Best Outdoor Refrigerators – Reviews Of The Compact Ones
If you want to make your next outdoor get-together more entertaining, you need to invest in the best outdoor refrigerator.
These are special fridges designed to withstand outdoor weathering (i.e., they’re weatherproof). They come with equally large capacities compared to the indoor models for holding your drinks, snacks, etc.
In this post, I’ll give you top 5 best outdoor refrigerators specially built for outdoor use. In other words, they can withstand weathering and still keep your drinks frosty and refreshing all-day long.
Let me start by showing you how to pick the right outdoor fridge for your needs….
What To Look For Before Getting an Outdoor Refrigerator
Outdoor models work harder and have special features to suit them for outdoor use. Thus, it’s important to be as much careful as possible when buying an outdoor fridge.
By following the steps outlined below, you’ll get yourself a high-quality outdoor fridge today:
Fully Insulated, Weatherproof Design
An outdoor significantly differs from the indoor model in all aspects. It’s expected to maintain consistent temperatures in the unstable outdoor environment.
As such, it should come with increased insulation as well as become outfitted with more powerful components for efficient functioning.
Also, the machine ought to be weatherproofed against all the weather elements. Keeping in mind that electricity and water don’t mix, it should be designed such that all its parts don’t get wet to avoid electrocution incidences.
Ensure that that outdoor fridge you plan to buy comes with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approval.
Built-in or freestanding application?
The integrated models are designed such that they can easily fit into your outdoor kitchen cabinetry. A freestanding unit, on the contrary, can be situated anywhere in your outdoor living space.
While the built-in fridges are vented so that they require little/no clearance at the sides, rear, and the top, the freestanding models can be positioned below the island countertop but will require up to inch ventilation on all its sides.
Material of choice
For your outdoor fridge to withstand all the weather elements, it must be resistant to corrosion, rust, etc. For this reason, the outdoor fridge out to be constructed using the highly durable and rust-resistant stainless steel.
However, keep in mind that not all stainless steel are created equal. I’d urge you to look for the grade 304 stainless steel (also referred to as 18/8), as it offers higher resistant to corrosion.
Cheaper fridges are made from plastic-wrapped steel or the grade 430 stainless steel- susceptible to rust.
Outdoor fridges are more compact compared to the freezer/fridge combos found in our kitchens. The most common measurements for a standard outdoor fridge are 24” W x 34” H, with a capacity range of 5-6 cubic feet. The slimmer models measure about 15 inches wide and offer you about 3 cubic feet interior capacity.
A basic UL approved outdoor fridge goes for around $550; it features a white plastic door panel plus manual defroster.
For a sleeker, stainless steel appliance with a significant interior capacity, you’ll have to spend up to $700.
For high-quality, stainless steel body outdoor fridges, with triple or double drawers, expect to pay up to $900.
With these figures in mind, you’ll be able to come up with a budget for the perfect outdoor fridge for you.
The units with outdoor use approval usually come with a warranty that covers not only labor but all the parts for about year. Some extend the compressor warranty to around five years.
Now that you know how to shop for the Best Outdoor refrigerators, let’s jump into the five best products on the market right now:
Top 5 Best Outdoor Refrigerator Reviews:
1. EdgeStar 5.49 Cu. Ft. 142 Can Stainless Steel Outdoor Beverage Cooler Review:
One of the compact top bets outdoor fridges comes all the way from Edgar, the company with a reputation for building high-quality refrigerators. This particular EdgeStar 5.49 Cu. Ft. 142 Can Stainless Steel Outdoor Beverage Cooler allows you to store up to 142 cans of your favorite drinks, where it cools them efficiently and makes them ready for a refreshing taste. It comes with a stainless steel finish that gives it an attractive look.
One of the reasons this beverage cooler qualifies for our list of our top outdoor refrigerator reviews is because it has been approved for outdoor use. That means it can withstand the harshest of the outdoor elements. It’s fully encased in stainless steel finish which keeps rust and corrosion cases off. So, feel free to use it in your outdoor kitchen, game room, garage, etc.
The unit integrates a fan cooling system that ensures a more even cooling. This is a more efficient cooling technique compared to the cold plate cooling which tends to introduce a cold spot in your unit. At only 33 1/2" H x 23 1/2" W x 24 3/4" D, you’ll agree with me that this is a super compact machine that will fit everywhere.
Using the cooler is relatively easy, thanks to the digital temperature controls. These allow you to conveniently set the desired cooling temperatures using the push button controls. The easy to ready LECD display ensure you can monitor the unit temperatures easily.
Besides, it comes with interior LED light that illuminates the interior when you open the door, allowing you to locate the right drink.
In summary, this is a great unit that comes with great features to give you the convenience of cooling your drinks outdoors.
Additional features include the integrated door lock that lets you provide extra security to your unit and drinks from unauthorized access. The unit’s sleek, modern stainless steel reversible door keeps your fridge well-insulated keeping your drinks cold and refreshing right through the day!
