Best Outdoor Kegerator

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No outdoor gathering is complete without drinks. Usually, we either have to make a special trip to get our beverage, or we let it get warm—but no more! With an outdoors kegerator, your refreshment of choice will be close at hand and at proper temperature, no matter the weather!

Best Outdoor Kegerator: What Is A Kegerator?

Simply put, it’s a refrigerated cabinet for your keg. It features a tank full of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is what applies pressure to the keg and drives your beverage up and through the faucet at the top. A regulator allows you to adjust the pressure, so the flow is not too potent but also not a mere trickle. Bear in mind that the CO2 tank must be refilled every now and then, otherwise the day will come when the kegerator won’t deliver anything through the tap. Before making your purchase, it’s a good idea to check where you can go to get this done; among the places that can help you are welding shops, fire extinguisher companies, and paint ball guns sellers.

Outdoors-Rated Kegerators: The Why

Like many other products (TVs, furniture, even rugs and cushions), kegerators began as something intended for the home; if you want it in your patio, it has to be designed to work under the additional pressure being outside will bring. True, an outdoors kegerator will be more expensive than an indoors one of similar configuration and capacity but, as you will soon see, it is more than worth it:

  • Rigorously tested for durability and resistance to the elements. This also means it will last longer!
  • Capable of maintaining low temperatures on frigid days and also at the height of summer; able to react quickly to external temperature fluctuations so it remains steadily cold within the cabinet.
  • Many models feature an alarm to let you know if temperature is getting too high for them to keep up, so you may take action (in general, a kegerator should not be exposed directly to the sun, to attenuate the stress it’s put under in trying to keep your beverages cold).
  • Unlike its indoors counterpart, warranty is not voided if you bring it outside, since that is its intended use.

What You Need To Know Beforehand

In order to find the kegerator that better suits your needs, there are a few things you should ask yourself prior to shopping around.

What Are You Drinking?

This distinction is important, as there are also kegerators intended for—wait for it—wine! They are very similar to their beer counterparts, the main difference being that their temperature range is slightly higher so your potables won’t spoil. Are you a coffee person? There are kegerators for that too!

How Big Are You Going?

Also known as, how much of your favorite beverage do you want to keep on tap? The relevant unit of measurement here, is the keg. Here’s the sizes you’ll find:

Half barrel: Also known as full keg, it’s the standard in bars and restaurants the world over, and the largest size you can expect to get your hands on. Capacity is 15.5 gallons, which will yield you approximately 165 servings of 12oz size.

Quarter barrel: Able to hold up to 7 gallons and 3 quarters (or 82 12oz helpings), this one comes in two shapes: “pony keg”, which is as wide as a full keg but almost a foot shorter, and “slim quarter”, which is leaner and taller—same height (though not width), in fact, as the next item on our list.

Sixth barrel: Nicknamed “torpedo keg”, this one is a popular choice for personal use or for establishments that lack space but still want to offer a wide variety of beers to their clientele. This one can fit 5.16 gallons, which translates to about 55 servings of 12oz each.

One Tap, Two — Or More?

If you favor one brand and one brand only, then a single-tap kegerator might be all you need. However, if you’re prone to flights or fancy, or prefer to offer variety to your guests, then you can always go for a double-tap option. Some models out there feature as many as 3 taps—now that’s range!

Freestanding VS Built-In Kegerator Taps

Freestanding means you can wheel it around and place it wherever the party requires it. However, if you happen to have an outdoors kitchen, you can get a model equipped for built-in installation.

Best Outdoor Kegerators: Our Picks

Below you’ll find a few models we believe you might find worthy of holding your keg in place—and at the right temperature!

EdgeStar KC1500SSOD

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Built in stainless steel, this one comes with castors for wheeling around, but it is also optimized for permanent undercounter installation, thanks to its front vent and forced-air refrigeration,as well as its removable guardrails and castors. Temperature range is from 32 to 60°F, and it and other settings can be controlled through the electronic panel.

