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The best outdoor refrigerator is a great addition to any backyard, patio, or outdoor bar and kitchen. Not only is it stylish, but an outdoor fridge offers the convenience of ready-to-serve drinks right at your fingertips, allowing you to spend more time enjoying the yard, your guests, or the pool. Outdoor refrigerators also provide additional space for extra ingredients you may need for fun baking and cooking recipes like making ice cream from scratch. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the best outdoor refrigerator reviews and ratings to help you narrow down your options and select the best one for your needs.
In This Article
Outdoor fridges come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be difficult to navigate all the features without doing a bit of research or having a refrigerator buying guide to consult. To help you on your way to a backyard paradise, read on to discover our top 5 best outdoor refrigerators available on the market today.
The Kalamera 24-Inch Stainless Steel Outdoor Beverage Cooler is the best outdoor refrigerator because it holds up to 154 standard 12-ounce cans, and its stainless steel door is better at keeping the cold air in than a glass door drinks fridge.
The Kalamera 24-Inch Stainless Steel Outdoor Beverage Cooler is an excellent option for an outdoor kitchen refrigerator, as it allows you and your guests to relax outdoors and grab beverages from a short distance. The 24″ can hold up to 154 standard 12-ounce cans, and because the four-wire shelves are removable, you can easily adjust them for taller cans and bottles. The interior temperature of this outdoor fridge can be maintained anywhere between 32° and 41° Fahrenheit, meaning you can keep drinks cold or even hold them at a light freeze (perfect for outdoor get-togethers and summer barbecues).
The full dimensions of this unit are W 23.4″ x H 33.1″ x D 22.4″ inches, so it won’t take up too much space on your porch or in your garage. The stainless steel door is more energy-efficient than a glass door because it doesn’t let as much of the cold air escape. This is a great feature for an outdoor fridge, as outdoor temperatures can fluctuate significantly.
- Perfect size for a drinks fridge
- Limited 1-year warranty (repair, replacement, and returns)
- May be too small for food and drinks together
The Avallon 3.3 cu. ft Outdoor Built-in Fridge with Left Hinge is the best outdoor refrigerator because it is sleek, easy to clean, and built to function well with its front-facing ventilation system. There are options for both a left-side hinge and a right-side hinge.
The Avallon 3.3 cu. ft Outdoor Built-in Fridge with Left Hinge is a sleek, slender outdoor refrigerator perfect for built-ins, outdoor bars and outdoor kitchens. The indoor LED lights have a blue or white setting, so you can easily adjust the color to keep it classic or add a bit of flair to your backyard. The temperature can be adjusted between 34° and 50° Fahrenheit with a touch control panel, and the stainless steel is both easy to clean and helps keep the cold air in.
The estimated yearly energy cost for this outdoor fridge is only $34 for the year, even with the automatic defrost feature. This unit also operates with front ventilation, making it a great built-in addition because it will be able to ventilate correctly (not building up in the confined walls or back side of a built-in). This exact model has a left-side hinge and door handle, but there is also a right-side hinge version if that works better for the layout of your patio or backyard space.
- Also comes in a right-hinge version
- Optional locking door
- Not capable of holding drinks at semi-freezing temperatures
The Danby 4.4 cu. ft Stainless Outdoor-Rated Fridge is the best outdoor refrigerator because it is specifically built to weather the outdoors, comes installed with four wheels to move around as needed, and comes at a very competitive price for an outdoor refrigerator.
The Danby 4.4 cu. ft Stainless Outdoor-Rated Fridge is an excellent option for those who want a mobile outdoor refrigerator that still offers a good amount of space. This unit has full dimensions of W 21.31″ x H 20.75″ x D 33.06″ and contains 4.4 cubic square feet of chilled storage space. One of the best features of this unit is that it can easily be moved because it rests on four wheels with stainless steel ball bearings to resist rust and withstand the outdoors. Additionally, this outdoor fridge features a waterproof housing for the electrical and UV protection for the plastics, so it’s ready for your outdoor bar, pool, kitchen, or patio.
With this outdoor rated refrigerator, there’s no need to worry about the door handle facing the wrong direction, either, as the handle is built into the top center of the door. This unit is specifically designed to withstand the outdoors, and it is available as a budget-friendly option.
- Mobile unit contains casters and stainless steel bearings
- Energy Star certified
- Budget-friendly option
- One of the wheels is attached to the door, which can make moving it difficult
The Whynter 3.2 cu. ft Indoor/Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator is the best outdoor refrigerator because as a smaller outdoor unit, it fits easily under bars and countertops and weighs considerably less than other outdoor refrigerator units.
The Whynter 3.2 cu. ft Indoor/Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator is simple to control and has freestanding or built-in installation for both outdoor and indoor use. The temperature ranges from 35 °F to 50 °F with three different cold settings to keep drinks just how you like them. The stainless steel body is easy to clean and resistant to rust, which is important in outdoor environments.
The full dimensions of this outdoor kitchen fridge are D 24.5″ x W 14.57″ x H 32.5″ with 3.2 cubic feet of interior space, so the Whynter is a great option for smaller spaces. As a smaller unit, it also weighs less than a commercial refrigerator and can be moved more easily if needed. Available in traditional stainless steel or black, you can customize this unit to match your backyard, and the soft interior lighting illuminates all the drink options.
