An outdoor kitchen adds beauty and functionality to your home. Having one conveys your friendly and hospitable personality, and your home surely has regular visitors. It is great to hear laughter in the house and having friends come over for a barbecue or outdoor meals. Your outdoor kitchen should be complete with necessary items to be fully functional. And one of the most important appliances you should have is an outdoor refrigerator. You are ready to buy one, but you need to know first what to look for in an outdoor kitchen refrigerator. To answer this question, you must learn the basics about the outdoor fridge.
Difference between outdoor and indoor fridge
Indoor refrigerators are designed to be used inside the house, and even if you decide a new fridge for indoor, you still cannot use the old cooling appliance in your outdoor kitchen. Before you decide a new fridge, you need to understand first the difference between the two kinds of appliances.
The range of ambient temperatures is different in the outdoor and indoor refrigerators. You have to keep in mind that refrigerators are designed to keep the coldness inside despite the temperature outside. However, since houses are typically set with 60-80 degree Fahrenheit indoor temperature, the indoor refrigerators are created to handle just that level of temperature. But the outdoor refrigerators are made from sterner materials since they need to cater to inconsistent weather from glacial cold to intense heat.
Another difference between the indoor and outdoor refrigerator is the weatherproofing of the electrical mechanisms. The outdoor fridge is likely to get wet from pool splashes, rain, and other water-related incidents. To avoid dangerous electrocution, the outdoor fridge is designed with extra care.
Stainless construction of an outdoor fridge
In an outdoor kitchen, the ideal fridge is unlike the regular indoor fridge. The outdoor refrigerator has gone through weatherproofing. But this does not mean that the fridge can be left behind on its own to deal with the weather. An outdoor fridge is made from stainless steel because this material is known to have resistance to rust.
However, not all stainless steel have the same grade. The rust-resistance outdoor refrigerators are more expensive than those with lower class materials.
Built-in versus freestanding
An outdoor fridge needs proper ventilation in order to function and last long. You have to decide whether you like built-in or freestanding outdoor refrigerator.
Built-in – the ventilation is typically located at the bottom front of the fridge. You can build a kitchen island or cabinet around this appliance.
Freestanding – this type of outdoor fridge needs ventilation from the sides, top, and back. Freestanding outdoor refrigerator cannot be later on put inside a kitchen island or cabinet, since it will lose its capability to cool what you store inside.
Outdoor fridge buying guide
Do not just go to the store and buy an outdoor fridge. There are factors that you need to consider so you can make an informed decision.
Check if the fridge has a certification stating that it is intended for outdoor use.
Read review about the fridge, and check if it is manufactured by a reliable brand. You need to make sure that you will not be asking for service repairs constantly.
Outdoor refrigerators are designed with two kinds of cooling mechanism. They are either forced air or cold plate. It is highly recommended that you choose forced air so the cold air can circulate evenly inside the fridge. The cold plate is usually not giving the same coldness to everything inside the fridge. This is because cold plates are obstructed from their work when food or beverages blocks the air flow.
Check if the outdoor fridge is an energy-saver appliance. It is important to save on electricity.
Determine the storage space that you need for your outdoor fridge. Factor in your frequency in using your outdoor kitchen, as well as the food you intend to store there. This will help you determine the size of the outdoor refrigerator to buy.
Though the outdoor fridge is technically located inside your property, the appliance is not inside your home so you need to ensure that the locking mechanism is perfect.
It is quite irritating for you and your guests to keep hearing noises coming from your outdoor fridge. Test a fridge in a store and figure out if the noise is low, tolerable, or almost non-existent.
Your home probably have either 110/120 V electricity, and most outdoor refrigerators are compatible with that. However, it is still wise to double check.
An outdoor fridge can either have metal shelving or glass shelving. Choose one that is more preferable to your taste.
It is better to have an outdoor kitchen fridge that has LED lights. LED lights will not produce heat inside your fridge, and they last for a very long time.
A fridge with a long warranty entails long-lasting durability.
Tips in caring for the outdoor fridge
Let us look at some important tip sin caring for your outdoor fridge.
- Cover your fridge when not in use, especially in very cold or hot weather.
- Empty your fridge when you will not be using it for a days, and leave the door slightly ajar to let in air.
- Choose an expensive outdoor fridge in order to be guaranteed with high quality.
- Unplug if not in use.
- Clean regularly with mild soap and clean water.
Buying a new outdoor refrigerator is an easy decision, but what is complex is the choice between the hundreds of styles and brands in the market. Be wise about your purchase and never let cheap prices fool you. Always check for features, and take your time in choosing the best. Consider your needs and your taste in your selection process. Most of all reflect on your budget for a new outdoor fridge.