Power Outages: How to Tell If Your Freezer Defrosted

Power Outages: How to Tell If Your Freezer Defrosted

Emma Christensen
Sep 8, 2011

Here's your pre-storm preparedness checklist: batten down the hatches, stock up on water, and eat some ice cream.

Ice cream?! As strange as it sounds, this might be one of the best (and tastiest!) ways to tell if your freezer defrosted during a power outage.

This tip comes from a friend who lives in New Orleans, so I trust that he knows his business when it comes to storms, hurricanes, and power outages!

You actually only get to eat half the pint of ice cream before the storm. Instead of eating straight down, eat from only one side of the pint container and leave the other side un-touched. Put the pint back in the freezer and wait out the storm.

If the ice cream is still mounded to one side after the power comes back on, your freezer didn't thaw too much and your frozen foods are still good. But if the surface is smooth and level, that means that you lost power long enough for the ice cream to thaw completely - along with the rest of your freezer contents. Best to throw those foods out and re-stock.

My New Orleans friend says that something like this ice cream trick is a particularly good idea if you won't be at home during the storm and come back not knowing if you lost power or for how long.

Do you have any other tricks for telling if your freezer defrosted during a power outage?

Related: Cooking in a Hurricane? 5 Tips for Staying Safe and Well-Fed

(Image: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)

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