After a full winter of planning, you have your new outdoor kitchen all laid out – you’ll have a space for conversation beside the grill, a space for eating at the outdoor table, and a space for serving up delicious meals. But as you review your plan, you notice a considerable problem: you don’t have anywhere to chill drinks on those warm summer nights! Coolers are simply not an option, so this is surely a great opportunity to shop around for an outdoor refrigerator.
Loading coolers with ice is a hassle, as is digging through them to find the can of soda or bottle of water you want. An outdoor fridge is much more practical in this regard as it allows you to optimally cool everyone’s drinks in one convenient location that doesn’t require you to dunk your hands in ice cold water. In addition, an outdoor fridge can really set off your full outdoor kitchen aesthetic, showing your full commitment to entertaining guests outside.
With all of the benefits of outdoor fridge ownership, you could easily travel down to the local appliance store and pick up the first model you see. While you might get lucky and find a high-performing, durable model, your best bet would be to sit down and complete a bit of research into the model that best fits your needs, your space, and your budget.
That kind of research can take up more time then you have to spare while you remodel your patio. As such, you need someone who will go to bat for you and provide you with detailed reviews of many of the industry’s leading models.
Indeed, all that work has been done for you here in this guide to the best outdoor refrigerators of 2019. Whether you’re looking for a budget-conscious model or a compact fridge from brands such as EdgeStar, Bull, or Avallon, you’ll find what you are looking for in this newly updated guide.
In order to help you fully understand what each of these outdoor rated fridges are capable of, I’ve reviewed them based upon critical specifications and features including footprint size, construction material, storage space, and more. In addition, each review includes a detailed breakdown of any special features that make a given model truly unique. After skimming through each review’s succinct pro-con list, you’ll be ready to hit the appliance store and purchase the outdoor fridge that was made for you.
Though it is often hiding out of sight, an outdoor refrigerator is rarely out of mind as family and guests alike reach for a refreshing beverage or a frozen summer-time treat. Going without an outdoor fridge means adding inconvenience to your party, whether that means filling coolers with ice or trekking all the way inside to grab more cold drinks. No one wants to add that much hassle to a relaxing outdoor setting, so an outdoor fridge is a must for serious outdoor entertainers.
As more and more homeowners spruce up their decks and patios in anticipation of the warm season, more and more outdoor refrigerator models are popping up on the market. While this competition is driving prices down into affordable ranges, it also means you’ll need to spend more time categorizing each model based on its quality, reliability, and cost.
The chart below will give you an opportunity to preliminarily establish these distinctions by comparing several critical specifications against several key special features. From there, you should continue reading in order to gain an in-depth appreciation of each model in the following review section. Don’t skip these reviews, either, as they represent the culmination of many hours of research into which models will perform best in your unique outdoor entertainment space.
Review of the Top-Rated Outdoor Refrigerators
The EdgeStar CBR1501SLD Built-in Stainless Steel Beverage Cooler is positively a top pick for any outdoor entertaining layout given that it provides a great number of added features without adding on an expensive price tag. From its chilling capacity to its built-in maintenance features, this model can do a great deal to keep you focused on entertaining and less on keeping the fridge in shape.
The EdgeStar CBR1501SLD’s cooling capacity is the star of the show, with a range between 38-50º. This is made possible by the powerful internal air compressor, which draws in and converts outside air through the same method used in commercial ice makers. In addition, this cooling mechanism includes interior fans that evenly distribute the cool air and prevent warm spots.
The EdgeStar CBR1501SLD’s fully-equipped cooling function won’t cause unwanted frost to accumulate, either. This model’s auto defrost feature can handle icy build-up and prevent it from inhibiting the fridge’s general operations.
The reversable door on the EdgeStar CBR1501SLD is also unique in that it is very, very easy to convert. Rather than removing the full door to reorient it, this model includes an exterior level that allows you to effortlessly change the door swing orientation to fit the needs of your outdoor kitchen set up.
When premium décor and performance are the only option, your best bet is to try out the Avallon AFR241SSODRH Outdoor Built-in Refrigerator. This model has managed to pack in some next-level features that immediately set it apart from the competition. From the exterior control panel to the interior construction, every inch of this model is imbued with durability and usability.
Perhaps the first and most immediately obvious feature on this model is its innovative touch screen controls. Much like other familiar in-home touch technology, this control panel allows you to adjust the temperature between 34 -50º with just a simple finger gesture. You won’t need to lift a finger to keep this outdoor fridge free of icy build-up as its automatic defrost is fully effective.
While the Avallon AFR241SSODRH is designed to hold a permeant place in your modern outdoor kitchen, you can also move it around to fit your needs because it comes with four optional castor wheels. The interior LED light is also extra handy, allowing you to see the cooling space – in white or blue – even in the dark.
