The Best Garage Refrigerators for Keeping Extra Food and Drink Chilled

Bring extra food and drink storage to the garage or workshop with garage-ready refrigerators that protect their contents even in extreme temperatures.

Best Overall

The Best Garage Refrigerator Option: GE 19.2-Cubic-Foot Top Freezer Refrigerator

GE 19.2-Cubic-Foot Top Freezer Refrigerator

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Garage Refrigerator Option: Frigidaire Apartment-Size Refrigerator With Freezer

Frigidaire Apartment-Size Refrigerator With Freezer

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Best Large-Capacity

The Best Garage Refrigerator Option: GE 21.9-Cubic-Foot Top Freezer Refrigerator

GE 21.9-Cubic-Foot Top Freezer Refrigerator

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Whether you have a large family or just love to entertain, sometimes one fridge simply doesn’t provide enough extra space. Since many homes don’t have room for another refrigerator inside, the garage is often a logical place for a second one.

Just as the location and intended use may differ, a refrigerator for the garage is evaluated differently than one for the kitchen. For example, a standard refrigerator works in a climate-controlled space where temperatures never dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or rise into triple digits. But garages can reach extreme temperatures on both ends of the spectrum, so garage-ready refrigerators are designed to function in near-freezing conditions and in scorching hot temperatures that can be more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Having purchased a few garage refrigerators to serve as a backup for our main fridge, I understand how these specialty appliances differ from their kitchen counterparts and why it’s important to get one rated for garage use. Through my own experiences, I’ve found that home appliances giant GE makes some of the most long-lasting and spacious garage refrigerators out there. I leveraged my own experiences with GE models and other brands while researching 20 different appliances to produce our list of the best garage refrigerators, ranging in size from small 4-cubic-foot mini-fridges to full-size 21-cubic-foot models.

  1. BEST OVERALL: GE 19.2-Cubic-Foot Top Freezer Refrigerator
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Frigidaire Apartment-Size Refrigerator With Freezer
  3. BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: GE 21.9-Cubic-Foot Top Freezer Refrigerator
  4. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Gladiator GarageWorks 17.8-Cubic-Foot Refrigerator
  5. BEST MINI FRIDGE: Black+Decker Compact Mini Fridge With Freezer
  6. BEST FRIDGE ONLY: Danby 11-Cubic-Foot All Refrigerator
  7. ALSO CONSIDER: Danby Classic Retro 4.4-Cubic-Foot Mini Fridge
The Best Garage Refrigerator Options
Photo: lowes.com

How We Chose the Best Garage Refrigerators

Several important criteria figured into our list of the best garage-ready refrigerators. Except for one selection for finished climate-controlled garages, I chose “garage-ready” refrigerators that can endure hotter and colder ambient temperatures than a standard refrigerator can endure to ensure they would operate properly year-round.

I also considered storage flexibility. Extra refrigerators often hold bulk items, so it’s crucial that the refrigerator’s drawers and shelving can handle large platters of fresh food, cases of cans, tall wine bottles, and gallon-size jugs. Where possible, I leaned toward garage fridges with glass shelves, LED lighting, and adjustable shelving.

Finally, I selected refrigerators that cover a broad range of sizes to suit a variety of needs, including mini fridges with a capacity of 4 to 5 cubic feet up to full-size garage-ready refrigerators that have more than 21 cubic feet of space.

Our Top Picks

The list below includes some of the best refrigerators for a garage. Each is rated for garage use, and the options range from small mini fridges to full-size refrigerator-freezers.

Best Overall

GE 19.2-Cubic-Foot Top Freezer Refrigerator

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Product Specs

  • Capacity: 19.2 cubic feet
  • Temperature range: 38 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Finish: Black, slate, stainless steel, or white

Pros

  • Broad temperature range for garage use; temperature drops from 110 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Ample size with modular bins; provides plenty of storage space and great versatility
  • Useful additional features include edge-to-edge glass shelves and LED lighting

Cons

  • Smaller capacity than some full-size models; may not be big enough for some users’ needs

With its ability to handle extreme temperatures coupled with its reasonable price, this garage-ready refrigerator freezer from appliance giant GE makes a great choice for bringing additional cold food storage into the garage. This garage-ready model handles temperatures ranging from 38 degrees to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower refrigerator and top freezer section combined offer an ample 19.2 cubic feet of food-storage capacity.

