There’s something special about an entertainer’s kitchen. Whether you’re a regular dinner party host or an enthusiastic home cook, these spaces are well used, well thought out and very well loved. In the heart of the home, the kitchen appliance that is often the hardest working is the refrigerator – so finding the right fit is essential. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a fridge when you just love to entertain..
What Makes an Entertainer’s Fridge?
Just like the ideal entertainer’s kitchen, the entertainer’s fridge should be highly functional, accommodating to crowds (or at least feeding them), and filled with secret storage solutions where possible. Size has never been more important, and you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t cost the earth to run.
How many people are you catering for at any one time? The chances are it’s never less than five, so you’ll need a refrigerator that can store and chill enough food to feed that many people (and then some). “You wouldn’t want anything less than 500L capacity, as the very minimum,” says Peter Simic, National Category Manager – Refrigeration at The Good Guys. “For five or more people, we’d usually recommend closer to 700L,” he adds. Though if you have a small family yourself and only host every second weekend, you’ll get away with the former.
French Door or Side-by-Side?
Next, you’ll need to consider the configuration of your fridge. “French door fridges and side-by-side fridge-freezers are the top two choices for entertainers,” says Peter Simic. Both options offer large amounts of space but vary in a few key ways.
“For cheese platters, seafood lovers and anything else that requires preparation on a large tray, you’ll want to invest in a French door fridge,” says Peter Simic. This configuration features the refrigerator up top with two side-by-side doors and extra-wide shelving at eye level, and a freezer below (this can be in the form of drawers or doors). The narrow size of the doors is great for keeping the area clear even with the doors open, and some models are also equipped with a water dispenser.
“For cheese platters, seafood lovers and anything else that requires preparation on a large tray, you’ll want to invest in a french door fridge.”
Side-by-side refrigerators are also great for space and large capacity sizes, but the narrow fridge shelves are less accommodating to platters and large trays. “These models have a freezer on the left and fridge on the right, and are great for organising and storing frozen goods,” says Peter Simic. Ice and water dispensers are common, though they will take up storage space in the freezer.
It might sound like a gimmick, but smart fridges do exist and they can be an absolute lifesaver. Thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity, models such as the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator and the LG French Door fridge can be connected to your smartphone through an app. It gives you access to double-check what’s inside from the supermarket aisle or change the temperature settings when you’re on your way home with an extra-large grocery shop. If you are a help-yourself style host, other smart features such as door-in-door compartments are worth investing in. “This is great for guests to grab themselves a drink, or to pass the tomato sauce, and it saves energy by not having to open the full door as much,” says Peter Simic. “Some models have a knock-twice window so you can see what’s inside without opening the door at all.” By simply knocking twice on the window, this clever feature illuminates the fridge interior so you can clearly see what’s inside.
There’s a good chance your grocery bills are big enough without having to pay extra to keep them fresh. Choosing the most energy-efficient fridge you can afford will help you to cut down on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Thankfully, the Government-regulated Energy Rating Label makes the process a lot easier. The red, black and yellow stickers compare the energy efficiency of other models the same size, so the more stars, the better.
Cool Zones And Drawers
Modern refrigerators offer a lot more control over things like temperatures and settings than ever before, and as a result, offer a lot more flexibility. “On many new models, you can actually control the temperature settings of specific compartments or zones,” says Peter Simic. “For example, a crisper drawer can be controlled to accommodate exactly what’s inside, or a section of the freezer that can be switched into fridge mode when you need the extra space.”
When it comes to the external dimensions of a new fridge, consider the height, width and depth of the fridge itself and compare it against the space you’re planning to put it in. “Ventilation is crucial, so allow some gaps on the sides, back and above the refrigerator for air,” says Peter. Allow about five centimetres on the sides and behind the fridge, and 10 centimetres above. While ice makers and dispensers are ideal for the entertainer, many fridge models with this feature will need to be installed by a plumber – check out The Good Guys Home Services to arrange a trusted and professional tradesperson.
Every kitchen and every cook is different. As a result, everyone will have their own unique list of requirements when it comes to purchasing a new refrigerator – they’re a big investment, after all. Here are some stand-out features you may like to consider:
- Automatic door opening when you step on the sensor light, handy for when you’ve got your hands full.
- LED touch-screen display panels that can play music, videos, share recipes and keep track of your grocery list.
- Air filtration systems to help reduce the odours of certain foods.
- Spill-proof shelves for when things get knocked over.
- Adjustable, split or sliding shelves that can be rearranged to accommodate tall bottles or other large items
How much is a Fridge perfect for entertaining?
The entertainer’s fridge is a worthwhile investment. On a budget? Look out for great deals on both French door and side-by-side models with pricing as low as under $1500. The price will change depending on the capacity and features, such as water, ice, wifi, touch screens etc that you choose. Expect to pay $2,000 plus for middle to top of the range models.
Visit The Good Guys in-store or online to discover more of the best fridges in Australia. You’ll find more inspiration and expert advice on choosing the right kitchen appliances for your home, here.
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