Can Chest Freezers Be Kept Outside?

It would be great to have your chest freezer outside with you during BBQs, the Fourth of July, birthday parties, baby showers, and other essential celebrations, where all of your popsicles and hamburger patties and hotdogs are with you and at the ready. But is it a good idea to keep your freezer outside?

Chest freezers can be kept outside so long as they are kept on hard, even surfaces, kept safe from rain, snow, and coastal salt-water air, are routinely inspected with debris cleared away, and kept safe from wildlife. Not all chest freezers can stay outside, but some are made to withstand the severe weather that the outdoors can bring.

To find out whether or not it’s a good idea for you specifically to put your freezer outside in your climate and be aware of risky factors, feel free to keep reading the info below.

Is It Okay To Keep A Chest Freezer Outside?

There’s nothing about a chest freezer that really opposes being put outside, so long as it’s placed on a flat, hard, even surface that leaves room for the components on the bottom to work properly, and there is room around the freezer so that there’s proper air circulation. In good weather conditions, a chest freezer can work perfectly well. 

One thing to know about freezers is that although they were made to produce somewhat extreme cold to preserve foods such as next year’s turkey, they don’t like to be in extreme weather conditions themselves.

What Outdoor Weather Conditions Hurt Chest Freezers?

If you live in an area that can reach beyond 110°F during the summer and below 0°F during the fall and winter, it would not be advisable to put your chest freezer outside.

When a freezer is exposed to extreme heat, the thermometer picks up on the temperature surrounding it and triggers the compressor in the freezer to start working and keep working to try to keep the food inside frozen.

This wears out your compressor quickly and would mean a costly replacement. 

In extreme cold, the thermometer can become confused and tell the compressor to stop working, actually thawing the food, it can thicken and freeze the coolant and lubricant in the freezer and break it down, and it can cause frozen condensation to form on the outside and eventually block the vents that are necessary for air circulation.

The frozen condensation can also freeze your freezer shut if you don’t catch it early enough.

What Else Can Hurt A Chest Freezer Outside?

Besides weather, there are other factors to watch out for when putting your chest freezer outside. 

You want to be aware of the wildlife activity around your neighbourhood, especially when it comes to raccoons and bears. Raccoons are irritatingly intelligent with a track record for breaking into things they shouldn’t be able to break into. Meanwhile, a bear only has to take advantage of its weight, claws, and desperation for food to make a freezer give in. 

The other factor to be aware of is the moisture your climate gets. Putting a chest freezer outside where there is dry air is perfectly fine, but humid air can cause the frozen condensation we mentioned before.

Salty air from coastlines can be especially corrosive. So does this all mean you can’t put your freezer outside? Not necessarily. There are things you can do to protect your freezer from these harsh conditions.

How To Keep Your Chest Freezer Safe Outdoors

To keep your freezer safe, the first thing to do is to make sure you have a freezer that is compatible for outdoor conditions.

FrigidAir is one brand that often has “garage-ready” freezers. These are freezers that are able to withstand temperature fluctuations between 0-110°F.  

Next, you can shelter it from any rain, snow, or moisture in general by providing some kind of cover that still supplies good airflow. Heavy-duty custom tarps are definitely a good way to keep a freezer dry during the wet season, especially if you construct a box around your freezer and put the tarp over it.

Keep anything from blocking the side and bottom vents of the freezer by routinely checking it and clearing away any garbage or debris such as leaves from underneath or from behind.

As for the wildlife, It would be recommended to get a freezer with a lock or a lock for your freezer. Bears can be trickier, and if the locked chest doesn’t work, might I suggest a bear bag?


In short, you can put your chest freezer outdoors, but you have to take precautions to protect it against what the elements and nature have to offer.

Depending on where you live, the effort might not be worth it and you may just have to put the chest freezer in the garage, or another suitable place.