Whirlpool EV160NZTQ Freezer Review
Extra space inside, not out
On the outside, the Whirlpool EV160NZTQ (MSRP $629) looks the same as any other 13 cubic foot upright freezer. Open the door, though, and you'll see that this freezer knows how to maximize space.
Sure, it costs a little more than the 13-cubic-foot competition, but the extra cost means more room for frozen vegetables, chicken, and anything else you plan to eat several weeks (or months) down the line. Our tests showed that it will have no problem keeping them cold, either. This Whirlpool is a worthy addition to your garage, mudroom, or basement.
Design & Features
A bit more than just the basics
Even though this Whirlpool has a 16-cubic-foot interior, the outside looks like many other run-of-the-mill 13-cubic-foot models. A white textured finish and reversible door is par for the course on most models in this price range.
Feature-wise, you get an interior light and—more importantly—a frost-free design. A freezer with an auto defrost function is always great, especially at this price level.
Something that's conspicuously absent, however? There's no door lock, something to keep in mind if you're putting this freezer around small children.
Controls use a six-point scale running from “smaller snowflake” to “larger snowflake," while the extreme igloo icon activates the Fast Freeze feature. That's useful if you just bought a bunch of room-temperature groceries and want to make sure they cool off quickly.
Some extra height for easier storage
Because it's an upright, this Whirlpool makes it easier to access food compared to a chest freezer. Compared to smaller 13-cubic-foot models, it's also easier to freeze taller, bulky items.
That said, the extra vertical inches could make storing lots of smaller things a bit tricky. The large bin at the bottom is ideal for storing oddly shaped items—packs of hamburger, for instance, or whole turkey—but if you want to stock up at Costco, there might be some spill over onto the flat shelves.
Primary food storage comes in the form of three fixed wire shelves, with a large bin at the bottom. It's not customizable in any way, but that's pretty standard for lower- to mid-range products like this one. Five shelves are on the door, with only marginal differences in height between them.
The best way to combat freezer burn is to make sure the internal temperature doesn’t cross 0ºF on a regular basis. This Whirlpool has the potential to do that, but you'll have to play by your own rules.
We set the controls to 4, the manufacturer's recommend setting, and tracked internal food temperatures that proved very consistent over time, regardless of shelf position. Unfortunately, those temperatures occasionally went above 0ºF. If you turn the controls one more notch towards "big snowflake," however, this machine should keep your frozen food relatively safe from freezer burn.
A Decent Bargain
More room on the cheap
Without question, the biggest draw for the Whirlpool EV160NZTQ is its extra space. We were also fans of the Fast Freeze option, adjustable shelving, interior lighting, and especially the low-maintenance frost-free design. Vague controls are never great, but unless you want to spend a lot more, you're pretty much stuck with it.
We found it on sale for $550, which makes it competitively priced compared to many similar and smaller models. If you’ve only got the floorspace for a typical 13 cubic foot upright but have more food than a machine that size can handle, this Whirlpool is definitely for you.
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