- Capacity: 142 cans
- Freestanding or built-in application
- Powerful compressor cooling system
- Wide temperature range: 38-50 degrees F
- Comes with glass shelves
- Factory installed lock
- Built-in carbon filter; auto-defrost feature
- Digital temperature controls
- Reversible door
- Approved for outdoor use
2. CalFlame BBQ10710-A Outdoor Stainless Steel Refrigerator Review:
The CalFlame BBQ10710-A is another top-quality outdoor refrigerator that has been designed to withstand all the outdoor elements while keeping your drinks chilled all day long, regardless of the weather. It comes with a big storage space of up to 3.25 cubic feet and connects to the standard electric outlet.
This particular unit is perfect in all criteria. When it comes to looks, it features an eye-pleasing stainless steel finish that will impress your friends and guests.
It’s incredibly compact- measures 23 x 14.5 x 33 inches- and can stand alone or fit in your outdoor kitchen under the counter. With up to 3.25 cubic feet worth of free storage space, this beverage cooler will hold your drinks- from champagnes, wines, beer, sodas, water, everything!
The system also features a pretty wide temperature range- from 38 to 50 degrees F- which gives you a wide selection of the right temperatures for chilling your drinks. Built to last, it can withstand all the outdoor uses for long. It plugs into the 115V outlet for convenient plug and play.
It’s a fully enclosed unit that ensures all your drinks remain chilled and refreshing.
- Storage capacity: 3.25 cubic feet
- Connects to 115V outlet for easy plug and play
- Fully enclosed/installed unit
- Built to last
- Fans efficiently remove the compressor generated heat through the front vents
3. Avallon 3.3 Cu Ft 15" Outdoor Built-In Refrigerator Review:
The Avallon 3.3 Cu Ft 15" Outdoor Built-In Refrigerator makes a great outdoor fridge, based on its design and the quality features it presents you with. It comes fully encased in the durable stainless steel, enabling it to weather all the elements. The compressor also features a steel cover which keeps off weathering. What’s more, it features four casters which allow you to move it around easily.
Utilizing a powerful compressor cooling system, this single zone fridge is highly effective at keeping your drinks cold in all weathers. Besides, it comes with an extensive temperature range (34-50 degrees F) which allow you to set your preferred temperatures for cooling your drinks.
The lowest temp value means can keep your drinks as cold as 34 degrees F with no freezing cases. It also incorporates powerful fan which works with the compressor to efficiently and evenly circulate cool air throughout the unit. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about uneven cooling or hot spots in your unit.
The three sanded glass shelves that come with this unit will house any types of foods and beverages that your outdoor gatherings will call for. The top LED light bar, together with the two side LED lights on its right and left sides offers you soft illumination that lets you easily locate the drink you’re looking for.
The fact that these LED lights allow you to alternate the light color between bright white and soft blue LED illuminations makes it even more exciting. Monitoring as well as adjusting the temperature settings is made simple by the easy to control touch panel.
The Avallon 3.3 Cu Ft 15" Outdoor Built-In Refrigerator has everything necessary t suit for use outdoors.
It features a 3.3 Cu Ft. storage capacity that will hold plenty of your foods and drinks. All its parts are encased in the durable stainless steel finish to keep off weathering cases. The integrated true-key increases the machine’s security level. The hinged door style, with a handle, allows for easy access to the fridge contents.
While the model is designed for built-in installation, you can use it as a freestanding unit- the choice if yours.
- Freestanding or built-in application
- Temperature range: 34 to 50 degrees F
- Utilizes a single zone cooling unit
- Stainless steel handle, cabinet, and door
- Internal LED light that alternates between blue and white colors
- Compressor-powered cooling unit
- Sanded glass shelves
- Optional casters ensures easy mobility
- Touch control panel
- Auto-defrost feature
- Measures 34.2“H x 15”W x 24” D
4. Sunstone SUNFR401 304 Stainless Steel Outdoor Rated Refrigerator Review:
Sunstone too finds a place in our outdoor refrigerator reviews, owing to its incredible functionality and reliability. The SUNFR401 304 Outdoor Rated Refrigerator features stainless steel cover which makes it highly durable and enables it to withstand the outdoor elements. Because the venting has been integrated into the front part, this model is ideal for under counter installation.
The outdoor fridge comes with a compact design, (exact measurements 21-1/4"W x 33-3/8" H x 22-5/8" D). What’s more the venting has been placed o the front side to make it an under counter installation unit- so it won’t consume much space in your outdoor kitchen, garage, etc. Talking of storage capacity, this fridge has a big one.
Imagine getting up to 4.2 cubic feet free storage space in an outdoor refrigerator? Surely, this is sufficient to hold all types of beverages that your gathering will call for, not forgetting all the foods you’ll need while out there.
Overall, the SUNFR401 304 Stainless Steel Outdoor Rated Refrigerator offers you highly functionality and reliability in all outdoor situations. It has been approved for outdoor use and comes with the UL approval. Its stainless steel insulation enables it to withstand all sorts of weathering.
