Best Outdoor Refrigerators for Chilling Outside

Summer barbecues and drinks on the patio are both made easier with an outdoor fridge. Keep food and beverages close at hand with the top outdoor refrigerator models.

Best Overall

The HCK 5.12 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Undercounter Beverage Fridge on a white background.

HCK 5.12 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Undercounter Beverage Fridge

See It

Best Bang For The Buck

The Blaze 15-Inch Outdoor Refrigerator on a white background.

Blaze 15-Inch Outdoor Refrigerator

See It

Best Freestanding

The Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Fridge on a white background.

Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Fridge

See It

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Outdoor refrigerators are suitable for outdoor use. Whether it’s for an outdoor bar, beside a barbecue, or as part of an outdoor kitchen setup, they’ll safely and reliably keep contents cold outside, rain or shine.

Outdoor refrigerators come with a range of features to accommodate different uses. Adjustable shelving, designated drink storage, crisper drawers, interior lighting, and more can help make you the best backyard party host on the block. There’s a lot to consider when shopping for an outdoor fridge, and it’s important to find one that’s suitable for your needs and your climate. Read on to learn about the most important factors to consider when shopping and discover the best outdoor refrigerators to outfit your outside space.

  1. BEST OVERALL: HCK 5.12 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Undercounter Beverage Fridge
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Blaze 15-Inch Outdoor Refrigerator
  3. BEST FREESTANDING: Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Fridge
  4. BEST WITH DRAWERS: Newair 24-Inch Wine and Beverage Dual Drawer Fridge
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Coyote 21-Inch Outdoor Refrigerator
The Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Fridge on an outdoor patio with a tray of drinks on top.
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Outdoor Refrigerators

It’s important not to place indoor fridges outside, as Michael Branover, home contractor and founder of Branover Contractors Inc. in Los Angeles, California, explains: “Outdoor refrigerators are purpose-built for the demands of outdoor use, ensuring safety, longevity, and aesthetic benefits.”

Indoor fridges have trouble keeping up with the open, wet, and uninsulated environment of the great outdoors. Branover explains, “Outdoor refrigerators are designed with adequate ventilation, optimizing performance in open-air environments. Unlike indoor fridges, outdoor models are equipped to withstand varying temperatures and humidity, preventing potential malfunctions and enhancing durability.” He adds that this specialized construction also caters to safety considerations, minimizing the risk of electrical hazards.

The best outdoor refrigerators are straightforward to set up and use, and they look nice, too. While these points are important, what’s crucial is that they hold up to outdoor use. Of course, for safety’s sake, all of the products on our list are outdoor rated with some level of weather resistance.

Beyond that, the top outdoor fridges also have features that make them pleasant to use. Many have beverage storage shelves or drink holders since that’s a common use for outdoor fridges. Adjustable shelving makes it possible to fit different items depending on your needs. To ensure these fridges are long wearing, we only chose from brands that have a reputation for reliable refrigeration products. The fridges on our list come in a range of different sizes and price points and are available in freestanding or built-in configurations (a few of them can be either) to suit different installation needs.

Our Top Picks

Outdoor living is even better with the right outdoor appliances, and for those who like to entertain or grill, an outdoor refrigerator is a worthwhile investment. Shop the best options ahead.

See It

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 33.86 inches tall by 23.62 inches wide by 23.62 inches deep
  • Storage capacity: 5.12 cubic feet
  • Installation: Freestanding or under-the-counter

Pros

  • Large 5.12 cubic foot capacity provides lots of space; holds up to 161 standard cans
  • Has a built-in lock to limit access to the fridge (a great feature for using it as a wine fridge)
  • Freestanding or under-the-counter installation and has a reversible door for even more placement flexibility

Cons

  • Digital temperature controls are on the interior back panel, so it can be difficult to change the settings when the fridge is full

The HCK outdoor refrigerator is a straightforward outdoor beverage refrigerator that does its job well. A large 5.12 cubic foot capacity offers plenty of space for drinks, holding up to 161 standard cans. This HCK fridge keeps beverages nicely chilled with a temperature range of 32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is monitored by an internal sensor.