Easy-to-access temperature controls allow the user to fine-tune the temperature in both the

freezer

section and fridge. Modular bins in the doors offer versatile storage space that one can rearrange for large platters of hors d’oeuvres, tall bottles of wine, or cases of soda. Other useful features include adjustable edge-to-edge glass shelves and LED lighting.

Get the GE 19.2-cubic-foot garage refrigerator freezer at The Home Depot, AJ Madison, Best Buy, or Wayfair.

Best Bang For The Buck

Frigidaire Apartment-Size Refrigerator With Freezer

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Product Specs 

  • Capacity: 3.2, 4.6, or 7.5 cubic feet
  • Temperature range: 32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Finish: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Affordable option for a second food- and beverage-storage space
  • Stylish retro appearance makes it a good choice for a garage or game room
  • 3 size options to meet the needs of different spaces

Cons

  • Smaller than some garage fridges; may not be suitable for some users
  • Not as versatile as comparable options; can only be used in a climate-controlled garage

The compact size of this garage fridge, which is designed for finished, climate-controlled garages, makes this garage-ready refrigerator freezer a great companion for a garage workshop. It comes in three size options—3.2 cubic feet, 4.6 cubic feet, and 7.5 cubic feet—which includes the freezer section—each at an affordable price.

Vintage chrome handles, a stainless steel front, and the Frigidaire logo emblazoned on its front give this refrigerator freezer a retro look, making it ideal for game rooms or home mechanics who enjoy a throwback vibe. The lower fridge section includes three slide-out adjustable glass shelves along with a vegetable crisper and four-door shelves. The upper freezer section is large enough to hold ice and frozen desserts.

Get the Frigidaire garage refrigerator freezer at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Best Buy.

Best Large-Capacity

GE 21.9-Cubic-Foot Top Freezer Refrigerator

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Product Specs

  • Capacity: 21.9 cubic feet
  • Temperature range: 38 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Finish: Stainless steel, black, white, slate, black slate

Pros

  • Large capacity exceeds that of many other garage fridge options
  • Classic and timeless stainless steel finish is durable for use in garages; easy to clean
  • Plentiful storage space in doors and large produce bins can hold a multitude of items when needed

Cons

  • May have a loud operating volume; could cause some noise pollution in the garage

With its nearly 22 cubic feet of capacity, GE’s stainless steel fridge ranks as one of the larger garage-ready fridges on the market. Its ample size includes large bins for produce as well as deep in-door storage bins for large drink containers, including full gallon jugs and tall wine bottles.

Noteworthy features on this GE refrigerator include LED lighting, glass shelves with spill-proof edges, and a rating for ambient temperatures ranging from 38 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Just keep in mind that this garage fridge does consume more space than other garage-ready models at 66.375 inches tall by 32.75 inches wide by 34.5 inches deep.

Get the GE 21.9-cubic-foot garage refrigerator freezer at The Home Depot, Best Buy, or AJ Madison.

Best Heavy-Duty

Gladiator GarageWorks 17.8-Cubic-Foot Refrigerator

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Product Specs

  • Capacity: 17.8 cubic feet
  • Temperature range: 38 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Finish: Black

Pros

  • Rugged construction lets fridge withstand the conditions of workshops and garages
  • Large casters allow for easy movement or relocation if needed
  • Hands-free access simplifies opening when hands are full

Cons

  • Some users have reported difficulty or malfunction with the evaporator system

With its rugged design and thoughtful storage options, this aptly named refrigerator from Gladiator thrives in the garage. Large casters allow the user to wheel the refrigerator around with ease, and a hands-free step opening makes putting away groceries and bulk items a breeze.

Inside, metal trays and large door shelves hold bulk food items and large jugs. Thick glass shelves stand up to heavy loads of multiple 12-packs. A black matte finish with a diamond-tread pattern on the door gives the fridge an industrial look that suits a garage space.

Get the Gladiator garage refrigerator at The Home Depot, Appliances Connection, or Garage Organization.