This high-quality comes with a 1-year warranty against all the manufacturer defects.
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Rated for outdoor use; UL Approved
- Front venting allows for under counter installation
- 4.2 cubic feet storage space
- Exact dimensions: 21-1/4"W x 33-3/8" H x 22-5/8" D
5. RCS Gas Grills Outdoor Refrigerator Review:
One more outdoor refrigerator that will serve the purpose without being affected by any outdoor elements- the RCS Gas Grills Outdoor Refrigerator. Coming in the durable stainless construction, this unit is fit for use in any outdoor weather, without weathering or showing incidences of rust and corrosion.
The massive storage capacity probably makes this unit a popular one. It gives a large 4.8 cubic feet storage spaces to store all the drinks and foods you wish to, and still leave more room unused. In the fridge, you’ll get adjustable glass shelves lets you customize the fridge easily to accommodate different sizes of drinks and foods. Also, it features two internal drawers for easy organization of stuff.
It also features interior light for easy identification of drinks in the fridge. With the adjustable thermostat, you’ll have an easy time adjusting your unit temperatures to suit your preferences.
Overall, the RCS Gas Grills Outdoor Refrigerator is a great, natural companion for your outdoor kitchen. It’s a high-quality, high-capacity outdoor fridge that includes a door lock for extra security of all your drinks, foods.
Additional features include adjustable feet/revelers, automatic defrost, stable work surface top, and a reversible door design for the left or right opening. It’s backed with one year manufacturer warranty.
- Stainless steel construction
- Cutout dimensions: Dimensions: 21.75" W x 22" D x 33" H
- 4.8 cubic feet storage capacity
- Automatic defrost
- Adjustable thermostat
- Adjustable interior glass shelves
Indoor vs. Outdoor Refrigerators: Where They Differ?
If you’ve always wondered how an outdoor fridge differs from the indoor one, this is your part.
There are two major differences between these two types of refrigerators.
First, we have the ambient temperature range. As you know, a refrigerator must work to keep all its contents cold regardless of temperatures outside. For outdoor situations, there dramatic temperature changes from morning to night. Your outdoor unit should be able to consistently maintain cold temperatures in such a highly unstable environment.
Take for instance, in the summer heat, an outdoor fridge fitted with more powerful compressors, components, and additional insulation will be required to keep everything as cold as possible.
Secondly, we have the weatherproofing factor (for all the electric components). Even if you built your fridge in a cabinet or any other outdoor fixture, it would still get exposed to rain water, splashing from the pool, etc.
Keeping in mind that water plus electricity translates to a dangerous mix, unique designs are taken into considerations when designing the outdoor fridge to minimize the electrocution risk.
The easiest way to tell whether your fridge is perfect for outdoor is checking the UL approval
Tips for Using Your Great Outdoor Refrigerator Perfectly
To enjoy the best results from your outdoor fridge, you need to put a few things into consideration.
You’d want to keep the power consumption of your machine as cheap as possible. This will ensure you spend less cash on your energy bill.
Some folks utilize a portable generator to power their outdoor fridges. Others use electricity to run their units.
When put on a comparisons table, the generator power cost is a bit higher compared to that of electricity.
If you’re utilizing your outdoor unit to a place with a power outlet, I’d advise you to use electricity as your source of power.
When running your outdoor refrigerator, you need to as efficient as possible.
The outdoor fridge might not be the biggest energy consumer, but trust me; it consumes its fair share. Ensure you turn your unit’s temperatures down to the lowest settings you’re comfortable with.
When not in use, turn your outdoor fridge off; it takes less time to start cooling when you put in on again.
Since you’re using your refrigerator outdoors, it might require some frequent maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Be sure to clean all the area around your unit venting to prevent the buildup of dust and other debris that might affect its performance.
Likewise, ensure you clean the interior of your fridge regularly to keep it in good working conditions. Remove any food and drink spills as fast as they occur.
Depending on your outdoor living space, consider placing your unit on blocks as flooding incidents can weaken the quality of your machine and even leads to electrical hazards.
Extreme Weather Conditions
Though the outdoor fridges are weatherproof, it doesn’t mean they’re all-weather compatible.
At times, there might be high winds which have the potential of damaging your unit. In such cases, place your refrigerator against a solid surface to ensure the coil and compressor are safe from the flying debris.
Though rare, your unit might cease functioning, seize up or get damaged in extremely low temperatures. When you counter this, simply turn off the fridge.
As a side note, the high-quality outdoor freezers come fully insulated, enabling them to withstand all the weather elements. So, the chances of your unit failing due to extreme temperatures are quite small.
Now you have it- the five best outdoor refrigerators on the market today. With these five great models, your next outdoor camping will become a memorable one. You’ll have chilled drinks at your fingertips throughout the day.
All the units I’ve recommended to you come with durable stainless steel designs, meaning they can withstand the severe outdoor elements, including rust and corrosion.
By analyzing your outdoor fridge needs, you’ll be able to pick any of these five models that suit you best.