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Outdoor Compact Refrigerators

Do I Need an Outdoor Kitchen Refrigerator?

A fridge is a great addition to any outdoor kitchen. A conveniently located outdoor fridge helps in reducing the need to go inside. Keep beverages, condiments and other items chilled, handy and nearby. Preparing meals, snacks and drinks will be easier and so will entertaining your guests.

If you are considering a sink and bar station, then an outdoor refrigerator is a no-brainer. You may also want to consider an outdoor ice maker or wine cooler which many of our customers find to be indispensable additions. Be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cut-out clearance and ventilation to get the most out of your fridge. Like any appliance being installed outdoors, you’ll want to make sure the appliance has room to breathe and that your island or outdoor kitchen cabinets have proper ventilation.

What Should I Look For when Buying an Outdoor Fridge?

It is important to purchase a durable and reliable refrigerator from a trusted brand. Think about how you intend to use the refrigerator, and be sure it has the features that fit your needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing an outdoor compact refrigerator.

Where will you be placing your outdoor refrigerator?

Is it being built into an outdoor kitchen island or will it stand alone on your patio? Make sure your outdoor refrigerator is placed in a covered area, out of direct sunlight or weather to optimize performance and extend the life of the refrigerator. If you are replacing an existing fridge, make sure to measure the opening for fit.

How Important is an Outdoor Rating?

An outdoor rated compact refrigerator is the best choice for durability. Keep in mind that while an indoor refrigerator typically spends its entire lifespan in a narrow, comfortable temperature range, an outdoor appliance is asked to operate in air temperatures ranging from pretty cold to very hot. An outdoor rating means the model is approved and warrantied for outdoor use. They are usually built using high-grade stainless-steel and are designed to stand up to the outdoors. Note that many people have used non-outdoor-rated refrigerators in their outdoor kitchens and have found it to be an economical solution.

What is the Capacity of Outdoor Compact Refrigerators?

Most outdoor refrigerators we carry are meant to be installed under a counter. Despite that, some models approach 9 cubic feet of capacity, which is about half as much as a typical kitchen refrigerator (but remember: there’s no freezer in most outdoor models). Review the layout and dimensions inside the refrigerator to see if the space fits your needs.

Are There Limits on What I Can Store in an Outdoor Fridge?

If you plan to store food, then you may want to choose one that is food safety certified. Food safety certified fridges have passed a rigorous set of evaluations to make sure required food safety and standards are met with a much lower likelihood of internal temperature swings. If you only plan to store drinks then you may not need a food certified unit.

What Types of Cooling Technology Are Offered?

There are typically two types of cooling, forced air and cold plate.

  • Cold Plate - Cold plate fridges have a cooling plate in the back of the appliance. The downside to this cooling method is that the items in the rear of the refrigerator could obstruct cold air-flow. This can create inconsistent temperatures inside the unit.
  • Forced Air - The best cooling type is forced air refrigeration. Internal fans circulate cold air to keep temps precise and consistent throughout. Forced air models will cool much faster than cold plate.

How Do I Keep the Local Wildlife From Eating My Food?

Many outdoor refrigerators are available with built-in locks. Locking your outdoor refrigerator keeps the contents secure.