The three chromed shelves inside are removable to provide more storage flexibility. To keep items safe (especially if it’s used as a wine fridge), the refrigerator has a built-in lock. Durable materials make sure the fridge holds up to outdoor conditions; it’s made with outdoor-rated 304 stainless steel and has an IPX4 waterproof rating, so it won’t be ruined by splashes of water. This 24-inch outdoor refrigerator can be installed freestanding or under-the-counter, plus it has a reversible door, so it’s flexible in terms of installation location as well.

Get the HCK outdoor refrigerator at Amazon.

See It

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 34.25 inches tall by 14.96 inches wide by 23.75 inches deep
  • Storage capacity: 3.2 cubic feet
  • Installation: Freestanding or under-the-counter

Pros

  • Features interior LED lighting to illuminate the inside of the fridge
  • Temperature display and controls are front-and-center on the inside of the fridge so they’re easy to reach
  • Sleek steel exterior and adjustable glass shelving make it look like a more expensive fridge

Cons

  • This fridge is slim and small, so it’s only suitable for smaller spaces and lower-capacity needs

Outdoor refrigerators tend to be pricier than their indoor counterparts, but that doesn’t mean that affordable options aren’t available. The Blaze outdoor refrigerator is just that; it’s an outdoor mini refrigerator with a reasonable price tag. This fridge is on the smaller side, measuring 14.96 inches across (it’s considered a 15-inch outdoor refrigerator) and with a 3.2 cubic foot capacity. That’s still enough to fit up to 74 standard cans though, so it’s a great model for entertaining.

To make outdoor parties even more convenient, the fridge has an interior LED light, so it’s always possible to see what’s inside. The temperature display and controls are right in the front of the unit interior, so they’re always easy to access. This fridge is made of heavy-duty 304-grade stainless steel to hold up to the elements. Along with the sleek steel exterior, it has adjustable glass shelving, so it looks nice inside, too. Blaze doesn’t share an IP rating for this model, so it’s best installed in an outdoor refrigerator enclosure such as under a counter (it has a front venting system) in a covered outdoor area to shield it from rain and snow.

Get the Blaze outdoor refrigerator at Walmart or BBQ Guys.

See It

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 33.07 inches tall by 20.75 inches wide by 21.3 inches deep
  • Storage capacity: 4.4 cubic feet
  • Installation: Freestanding

Pros

  • Mounted on 4 rust-resistant castors for easy maneuvering on flat surfaces
  • Suitable for very hot climates; keeps cool in ambient temperatures up to 109 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Energy Star certified, which means it is energy efficient without sacrificing performance

Cons

  • Most of the fridge exterior is made of plastic, which isn’t as nice-looking or durable as stainless steel

Place the Danby outdoor fridge almost anywhere (as long as there’s an outlet nearby). This freestanding outdoor mini fridge is mounted on rust-resistant castors, so it’s easy to move around. With an IPX4 rating and waterproof electrical housing, this fridge is splash-resistant.

Designed with a stainless steel door but UV-protector plastic sides, it’s not as sturdy as a full stainless steel fridge, but it will still do the job. Consider using an outdoor refrigerator cover to keep it protected when not in use. The fridge is tested to operate in a tropical environment, so it will keep its interior cool, even in temperatures up to 109 degrees Fahrenheit.

Despite its stellar cooling power, this fridge is Energy Star certified, so it’s an energy-efficient pick. Its interior looks more like a regular fridge than other outdoor refrigerators, which usually just have adjustable shelves for beverages. This one has shelves integrated into the door, including a can storage system, as well as interior shelves and a crisper drawer.

Get the Danby outdoor refrigerator at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, or Danby.

