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10 Easy Pieces: The Best Under-Counter Refrigerator Drawers

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10 Easy Pieces: The Best Under-Counter Refrigerator Drawers

October 10, 2018

The days of the space-hogging fridge may be numbered. Under-the-counter refrigerator drawers—almost all of which come with a choice of stainless steel or custom panel ready fronts—are offering a discreet new way to keep things cool.

The hitch: These designs currently come at a steep cost (that’s an understatement). Most often they’re used as fridge supplements that hold drinks and produce, and allow the main fridge to be a bit less monstrous.

10 Easy Pieces The Best UnderCounter Refrigerator Drawers portrait 19
Above: Sub-Zero, the brand best known for refrigerator drawers, offers under-the-counter options (and full-size fridges too) designed to be integrated into the kitchen cabinetry. Panel-Ready Refrigerator Drawers come in a range of widths, from 24 inches (same as a standard dishwasher) to 30 inches, starting at $4,145. Separate freezer and ice-making drawers are also available.
summit&#8\2\17;s \24 inch wide triple drawer refrigerator has all 18
Above: Summit’s 24-Inch-Wide Triple Drawer Refrigerator has all-stainless-steel construction that allows it to be used freestanding or built-in. It’s $1,732.50 with recessed handles (shown) and $1,843.20 with towel bar handles from AJ Madison. For more details, go to Summit.
one of the advantages of refrigerator drawers is that they&#8\2\17;re cabin 19
Above: One of the advantages of refrigerator drawers is that they’re cabinet-depth, so they can be tucked in unobtrusively, freeing up other parts of the kitchen. Double-Drawer Refrigerator Modules from Monogram are $3,000 for a set of two with tubular steel handles.
a look inside a monogram drawer; the compartments and temperatures are adjustab 20
Above: A look inside a Monogram drawer; the compartments and temperatures are adjustable and some Monogram models work as both refrigerators and freezers.

Two fridge drawer challenges to keep in mind: Arranging the contents, can, as one of our readers put it, “require a Tetris-like approach.” And most necessitate bending down, making them less than ideal for those with knee or back issues.

the viking professional 5 series \24 inch, double drawer refrigerator  21
Above: The Viking Professional 5 Series 24-Inch, Double-Drawer Refrigerator is made of stainless steel inside and out; $3,164 from AJ Madison. See more at Viking.
 under counter refrigerator drawers incorporate well into kitchen islands. 22
Above: Under-counter refrigerator drawers incorporate well into kitchen islands. The KitchenAid 24-Inch Stainless Steel Double Refrigerator Drawer is $2,949.
commercial refrigerator company true offers a residential set of two \24 inch s 23
Above: Commercial refrigerator company True offers a residential set of two 24-inch Stainless Steel Under-Counter Refrigerator Drawers. Go to True for dealers and pricing.
true drawers with overlay panels situated under a coffee station. 24
Above: True drawers with overlay panels situated under a coffee station.
marvel, the north american subsidiary of uk company aga, makes \24 inch bu 25
Above: Marvel, the North American subsidiary of UK company Aga, makes 24-Inch Built-In Refrigerator Drawers with stainless steel interiors; $3,195. For more details, go to Marvel.
a pair of electrolux \24 inch refrigerator drawers, tall enough to ho 26
Above: A pair of Electrolux 24-Inch Refrigerator Drawers, tall enough to hold nine-inch bottles and wide enough for serving trays, is $3,099. Compact refrigerator drawers are also being used in bathrooms to store medications and beauty products.
 u line, longtime makers of beverage refrigerators, offers \24 inch solid  27
Above: U-Line, longtime makers of beverage refrigerators, offers 24-Inch Solid Refrigerator Drawers, $3,079, that hold up to 90 bottles or 142 cans; each drawer can be set to a temperature ranging from 34 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
new zealand company fisher & paykel&#8\2\17;s refrigerators win our pri 28
Above: New Zealand company Fisher & Paykel’s refrigerators win our prize for aesthetics (I own a counter-depth Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart fridge that I love). The brand’s CoolDrawer Multi-Temperature Refrigerator Drawer changes from refrigerator to freezer at the press of a button; $2,499 from AJ Madison. Go to Fisher & Paykel for full details.
addendum: a number of under counter fridges are being made for use in outdoor k 29
Addendum: A number of under-counter fridges are being made for use in outdoor kitchens (picture a well-stocked barbecue). Perlick, like Sub-Zero, manufactures its products in Wisconsin. A specialist in brewery parts, it offers a collection of refrigerator drawers, including these 15-Inch-Wide Signature Series Outdoor Refrigerator Drawers; $3,808 panel ready and $3,939 in stainless steel (shown).

