You know a chest freezer needs defrosting when there is old meat actually embedded in the ice along the walls of the freezer.
I helped empty out a medium-sized chest freezer today—one which hadn’t been defrosted in years. It had ice built up a hand’s-breadth thick along all the sides of the freezer, and even had ice building up inside the lid. (Therefore, the lid would not stay up like it ought to, and would slam on your head if you weren’t careful.)
So, I proceeded to pull the contents out, parcel by parcel. The family staples (bread, milk) had already been reduced on purpose, in preparation for the large defrosting task, but there was still quite a bit of foodstuffs left.
Much of the foodstuffs was comprised of meat. Oh, and little freezer baggies full of cut-up rhubarb. Anyways, I believe I tossed all of the meat except one large turkey into the handy-dandy garbage bag I had next to me.
Mostly because it was all from the 1990’s or something.
No seriously! There were two parcels of meat actually dated from 1993.
Back to my story. The frost-filled meats were too heavy for one black garbage bag, so I think we ended up with three bags partly full. (And I don’t think that included the two turkeys that were not salvageable.) Once the freezer was pretty much empty, I moved a few things around to get the freezer out onto the driveway, and my brother and I managed to dolly the thing out to just in front of the garage… in full sunlight, thank goodness. Chest freezers are very heavy.
But wouldn’t you know it, it would start thundering (despite the sunlight) just as we got the thing outside. Fortunately there was a handy-dandy length of plastic sheeting (in the vicinity of the handy-dandy garbage bags, of course), so we draped that over the freezer and its accompanying dolly.
The funny part? My brother and I took turns dunking ourselves in the still-cold air of the recently-unplugged freezer. My brother joked about shutting himself up in it because he liked the temperature so much. (It was hot today…)
And the moral: defrost your freezer once in a while. And for heaven’s sake, don’t eat meat from 1993.