See It

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 34 inches tall by 23.6 inches wide by 25.4 inches deep
  • Storage capacity: 4.11 cubic feet
  • Installation: Freestanding or built-in

Pros

  • Dual-drawer design looks modern and makes it easy to reach items inside
  • Each drawer has independent temperature controls, with a different range option for each one
  • Can be installed as a freestanding or built-in fridge and comes on rolling casters

Cons

  • Top drawer only has wine shelving; can’t easily be used to store other items

Dual-drawer fridges look upscale and they keep your most used items within closer reach. The top drawer of this 2-drawer outdoor refrigerator from Newair is a wine drawer, with the capacity to hold 20 bottles. The bottom drawer has an 80-can capacity, with stainless steel dividers to separate items.

Best of all, it’s possible to set a different temperature for each drawer to optimize food and drink storage. The top drawer has a temperature range between 54 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit and the bottom between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit to keep contents chilled.

The shelves open and close smoothly, and even better, the entire fridge is on casters, so it’s possible to move it around. It vents from the front and can therefore be installed as a freestanding or built-in fridge. Like many of the other top outdoor fridges, this one has a weatherproof stainless steel finish that’s UV- and rust-resistant.

Get the Newair outdoor refrigerator at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, or Newair.

See It

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 33.75 inches tall by 20.5 inches wide by 22.75 inches deep
  • Storage capacity: 4.1 cubic feet
  • Installation: Freestanding or built-in

Pros

  • Interior lighting illuminates the inside and makes it easier to find items
  • A right-hinge or left-hinge option is available (the door itself is not reversible)
  • In-door shelving provides dedicated space to organize beverages and condiments

Cons

  • At this price point, some shoppers may not like the wire shelves; it looks less sleek than glass

This compact unit from Coyote is a simple outdoor beverage fridge from a reputable brand. Being an outdoor stainless steel refrigerator, the durable material holds up nicely to the environment outside. To suit different placements, this fridge can be freestanding or built-in. Shoppers can choose from a right-hand opening or left-hand opening model (the door is not reversible, so they’ll want to make sure they have the right one before buying).

This fridge has 4.1 cubic feet of space, three adjustable wire shelves, and interior lighting to illuminate the space. In-door storage shelves help to keep drinks organized, and in case you want to use it as an outdoor wine refrigerator, this unit has a built-in security lock to keep its contents safe from curious hands.

Get the Coyote outdoor refrigerator at Amazon, Wayfair, Appliances Connection, or AJ Madison.

Jump to Our Top Picks

The Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Fridge on an outdoor patio.
Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Refrigerator

There’s a lot to consider when shopping for an outdoor fridge, and since most models aren’t cheap, you’ll want to consider some factors to find both a safe and useful pick. Ahead, learn about the main features to consider, which include the temperature range, weatherproofing, installation options, design, and additional features of an outdoor fridge.

Temperature Range and Waterproofing

Indoor refrigerators are designed for use inside, in an insulated area with very little temperature fluctuation. That’s one of the main benefits of outdoor refrigerators; they are designed to withstand larger temperature swings. Outdoor units have a broader ambient temperature range, which is the ambient temperature they can operate in. In areas with extreme temperatures, either very hot or very cold, buyers will want to make sure that the fridge can withstand the area’s outdoor temperature. Keep in mind that many outdoor fridges won’t operate in freezing weather.

Of course, just like with indoor refrigerators, users can set the internal temperature of most outdoor fridges. If you’re looking for a specific temperature (such as to store certain wines), make sure the fridge has a suitable internal temperature range. Some outdoor refrigerators are built to store beverages and not food, which means they might not stay consistently cold enough for food safety. If you are looking for an outdoor fridge for long-term food storage, look for one that’s food-safety certified, which means it will maintain a safe temperature even when it’s hot outdoors. A beverage fridge will perform fine for short-term food storage, like keeping veggies and meat cool while you’re grilling.

