Buyers’ Guide: Fridges and Freezers
No kitchen would be complete without cooling and refrigeration appliances. Fridges and freezers are among the most important kitchen elements and they come in a range of shapes and sizes and with a multitude of features designed to make your life easier.
If you’re not sure how to choose the best fridge or freezer for your kitchen, the friendly and knowledgeable team at Price Kitchens can help. Why not pop into our large showroom to see the options on offer and ask us as many questions as you need to be able to make an informed decision?
Below is a useful guide to buying fridges and freezers, with valuable information to help you find the right appliance for your home.
One of the first things you’ll want to look at is the best size for your fridge. The right choice will depend on the number of people in your household, the available space in your kitchen, your shopping habits and your budget. An under-counter fridge is short and compact and offers flexible food storage in a compact kitchen space or smaller home. A tall fridge lets you store more fresh food, and often comes with different compartments for vegetables, raw meat, eggs etc. Look for automatic defrost and fast chill features for the ultimate in convenience.
A standard fridge has an ice box compartment for storing small amounts of frozen foods or ice cubes. A larder fridge is the same size but without the ice box, giving you more fridge space, typically with several shelves and salad crisper drawers, but you will need a separate freezer for frozen goods.
Features to look out for include:
Bottle rack – Whether you’re keeping bottles of wine, beer or juice nicely chilled, a bottle rack helps you maximise the existing space in your fridge.
Salad crispers – Maintain maximum freshness and crispness in your fruit, vegetables and salads by using a dedicated fridge drawer that keeps these items separate from raw meat and fish.
Reversible door – Configure your fridge according to your kitchen layout so that the fridge door never gets in the way of other cupboards or appliances.
Water dispenser – Enjoy perfectly chilled water whenever you want with the aid of a dedicated, filtered water department that can be topped up manually or connected to your mains water supply.
Take a close look at the energy rating of your shortlisted fridge. All fridges are labelled with EU energy ratings ranging from A+ to A++ and the running cost per year. By choosing a more energy efficient fridge, you can make real savings to your energy bills.
Freezers tend to come in one of two designs – chest freezer and upright freezer. An upright freezer is the perfect complement to your kitchen fridge and available in a similar range of heights and widths. If you need lots of food storage but don’t have the floor space, an upright freezer may be the best solution. Choose a chest freezer for bulk storage and for larger households. This type of appliance has a top opening design that is handy for utility rooms, garages or outbuildings.
To prevent icy build-ups inside your freezer, it’s worth considering frost free freezers that don’t need defrosting. Other features to look out for include:
Transparent drawers – Check the contents of your freezer at a glance without having to open drawers and let cold air escape.
Extra large drawers – For storing large and/or awkwardly shaped items such as the Christmas Turkey or whole fish, extra large freezer drawers can be a godsend.
Fast freeze – Lower your freezer’s temperature rapidly to freeze your food quicker to lock in nutrients.
Freezer rating range from 1-star ice box, meaning the freezer operates at a minimum temperature of -6C, to 4-star freezer operating at a minimum temperature of -18C. The best freezer rating will allow you to safely store food for up to 12 months.
Combining a fridge and a freezer in the same appliance is a popular choice that provides the food storage you need at minimum footprint. While traditional fridge freezers have the freezer unit situated underneath the fridge, you can also get extra wide American style fridge freezers where the two units sit side by side. American fridge freezers often feature a built-in water cooler and can be a great choice for larger families.
Keen wine collectors and connoisseurs may wish to incorporate a self-contained wine cooler into their kitchen design. Entry level models will have fixed shelving but angled shelves may be more convenient for viewing and retrieving a bottle. For maximum flexibility, look out for adjustable wooden or chrome shelving.
Wine fridges typically have transparent glass doors and are specifically designed for the expert storage requirements of wine bottles.
Wine storage requires the right temperature and humidity conditions to ensure the cork doesn’t dry out while mould has no chance to grow. Make sure your wine cooler has humidity adjustment controls and air ventilation that keeps your wine in perfect condition during storage.
Different wines require different temperature settings – an important factor in choosing between single-zone wine coolers and dual-zone wine coolers. A single-zone appliance is designed for ageing one type of wine – ideal for wine collectors’ long-term storage. Dual-zone appliances offer two temperatures, which makes them more suitable for mixed wine storage. The recommended serving temperature of white wine is 7-10C, red wine should be served at 10-18C while champagne is best served chilled from 6-11C.
When it comes to size, smaller wine chillers are best for short-term storage, so that you always have a bottle ready for serving, while a larger 60-bottle or 120-bottle wine cooler is the best solution for a wine collector.
At Price Kitchens, we supply a wide range of well known brands such as Neff kitchen appliances, and other quality manufacturers including AEG, Zanussi, Electrolux, Bosch and Siemens. For more information and oodles of friendly, professional advice, call 020 8686 9006.