By: BBQGuys StaffThe Skinny:
- 304-grade stainless steel exterior is ultra-durable and excels at resisting rust
- Outdoor-rated to perform in adverse conditions and strengthen your warranty
- Massive capacity for both cans and wine bottles, perfect for backyard entertaining
- Blaze’s high-efficiency cooling system ensures drinks stay cool, even outdoors
- Glass door and bamboo/glass shelves bring a sense of elegant style to the unit
Blaze has long been committed to providing the complete outdoor kitchen experience, cooling solutions included. One of the brand’s best offerings in that department is the Blaze 24-inch beverage cooler, a refrigeration unit that’s as spacious as it is sturdy and carries a coveted outdoor rating, to boot. Every Blaze hallmark is present — 304-grade stainless steel, highly efficient performance, and helpful features — making this appliance an ideal drink station for outdoor entertaining, no matter you or your guests’ tastes.
We went to great lengths in this Blaze beverage cooler review, running test after test to gauge the unit’s quality, performance, and features. Our findings are detailed below, complete with context explaining why it ranks at the top of the Premium class in every facet (including value). Though this product category is small and includes few direct competitors to the Blaze 24-inch in terms of size and price point, it’s our goal to make you a more-informed shopper as you work to complete your outdoor kitchen.
- Exterior is built using commercial-grade stainless steel, the gold standard for longevity
- Sleek door and shelves complement the sleek stainless steel for a high-end aesthetic
- Unlike other units, outdoor rating permits backyard installation without voiding the warranty
Blaze has made a point of building all its outdoor living products from 304-grade stainless steel, and our independent XRF analysis confirmed that construction for the BLZ-GDBEV-5.5 beverage cooler. Why is this important? The 304-grade alloy is a premium, commercial-quality material prized for its durability and top-notch corrosion resistance in even the harshest elements — and in this case, it immediately vaults the Blaze beverage cooler to the top of its product category. The interior of the unit is plastic, industry-standard and perfectly suitable as a backdrop for whatever drinks you’re cooling.
Durability is one thing, but a mix of strength and style is the true mark of Premium-class quality. The 24-inch Blaze beverage cooler accomplishes that in several facets, most notably with an eye-catching glass door that’s standard for the class and plays well with the sleek stainless steel finish. Along with a sophisticated T-bar handle and 3 bamboo and 3 glass shelves, this Blaze appliance delivers a premium look in lockstep with its premium quality. It’s all protected by a 1-year limited warranty (right in line with industry expectations) and Blaze’s top-of-the-line customer service.
- Fan-forced cooling system offers more efficient performance in outdoor kitchens
- Rated for use in outdoor settings, giving you confidence for backyard placement
- Widest temperature range in its category, allowing for optimum wine storage at 55°F
When we review outdoor refrigeration units, we’re always happy when we spot a forced-air cooling system. It provides much more rapid, even, and efficient cooling than the traditional cold-plate method used by certain competitors, so the Blaze beverage cooler already starts in a good spot with a forced-air system. As expected, the unit performed well in a variety of conditions, showing off equal amounts of responsiveness and efficiency throughout our testing. We honestly expected nothing less from Blaze technology, especially when it carries an outdoor rating that ensures operation in large ambient temperature swings that only the backyard can bring.
The Blaze 24-inch beverage cooler combines rock-solid performance with the largest operating temperature range in the category, spanning 34°F to 68°F while competing units rarely top 50°F. This is crucial because the ideal wine-storage temperature is about 55°F, and as you’ll see in the next section, the Blaze beverage cooler is more than equipped to serve as a single-zone wine center. Whether you go that route or chill multiple types of drinks at lower temps — yes, we tried both — the digital thermostat makes it easy to control the unit with clear readouts that keep you informed.
- Versatile and spacious storage options for over 100 cans and bottles at once
- Automatic defrost saves time and effort that would otherwise be spent on cleanup
- Door lock and alarm help you protect your contents from spoiling or tampering
What struck us the most about the 24-inch Blaze beverage cooler is its capacity — both in sheer size and the possibilities for personalization. It comes with 6 total shelves (3 glass and 3 bamboo) that can be configured to your liking to optimize the 5.5 cubic feet of space. We were able to create combinations of 84 cans and 22 wine bottles, as well as 42 cans and 62 wine bottles; either way, that’s over 100 beverages cooled at once while catering to a variety of tastes. To top it all off, the BLZ-GDBEV-5.5 beverage center cabinet is illuminated with white LED lighting that lends a clean look and doesn’t leave you fumbling for drinks in the dark.
While the glass door contributes to the high-end appearance, it also serves a highly practical purpose: allowing users to check their contents without opening the unit and altering the internal temperature. The door includes a few more desirable features, namely a child safety lock and audio alarm for when the unit is ajar for more than 3 minutes. Convenience continues with the cleanup-saving automatic defrost and Sabbath Mode, a setting that turns off certain electronic functions to accommodate particular religious observances. Finally, the field-reversible hinge and front-venting design make the Blaze beverage center a perfect fit for any outdoor kitchen — especially those where properly chilled drinks always need to be on hand.
About the BBQGuys Staff
Being in business since 1998, we’ve assembled a group of experienced experts to evaluate every product in our growing inventory. Whether it’s our product trainers, R&D team, or the legendary Chef Tony himself — lucky you! — you can rest assured that BBQGuys Staff reviews are conducted by an authority in the field with years of industry knowledge.