Electronics and water don’t mix, which is why indoor fridges shouldn’t be used outdoors. Outdoor fridges are safe to place outside because they are weather-resistant; their internal components are better protected and their outer layers are made from durable materials to hold up to the elements. You still won’t want to douse them with water though. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for installation location. It’s still ideal to keep most outdoor fridges covered to provide extra protection.

Installation

Outdoor refrigerators come in freestanding and built-in (or under-the-counter) models. To suit under-the-counter installation, these models vent from the front. Front-venting fridges don’t need extra clearance around the back or sides, which makes them flexible to install in a variety of locations outdoors. They’re the best choice for built-in installations in areas like under a kitchen counter, in a barbecue island, or against a wall.

As close as it gets to a portable outdoor refrigerator, freestanding fridges can be placed almost anywhere that they have enough space to ventilate (and a power source, of course). They’re finished on all sides, so they don’t need to be installed under a counter. They’re much easier to unplug and move around, and some even come on rolling casters so you can place them in a variety of locations.

Design and Features

Like their indoor counterparts, outdoor refrigerators can come with a range of design and convenience features. Interior lighting and a glass front door can make it easier to see drinks or food inside when you’re hosting outdoor parties. Dual temperature zones can be a useful feature for those using their fridge to store a range of drinks.

Many outdoor fridges have a door lock that stops critters and kids from accessing the fridge without permission. On the other hand, just in case the door is left open, some also have an alarm to remind you to shut the fridge.

The Advantages of Owning an Outdoor Refrigerator

When outfitting an outdoor space, an outdoor refrigerator comes with plenty of benefits over an indoor model, making it worth the extra cost. A good outdoor refrigerator is safer since it’s weather-resistant and designed to withstand outdoor conditions. It will keep the contents more consistently chilled because it has a wider ambient temperature range to keep the fridge cold, even if conditions fluctuate outside.

Outdoor refrigerators come in a range of types, and they’re made with outdoor use in mind. Some are an ideal size for installing under an outdoor kitchen counter or beside a grill in an outdoor island. These vent from the front so they’re safe for this installation type. There are also freestanding models available for those who only need an occasional outdoor fridge that’s easy to move around. In short, the main benefits of an outdoor fridge are that they are:

  • Safe to use outdoors
  • Made to withstand outdoor conditions: durable construction and wider ambient temperature range
  • Designed with outdoor applications in mind

FAQs

There’s a lot to consider when shopping for any type of major appliance, including an outdoor refrigerator. It can feel even more overwhelming when you’re buying an outdoor appliance that has to hold up to the weather. If you have any questions that weren’t answered in this guide, read these frequently asked questions for additional information on outdoor fridges.

Q. Do you need a special refrigerator for outdoors?

Yes, it’s best to get an outdoor refrigerator for use outside. These units are safer to use outdoors because they are durable and have more robust weatherproofing and temperature management features. Using an indoor refrigerator or even garage refrigerator outdoors runs the risk of damage to the unit or, worse, electrocution of the user. If you don’t need a permanent fridge outdoors, consider one of the best electric coolers instead.

Q. Does an outdoor refrigerator use more electricity?

It depends on the climate and what model you are comparing the outdoor refrigerator to. In general, outdoor fridges can use more electricity than their indoor counterparts because they have to deal with larger temperature fluctuations.

Q. How do you protect an outdoor refrigerator?

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation. Regardless of how sturdy the outdoor fridge is, it’s best to shield it as much as possible from sun, wind, and rain, which can all affect its longevity and performance. Also, regularly inspect the fridge to make sure it’s in good working order.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Share
Jasmine Harding Avatar

Jasmine Harding

Contributing Writer

Jasmine Harding is a freelance writer specializing in home products. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2020 and covers a range of product-related topics, from the best household appliances and tools to the latest gadgets and tech for the home.

WHY YOU CAN TRUST BOB VILA