Your backyard is a sacred space. And outdoor kitchen designs are becoming more and more appealing to those who love hanging out outdoors. As such, the best outdoor beverage refrigerators are becoming popular choices to enhance home owners’ deck and pool areas.
Whether you are creating a poolside kitchen where you can host family gatherings or neighborhood cookouts, the goal is still the same.
You want to create an area where you can truly enjoy the thrill of cooking for your family and friends. With the best outdoor beverage refrigerator, you can lay the foundation for whatever type of activity you want to host. And with well designed outdoor furniture, you can design an awesome deck side or poolside hangout area.
An outdoor refrigerator allows you to enjoy cold beverages and snacks from the comfort of your pool or deck. It also allows you to streamline the process of outdoor cooking.
But how do you tell the difference between the best outdoor refrigerator and a mediocre one? We’ve conducted extensive research to help you in the process. In this article, we’ll provide all the facts., expert opinions, and other information you’ll to find the best model for your outdoor paradise.
Why Get an Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator?
Why should you get an outdoor beverage refrigerator? The answer is simple. Having an outdoor fridge will on your deck or by your pool will allow you to keep everything you need handy while you are cooking on the grill or hanging out by the pool.
You can keep your drinks and condiments cold so you don’t have to keep going back inside the house every time you need something.
And if you’re the type of person who hates keeping your outdoor cooler constantly stocked with ice, then an outdoor refrigerator might be your best solution.
What is an Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator?
Unlike a traditional style refrigerator, an outdoor refrigerator for beverages is designed for saving space. As such, you won’t have a ton of storage space to work with, but you’ll be able to fit them in spaces roughly the size of an oven.
The best outdoor beverage refrigerators are designed to fit nicely into small spaces, allowing you install one where a full size refrigerator might not fit.
And while the models listed on this ranking are typically outdoor refrigerators for beverages, many of them come with adjustable shelving. This allows users to adapt the storage space to meet their needs.
In other words, they’re designed for beverages but you can store pretty much anything in them so long as it will fit.
Methodology of Ranking the Best Outdoor Refrigerators
To scrutinize the best outdoor refrigerators for beverages on the market, RAVE followed a strict methodology. Here’s a breakdown:
- Outdoor design: We wanted to be sure that manufacturers designed their outdoor refrigerators for decks and poolside areas.
- Proper Ventilation: We looked for outdoor refrigerators with front or backside venting so that they can achieve proper cooling and airflow even on hot summer days.
- Design: Aesthetics are always important, so we looked for models with stellar user reviews that cited its appearance.
- Price to Value Ratio: We excluded outdoor refrigerators that were overpriced compared to the features offered by the model.
- Warranties: We scored these outdoor refrigerators based on whether they offered limited warranties.
- Lifespan: There’s nothing worse than a fridge full of items spoiling. We looked for outdoor refrigerators with proven lifespans that will stand up to wear and tear.
- Features and Settings: The best outdoor refrigerators offer user settings and handy features.
- Good Manufacturing Practices: The best outdoor refrigerators are made with quality parts using the best manufacturing practices for the industry.
The 10 Best Outdoor Refrigerators for Decks & Pools
NewAir 24″ Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator (160 cans)
The Newair 24” Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator will hold up to 160 cans and is able to chill them equally to 32 degrees. Even sitting outside, the NewAir refrigerator is one of the best outdoor refrigerators for keeping food and drinks cold even during the hot summer months.
The adjustable shelves make it possible to store all different sizes of food and drink containers. You also have the option to attach casters that glide easily across most surfaces. This makes it easy to move your refrigerator to almost any area of your deck or patio.
The stainless steel exterior resists rust and can withstand the heaviest rains or the most intense heat. It also resists stains and will continue to look its best no matter where you place it.
You have the option to choose a freestanding model or one that can be easily built into your outdoor countertop. The doors are designed to close on their own to prevent them from being left open on accident. There is also a lock on the doors so that you can secure the refrigerator when you are not actively using it.
- Well insulated
NewAir 24″ Beverage Refrigerator Cooler (177 cans)
The NewAir 24” Beverage Refrigerator Cooler will hold up to 177 cans, keeping them as cold as you like no matter what the outdoor temperature is. You can purchase a freestanding version or one that is built into the counter.
It is easily moved and can be used indoors in your bedroom or family room. It also makes a perfect addition to any outdoor kitchen area. Shelves are easy to adjust, making it possible to hold a variety of beverages and foods, all at the perfect temperature.
The triple pane glass door is made to provide the maximum amount of insulation, keeping everything inside the fridge as cool as you want it to be. The precision digital thermometer allows you to adjust the temperature and also allows you to see the display so you always know what the temperature is.
The door allows you to see exactly what is inside, so you don’t have to keep opening the door to see what you have to choose from. Everything is easily visible from the outside. The smooth, sleek look gives it a fresh appearance that will make it fit into any type of home décor.
- Some complaints about cold level
NewAir 15″ Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator (90 cans)
The NewAir 15” Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator holds up to 90 cans and is made to stand up to most outdoor conditions. It will easily withstand driving rain and extreme heat.
