Kitchen Renovation Special: Refrigerators
Broken oven? Hateful refrigerator? For any kitchen overdue for an upgrade, F&W’s Christine Quinlan identifies the best appliance advances of the past decade.
1. Space-Efficient Shelving
Many fridges now have split shelves that adjust to use space more effectively, plus door bins that are deep enough to fit a gallon of milk. Frigidaire’s models also have shelves that slide out to make it easier to reach items in the back and a lip around the edge that catches spills. Freezers have tilt-out wire baskets on the door to organize small items and provide easier access.
2. Temperature-Controlled Drawers
Some refrigerator drawers have their own temperature controls to keep food fresher. Many Maytag models include special wide drawers that let meat and deli items stay colder than the rest of the fridge.
3. Digital Displays
Digital controls are much more precise than dials in maintaining temperature, and they make information easier to read. For example, Liebherr’s fridges have LED controls that display interior temperatures, as do Samsung’s—the latter even signal when it’s time to change the water filter.
4. Flexible Configurations
There’s now a configuration for just about every preference: top freezer, bottom freezer, side- by-side, French door (double doors that open from the center). In addition, the latest modular systems, such as Thermador’s Freedom collection, allow buyers to mix and match different-width fridges and freezers; it is also possible to install the freezer and fridge in different parts of the kitchen.
5. Smudge-Resistant Stainless Steel
One of the biggest complaints about stainless steel is that it shows every fingerprint, but now companies such as Electrolux and Frigidaire have created smudge-proof finishes.