonderful things and all meals will be planned - no more ordering Dominos when shattered on a Friday night - no - there will always be something prepared - in the glorious freezer! And moresoever - this new organisation will spill into the rest of my life and the house will be tidy, all the clean washing will get put away and I will know where to find things on my desk at work! Ok, so I'm getting a bit carried away now, but you understand the idea.
I spent ages researching because I'm short of cash and whilst I didn't necessarily want to buy the cheapest freezer, I definitely wanted the best value one. In the end I paid £313 for this one, from whitebox.com, including delivery. I have no complaints about Whitebox, who kept me informed during the ordering and delivery process. There were emails to confirm, a phone call to advise delivery date, and a text message to tell me that it would be the morning rather than afternoon. I do wish that they had taken away the packaging, as unpacking it (especially getting the polystyrene base out from under it!) was unwieldy and then I had a kitchen full of cardboard and polystyrene.
This freezer seemed to me to represent the best value mainly due to being Frostfree - no other freezer in this price range appeared to offer this feature. It also has a Fast Freeze capacity, meaning that non frozen food can be placed in the freezer and the freezer will rapidly return the temperature to the optimum, and freeze the new items fast. (As the name suggests!) This one is in "Graphite", but is also available in white (slightly cheaper) and aluminium (more expensive).
Unlike my old freezer, the Hotpoint FZ175G has an energy efficiency rating of 'A', which was another consideration in choosing it. It stands at 175cm tall and has a capacity of 240 litres. It has 6 shelves, each will a pull out drawer of slightly varying depths. These seem fairly sturdy, and I do like the fact that they are closed drawers rather than wire baskets - no chance of peas escaping! The top drawer is the "Fast Freeze" section, in which unfrozen items can be put to freeze quickly. (Like all the soup I have made today!) Additionally there is a 7th mini drawer at the top, designed only for ice cubes. Two ice cube trays and lids are provided.
Reading other consumer reviews of this freezer before I purchased it, I cam across only two criticisms, firstly that the handle is rather flimsy, and secondly that it is difficult to open. The handle is probably not as sturdy as the rest of the freezer, but having said that, it is fine and I'm not worried about it breaking. I don't think I would have thought anything of it unless I had read that comment. The door is quite difficult to open, really requiring both hands, one braced on the unit itself. It is a small criticism and I am reassured that the seal is very strong on the door - rather that than a door that opened too easily.
Although it is early days, so far I have not been disappointed by this freezer. There is room for all the batch cooking I want to do, as well as plenty of Cornettos for emergencies. And as my daughter says, we'll be fine to sit it out for weeks if there is a Zombie invasion!
Cooling Type / Short name: Hotpoint FZ175G