The stainless steel finish will not rust or corrode over time. The unit has a digital temperature control panel that is easy to manage and will allow you to set the temp on your outdoor kitchen refrigerator to 32 degrees F. It will easily maintain whatever temp you set it to, even on the hottest days.
The unit is able to stand alone or it can be placed easily under a countertop. Adjustable shelves make it easy to fit any size package or bottle into the fridge.
Opening the door turns on an internal LED light that allows you to find what you’re looking for right away. The light will turn off as soon as the door is shut. The door of the unit will close automatically as soon as you let go of the handle. This feature ensures that the door will go shut and keep your items as cold as possible.
- Can be set on a countertop
- A little lower quality
Kalamera 24 inch Stainless Steel Beverage Refrigerator (154 cans)
The Kalamera 24-inch Stainless Steel Beverage Refrigerator holds up to 154 cans and has four removable shelves that allow for the storage of bottles, cans, and packages of varying sizes.
The superior compressor can easily keep the temperature inside the unit to a chilly 32 to 41 degrees, no matter what the temperature is outside. This is an outdoor kitchen refrigerator that will live up to your expectations when it comes to keeping your beverages cold on a hot summer day.
The door is made of solid stainless steel with just the right curve to keep the cold air securely inside. Temperatures remain stable and are able to keep your drinks at just the right temperature.
The unit is extremely quiet and can easily be placed in an office, bedroom, college dorm room, or out on a back deck. It is a freestanding unit that can also be installed under a counter or in the wall. The unit comes with a limited 1-year warranty that covers repairs and replacement. It also covers returns.
- under counter fit
- solid panel – can’t see cans
Summit Appliance SPR489OS Commercially Approved Shallow Depth Indoor/Outdoor Beverage Cooler
The Summit Appliance SPR489OS Commercially Approved Shallow Depth Indoor/Outdoor Beverage Cooler is only 17 inches deep and 19 inches wide. This makes it easy to store almost any size bottle or package.
This allows it to fit easily into a much smaller space. It is a great option for outdoor kitchen designs or to fit in a dorm room where little space is available. It is listed to meet NSF-7 standards, which makes it ideal for commercial use. It’s small, compact, and is capable of maintaining whatever temperature you choose.
The unit has a glass window in the door that allows you to see what is inside. The door has trim made of seamless stainless steel. Its simple design is plain but modern, allowing it to fit into almost any décor whether you place it inside your home or use it as part of an outdoor kitchen area.
The unit also has an automatic defrost feature that means less maintenance and more efficiency. The small refrigerator is easy to clean both inside and out. It is an excellent choice if you have a small area and want a quality unit.
- easy to clean
- may be too narrow for some uses
Summit SPR627OS Outdoor Built-In Undercounter All-Refrigerator
The Summit SPR627OS Outdoor Built-In Undercounter All-Refrigerator is designed for under-the-counter, built-in installation. It is extremely durable and works well when used in outdoor kitchen areas.
It is able to hold its temperature even on the hottest days. The digital thermometer makes it easy to operate. The unit’s commercial-grade design meets all NSF standards, which means it can be used in either a commercial or residential setting. If you are looking for outdoor kitchen ideas, this unit is ideal because of its design and overall size.
The stainless steel door has a keyed lock and pro-style handle. The unit has a deluxe interior with an LED light that turns on when the door is open. The light goes off as soon as the door is shut.
The unit’s glass shelves can be easily adjusted to accommodate both large bottles and average-sized cans. The door is reversible so that it can be adjusted to open from either side. The unit is also capable of defrosting on its own, which minimizes any maintenance that may need to be performed.
- Poor instructions
Kalamera 15 inch Stainless Steel Beverage Refrigerator, Under Counter Beverage Cooler (104 cans)
The Kalamera 15-inch Stainless Steel Beverage Refrigerator, Under Counter Beverage Cooler will hold 104 cans. With four removable wire shelves, the unit is capable of holding several different sizes of bottles and cans at the same time.
The state-of-the-art compressor brings you the coldest temps even on the hottest days of the year. 32 to 41-degree temps can be maintained so your drinks stay cool all day long. The strong compressor makes this an ideal unit that can be built into a small outdoor kitchen area.
The stainless steel door has a slight curve which allows for a more efficient seal. Cold can’t escape and keeps your drinks at the perfect temperature. The compressor is extremely quiet to minimize any noise disturbance. It is ideal for dorm rooms, offices, or small outdoor kitchens.
The unit can be built into almost any area or used as a freestanding unit. This small refrigerator comes with a 1-year warranty that covers repairs and replacement if something goes wrong. The warranty also covers returns.
- Lower capacity than claimed
HCK 5.12 Cu.Ft 161 cans Indoor/Outdoor Refrigerator (154 cans)
The HCK 5.12 Cu. Ft 161 cans Indoor/Outdoor Refrigerator is capable of holding 154 cans. It has over five cubic feet of storage space. The unit comes with a digital touch blue LED thermostat with a temperature range of 32 to 50 degrees.
