When you butcher wild game, you will likely have more meat available than you can eat at one meal.
You’ll want to preserve the rest of the meat for later use. We know that you never want to experience any mess (Such as blood leaking all over the freezer and the other meat) which could happen with a freezer full of wild game. This is an absolute nightmare for all wild game hunters. If you’ve ever faced a freezer tragedy—especially if it has involved losing your cherished supply of wild protein—then you know precisely how sickening it is.
This time, we will help you not to let that happen again.
There are different preservation methods you can choose from when conserving your game meat. The common of all methods of preservation is to immediately freeze the meat of the animal that is not used.
Freezing remains one of the best preservation methods available for long-term storage because it does not destroy the meat’s vitamins or nutritional value. Freezing meat almost completely inactivates enzymes and keeps your food from spoiling.
Read more about Freeze Drying here.
When freezing the meat that you received from hunting, it is essential to remember that meat temperatures must be brought down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit within 16 hours to prevent the growth of spoilage microorganisms that lie deep within the carcass tissues.
If the meat has not been cooled but is going directly to a freezer, it must reach a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit within 72 hours to prevent the growth of putrefying bacteria.
Rather than freeze meat in large portions that need to be further cut up once they are thawed, freeze meat in small, individual sizes that are ready for cooking.
Smaller cuts freeze more quickly and evenly than substantial pieces or chunks. It is good to minimize the number of times the meat needs to be handled and exposed after it is thawed.
For these reasons, we listed below the best freezers a wild game hunter could ever have.
There are two types of freezer you can choose from—the chest freezer or upright freezer.
Chest freezers usually come with at least one wire basket to help you organize the contents.
You can segregate types of foods using cardboard boxes to organize freezer contents better. However, chest freezers require a lot of bending, reaching, and moving frozen foods to find what type of cut you want or need.
With that being said, they do accommodate odd-shaped, large, or large items that may be difficult to place in an upright freezer.
There are some models on the market that have a bottom drawer accessible from the outside of the chest freezer, but while this can add convenience to a chest model, it will also reduce capacity slightly.
Probably the best feature of an upright freezer is the ability to organize frozen foods better, making it easier to monitor and rotate contents to keep frozen foods current.
Some upright models have versatile storage systems with adjustable and removable door storage bins, sliding, adjustable shelving, and pull-out baskets or containers.
All these features add to the ease of sorting and storing your food.
Although you can better organize an upright freezer, there are constraints. Items such as large turkeys or long, frozen items may not fit without removing a shelf to accommodate the size.
With this being said, let’s jump into this review. Below are the best freezers that we believe would be perfect for hunters.
We have tested these freezers in real-life scenarios and have provided you with our best choices.
GE Manual Defrost Chest Freezer
Hunters often need a lot of storage space for their tons of game meat after an action-packed day. If you are looking for a ton of freezer space, you can never go wrong with the GE 21.6 Cubic Feet Chest Freezer.
It has four customizable dividers that provide the necessary framework to organize your meat in identifiable sections.
It also comes with five sliding bulk storage baskets that offer flexibility to organize and store meat for quick and easy access.
Its second rail allows convenient access to sliding baskets at different heights in the freezer.
Its LED interior lighting automatically illuminates when the door is open. It also has an indicator light that helps you to easily see if the freezer is working without having to open the door. Also, to keep your meat safe from the curious hands of kids, it’s locked with a key for protecting your game meat.
This 21.6 cubic foot manual defrost chest freezer topped the list for its thoughtful features. This freezer is noted as being garage ready for testing and approving to perform from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it is cold, the compressor will continue to start up reliably to keep the temperature inside the freezer right where you set it. When it is hot, the compressor will run for an extended time. So the meat inside will stay safely frozen.
You never want your freezer to quit, which will ruin all of the meat and your hard work. One of its useful features is that this freezer also has an audible temperature alarm that alerts you if the temperature rises.
The GE 21.6 Cu. Ft. Manual Defrost Chest Freezer also boasts its Energy Star Qualification for efficiency.
