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.
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.
Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose your kitchen refrigerator in our Remodeling 101 Guide: Kitchen Refrigerators.
More appliance roundups:
- 10 Easy Pieces: Front-Loading Dishwashers
- 10 Easy Pieces: Ceiling-Mounted Kitchen Range Hoods
- 10 Easy Pieces: The Best Skinny Kitchen Ranges (Freestanding 24-Inches)
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 22, 2015.
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.