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Looking for a fridge for your outdoor kitchen? A fridge could add much enjoyment to your outdoor space. The most enjoyable are the beverages that keep us cool and the marinating meats we love so much. Keeping food cold is essential, both for food safety and for freshness.  Below are good details to keep in mind and a list of great fridge options that work well with our stainless cabinets.

A number of appliance manufacturers make under-counter refrigerators that are UL-Listed for outdoor use. These under-counter refrigerators are small and are not meant to hold the full array of food – rather, only the items you will be using in the outdoor kitchen that day, such as meat that has been marinating for the grill, cheeses or dips for the hors d’oeuvres, or soda, wine and beer.  The great advantage of an outdoor refrigerator is that it offers close-at-hand cold storage for immediate use.

What to look for in an outdoor fridge

The biggest differences in price are outdoor rated vs non-outdoor rated. Below are some of the differences to make note of:

Outdoor Rated Fridges

  • Undergoes a series of durability tests to be approved and certified for outdoor use
  • Prices starting around $800
  • Very durable – can withstand outdoor circumstances
  • Front venting, which is recommended for built-in installations as it needs zero clearance – internal components will last much longer since there is no venting in the enclosed space.
  • Keeps operating and stays cold over a large range of temperatures – cooling system that is engineered to respond much quicker to the wild ambient temperature swings outdoors
  • Some can be food safe certified (internal temperature that stays below 40°F)
  • Long lifespan – you get what you pay for!
  • Warranty is made knowing it will be used outside

Non-Outdoor Rated

  • Does not go through a series of tests for durability
  • Prices starting around $250
  • Not as durable in outdoor environments
  • Back venting – you’ll need more clearance and if you want to build it in, you will have to have extra space around it for venting. 
  • Smaller range of operating temperature before it loses the ability to cool contents – designed for stable indoor environments
  • Will never be food safe certified
  • Shorter lifespan but many have used indoor rated for outdoor use with years of enjoyment
  • Warranty may be voided if used outside – make sure to fully read the product warranty

Off-season storage for outdoor appliances

In cold areas where an outdoor kitchen is unused in winter, unplug all major appliances until spring and store portable appliances in an enclosed garage or shed, if possible. In climates where the temperatures soar in the summer, consider cleaning, emptying and unplugging your cooling appliances in weather that’s routinely over 100 degrees.

Our 88-inch Stainless Countertop works perfectly with almost all 20-inch fridges.

Our cutout dimensions are:

  • 21.96-inches wide
  • 24-inches deep
  • 34-inches high
Fridge for your outdoor kitchen 1

Fridge for your outdoor kitchen 2

Blaze makes a great lineup of fridges which fit perfectly with our outdoor kitchen cabinet sets.

They have a great selection of 20-inch refrigerators.  The outdoor rated model shown here, Blaze 20-inch BLZ-SSRF-40DH would fit perfectly with 5mm gaps between the fridge and cabinets.   

 A low cost Blaze fridge (Blaze BLZ-SSRF130), at $350, would also fit great. Blaze calls for 21.56″ cutout width which makes our 88-Inch countertop a perfect option both these fridges.

To view a full section of their fridges, check here.    

Lion  –  This model is the Lion 20-inch 4.5 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator with recessed handle.

Lion recommends a cutout dimension of 20.75″. The cutout made by our 88-inch countertop is 21.96″, a difference of 1.21-inches or 0.65-inch gap between the fridge and cabinets. So almost perfect!

At under $350, and judging by the reviews, this unit is a good buy. We are also a big fan of their grills and side burners which fit perfectly within our cabinets.

Fridge for your outdoor kitchen 3

Fridge for your outdoor kitchen 4

Coyote

This model is the Coyote 21-Inch 4.1 Cu. FT. Outdoor rated Compact Refrigerator.

Lion recommends a cutout dimension of 20.75″. The cutout made by our 88-inch countertop is 21.96″, a difference of 1.21-inches or 0.65-inch gap on each side between the fridge and cabinets. So almost perfect!

We are also a big fan of their grills and side burners which fit perfectly within our cabinets.

Coyote

This model is the Coyote 21-Inch 4.1 Cu. FT. Outdoor rated Compact Refrigerator.

Lion recommends a cutout dimension of 20.75″. The cutout made by our 88-inch countertop is 21.96″, a difference of 1.21-inches or 0.65-inch gap on each side between the fridge and cabinets. So almost perfect!

We are also a big fan of their grills and side burners which fit perfectly within our cabinets.

Fridge for your outdoor kitchen 4

 

Sedona By Lynx – We are a fan of the clean stainless steel door design as shown in the image. This model is the Lynx Sedona 20-Inch 4.1 cu. Ft. Outdoor rated compact refrigerator – L500REF.

Lynx recommends a cutout dimension of 20.56″. The cutout made by our 88-inch countertop is 21.96″, a difference of 1.4-inches or 0.7-inch gap between the fridge and cabinets. So almost perfect!

Fridge for your outdoor kitchen 6

We can help you design your space!

Any help you need, we’re here to give our expertise.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

4 Life Outdoor team

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I'm a DIY customer and looking to create an outdoor kitchen without a contractor.

Stainless steel countertops and easy setup.  

I want custom stone countertops installed by a contractor with drop-in appliances and/or sink.

Create an outdoor kitchen with a custom countertop.

I'm making an outdoor kitchen with custom countertop and cabinets within a stone surround.

 Contractor will build a stone outdoor kitchen