Expert hunters always recommend manual defrost. Frost-free units heat up the cooling elements periodically to melt the frost off them that, in turn, temporarily raises the temperature in the freezer.
Experts and customers give it top marks for its storage space, smart features, efficiency, and value.
You get lots of space, and it’s one of the best chest freezers at a great value.
Chest freezers are a hassle to organize compared to upright freezers, but they can also double as a light-duty workbench.
A con for this particular freezer is that you would need lots of space for this freezer to fit in your garage because of its size.
The Frigidaire FFFC25M4TW Chest Freezer
This chest freezer has a ton of space for your game meat with its 24.8 cubic feet capacity.
This unit features manual defrost, a lock and key, Space-Wise sliding plastic baskets, and caster wheels.
Its adjustable temperature control lets you select the correct temperature for your needs. Its adjustable thermostat is easy to adjust, so your food is just right. The unit’s power light indicator keeps you in the loop at all times. Letting you know that your freezer is fully-functional and ready to roll.
This freezer also comes with space-wise adjustable two full-width storage baskets that let you find your items faster. These can help you organize items by categories or dates, and can be slid across the freezer.
It also has a lock with pop-out key. The freezer key automatically ejects after locking the door so you won’t leave it in the door. Its optional casters, which are included, allow you to move your freezer conveniently.
This is a manual defrost chest freezer, which may be your best bet when it comes to the appliance’s longevity. The Frigidaire Chest Freezer is CSA certified, which means that this product has been independently tested and certified to meet recognized standards for safety or performance.
Customers gave this unit a stellar review for its outstanding performance and features. This chest freezer is one of the must-haves for all hunters.
This Frigidaire Chest Freezer is large enough to take a whole beef, and still leaves some room for your other game meat.
Just make sure to be ready, for it will occupy an ample space wherever you will place it.
Whirlpool WZC5422DW 21.7 Cubic Feet Chest Freezer
You can also store a ton of game meat in this freezer with its 21.7 cubic feet of storage. This freezer comes with three interior storage bins to help you keep your game meat organized.
It also has a key lock to keep unexpected intruders out of your belongings (like your kids!), and energy-efficient advanced foam insulation ensures that everything inside stays frozen.
The Whirlpool WZC5422DW Chest Freezer has some useful additions to boost ease of use. It includes interior lighting that helps you see whatever is inside your freezer. It also has an easy-to-set exterior temperature control knob that makes its temperature control come in very handy for the user.
This comes with a hose adapter for the defrost drain and rounded corners that replace hard-to-clean nooks and crannies. I has a white textured finish and vertical swing door.
This freezer also received excellent ratings from customers and experts however, the common complaint is its storage bins. Based on their experience, the bins usually fall into the freezer cavity as you slide them over.
GE FUF21DLRWW 21.3 Cubic Feet Upright Freezer
A freezer is an excellent option for preserving large amounts of food for long periods because its freezing temperature slows down bacterial growth and allows you to store items like meat for months, even years.
The most popular type of stand-alone freezer is the chest type. However, another option available in the upright freezer.
There are three main reasons why upright freezers may be a good option for you– floor space, accessibility, and convenience.
In getting a freezer for your game meat, you have to consider the place where you need to place it. Do you still have a large room for a chest freezer? If no, then an upright freezer is an excellent choice for your needs.
It stores food vertically, which is why they take up less floor space. Since an upright freezer looks like a refrigerator, it will seamlessly integrate into your kitchen or other high-traffic living space. A chest freezer often looks more utilitarian and is usually best suited for basements, garages, or other out-of-the-way areas.
So if you have a limited storage area, an upright freezer may be a perfect choice.
Shelves make organizing and finding food in your upright freezer easy, allowing you to view and access items quickly. They also typically have LED lights that illuminate the interior for better visibility.
Upright freezers come in no frost models, so there is no need to bend down and hunch over to defrost and clean your freezer.
If you feel that an upright freezer is what you need, let GE FUF21DLRWW 21.3 Cubic Feet Upright freezer help you out.
