From grilling stations to full on cooking stations, Evenings Delight has your basics covered when designing what will become an extension of your fabulous home.
With temperature regulating systems that function constantly, refrigerators are one of the hardest working appliances in the home. When placed outside the home, they are required to work even harder to maintain proper temperatures. In addition, they must operate safely even when exposed to inclement weather. For that reason, it’s important to purchase a refrigerator designed specifically for efficient and reliable outdoor use.
Indoor vs. outdoor
Outdoor fridges are expected to maintain consistent temperatures in an unstable environment. Keeping items cool in the South Florida heat requires that units possess increased insulation and be outfitted with more powerful components than their indoor counterparts.
The appliances also need to be weatherproofed against the elements. Electricity and water do not mix, if the components get wet, there is risk of electrocution. Even when built into an outdoor kitchen island, appliances still are exposed to splashing water and moist conditions.
Built-in vs. freestanding
As their names suggest, a built-in unit is designed to integrate seamlessly into outdoor kitchen cabinetry, while a freestanding appliance can be placed anywhere in the outdoor living space. The classification is more than cosmetic. Built-in fridges are front-vented so they require little to no clearance on the top, sides, and rear of the unit. Freestanding models still can be positioned beneath island countertops, but they require at least one inch of ventilation on all sides.
Material of choice
To withstand the elements, an outdoor refrigerator must be rust-resistant. For that reason, almost all are constructed of stainless steel. But all stainless is not created equal. Buyers are urged to seek out grade 304 stainless, also called 18/8, because of the alloy’s higher resistance to corrosion. Less-expensive fridges will be made from plastic-wrapped steel or grade 430 stainless, a ferrous metal that is susceptible to rust.
Outdoor fridges are more compact than the fridge/freezer combos found in kitchens. The most common measurement is 24 inches wide by 34 inches tall with an interior capacity of 5.5 to 6 cubic feet. Slimmer 15-inch-wide models with about 3 cubic feet of interior space are also available.
Some shoppers prefer the slide-out convenience of refrigerator drawer units. Sold in two- or three-drawer configurations, these built-in units occupy the same dimensions as a 24-by-34-inch fridge.
Outdoor fridges are simpler units than their feature-rich indoor counterparts, although most have an adjustable thermostat, automatic defrost, adjustable shelves, an interior light, and four leveling legs.
Units sold as “refreshment centers” or “wine coolers” function exactly the same as those sold as fridges. The major differences are that these models often feature insulated glass doors and beverage-specific shelving. Wine, for example, is stored on its side on glide-out wooden shelving. Parents of small children should seek models with locking doors.
Come in to any of our two showrooms and let us show you the wide selection of undercounter indoor and outdoor refrigerators we have available for your outside kitchen island.