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Sep 28, 2010 04:19 PM

repurposing fridge "can dispensers"?

I've been looking for a very small fridge for a small apartment, and all of them now seem to have "can dispensers" in the door. I don't drink cans of fizzy drink or beer (what beer I do buy for beer-loving friends comes in bottles) and it is absurd to waste so much space in a very small, energy miserly fridge.

Are there any other ways to use this thing?

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  1. I've never seen a fridge with a can dispenser, these smaller fridges you look at must bwe "college friendly". =)

    1. I'm not sure what this looks like if it's in the door - but my full-sized fridge has a can dispenser, (not in the door) two rows, side by side, and usually use it to store cartons of eggs, etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: flourgirl

        sounds like I have a similar dispenser in my regular fridge - 2 rows side by side. I use one side for cans and the other side for a carton of eggs, or tall thinner bottles like wine.

        I think I could actually remove the can dispenser but it's actually turned out to be handy in my case. Maybe look closely and see if they're removable in models you're looking at.

        1. I have a small reefer in a beach house with what I think you mean. It's a vertical chute on the inside of the door that holds 5-6 12-oz cans in a horizontal position. You pull the bottom can out and the others drop down. Is that right? I think this feature predominates in the newer models that do not have a freezer section.

          If it's like mine, these things are pretty single-purpose--the plastic door liner is formed in a way awkward for anything else. The best suggestion I can give you is use it for 12-oz cans of other things, e.g., tomato juice, iced tea, mixers, etc.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Yes, but I've also seen them in small fridges with a separate freezer section (two doors). I don't drink tinned iced tea or mixers, and tend to buy slightly larger tomato juice cans or tetrapaks if I do buy that. Tea for me has to be made from scratch! I just don't want any wasted space in such a small appliance. It looks like very bad design to me, as not everyone drinks cans of soft drink or beer. If there is beer in my fridge, it is bottled local craft beer. And those bottles wouldn't fit.

          2. I feel your pain -- I had the same problem when looking for a new refrigerator for my tiny Manhattan galley kitchen. It's a rental, but my landlord let me choose, thankfully. We ended up with a Whirlpool from PC Richard -- it was the only refrigerator that fit the space (24" wide by 60" high) that did NOT come with that can dispenser. (And yes, there's a separate freezer door on top.) If that's the right size for you, check it out. I'm pretty sure this is it, but of course you should look in person:

            Hope you find something that works -- or that you come up with an inventive use for those ridiculous can dispensers!

            4 Replies
            1. re: herring

              Thanks herring. Up here in Montréal, many if not most tenants are expected to buy or move their own fridge or stove (I live in a housing co-op). There are so many useless "features" now. Yes, that would be about the ideal size for me. I don't have a galley kitchen, but don't want to take up much space in my kitchen/dining room with the small amount of food for one person and sometime guests.

              1. re: lagatta

                I totally understand. That's why I was so frustrated when I was initially shopping -- my space is so limited to begin with and I'm forced to have this small refrigerator, I *really* didn't want to "give up" all that space for cans of stuff I don't drink! I've been very happy with the Whirlpool, so hopefully that will work for you, too. Good luck!

                1. re: herring

                  Thanks! Come visit us at the Québec board -my friends in NYC are always happy to do a food crawl up here.