Durable construction also marks the Avallon AFR241SSODRH as a premium pick. This model’s stainless steel construction carries on from the outside to the inside, all the way down to small, but important details like the flush. Even the front-facing vent is stainless steel, allowing it to resist rust caused by air moisture formed in the cooling process.
Whether you’re a big fan of these durable and performance-driven components or you just think the three internal glass shelves are nifty, you’ll find the Avallon AFR241SSODRH to be more than just a pretty sight on your patio.
Finding a quality appliance on a budget can be challenging, whether that’s on the patio or in the home. The same goes for outdoor refrigerators, as most will price a budget-conscious shopper out immediately. There’s at least one reprieve from this costly conundrum and that’s the Bull Outdoor Products 11001 Stainless Steel Front Panel Refrigerator. This model packs in a fair number of standardized features without blowing your budget wide open.
The Bull Outdoor 11001’s primary features show that it is as capable as any other model on the market without the steep price tag. For example, this model can allow for convenient storage and access by way of its built-in can dispenser, which itself can hold up to five cans at once. With 4.4 cu. ft. of interior space inside, you’ll certainly have room for several packs of cans or even a few bottles of wine, as well.
This model is also marked for its versatility, in both use and installation. The front-facing reversable door is a prime example, allowing you to orient your access based upon the orientation of your outdoor kitchen or patio. Also, the three removable wire shelves can be moved up and down, allowing for larger and smaller cans and bottles to be easily organized alongside one another.
While the Bull Outdoor 11001’s mechanical thermostat is known to over cool some drinks on occasion, it generally performs well when placed in the proper outdoor conditions, that is, out of direct sunlight. For a budget pick, the Bull Outdoor 11001 can certainly do more than what might be expected of it at first.
Like others in its series, the Bull Series Ii 13700 Premium Outdoor Compact Refrigerator manages to do a lot within the confines of an affordable price tag. Unlike some of its pared down competitors, this model goes the extra mile for durability and versatility, allowing you to implement it where you need it and leave it there for years to come.
Much of the Bull Series Ii 13700’s durability derives from its exterior construction. Made up primarily of 304 stainless steel, this model’s exterior has remarkable longevity, even against dirt build up and corrosion. As such, it can easily stay outside and withstand some wear and tear from the elements.
This model’s reversable swinging door is also surprisingly convenient. Though you may never need to change its orientation, it is worthwhile to know that you could renovate your outdoor kitchen without needing to dump your outdoor refrigerator because it opens in the wrong direction.
Opening the Bull Series Ii 13700 can be a bit challenging, though, because its horizontal handle bar is not optimized for pulling the main door open from the side or from above. However, once you do get this fridge open, you’ll find a roomy 5.6 Cu. Ft. of space inside where your beverages can be chilled all the way down to 36º.
You’ll also be able to spread your beverage cans and bottles out evenly and with proper organization, thanks to this model’s two adjustable interior shelves. These work in tandem with a third stationary shelf to provide you with an ideal fridge storage solution. With every other feature taken to account, the Bull Series Ii 13700 is certainly worth a strong consideration.
In many important regards, the Avallon AFR151SSODRH Outdoor Built-in Refrigerator performs just like its shorter, squatter cousin. However, you’ll immediately notice that this model has one key difference, that being its vertical construction. Because this model is a head taller than the rest of its competition, it can easily slot into some pretty unique outdoor kitchen layouts.
Like others in its line, the Avallon AFR151SSODRH features compressor powered cooling, allowing it to attain an optimal 34 – 50º temperature range. Though this model is advertised as a including only a single zone cooling unit, most have found this cooling area to suffice optimally for their needs.
Part of the reason this model’s single cooling unit is effective in this way is because it was built with a significant decrease in cooling space from previous models. Even with only 3.3 Cu. Ft. of room inside its main compartment, the Avallon AFR151SSODRH still has plenty of room for cans and bottles alongside one another.
Most mini-fridges in this class require a carbon filter in order to maintain proper cooling function. Most models require you to buy one for an extra cost, but the Avallon AFR151SSODRH forgoes this add-on mentality by shipping one to you with the main appliance. This will allow you to get this fridge up and running the very day it arrives at your home.
Don’t expect frost to build up in this model, either, as the internal auto defrost function works hard to keep ice partials off of surfaces such as the three sanded glass shelves. All in all, the Avallon AFR151SSODRH is a good option to for looking to mimic their in-home refrigerator in their outdoor kitchen space.
When shopping for an in-home refrigerator, size is usually the name of the game. More specifically, you’re usually looking for as much storage space as your budget can afford. While you’re still looking for optimized storage with outdoor fridges, you also need to find a small scale option like the Fire Magic Premium Compact Right Hinge Refrigerator in order to make the most of your limited outdoor installation space.