Best Mini-Fridge

Black+Decker Compact Mini Fridge With Freezer

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Product Specs

  • Capacity: 4.3 cubic feet
  • Temperature range: 38 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Finish: Black, white, or silver

Pros

  • Versatile storage options for both food and drinks; door storage and main storage provided
  • Built-in can dispenser is a unique feature among garage refrigerators
  • Wide temperature range allows fridge to withstand harsh environmental conditions; can be set from 38 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons

  • Very small freezer section; won’t be able to store much

Complete the garage workshop or man cave with a reliable mini fridge. This garage-ready model from tool company Black+Decker withstands the potentially harsh garage environment with a temperature range of 38 degrees to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its smaller capacity of 4.3 cubic feet, handy six-can dispenser, and door shelves that support a 2-liter bottle work well for storing plenty of drinks and snacks. Measuring just 34 inches tall by 21 inches wide by 20 inches deep, this compact fridge fits nicely into a workshop without hogging precious work space. The Black+Decker mini fridge comes in white, black, and silver.

Get the Black+Decker garage refrigerator at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Wayfair.

Best Fridge Only

Danby 11-Cubic-Foot All Refrigerator

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Product Specs

  • Capacity: 11 cubic feet
  • Temperature range: 38 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Finish: Stainless steel or white

Pros

  • Ideal for drink storage, including larger bottles; shelving can be adjusted to accommodate multiple bottle heights
  • Small footprint fully devoted to refrigerator space; can be tucked into corners if desired
  • Attractive stainless steel finish looks great in rooms where aesthetics are important
  • Energy Star rating means this fridge will save on long-term energy costs

Cons

  • May have a loud operating volume; may cause some noise pollution in the garage

Danby’s 11-cubic-foot refrigerator is 59 inches tall by 24 inches wide by 26 inches deep, and features wide-open shelves for plenty of food and drinks. A vegetable-crisper drawer offers a great spot for produce, and adjustable door shelves provide plenty of room for larger bottles.

An Energy Star certification means powering this fridge won’t break the bank. With its stainless steel finish, it makes a great choice for garage workshops or rooms where modern aesthetics matter.

Get the Danby 11-cubic-foot garage refrigerator at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Appliances Connection.

Also Consider

Danby Classic Retro 4.4-Cubic-Foot Mini Fridge

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Product Specs

  • Capacity: 4.4 cubic feet
  • Temperature range: 32 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Finish: Red steel

Pros

  • Excellent for any type of drink storage; includes an 8-can dispenser
  • Attractive finish and design adds a retro vibe to any space
  • Compact size offers additional cold storage without taking up too much room

Cons

  • Specific temperature gauge not built in; there’s only a high and low setting

For those who consider their garage workshop a thing of beauty, this mini fridge provides a great finishing touch. An attractive stainless steel door with retro curves suits a well-curated home workshop.

With its 4.4 cubic feet, this special fridge has ample space for numerous beverages and snacks in its small footprint of just 33 inches tall by 21 inches wide by 21 inches deep. Storage features include a special door rack that holds eight canned beverages and tempered-glass shelves large enough to hold a 2-liter bottle. This fridge won’t put a huge hit on the electrical bill thanks to its Energy Star certification.

Get the Danby Classic Retro garage refrigerator at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Refrigerator

While storage space matters when it comes to garage refrigerators, other factors must also figure into this decision, including temperature range, storage options, and energy efficiency. Ahead, learn more about these and other attributes of garage refrigerators.

Types of Garage Refrigerators

Garage-ready refrigerators come in a few different types. A top refrigerator freezer, which includes a large bottom refrigerator compartment and a smaller top freezer compartment, rank as the most common. Some models function solely as a refrigerator with no freezer compartment. Compact mini fridges that have smaller capacities come rated for use in a garage or even outdoors on a patio.

Garage Temperature

While a regular refrigerator can sit in a garage, it won’t perform optimally unless it’s in a region that stays the same temperature year-round. Most kitchen refrigerators tolerate ambient temperatures ranging from 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures in typical unfinished garages tend to reach outside of that range in colder and warmer months.