Still looking? Peruse Refrigerators to find more options that we recommend, including Compact Refrigerators, Colored Refrigerators, and Skinny Refrigerators.

Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose your kitchen refrigerator in our Remodeling 101 Guide: Kitchen Refrigerators.

More appliance roundups:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 22, 2015.

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Frequently asked questions

What are under-counter refrigerator drawers?

Under-counter refrigerator drawers are compact refrigeration units that are designed to fit seamlessly under a countertop or within cabinetry. They provide convenient storage for perishable items and can be used as standalone units or in combination with traditional refrigerators.

What are the benefits of using under-counter refrigerator drawers?

Under-counter refrigerator drawers offer several benefits. They save space by utilizing the area under the countertop efficiently. They provide easy access to frequently used items, eliminating the need to open a full-sized refrigerator. They can be used in various locations, such as kitchen islands, wet bars, or outdoor kitchens, providing flexibility in design and functionality.

What should I consider when choosing under-counter refrigerator drawers?

When choosing under-counter refrigerator drawers, consider factors such as the available space, the storage capacity needed, the dimensions and design of the drawers to fit your specific needs, and the quality and reliability of the manufacturer. Additionally, look for features like temperature control, humidity control, and noise level.

Can under-counter refrigerator drawers be used in any kitchen or location?

Under-counter refrigerator drawers can be used in most kitchens or locations that have sufficient space and proper ventilation. It's important to consider the installation requirements, including the availability of electrical outlets and proper ventilation to ensure efficient and safe operation.

Are under-counter refrigerator drawers energy-efficient?

Many under-counter refrigerator drawers are designed to be energy-efficient. Look for models with an Energy Star rating, which indicates that they meet specific energy-saving standards. Additionally, features like LED lighting and efficient cooling systems contribute to overall energy efficiency.

Can under-counter refrigerator drawers be used for different types of storage?

Yes, under-counter refrigerator drawers can be used for various types of storage. They are suitable for storing perishable items like fruits, vegetables, beverages, and dairy products. Some models offer temperature and humidity control options, allowing you to store specific items like wine, snacks, or deli items at optimal conditions.

Are under-counter refrigerator drawers easy to clean and maintain?

Under-counter refrigerator drawers are generally easy to clean and maintain. Most models have removable shelves and drawers that can be easily cleaned with mild soap and water. Regularly wiping the interior and exterior surfaces helps keep the drawers clean and free from spills and debris.

Can under-counter refrigerator drawers be integrated into cabinetry?

Yes, under-counter refrigerator drawers can be integrated into cabinetry for a seamless and cohesive look. Some models offer panel-ready options that allow you to customize the exterior to match your cabinetry. This integration creates a streamlined appearance in your kitchen or bar area.

Are under-counter refrigerator drawers noisy?

The noise level of under-counter refrigerator drawers can vary depending on the model and manufacturer. Look for units that have noise-reduction features or technologies to minimize operational noise. Reading product reviews or consulting with experts can help you find quieter options.

Can under-counter refrigerator drawers be used in outdoor kitchens?

Yes, under-counter refrigerator drawers designed for outdoor use can be used in outdoor kitchens. Outdoor-rated models are designed to withstand exposure to the elements and maintain proper cooling performance in outdoor environments. Ensure proper installation, ventilation, and protection from direct sunlight or adverse weather conditions.

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