- Lightweight unit is easier to move
- Can fit in tight spaces like under bars and counters
- Only three temperature settings (off, cold, coldest)
The EdgeStar 24-Inch Built-in Outdoor Beverage Cooler is the best outdoor refrigerator because its 5.5 cubic square feet of space is enough for 142 standard 12-ounce cans, perfect for outdoor bars and kitchens, pools, and cabanas.
If you’re not as concerned about taking up space and just want to be able to chill as many drinks as possible, then the EdgeStar 24-Inch Built-in Outdoor Beverage Cooler is a great outdoor fridge to consider. With the capacity of built-in or freestanding application and 5.5 cubic feet of interior space (enough for 142 standard 12-ounce cans), this outdoor refrigerator is both spacious and versatile for a variety of outdoor spaces. The refrigeration temperature can be adjusted between 38 °F and 50 °F with a digital temperature control, and the stainless steel unit is approved for outdoor use.
This unit also comes with glass shelves, an auto-defrost feature, and a locking system. One of the most convenient features that this model offers is that the door is reversible, meaning easy access no matter how it is set up or if it needs to be placed against a wall.
- Built-in or freestanding application
- Reversible door
- Fan-circulated air (to avoid cold spots)
- Outdoor approved, but not specifically made for outdoors
Features to Consider for the Best Outdoor Refrigerator
There are many features to consider before purchasing your new refrigerator, wiehter it’s for outdoors or is a merchandising refrigerator. Here are a few things to get you started so that you know what to look for in outdoor refrigerator reviews.
Most outdoor refrigerators have 3 or 4 shelves, but not all of them have adjustable shelving. This is not an issue if you only plan on using standard 12-ounce cans, but if you also have 16-ounce tall boys, wine bottles, or other sizes of cans and bottles, a unit with adjustable shelving can be a lifesaver.
Some ventilation systems are better suited for built-in units than others. Generally, front ventilation is better for this type of unit because the sides and backs of the refrigerator are pressed flush against counters and walls, which makes proper ventilation difficult. If you plan on using your outdoor refrigerator in a built-in application, make sure beforehand that the specific model you choose will be compatible.
There are many certifications that different appliances (including outdoor refrigerators) may have. For example, an Energy Star certified appliance has met certain standards of energy efficiency set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. Other certifications relate to sanitation. On the other hand, IPX ratings have nothing to do with energy efficiency or sanitation and are a standard of waterproof products, which is a very important factor in an outdoor refrigerator. The higher the IPX rating, the more waterproof the appliance (i.e. IPX5 is more water-resistant than IPX3).
While all of these outdoor refrigerators will do their job in keeping food and drinks cool, some units have an internal fan to circulate air. The fan helps prevent cold spots by constantly moving the air around, ensuring all items are at the same temperature and that you don’t have a few strays that freeze through.
Benefits of Using Outdoor Refrigerators
There are many benefits to using an outdoor refrigerator in your backyard or garage.
Indoor Refrigerators Aren’t Built to Last Outside
Because outdoor refrigerators tend to be more expensive than regular indoor refrigerators or drink coolers, it may be tempting to buy an indoor model and just “make it work” outdoors. The problem is that indoor models aren’t designed to resist the rain, heat, and cold like outdoor refrigerators can. Outdoor refrigerators require more insulation and are often more powerful to counteract the drastic difference between the outdoor temperature and the chilled temperature it must maintain.
An outdoor refrigerator may also be a good choice for a garage. Even though garages aren’t as exposed to the elements as the yard, the temperature can fluctuate drastically and an outdoor-approved refrigerator is likely to hold up better in such an environment.
Especially for those who entertain frequently, having an outdoor fridge stocked and ready is simply more convenient. Especially in a pool situation, nobody wants to run inside dripping wet to grab food and drinks for everyone. Outdoor refrigerators fit naturally into bars and outdoor kitchens, and freestanding outdoor refrigerators are a great addition to any patio or outdoor seating area.
Precautions of Using Outdoor Refrigerators
Before purchasing an outdoor refrigerator, there are a few things to keep in mind so that you can be 100% confident with your decision.
Outdoor vs Outdoor Approved
With outdoor refrigerators, it is important to read the fine print because they are not all created equal. Refrigerators that are “outdoor approved” are not the same as “outdoor refrigerators.” If you have a covered area with fans or are planning on buying a refrigerator for the garage, an “outdoor approved” refrigerator may work just fine and cost less, but this type of refrigerator may not be able to withstand more extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
Freestanding vs Built-in
If you have an existing bar or outdoor kitchen that you would like to add the new outdoor refrigerator to, you will most likely need to look for a “built-in application” in the refrigerator and check the dimensions to ensure that it will fit. If you are planning to put the new outdoor refrigerator into a convenient corner, a freestanding unit will do just fine.
Our top pick for the best outdoor refrigerator review is the Kalamera 24-Inch Stainless Steel Outdoor Beverage Cooler. If your goal is to maximize space and the number of drinks without sacrificing style or patio space, then this outdoor refrigerator is a great option. It is also the only outdoor refrigerator from our list that is capable of holding drinks at exactly freezing, which is perfect for those particularly hot summer days.
No matter which choice ends up being the best outdoor refrigerator for you, we hope that you enjoy it to its fullest and that it adds both style and utility to your pool, cabana, bar, or outdoor kitchen.