Even for its compact form factor, this Fire Magic model manages to pack in a useful portfolio of features and specifications. For example, while the 4.2 Cu. Ft. of interior space is smaller than average, this model quickly makes up for it by providing trays and racks in the door for a few spare feet of storage that is ideal for bottles and condiments.
In terms of exterior aesthetic, this Fire Magic isn’t a slack, either. In fact, this model’s full stainless steel exterior allows it to seamlessly blend into most modern outdoor kitchen decors, right alongside the stainless steel grill and cabinetry. As such, this model won’t distract from your overall patio layout, instead choosing to subtly complement your overall efforts to entertain home guests.
Leaving a semi-permanent refrigerator outside can be risky for some if they live in or near a wooded area where forest critters tend to roam. Raccoons and squirrels won’t threaten the contents of your fridge in the night, though, as long as you engage this Fire Magic model’s built-in lock and key mechanism.
Though some features like the internal LED light and radial corners are nothing out of the ordinary, they add up alongside these other key features to make this Fire Magic model a quality pick for those committed to an outdoor kitchen remodel.
Often, when shopping for an outdoor freezer or fridge, you may find some trouble finding a model that will fit an existing countertop-based outdoor kitchen layout. This is doubly the case if you are pulling out an old appliance in hopes of slotting in a newer, more capable model. While the EdgeStar CBR1501SSOD Built-In Outdoor Beverage is plenty capable of replacing an outdated model, its unique height also makes it among the easiest models to fit underneath a standard countertop.
At just 24” wide, the EdgeStar CBR1501SSOD won’t even require you to make extra horizontal cuts as you move through its hands-on installation process. Most outdoor fridges ask that you make special accommodations as you install your appliance in order to leave head or baseboard space for the fans to operate. The EdgeStar CBR1501SSOD stands apart from this norm as its front venting design allows you to install this model flush against any wall.
Speaking of fans, this model features a fan cooled internal temperature distribution system. This allows cold air to be easily circulated so that every last can and bottle is uniformly chilled without the undesirable appearance of internal “hot spots.” You’ll see this difference immediately from a quick read-out on the digital temperature control panel.
Like other appliances from this trusted brand, the EdgeStar CBR1501SSOD really puts in some extra effort to provide you a great outdoor refrigeration experience, from its fan cooling mechanism to its internal glass shelving.
The Blaze BLZ-SSRF-40DH Outdoor Rated Stainless Steel Refrigerator has a significant amount of built-in functionality, even at first glance. While some of these features may not seem like a big deal at first, they can make the difference between a harmonious installation and immediate distain for your new appliance.
One prime example is this model’s adjustable leveling legs. So many outdoor refrigerators are made useless because their stationary legs are unable to accommodate even a minorly uneven patio deck surface. The Blaze BLZ-SSRF-40DH isn’t handicapped in this manner as it can easily be placed on an uneven surface and adjusted to create balanced orientation.
The three interior wire shelves are another great example of the Blaze BLZ-SSRF-40DH doing more with less. While wire shelves are usually looked down upon as being flimsier than their glass counterparts, this model’s three wire shelves are all coated to resist rust and warping from heavy bottles. Moreover, each shelf can be adjusted up and down to accommodate the needs of oversized bottles and cans.
The Blaze BLZ-SSRF-40DH’s integrated lock and polished steel exterior only served to further deepen how well built this model is. Any outdoor entertainer would be more than happy to have this effective outdoor fridge providing for their guests throughout the hot summer months.
You’ll see it immediately and you won’t be able to look away. Yes, this EdgeStar Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator features a front-facing glass door that allows you and your guest to see right into the inner cooling chamber. With an aesthetic borrowed from highbrow restaurants, you’ll see why this model in particular has become a favorite among summertime entertainers.
The glass door itself isn’t flimsy or fragile, as you might expect from glass used in a consumer appliance. In fact, the main window is actually three conjoined glass panes, allowing for triple the durability against accidental impacts. With the interior LED lighting switched on, you’ll really have a professional display on when guests come looking for a drink.
Interacting with this EdgeStar model is a breeze as well when you tap the soft-touch buttons on the LCD display. This user-friendly interface allows you to smoothly move through the 36 – 64° temperature control range in 1° increments.
This model also provides plenty of interior space in order to provide for a substantially large party. With room for 84 cans or 28 wine bottles, your guests will surely appreciate both the function and appearance of your brand new outdoor fridge.
While this may not be the exact outdoor fridge every homeowner had in mind, certain outdoor entertainers will find the Blaze BLZ-ICEB-WH Ice Bin Cooler/Wine Chiller top-facing door to be a perfect addition to smooth serving processes. Simply reach into the ice-packed central cavity and withdraw ice cold sodas and white wine – just like they do at fancy restaurants!
