Best Outdoor Mini Fridge for Food or Drinks

Best Outdoor Mini Fridge for Food or Drinks

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Really want to up your outdoor kitchen game? Join us while we review the best outdoor mini fridges to make beer and mixer runs way easier. These puppies can house everything from wine bottles, to grilling meats and of course beer cans. That’ll save you trips back into the kitchen while letting you focus more on entertaining! 

From form and function, to durability and of course ease of installation we’ll cover everything you need to know before you buy a mini fridge for outdoor use. After that, we’ll jump straight into some detailed reviews of some of the most popular models. 

Tips for Choosing an Outdoor Mini Fridge

Before we get started though, it’s worth noting that it’s quite a bit different than buying one for your office, or dorm room. 

Can Mini Fridges be Left Outside?  

They can – provided they’re designed to do so. Most mini fridges, (like the ones you’d buy for your home or office), aren’t quite suitable for being used outdoors for a prolonged period of time. There’s several reasons for this. 

The first, is that they might not be capable of standing up to constant UV light exposure. Glass beverage mini fridges, as well as solid door models will likely cloud and fade over time with constant sun exposure. Not only that, but it may also damage the seal that helps to keep the cold air in. 

Secondly, they can become prone to a lot of stress being put on the temperature regulation system as it will constantly adjust to the slightest changes in outdoor temperatures. Mini fridges that are designed for outdoor use will consume less power, and struggle less to maintain a consistent temperature while they’re outside. 

Why Should I Buy an Outdoor Capable Mini Fridge?

  • They’re designed to fit comfortably in an outdoor kitchen
  • They maintain a consistent temperature outdoors 
  • They are made from more durable exterior materials
  • Outdoor mini fridges have venting that works with under counter installation

How Can I Use an Mini Fridge Outdoors Safely? 

There’s a few things you can do to ensure the longevity of your outdoor mini fridge. First, do your best to insulate the space where you’ll be installing the fridge. Remember, there should still be adequate ventilation. (If your fridge vents through the front, this shouldn’t be so much of a problem). 

Ensure that the outdoor kitchen you’re putting it into isn’t facing directly towards the sun. This will keep UV rays off of the finish on your fridge. Those with covered patios, or even a simple outdoor umbrella setup over their outdoor kitchen need not worry. 

The Best Outdoor Mini Fridge Options

Now that you’re a much more savvy outdoor kitchen shopper, let’s take a look at some of the best outdoor mini fridges! 

Smad Compact Mini Fridge

Smad Compact Mini Fridge Quiet No Noise Absorption Refrigerator with Lock 40L Truck Fridge 110V/12V Refrigerator 1.4 cu.ft, Black

Available in a variety of different sizes, the Smad mini fridge makes a great choice for a versatile indoor or outdoor mini fridge. It’s freestanding on its own, although it is also capable of undermounted counter installation in an outdoor kitchen. 

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It comes fitted with a key-lock straight out of the box, and includes a few different shelving options. The interior shelving is plastic with light blue hue, and does provide for some versatility in placement. With a unique secondary power option, you can also plug this fridge into a 12V outlet with the included cord. This makes it a great choice for the camp cook if you’re taking it with you in the trailer. 

Pros:

  • Can use either 12V or standard power outlet 
  • Noiseless operation 
  • Suitable for different types of installation 

Cons:

  • Interior LED light is not powered when plugged into a 12V source

Midea Reversible Compact Refrigerator

Midea WHS-160RSS1 Single Reversible Compact Refrigerator, 4.4 Cubic Feet, Stainless Steel

This 4.4 cubic ft outdoor capable mini fridge has a stainless steel front panel, with a black casing. The interior features white wire shelves, as well as a can dispenser on one side. Personally, I find these to be the best for storing condiments, ingredients and other grilling sides in an outdoor kitchen. 

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This small fridge is rich in interior space, with the ability to hold nearly 50 beer cans. The stainless steel finish on the front panel also makes it a great choice for undermounting in an outdoor kitchen. The door will even allow for a couple of bottles of wine, too. 

Pros:

  • Spacious interior design 
  • Large can dispenser on the door 
  • Stainless steel door design with recessed handle 

Cons:

  • Not a lot of versatility with the shelving 

Bull Outdoor Products Outdoor Mini Fridge

Bull Outdoor Products 11001 Stainless Steel Front Panel Refrigerator,4.4 cubic feet

This tall 4.4 cubic feet mini fridge is ideal for the prep cook and BBQ enthusiast out on the outdoor kitchen. This mini fridge by Bull Outdoor Products is specially designed to be installed in an outdoor kitchen under counter space. 