GE FUF21DLRWW Upright freezer has a large 21.3 cubic foot capacity and adjustable shelves.
It also features an audible temperature alarm, turbo freeze, LED interior lighting, and exterior electronic temperature control.
This unit is garage ready as it is tested to perform from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Its audible temperature alarm alerts you if the door is left open or if the temperature rises. This unit comes with clear slide-out freezer bins that allow you to enjoy more flexible storage and find items quickly. The GE FUF21DLRWW Upright freezer has exterior electronic temperature control making it easy to adjust the temperature and avoid releasing cold air by opening the door.
Also, an extra boost of cold air restores interior to set temperature for optimum game meat freshness.
Its lock with key feature allows you to protect your valuable game meat from unintentional entry. And to top it all, GE FUF21DLRWW Upright Freezer is Energy Star Qualified.
Amana AZC31T15DW Chest Freezer
If you’re in the market for a large 14.8 cubic foot (412 liter) capacity chest freezer, you’ll find this model to be one of the most popular around. It offers an enormous amount of storage room.
Keep your freezer stocked with the 14.8 cubic foot capacity of this Amana chest freezer. Offering great space without taking up a lot in your home makes it the perfect place for your game meat.
This Amana chest freezer will give you the space you desire in a beautiful sleek design that will look great anywhere. This chest freezer is equipped with a revolutionary cooling system, two wire baskets provide a place for small items and keep all your frozen foods organized.
This unit is equipped with deepfreeze technology that cools down to an ice-cold negative eight degrees to help keep your game preserved. It also comes with practical storage baskets to store small items or ingredients for your next game meat menu.
Convenience is king with its top door swing, made for easy loading and unloading of all your frozen meat items by getting the door out of the way.
Its manual defrost design is what hunters consider for long term storage.
The Amana AZC31T15DW Chest Freezer saves you money over the lifetime of the appliance by using less energy to conserve resources.
It is one of the most economical chest freezers available on the market. In addition, every inch of this chest freezer is usable storage, which makes the appliance a great value.
If you’re just looking for economical frozen food storage while keeping energy costs at bay, a manual defrost chest model is cheaper to buy and operate.
However, this chest freezer does not have an alarm to inform you when the temperature goes up. To solve this, you can buy a battery-operated freezer alarm for less than $50.
You can check out the SensorPush Wireless Thermometer/Hygrometer on Amazon here. This is a great smart choice for you which sends the information to your phone with any temperature changes.
What To Consider Before You Buy Your Freezer
If you are deciding to purchase a freezer for your game meat, make this list a reference.
Check measurements before buying to ensure you have a spot for the unit. It is worth mentioning that when choosing a chest freezer, you should consider the path to and inside the house and how many turns or doorways you’ll need to go through to get it in place.
Although chest models are now made slightly narrower than years ago, it’s not unusual to have to remove a door or two to get it inside the house and beyond. Always place your freezer in a dry level area.
Ensuring your game meat lasts for a long time is up to you as well—proper handling and packaging of your food matters. Wrap and store your game meat properly.
Rancidity is the bad taste or smell derived from fats or oils that have spoiled. It develops differently in animal carcasses, depending on their fats’ ability to absorb oxygen from the air. Rancidity can affect the taste, odor, and palatability of the fat and adjoining tissue. Different animal species produce different fats. Some fat, such as pork fat, is high in unsaturated fatty acids, which can absorb oxygen, resulting in shorter storage life.
Moose and elk have a higher proportion of saturated fatty acids and are less susceptible to oxygen absorption and generally have a longer storage life.
You can reduce oxidation effects by eliminating the meat’s exposure to air, and one good way to do this is to use a wrapping material that is airtight and moisture-proof.
To avoid freezer burn and rancidity, use a good grade of meat wrapping paper, which is moisture-proof.
When you are finished wrapping, be sure to place the packaged meat in a heavy plastic freezer bag for added protection.
This way, you can store your game meat for a more extended time.