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Sep 6, 2011 12:40 AM

Counter depth refrigerator...yes or no?

In the planning stages of a kitchen remodel for my smallish kitchen (currently 10x9). Unfortunately my less-than-a-year-old Samsung French door refrigerator is not counter depth.

Reading the threads, it seems that counter depths have smaller capacity. Living in the country, I keep the refrigerator and freezer well-stocked to avoid long drives to buy groceries.

Will I be disappointed in a counter depth refrigerator?

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  1. Buy a counter-depth fridge, either with or without a freezer (that depends on what you store) and keep an auxiliary freezer in the garage/pantry/mudroom, etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: E_M

      exactly. Counter depth units *are* noticably smaller. I have an extra freezer in the garage.

      1. re: DGresh

        On the bright side, you won't lose food in the far recesses of the fridge anymore. No more science projects. No more unloading the fridge to get to the back to see if your leftovers are in there, somewhere. Ergo, no standing in front of the fridge with the door open for several minutes on end. So the space is actually working more efficiently.

    2. We got a counter depth refrigerator. We replaced the existing non-counter depth refrigerator and now the kitchen feels like a ballroom. Two people can walk passed each other now between the new refrigerator and counter when before we couldn't. Bad news is there is a noticeable lack of space inside and no freezer. So we have to strategically place stuff in the frig and bought a 7 sq ft freezer putting it in the basement. The added floor space is worth it to us.

      1. My sister bought one by mistake...didn't realize that it was designed that way. She is rather disappointed in it. There is a significant lack of space.....making placing platters etc in the fridge a nightmare. It makes things difficult if you like to entertain.
        We just recently purchased a new refrigerator and during the shopping phase....if we encountered a "counter depth"....we quickly shut the door and moved on.

        1. We've had a counterdepth side-by-side Fridge/Freezer for about 5 years, which replaced a full-size side-by-side. It is definitely smaller. Whether it will suit your needs depends on the size of your family and what you use your freezer for. I shop once/week but it's just me and my husband at home. It's more than adequate for us.

          We are very organized about how things are stored in the freezer but it is used almost exclusively for raw meats and fish, breads, a few bags of frozen vegetables, and a container or 2 of ice cream -- i.e., we generally do not freeze cooked food for eating later, and we avoid frozen convenience foods. The freezer compartment is plenty large for our uses: At any given moment I probably have 5 lbs of ground chuck, a few lbs of sausages, 10 lbs of chicken parts (boneless breasts & bone-in parts), one whole chicken, some steaks, chops, a lb. or 2 of fish, and 2 lbs of frozen shrimp, plus 2 dozen bagels, sandwich rolls, a loaf or 2 of sliced bread, a sleeve of English muffins, and miscellaneous odds and ends from baguettes.

          We also have small under-counter fridge in the wet bar of our basement rec room, which we installed for the purpose of keeping soft drinks and beer handy downstairs. When we are entertaining or have houseguests, I often use it as an auxiliary fridge if the kitchen fridge is full.

          As to the suggestions to go with a counter-depth fridge and auxiliary freezer, I would not recommend that unless there are space constraints in your kitchen that preclude a full-size fridge. You will use more energy with the c-d fridge & separate freezer than if you just install a full-size fridge.

          1. Definitely a counter-depth one for aesthetics and for making the kitchen feel larger. I seem to fit more than I thought into my Sub Zero built in fridge; it's just a matter of how you load the fridge up! I also have my "old" fridge/freezer in my basement, and mostly use it for overflow during the holidays. There's always food/drinks in it, but I think that if I didn't have it, I could still get by -- and I'm an avid cook, so there's always food in the freezer for a rainy day.

            Just another thought.....I've been to several friends' kitchens who have spent loads of money on the redo, and then they have an eye sore of a fridge sticking out. It just takes away the beauty and sleekness of the kitchen.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CookingBabs

              When we redid our kitchen we moved the old side by side to the basement. It was great for the overflow from the CSA and especially for holidays. But about 6 months ago the basement one failed, and I decided to try living without it. It takes a bit of thought, and it helps that one of our milk-drinkers just went off to college. But we are doing ok. Doing without an extra freezer is not an option though. I make a lot of pasta sauce, pesto, etc.