The freezer has a double drawer and holds more than most side-by-side units. There is also a divider in the main freezer area with a sliding freezer drawer that can be used to separate foods from beverages. The ability to maintain the coldest temperatures makes it an ideal choice for DIY outdoor kitchens.
The unit is made from stainless steel and is incredibly durable. It is able to withstand hard rain and heavy winds when used in an outdoor kitchen setting.
The unit’s metal finish makes it easy to clean. With a small microfiber cloth, you can easily wipe away any smudges, fingerprints, or spills that may find their way on the door. The unit can be used in any type of outdoor patio or deck kitchen all year round.
- commercial look
- drawers vs. door
Thor Kitchen 24” Indoor and Outdoor Double Drawer Under-Counter Built-in Fridge Refrigerator
The Thor Kitchen 24” Indoor and Outdoor Double Drawer Under-Counter Built-in Fridge Refrigerator is a mini-fridge with a lot of usable space. It can be built in under a counter or used as a freestanding unit.
The unit has a digital touch blue LED display that is used to adjust the temperature. The temp range is from 34 to 46 degrees, which saves energy and keeps foods and beverages at the perfect temperature. The unit is small and compact, making it easy to use in almost any situation, including in a dorm room or as part of an outdoor backyard kitchen.
The refrigerator has a frost-free feature which makes it easy to clean. The unit’s stainless steel feature resists fingerprints and smears. If watermarks appear, simply wipe them away with a microfiber cloth that is slightly damp.
There are multiple drawers and a sliding refrigerator drawer so that foods can be easily separated. The stainless steel weatherproof design makes it the perfect addition to any outdoor backyard kitchen. A 2-year limited warranty comes with the unit to guarantee 100% satisfaction. Four adjustable legs make it easy to keep the unit level.
- drawers vs. door
Walsh WSR35S1 Compact Refrigerator
The Walsh WSR35S1 Compact Refrigerator Stainless Steel Front Panel Refrigerator has 3.5 cubic feet of space designed to keep both food and beverages as cold as possible.
The refrigerator has a reversible stainless steel door that can be put on so that it swings either to the left or to the right. The back of the unit is flush to save space and allow the unit to fit easily into almost any size space. The stainless steel door is easy to clean and can be wiped down using a damp microfiber cloth.
The unit has full-range temperature control. This ensures that whatever you put into the refrigerator remains as cold as possible at all times. It is an ideal unit for an outside backyard kitchen. It’s small, compact, and easy to clean.
The unit is able to withstand most types of weather and will maintain its internal temperature due to its incredibly durable construction. Designed for outdoor use, the unit can be built into almost any type of outdoor kitchen setting.
- Compact and easy to clean
- May not be durable for outdoor use
Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Refrigerators
What Makes a Good Outdoor Fridge?
A good outdoor fridge has several qualities. One of the most important characteristics is durable, stainless steel construction. This type of construction also includes an insulated door that has a solid seal. Movable racks are also important.
With adjustable racks, you are able to store different sizes of bottles and cans. The different sizes make it easier for the air inside the refrigerator to circulate, keeping the beverages as cold as possible. It also makes the unit more energy-efficient.
Another feature of a good outdoor fridge is that it can be built into the counter or wall of a backyard kitchen or patio area.
Installing the refrigerator under a counter or into a wall will add extra insulation to maximize the energy efficiency of the unit and help it to maintain the proper temperature at all times.
How Much Does Brand Matter?
The brand of an indoor/outdoor refrigerator says a lot about the product in question. Many brands are synonymous with outdoor patio kitchens.
It’s important to choose a brand that is well-known for producing quality appliances that are rated for outdoor use. Brands that specialize in outdoor appliances know what type of construction is to ensure that ideal temperatures are maintained.
Brands will often focus on a primary audience. Those who build indoor/outdoor refrigerators and appliances design their products specifically for those situations.
From the size of the unit to the insulation, each unit is designed for maximum energy efficiency and the durability to handle almost any type of weather condition.
Do you need to keep an outdoor refrigerator in the shade?
You don’t have to keep an outdoor refrigerator totally in the shade. But if an outdoor refrigerator is constantly under hot sunlight, it can impact its lifespan.
Experts recommend that on particularly hot days above 100 degrees, providing some shade for your outdoor fridge. You can use an outdoor umbrella or something similar.
If you suspect that your outdoor refrigerator will spend a lot of time in direct sunlight, then just be sure that it’s a model with high-rated insulation technology.
Is There a Difference Between Outdoor and Indoor Refrigerators?
There are subtle differences between indoor and outdoor refrigerators. Outdoor refrigerators often contain more insulation and may even have a few structural differences to enhance their energy-saving features.
Outdoor refrigerators often have locks on the doors that can be used to secure the door and keep it closed during times when it is not in use.
When you are contemplating an outdoor kitchen design, you will want to look at several different appliances.
You will have several options when it comes to choosing the right refrigerator. Choosing the right size is important. When you start to shop around, look at all of the various features that you have to choose from. This will give you an idea as to what is available. Choose the features that are best suited to your individual needs.