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It features a reversible stainless steel front panel that has plenty of space for everything from beer cans to condiments. With the omission of a freezer, there’s an additional rack of space that goes to the very top of the fridge. This gives you plenty of range to customize your racks accordingly. 

Pros:

  • Front door panel is stainless steel 
  • Additional interior space 
  • Highly durable exterior casing 

Cons:

  • Handle is flush on the top of the door, meaning there needs to be adequate space 

Advantics 24 Inch Outdoor Beverage Mini Fridge

Advanics Outdoor/Indoor 24 Inch Wide Built In Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler, 5.8 cu.ft. Under Counter Drink Fridge with Led Light, Stainless Steel

The Advantics 24 inch outdoor beverage fridge has a stainless steel exterior, giving it a sharp look to add to your outdoor kitchen setup. It’s designed for undercounter installation with front-facing ventilation on the bottom of the unit. 

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Mechanically, this unit features an auto defrost and self-evaporation compression system. That means that it’s less likely to be affected by outdoor temperature fluctuations. 

The interior is the real star of the show with this outdoor mini beverage fridge. 4 smooth slide-out stainless steel racks can hold cans or beer bottles laid horizontally in a row. Aside from these, the top most rack can slide open with standing cans, while there’s additional room for cans or bottles to stand on the bottom of the fridge. 

Pros:

  • Sleek stainless steel handle for easy use when it’s undermounted 
  • Specialized outdoor compressor and auto defrost 
  • Front-vent so ventilation in a cut-out behind the unit is not necessary 
  • Blue interior LED lighting

Cons:

  • Must account for clearance for the frontal vent grille 
  • Does not come fitted with a lock, while it primarily holds beverages 
  • No storage on the door, while this does allow drinks to stay chilly 

HCK 5.12 cubic feet 161 Can Capacity Outdoor Mini Fridge

HCK 24 inch Undercounter Refrigerators, Weatherproof Outdoor Fridge with Stainless Steel Body for Patio, Beverage Refrigerator with Reversible Door, Lockable Design for Home and Commercial 5.12 Cu.Ft

The design of the HCK 5.12 cubic feet capacity mini fridge is perfect for anyone planning their first outdoor kitchen! It has a modern matte stainless steel finish, and handle that makes for a very clean look overall. 

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This fridge boasts an incredible 161 can capacity, which is perfect for beer and soda lovers. This mini fridge is outdoor capable right out of the box with a strong compressor cooling system that can keep up with changing temperatures. The first thing you’ll notice when you open the fridge is the substantial insulation, which helps to keep its efficiency high, and power consumption low. 

There are 3 removable chrome shelves, but not specialized compartments or a freezer. This unit also boasts an easy to read and operate digital thermostat in the top. 

Pros:

  • Incredible durability thanks to 304 stainless steel exterior 
  • Superior insulation for temperature control. 
  • Large capacity with the ability to hold as much as 161 12oz cans 
  • Large front-facing handle and included key lock 

Cons:

  • Monotone matte stainless steel looks very commercial 
  • Lots of clearance must be made for the cutout to include space for the front-facing vent 

What is the Best Outdoor Mini Fridge: In Summary 

At first I was elated to discover that there were so many outdoor capable mini fridges. Thankfully, they come with a wide range of storage options depending on what you’re planning on using them for. The more domestic indoor/outdoor fridges are great for holding odds and ends like condiments and side dishes. 

Meanwhile, some of the large units that are dedicated outdoor mini fridges are definitely more well suited to either holding lots of grilling foods, or as many drinks as you could possibly need! 

After reviewing all of the top models, I’d have to say that the HCK 5.12 cubic feet mini fridge is by far the best unit in my opinion. 

I have several reasons for selecting this fridge as the standout winner. It has a huge amount of space for storing everything from meats to beverages. No space is wasted on the door, so the interior racks are deep and wide making it much more practical for grabbing things you need at a glance. It’s fully outdoor capable, and fitted with a powerful compressor for keeping up with the temperature no matter what the weather is doing. 

Thanks for checking out our reviews for the best outdoor mini fridges! If you have any experience with these types of fridges in the past, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Share your knowledge with other readers who are looking for one of their own. 

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