If you do a lot of entertaining outdoors, you may have thought about getting an outdoor refrigerator. But what makes outdoor kitchen refrigerators unique, and why are they so popular? One element that makes outdoor fridges so well-loved is their convenience: what's the point of having an outdoor kitchen if you have to keep going inside to get your food? Another is the huge variety of configurations available. No matter what your plans for your outdoor kitchen are, you can find a fridge that makes them possible. The experts at Appliances Connection have compiled this post with all the information you need about outdoor refrigerators, as well as spotlighting some of our favorite models.
How Do Outdoor Refrigerators Work?
Outdoor refrigerators work in much the same way as indoor ones: they use refrigerants to cool the inside of their cavity, carrying heat outside the fridge and keeping your food at a consistent, cold temperature. However, there are a few differences between indoor and outdoor refrigerators.
The first difference between the types of refrigerator is that outdoor refrigerators have to operate in a much wider temperature range. While indoor fridges are built to work at room temperature, outdoor ones have to work at temperatures that reflect the climate they're installed in.
Another difference between indoor and outdoor refrigerators is that outdoor refrigerators are waterproof, and generally made of 304-grade stainless steel. This helps shield your fridge from the fluctuations in weather that naturally occur outside. These fridges have extra seals to ensure that the outdoors stays outdoors instead of going inside, where it can damage your food.
You'll also find a different selection of extra features in outdoor fridges: many outdoor fridges come with beer taps or serving carts instead of external touch panels and multiple drawers.
What Can You Store in Outdoor Refrigerators?
If you can store it in an indoor refrigerator, you can probably store it in an outdoor refrigerator! Many outdoor fridges have adjustable temperatures, so you can set them to being extra cold for seafood, or warmer for drinks. With an outdoor refrigerator, you can move any food you're grilling outside before you cook it, keeping it fresh and free of insects and other pests.
What Installation Types Are Available?
When buying an outdoor fridge, you may want to get a built-in one: these have the benefit of a low profile and flush installation in your outdoor kitchen. This Liebherr model is made with German-engineered precision electronics that allow you to set the temperature to anything between 37° F and 68° F, making it ideal for anything from meat to wine. Its removable glass shelves split to let you store taller items, and a door lock and alarm bring added security to your outdoor kitchen.
You can also choose a drawer-style outdoor refrigerator. This outdoor fridge by Hestan has two drawers allowing you to create multiple temperature zones, and it comes in a selection of 12 different colors, so you're certain to find something that matches the rest of your outdoor kitchen. It also has an internal capacity of 5.2 cu. ft., making it one of the most spacious outdoor refrigerators on the market.
If you plan to serve a lot of beer in your outdoor kitchen, consider a refrigerator made specifically for kegs. This model by Summit accepts full size, half, quarter, and mini kegs as well as a 5 lb. CO2 tank. It's even portable: its casters allow you to effortlessly slide it to where you want to serve beer.
Freestanding Beer Dispenser
How do I protect my outdoor refrigerator?
The best way to keep your outdoor refrigerator safe from the elements is to keep it clean and well maintained. You may want to consider applying a stainless steel finish to the exterior for added protection.
Will a refrigerator work outside in the summer?
Outdoor refrigerators are built to work even in hot weather, though they'll have to run the compressor more often to account for the added heat.