They are the über-cool kitchen fashion statement of the moment and there is no doubt that homeowners in the UK have fallen in love with American-style fridge freezers. We look at some of the reasons why they’re so popular.
The new kid on the ice-block
For years we watched Hollywood movies and envied our American cousins for their large, shiny fridge freezers with their capacious interiors, digital temperature displays and ice-making capabilities. In the last few years, these ice-boxes have appeared in shops in UK and are now firm favourites in households across the country.
Capable of storing enough food for a small army, these ingenious fridge models don’t just keep food cool. Their useful design elements and in-built accessories make our traditional white goods seem so passé. Aside from the extra space you’ll get for your fresh and frozen goods, what other features do they offer that set them apart from standard models?
The novelty of being able to press a button to get either crushed ice or ice cubes can’t be over-stated, especially if you have children. No more unhygienic ice cube trays or wobbly ice-making bags which leak over your frozen food. Be warned, however, that ice-making facilities do require space in the freezer compartment so you will lose some storage capacity. Models offering this also need to be plumbed into the mains water supply and will require fitting by a professional for optimum performance. If you are having a new kitchen, or a re-design, you should factor these costs into your budget.
Chilled water at the push of a button is one of life’s simple pleasures, especially in hot weather. Most American-style fridge freezers incorporate a chilled water dispenser in the fridge door. Again, this needs to be plumbed into the mains water supply, so when you are designing your kitchen layout, it is an important factor to bear in mind.
The water will be fed through a filter which will have to be replaced approximately every six months. These can cost anywhere between £20 to £90 so if you do not want a nasty surprise outlay every half year, check how much replacement filters cost before you make your purchase. Some units offer a removable water jug, holding up to three litres, which can be stored in the fridge but have to be topped up from the tap. This style of fridge negates the need for plumbing.
With adjustable shelves and racks for bottles, the space inside American fridge freezers is flexible, allowing you to store a lot of food at any one time. Most feature convenient door racks to store goods like butter and cheese, some will offer two salad drawers to keep your greens crisp and fresh and away from heavier vegetables and they all allow you the space to store bottles of milk and juice upright in door shelves whose height can vary to accommodate bottles of differing sizes.
All in all, it looks like American-style fridge freezers are here to stay. We love their size, their adaptability and their gadgets and as we, as a nation, spend more and more time in our kitchen/diners enjoying them as a social space, their appeal seems set to last.