If you’re still living in the Ice Age—that is, with a non-defrosting freezer—you’ll need these ancient skills.
You Will Need
Newspaper or cloths
A pan that will fit at the bottom of your freezer
STEP 1 Empty freezer
Remove all food from your freezer and place it in cardboard boxes. Cover them with newspaper or cloths to keep the food from thawing.
If you have a neighbor who can store some items in her freezer, that’s the best way to go. Or plan a feast around your newly-thawed food.
STEP 2 Empty trays
Remove ice trays and empty the cubes into the sink. Let them melt down the drain.
STEP 3 Empty fridge
Remove all the food from your refrigerator and place it in cardboard boxes covered with newspapers or cloth.
STEP 4 Set to “defrost”
Turn your temperature control to 'defrost.'
If you don’t have a 'defrost' setting, simply unplug your refrigerator.
STEP 5 Place a pan
Place a large square pan at the bottom of your freezer to catch the melting water. Empty and replace it as necessary.
If your unit already has a pan there’s no need to use another one.
STEP 6 Place a towel
Place a dry towel underneath the refrigerator to catch melting water.
Never use a sharp object to chip away at the ice coating your freezer. This could severely damage your unit.
STEP 7 Wash trays
While the ice is melting, wash and dry your ice cube trays.
To speed up the melting, put a pan of hot water in the freezer.
STEP 8 Chill
Return food and newly-filled ice cube trays to the freezer. Then return the food to fridge. Now you’re ready to chill.
Up until the 1920s, when electric refrigerators came into use, people kept their food fresh in ice boxes—literally boxy cabinets that held a huge chunk of ice.