A bar fridge may be small, but the details make a huge difference. No two models are exactly alike. These are some of the make-or-break decisions that matter in determining the best bar fridge to buy for your personal pub.
1. How Big is Your Bar?
Pull out the meter stick and determine exactly how much room you’re working with. Size matters if you’re short on space or already have a spot carved out for a bar fridge.
Don’t forget to measure for door clearance! Some mini-fridge models have a reversible door that allows for right or left-handed opening, but others are stuck to one or the other.
2. How Many Drinks Do You Need to Keep Cold?
Size and storage capacity go hand-in-hand. The bar fridge market offers a wide range of storage capacity, including tiny house fridges with as little as 1.6 cubic feet of storage and apartment-size appliance with as much as 4.7 cubic feet.
But wait — how many beers are in a cubic foot, again?
The question of just how many beverages a bar fridge hold can be tricky to answer. Not all cans and bottles are the same size, and you can’t utilize every inch of space in the fridge for storage.
Your best bet is to look carefully at product photos showing what the fridge looks like when it’s full. Picture the contents as your beverages of choice and decide if that’s going to be enough to keep your home bar patrons sufficiently hydrated.
3. Is Your Home Bar Indoors or Outdoors?
Backyard kitchens and bars have become a huge trend. Who wouldn’t want to recreate that cozy patio vibe at home?
If that’s your plan, choose a fridge rated for outdoor use. This model is built to withstand a tropical climate, so it can definitely handle Canadian summers.
Most bar fridge models are rated for indoor use only. Not only will using an indoor-rated fridge outside likely void its warranty, but it could easily overheat in the sun or be damaged by the weather conditions.
4. Any Must-Have Features?
While not quite as high-tech as a smart fridge (at least not yet), the mini-fridge does have a few neat features on offer. Look for conveniences like can dispensers, 2L bottle holders, and removable shelves that help maximize the bar fridge’s storage capacity.
A lockable door is a notable feature for some buyers. Choosing a bar fridge with an integrated lock guarantees that your beverages will be safe from those who do not have permission to imbibe.
5. What Do the Reviews Say?
The best bar fridge in the world is worthless if it breaks down when you need it most. Always check user reviews before you decide which bar fridge is the best one to buy for your home.
Pay close attention to comments about the fridge’s temperature performance. Low temperature tends to be the major complaint of buyers who mistakenly purchased an inferior product. You should also note reviews that raise issues with the condenser coil, motor, and electronic control board since these will require a service call (or replacement).