Package comes with everything required for installation, the keg being the sole exception. Cabinet can hold 1 slim keg, i.e. slim quarter, sixth barrel or Cornelius size.

Pros:

  • Easy to put together.
  • Reversible door; install right hinge or left.

Cons:

  • Thermostat known to fail occasionally.

Kegco HK38SSC-2 Keg Dispenser

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With a range between 32 and 59°F, this one can work with a variety of beverages, including kombucha, coffee and even wine; and since it has two taps, you can offer two different drinks, or two brands of beer or wine. It has enough room for 1 full-size keg, 2slim quarter kegs, or 3 5-gallon (sixth barrel or Cornelius) kegs, and the included wire racks allow you to convert the cabinet into a fridge on a whim. Temperature can be displayed in F or C, with the controls situated at the front. Compatible for built-in and freestanding use.

Pros:

  • Front door can be locked to prevent tampering.

Cons:

  • Door is not reversible; left-hinge and right-hinge are offered separately.

Bull Outdoor Tap Full-Size Beer Kegerator & Outdoor Rated Refrigerator Fridge

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There’s no denying it’s expensive, but it may very well be what you need if you’re in the process of equipping your outdoors area and would like to save yourself some time and effort searching. Both appliances come built in steel, with just one difference: whereas the fridge is stainless steel, the surface of the kegerator is treated to give it a spotless quality, which means it will not develop marks when the keg is sitting inside or when it is swapped.

Keg includes removable drip tray, removable guard rails, reversible hinge and defrosts automatically; fridge features 3 wire shelves, and a door that closes itself and seals in order to preserve the low temperature within.

Pros:

  • Two birds, one stone: get storage for your drink and for everything else in one go.

Cons:

  • Quite a hefty investment in money and space.

Coldbreak CBJB30QT1T – Jockey Box

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If you wish for something that won’t take a lot of space, and which you can easily take to your next tailgate party, then this might be the one for you: suitable only for holding mini (5-liter) kegs, this one works quite similar to a cooler, in that ice must be poured into the chamber so the beer will remain, and flow out, at proper temperature.

Worth noting that, in order to work as full-size kegerators do, this one requires a CO tank and a dispensing kit, which are sold separately; however, once it’s set up, it will provide you with the same chilled beer that a regular appliance does, and it enables you to have a modicum of variety on tap thanks to its 2 taps.

Pros:

  • Portability at its finest.
    More affordable overall than full-size units.

Cons:

  • Requires additional purchases.
  • Extremely limited capacity.

EdgeStar ‎KC7000SSODTRIP

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It comes with castors and guardrails should you want to wheel it around, and you can remove those so that you may install it undercounter, which is made possible thanks to its front ventilation. Made in stainless steel, it is generally hailed for its steady performance even in mid-90s temperature. Front panel and interior lighting are both LED.

Capacity is enough for 3 slim kegs (slim quarter, sixth barrel or Cornelius), one keg of full size, or one of beveled edge. Door is reversible, and it can be locked to keep the interior safe from tampering.

Pros:

Plenty of capacity and potential for drink variety.

LED lighting will not emit heat, helping preserve interior temperature.

Cons:

Might be too big an investment for casual use.

Unit must be unplugged and plugged back in after a power outage, as it will not come back on automatically.

The Best Outdoor Kegerator: EdgeStar KC1500SSOD

As long as you don’t intend to host frequent parties and are okay with one choice of drink, this is probably all you need: unlike other options out there, you can install the door on right or left hinge, so it will suit your preference or match the flow of your cabinets Given its size, you can easily wheel it where it is required, and you can also choose to permanently affix it undercounter, thanks to the front vent.

Although it comes with only one tap, its interior capacity will net you between 50 and 80 12oz servings (depending on the keg you choose), which should suffice for personal use and even for the occasional gathering.

Hector