Interacting with this model shouldn’t be a hassle given that the top-facing door can hold itself up on the force of its hydraulic hinge. With the central cavity exposed, you’ll be able to easily pack in as many cans and bottles as you’ll need for a full party before covering them with a generous portion of easy-to-pack pellet ice.
Unfortunately, due to this unique architecture, the Blaze BLZ-ICEB-WH cannot handle almost any type of food storage. While this makes its overall use limited, some entertainers may find it to be the perfect solution for sequestering of chilled drinks, leaving the main outdoor fridge with extra room for food.
Those looking for a bit more customization in their outdoor refrigerator will find the Danby DAR044A6DDB Contemporary Classic Compact All Refrigerator to their liking. This model comes in several different options including black, red, silver, and white. As a result, this compact fridge can easily set the tone in your outdoor kitchen or blend in with a pre-established décor.
Another major feature on the Danby DAR044A6DDB is its enhanced durability, starting with the ergonomic door. Coated with a unique iridium silver metallic door finish, this model is exceptionally scratch resistant. In addition, the rubber and chrome handle will allow you to easy and comfortable access this fridge for seasons to come.
The Danby DAR044A6DDB is also packed with energy saving capabilities, even at its coldest setting. With a certified Energy Star rating, you can bet that this outdoor fridge will save you money in the long term while still remaining a full visual complement to your outdoor kitchen.
While many compact fridges can function outdoors, few models are fully optimized to stand up to the elements. The Danby DAR044A6BSLDBO Outdoor Rated Compact All Refrigerator stands as a cut above the rest in this regard, with each and every component on its interior and exterior manufactured for extra durability.
First and foremost, this model features waterproof electrical housing. This ensures that the core mechanisms that power the cooling components remain free of physical interference, even when rain or internal moisture appear. This housing comes with an IPX4 water ingress rating, a sure sign that it is built to stand up to even direct water interaction from rain.
The Danby DAR044A6BSLDBO is also covered in a dark, UV protected plastic. While this plastic won’t fad or warp in the heat, it will defend the central cooling chamber against hot solar rays that would otherwise decrease the appliance’s efficiency. You can trust that all of these components will live up to their billing, not least because they were all tested in tropical environments at up to 109°F external temperature.
While the quad castor wheels and tempered glass shelves are just an added bonus, you’ll surely see that the Danby DAR044A6BSLDBO’s core capabilities far out rank its modest price tag.
Another fine selection in the sparse field of glass door outdoor refrigerators, the Whynter BR-130SB Beverage Refrigerator provides a great way to use your drink storage appliance as the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen. With soft interior LED lights in line with the glass, you’ll really be able to maximize the appearance of a well-stocked refrigerator.
In addition to an internal compressor to fuel a cooling range between 30 – 60º, this model features an internal fan that evenly distributes cooled air throughout the spacey cabinet-style appliance. You’ll always be able to adjust the internal temperature with ease as well with a quick flick of the mechanical temperature control.
When it comes to storage space, the Whynter BR-130SB might just have the greatest capacity to hold a full party’s worth of soda cans and wine bottles. In fact, this model comes with five slide-out wire shelves (with a sixth stationary shelf) in order to provide space for up to 120 cans. That’s a remarkable amount of storage space, all of which you can put on display with the Whynter BR-130SB.
The AGA Marvel MO24RAS1RS Outdoor Refrigerator is the priciest option in the bunch, there’s no doubt about it. But when it comes to implementing cutting edge refrigeration technology, few can top the AGA Marvel MO24RAS1RS, either. This starts with this model’s proprietary “Dynamic Cooling Technology,” which allows precision temperature stability between 34 and 42°.
This model’s fully-adjustable, cantilever slide-out shelves are also a remarkable asset. Made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, these shelves are easy to clean up in case of a spill. Their unique support structure also prevents them from bending under the weight of extra-large cans and bottles.
Interestingly enough, the AGA Marvel MO24RAS1RS brings a touch of in-home fridge technology outside as well. When the door of this model is left ajar for a minute or two, you’ll be immediately alerted by an audible alarm. This allows the appliance to better regular its own internal temperature and account for human error.
Overall, the AGA Marvel MO24RAS1RS is a great choice for anyone who isn’t worried about paying extra in order to get an extra set of special features.
The RSC Outdoor Refrigerator isn’t just for outdoor kitchens alone. While you’ll be more than happy to have it installed out on your porch, this model can also be easily moved into and installed in a dorm room. This allows you to maximize your family’s usage of your mini-fridge if one of your children moves away to college.
No matter where it is used, this model performs well between its adjustable temperature control and automatic defrost. Also, no matter where you place this RSC model, you’ll be able to flip the door to fit the natural orientation of the space.
Unlike many other outdoor fridges on the market today, you can take some reassurance when you purchase this model because it comes with a 5-year warranty on parts and labor. As a result, you take heart in knowing that this model will be a wise investment towards the overall enhancement of your outdoor entertainment space.