A typical refrigerator may not handle temperature extremes. If the ambient air temperature gets too hot, the refrigerator will have to work harder to keep its contents cold, which wears out the compressor fast. If the temperature hovers around freezing, the thermostat may make false readings and cause the freezer to thaw. If the temperature drops well below freezing, food in the refrigerator could freeze.

Refrigerators intended for garage use can handle much more extreme temperatures that go well below freezing or into triple digits.

Temperature Control and Thermostats

As with standard refrigerators, garage refrigerators include thermostats that allow the user to fine-tune the internal temperature. These temperature controls are typically located in an easily accessible place.

Unlike standard refrigerators, garage-ready refrigerators also have thermostats that monitor the outside ambient temperature to better regulate the internal temperature of the fridge.

Size

Since garage refrigerators play second fiddle to the main fridge in the kitchen, they typically come in smaller sizes, with most having storage space that hovers around 18 cubic feet. They range from 14 up to 21 cubic feet, and garage-ready mini fridges typically have capacities of about 4 cubic feet.

Of course, the larger the fridge, the more space it will take up in the garage. Larger fridges of 19 cubic feet or more are about 66 inches tall by 33 inches wide by 34 inches deep, while smaller models of about 14 cubic feet may be just 60 inches tall by 27 inches wide by 29 inches deep.

Storage

Since garage-ready fridges typically hold food and drinks in bulk, versatile storage options are crucial. Both the main shelves and door shelves in a garage fridge tend to be adjustable, so the user can customize the inside to suit their needs. Clear glass or plastic shelves make it easier to see the contents of the fridge.

Drink storage is often the primary use of a garage-ready refrigerator. Many feature storage designs to suit that need, including special dispensers and racks for cans and large door shelves that hold tall wine bottles or gallon jugs.

Energy Efficiency

While adding a garage refrigerator increases a home’s capacity to store perishable foods, it can also put a strain on the electric bill. Thus, it’s crucial to consider energy efficiency when shopping for a second fridge to go in the garage.

As with other appliances, the most energy-efficient garage refrigerators have Energy Star ratings. An Energy Star refrigerator consumes up to 40 percent less energy than a standard refrigerator, which can amount to savings of $50 to $100 or more per year in utility costs, depending on the cost of electricity. And, while an Energy Star-certified fridge may cost around 15 percent more than a standard model, buyers can expect to make up that price difference in energy savings within a couple of years.

FAQs 

If you’re considering adding a garage refrigerator kit to a standard refrigerator for garage use, or if you’re wondering if it’s OK to put your refrigerator in the garage, then read on for answers.

Q. Is it OK to put a refrigerator in the garage?

Only if the refrigerator is rated for garage use. Since a garage is often an unfinished space, temperatures inside can fluctuate from near-freezing temps to extreme heat. A standard refrigerator is not designed to manage such extreme changes in ambient temperature and is therefore more likely to malfunction when faced with cold or heat.

Q. Do garage refrigerator kits work?

A garage refrigerator kit consists of a heating coil that warms the air around the refrigerator’s thermostat. This device tricks the refrigerator into thinking the surrounding air is warm so it turns the compressor on, preventing the freezer from thawing out when the air temperature around it is hovering around freezing.

The kits do work; however, they will not help a refrigerator keep its interior contents cold if it’s working overtime in the extreme heat of the summer.

Q. Do I need a special fridge for the garage?

Unless your garage is climate-controlled, you need a special fridge. Make sure to get a garage-ready refrigerator. A standard refrigerator can only handle temperature ranges of about 50 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit without malfunctioning or overworking.

Garage-ready refrigerators are designed to work in spaces that aren’t climate-controlled with broader operating temperature ranges of 32 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q. Should I unplug my garage refrigerator in the winter?

Cold weather can cause a standard refrigerator to stop working properly by forcing the fridge’s thermostat to an extremely low temperature, which shuts off the compressor and can lead to spoiled food. Therefore, especially for unheated garages, it’s a good idea to unplug and clean out a garage refrigerator in the winter.

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Tony Carrick

Contributing Writer

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer who has contributed to BobVila.com since 2020. He writes how-to articles and product reviews in the areas of lawn and garden, home maintenance, home improvement, auto maintenance, housewares, and technology.

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