Outdoor entertainment plays a big role in Aussies’ life and as the weather warms up, comes the time when we all start preparing our outdoor areas for the upcoming days of joy and fun. I can say for myself that I am a person who likes to cook, but also to entertain more than just cook, so hosting small gatherings for family and friends is one of my favourite things and I always make sure nothing’s missing when we are together.
That’s why when I and my husband decided that we are going to turn our backyard into an outdoor kitchen, I left nothing to chance and chose a custom outdoor kitchen , which turned out great. However, it didn’t take long until we realised that we are missing something. An outdoor bar fridge. Truth to be told, I was looking at outside bar fridges when we were equipping our outdoor kitchen, but I thought it was not a necessity at the time. Oh, how I was wrong…
If you ask me now, an outdoor bar fridge is essential for any open entertainment area as there is nothing more annoying or disappointing than having a warm drink under the sun. Add to it the convenience of having beverages nearby while you enjoy time with family and friends in your outdoor area and you’ll understand why I didn’t think twice before investing in an outdoor bar fridge. But before we made the purchase, there was one question that was bothering me…
Can You Put a Bar Fridge Outside?
Your bar fridge can easily become the centre of your open entertainment area, however, not just any fridge will do. It must be rated for outdoor use, so make sure you choose from carefully selected outside bar fridges and find the one that suits your needs and your style.
These fridges are designed for performance and durability, featuring a rust-proof finish and weatherproof electrical components. Outdoor bar fridges have more insulation and more powerful cooling components to maintain the temperature in an outdoor environment. However, where you place the fridge within your outdoor entertainment area will play a big role in its efficiency.
Make sure to place the bar fridge away from direct sunlight to reduce energy use and extend the life of the cooling components. My outdoor kitchen is under a roof, but if your outdoor bar is not, then you can add an umbrella and create a shaded area for your bar fridge. Also, it’s important to allow for proper ventilation, so keep some distance between the bar fridge and the bar.
And maybe it’s a no-brainer, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so I’ll say it – never put your bar fridge next to the barbecue. Both appliances expel heat, so placing them next to each other can add stress to your bar fridge components.
Tips on How to Choose Your Outdoor Bar Fridge
Outdoor bar fridges are a great convenience, whether you are hosting a barbecue, having your mates round to watch Aussie Rules (my husband and his friends’ favourite activity) or having cocktails’ night (me and my girls’ favourite thing in the world). There are many different fridge types out there, and even though they seem very similar since they are all designed to keep drinks cold, each of these appliances is equipped towards a range of temperatures to suit different beverage types. To help you narrow down your choices, here are a few tips I found useful before buying our outdoor bar fridge.
Bar fridges are general-purpose appliances and they offer a lot of space for drinks, drink garnish ingredients and snacks. They work similarly to large fridges, just on a smaller scale.
Beverage fridges have been developed to keep a chilly temperature for all your drinks, from water to soft drinks to beer. They are ideal for keeping a stock of cold drinks handy at all times and can save you some space in a regular fridge.
As the name suggests, these fridges are designed to maintain the optimal environment for storing wine. They feature a milder temperature range, anti-vibration and UV protection.
When looking at the door of a new bar fridge, make sure to note which direction it opens, especially if you are going to place it in a harder-to-access area. A bar fridge can come in a single and double door option, with the top mount fridge compartment offering freezer space.
Freestanding or Built-In
In my case, I had to go with a freestanding option because my outdoor kitchen was already set, but if you are building your outdoor entertainment area from scratch, you can opt for a built-in bar fridge and place it into the kitchen island or cabinetry of some sort, whatever works best for you. Whether you choose a freestanding bar fridge or a built-in version, keep in mind that they need good ventilation to keep the components functioning properly and to transfer the heat out of the fridge.
A well-lit bar fridge makes it easy to enjoy your outdoor area when the sun goes down. Our bar fridge has LED lights that prevent creating heat inside of it, but also they are energy-efficient and long-lasting, so you won’t have to replace them very often.