Chillin’ Out: What to Look for in an Outdoor Refrigerator
When it comes to outdoor refrigerators, the difference is in the details. Of course, cooling food and beverages is the overall goal, but it’s the fine points and little extras that can make an outdoor fridge infinitely more useful and convenient, and put the fun in an otherwise functional appliance.
Case in point is the new 5.01 cubic foot REFR2A Outdoor Refrigerator from Renaissance Cooking Systems. Its clever features and smart design should land it on your short list when shopping for an outdoor kitchen refrigerator. Here’s why:
- The REFR2A Outdoor Refrigerator has been specifically designed, tested and rated for outdoor use, earning a UL Outdoor Certification by Underwriters Laboratory, a leading, independent, product-testing organization. This is an important distinction because outdoor-rated refrigerators are specially engineered to perform under extreme weather conditions and outdoor temperature fluctuations. They also have extra insulation and weatherproofing to protect the controls and compressor systems. A typical, comparably sized, indoor refrigerator won’t hold up or function properly in an outdoor environment.
- Digital temperature controls take the guesswork out of the ambiguous dial settings found on many refrigerators. On the REFR2A Outdoor Refrigerator, you can set precise temperatures between 32˚ and 72˚ F, depending on what needs chilling. The push-button, digital-control panel is located inside the refrigerator; a smart design move that protects the electronics from rain, insects and dust.
- Having internal lights is a convenience that sure comes in handy, considering some of the best outdoor parties last long after dark. This model incorporates LED lights that shine down from the underside of the temperature control panel inside the refrigerator. The long-lasting LED bulbs brightly illuminate the fridge interior, so you can easily find what you’re looking for night or day.
- Adjustable shelves are super practical. The REFR2A Outdoor Refrigerator features three wire shelves that can be custom-configured at six different heights. The shelves can be arranged to accommodate everything from a 20-pound turkey to multiple racks of ribs to soft drink bottles. Being able to adjust the shelves means your fridge can play different roles on the patio as needed: a help-yourself beverage station at parties, a holding spot for salads and condiments while the main course grills, or a place to defrost meats before cooking.
- A locking feature is a welcome addition for anyone, but parents of teenagers may consider it indispensable. This fridge has a sturdy lock and two keys to keep the contents secure while you’re away from home, and prevent under-agers from sneaking the adult beverages that may be chilling inside.
- Leveling legs help ensure the fridge is stable and level on uneven patio surfaces. This thoughtful design feature is particularly useful for outdoor kitchens installed over pavers, stone, brick, or other materials with irregular finishes.
- The REFR2A Outdoor Refrigerator vents through the front – a necessity for built-in installations in an outdoor kitchen island. Most outdoor islands have insufficient ventilation clearance to accommodate an undercounter indoor refrigerator that vents through the rear.
- An outdoor kitchen is not the place to skimp on finishes. This fridge features durable, 304-grade stainless-steel construction that holds up in the elements and looks great after daily use. The sleek finish coordinates with other stainless-steel appliances and components in an outdoor kitchen, and the sturdy, full-length handle keeps fingerprints off the door surface.
- A final feature – and some might argue, the most important one – is a long warranty. Since it can be difficult and expensive to swap out failed built-in appliances in an outdoor kitchen, durability and longevity are critical. The REFR2A Outdoor Refrigerator is backed by a 5-year warranty, a hallmark of a reliable, well-made product. This lengthy warranty provides confidence your purchase will last.