Melting my freezer’s frozen heart easily – now it wants the sausages

moa ice

Once every while, you think: Damn, didn’t I have more room in my freezer? If you’re like me and you COULD afford one of those huge motherlovin’ double-doored ‘murican freedom fridges with integrated ice cube dispenser, but just don’t have the room to put it, well, then you’re probably using one of those regular fridges with a freezing compartment on top or on the bottom. The ones with compartments on the top usually have the smallest ones. Freezing compartments in the bottom area of the fridge/freeze combo tend to have drawers and be bigger.

Anyway. Whatever sort you have, they are all prone to their one mortal enemy. Ice build-up! It not just lowers the efficiency of your cooling pump (if you are a super nerd, check out this amazing mathematical proof of why that is!!), but, probably even worse, it reduces the already precious little space that you’ve got to begin with! Just imagine you come across a limited time offer at your favorite super market, where they sell German BRATWURST! You know that you can’t fry them up right away, because you’ve already made dinner plans for the next few days, but you can’t count on those Dutchies to not snatch all those sausages up before you get back again. So you grab a few of those savory meaty sticks and go home.

On your return, disaster strikes. The freezing compartment is chock full with stuff. But then you notice something:

There’s ICE! Ice is basically space that’s occupied by lazy-ass water molecules, who are doin’ nuffin’ SO DAMN HARD, that they turned into crystals. Pretty hardcore good-for-nothings, if you ask me. They ain’t paying rent, so out with them.

Here’s how you do it.

Get this. Everybody should have this. This is probably older than I am. One of my earliest memories was sitting at a lake side, where my granddad had a little boat. My mom would bring snacks (like sausage – this post is basically about sausages, not ice or freezers) and some yoghurt dessert with peaches and nectarines in it. Guess where she used to keep it cool on a hot summer’s day. Right.

This.

It passed the test of time. It’s basically a family heirloom at this point. It has been with me on many vacations, trips, and cocktail parties. This thing has been so faithful, that when I once overburdened it’s old bones with too much food and the handle cracked a little, I just couldn’t get a new one. So I reinforced the handle, and now it’s as good as new. The color scheme is timeless. The functionality undisputed. It’s got room to basically fit everything that sits in my freezer at any given time. Which is amazing, because thawing your own freezing compartment might take some time, if you aren’t as vigilant. The process might start slowly, it creeps up on you, but then – suddenly, within the span of a few weeks – you’ve got a thick coat of ice going on in there.

Get started

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Turn off the fridge/freezer combo. Usually the way to do that is to switch it off with the dial in the fridge area of the affair, which also controls the freezing compartment:

Once that is done, close the fridge, obviously, and get the frozen stuff out of the freezer compartment. Save the essentials and easily perishables first. Yes, ice cubes belong in this category, you uncultured swine. What else are you going to put into your victory cocktail after you’ve finished the task like the hero you are?

Put all the stuff that thaws easily into you cooling box. Oh yes, if you don’t have one yet, you might wanna get one. They aren’t just useful in emergencies. Having a few cooling ice packs in there as well extends the time that your stuff keeps cool. Unless of course, you fill the box up all the way with frozen goods, like in this case:

Anything sea food definitely has to be kept cold, other meat is up next. Frozen pre-made food should go in there as well. Frozen veggies and fruit are probably the least troublesome, but can get really messy when thawed and frozen again. Anything alcoholic (like this J├Ągermeister) doesn’t have to be kept cool per se, it’s basically only for the texture and overal experience of the beverage you make with that stuff, anyway:

So yea, make sure you got everything in there, put the lid on that thing, and get on with the real work.

The Real Work

Depending on how thick your ice is, and how strong/willing to put in physical effort you are, there are different ways to approach this.

  1. The lazy one. Know that you’re not better than those lethargic water molecules, a.k.a. ice, but if you really can’t be bothered to put any elbow grease into this, just boil a good kettle of water, put it in a bowl that can withstand the heat, and put the bowl in the freezer. Let the hot steam and radiating heat do the work for you. If your freezer was really clogged up, you might need to reheat the water once or even more times.
  2. The best one. Get a tool. I prefer a sturdy spoon, that doesn’t easily bend. Go to town on that white crust. Usually, you can push against the edge of the ice and it will break of in pieces. If that doesn’t work, because the ice is too thick, you can use the technique demonstrated in this little video. Use the edge of the spoon to scratch into the ice until it breaks. The video also shows what I meant with the first part. Just ram your spoon into the edge between ice and freezer lining, and make it pop off.

Useful tip

Put a towel in front of the fridge, so you can just sweep the loose ice out of the freezing compartment and not worry about water on your floor. When you’ve finished, you can just wrap it all up in there and throw it in the sink, or shower, or out of the window, or whatever. It’s your life. Be creative.

Done, basically

When you’ve got all the ice out, use a kitchen towel to clean clean out any remaining ice shards or water drops. And then get back to refilling the freezer. There should be considerably more space available now, to store all those tasty German meat specialties. Or gluten free, low sodium, gender neutral, soy based replacements or whatever you other people eat…

Fill it up, close the door, turn the fridge/freezer back on, and enjoy your victory cocktail!

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