aokitchens Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Choosing the Right Outdoor Refrigerator

An outdoor refrigerator is the perfect addition to your outdoor kitchen, but choosing a refrigerator can be confusing and without some knowledge hard to know what to purchase since there are many brands available today. All Refrigerators are built to cool but outdoor and indoor refrigerators are two totally different appliances. Inside your home, you’ll typically have a stable climate controlled environment. This means stable temperatures, regulated humidity and limited dust. Outdoors, the ambient temperature has a wide range and changing humidity levels in conjunction with harsh weather pose a constant threat. As such, outdoor refrigerators need to be built with these factors in mind to mitigate any adverse conditions. Outdoor refrigerators are built with these conditions in mind, the outside is typically stainless steel and they are well insulated to keep the hot air out and the cold air in. The added insulation also reduces power consumption and how long the compressor will run. Outdoor Rated Refrigerators are also front venting, this allows the unit to breathe and exhale in a under the countertop installation. Outdoor Kitchen cabinets and enclosure can get extremely hot in the sun with temperatures inside the cabinet going to 130F+!, this causes the refrigerator to run more often to keep items cold.

Outdoor vs. Indoor or Dorm Style Refrigerators

Over the years I have had several outdoor kitchens with refrigerators, my first outdoor kitchen had a inexpensive dorm type refrigerator that lasted over 5 years. While I certainly got my moneys worth, it had its issues, in the summertime many of the drinks would freeze and even the beer had ice crystals. In the fall my same drinks were not as cold and sometimes almost warm. It was not safe to keep things like Mayonnaise and other condiments that could spoil or separate in these non-outdoor rated refrigerators. Outdoor Rated Refrigerators will provide a more stable temperature and allow you to keep drinks and condiments fresh and safe to consume. Outdoor refrigerators are also laboratory tested for leak testing, outdoor performance, and safety trials to prove a unit is safe to use in wet, outdoor conditions.

Size and Capacity

There a lot of refrigerators and also a lot of different sizes. It is important that you choose the right size for a number of reasons. Most non-outdoor rated units are not a standard size, so installing a weird size in a stone cabinet or permanent structure can be a problem when it comes time to replace or upgrade the refrigerator. A standard unit typically runs a 34.5″ tall, 24″ wide and 24″ deep. They have storage capacities in the range of 5.0-5.5 cu. ft. depending on insulation and wall thickness. There are many brands and price points to choose from in the 24-inch wide range so don’t get caught with a weird size. Another standard size is the 15″ wide refrigerators, while they are smaller many of these units are as expensive or more than their 24-inch counterparts.

Final Thoughts

Over the years of offering refrigerators my thinking has definitely changed. The outdoor refrigerator is about lifestyle, it is about how you entertain and how often you entertain. If you plan your parties then ice bins and coolers might be a easy solution for your refrigeration needs. If you entertain alot and have people stopping by frequently there is nothing like having an outdoor refrigerator stocked with beer, water, soda and condiments 24/7. The refrigerator is the most used appliance in the outdoor kitchen and is working around the clock to keep items cold. In general, an outdoor refrigerator is one of the best appliances to add to an outdoor kitchen, even more than a sink or a grill they provide more value and functionality than any other piece of equipment. Plus, an outdoor refrigerator is extremely versatile depending on your needs and works in nearly any environment. While they may not be the cheapest of items to purchase, if you get a high quality model, it will last for a very, very long time.









Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.