Refrigerator Help! Would you go bigger if you could go back?

BrittWave1March 29, 2012

Hello all,

First, about my husband and myself. We are a young family (I am pregnant with our first and hopefully only child), and we LOVE to cook and make our own stocks and such (we don't hunt and fish, though). I also plan on making baby food.

We have been refrigerator shopping and seemed content with a Whirlpool Gold 25 cu ft fridge. Then we got wowed by a Frigidaire 27.8 cu ft (same price as Whirlpool one) as well as the Kenmore Elite 31 cu ft and LG 31 cu ft fridge (about $1000 more).

We thought we could incorporate a small deep freeze in our pantry, but we realized we'd be DOUBLING our freezer space with the really big fridge/freezer. It would free up pantry space by eliminating the deep freeze. We don't need a water dispenser/ice dispenser in door (those seem to cause more problems), but it's a given with the bigger fridges.

My question is: which would you pick. Please include brand reliability in your response as well.


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I've yet to meet a refrigerator too big. Though I'm sure they exist. We're a heavily-eating family of 4 with teenagers, and have the Samsung french door (with in-door water dispenser which I actually love and recommend ... as it hasn't yet broken! extended warranty perhaps?).

This isn't one of your listed ones so not sure if that's helpful. But I would say more space with a young family is helpful .... depends on how you cook of course. We use lots of veggies which can take up a lot of space. No problems with this fridge one year out. (can it possibly be this long????)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:25PM
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That's pretty much my instinct. I hadn't considered Samsung. Basically, I went to the store pretty happy to spend on a Whirlpoll goal (that had been researched and looked at) and got side tracked by cubic feet.

...the story of my life I suppose. :-)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:50PM
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I'm the opposite. I lose things in large refrigerators and end up with stuff that talks to me when I open the door (shudder).

I have two small children (make my own baby food) and we just bought an 18 cu ft Maytag fridge for our new kitchen.

That said, we do have a deep freeze in the basement as I freeze a lot of peaches, cooked pumpkin, and apples in the summer/fall. And we will be keeping a 3/4 size fridge as separate storage for holidays or times when we need the space. Both of these will be in the basement as our kitchen/pantry is very small.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 2:53PM
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We have a 48 and cannot imagine having less space. And there are only the two of us now! I have often wondered how/why people feel they have to have a 48 inch range and yet find a smaller refrigerator to be adequate. We're just the opposite.

What is it filled with? Lots of fresh produce. Big bottles of diet soda (bad I know). Bread, cheese, yogurt, sauces and leftovers. It is totally filled! I guess one of the reasons we like and need it is that I go to the supermarket less often -- generally once a week unless we are planning a special meal.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:51AM
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I think bigger is somewhat better. I got A kitchen aid french door 21.9 cuft model a few months ago. it is 32.5 inch wide and that was the biggest I could fit in my space. when I was shopping I wanted ice and water in the door but wasn't sure the narrow spaces would work. I found this one that had an ice maker and water inside the left fridge door. good compromise and though we don't have kids around much if you are going to the fact that they can not reach up and mess with it is good.

As far as space I used to have an old Ronald Regan presidency era 17 cu.ft. top freezer model. for the two of us it was just ok, but easy to loose sight of items way down in the back and not a good lay out of shelves and the door shelves even worse. the small freezer was always jammed with food and no room for ice trays.
the french door is so much better, easier to find things in and there is more then enough room in the fridge section. the freezer section is pretty good too but I buy meats and other things in bulk when I can get good deals so I keep a small chest freezer in the basement too.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 8:00AM
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In the case of refrigerators, bigger is better. Since you're hoping to eliminate the deep freeze in the pantry, you will need to make sure you have PLENTY of freezer space. Many of the larger cu ft fridges have more fridge space but the freezer space is the same as smaller cu ft fridges.

I second the Samsung recommendation. We have the Kenmore Elite badged Samsung counter depth. We chose the Kenmore version because with all else being the same, I liked the handles better. The one thing I didn't believe was true when the salesman said it, was that the fruits & veggies would stay fresh longer. Well, we've been in the new house 6 months and by golly, he was right! Pleasantly surprised :-) That would come in handy for storing the raw ingredients for the baby food. It is also quiet--you can't even hear it running except for when the ice drops into the bin. Some have reported problems with their icemakers, but we have had no problems--the icemaker will put itself in the 'Off' mode if the bin is super full. There's a reset button for that that I think alot of people miss.

Since you're also looking at Kenmore, remember that Kenmore appliances are made by a myriad of different companies. In the fridge department alone you've got Whirlpool, LG, Kitchen Aid, Samsung & GE making refrigerators with a Kenmore badge. You'll want to check reviews on both the Kenmore badged refrigerator as well as the one with the manufacturer's label on it. Generally you can tell which manufacturer made a particular model by the ice maker and/or the cooling system design as they typically use the same ones in the Kenmore that they do in their regular lineup ;-)

Here's a link to the full size Samsung that we bought the counter depth version of. It's one of the largest 36" wide refrigerators on the market at 29.6 cuft. It only has 1 review and the guy gave the fridge 1 star because he was having problems with the apps (yes, you read that right--the apps). Who buys a fridge for the apps, for heaven's sake?!?

Anyway, hope this helps & congrats on your new baby!

Here is a link that might be useful: Samsung 29.6 cu ft Refrigerator

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:09PM
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I love my all fridge/all freezer 30" units. Now I don't need three separate units. If you have the space go big!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Bigger is better until the appliance sticks out so far into the room that you have to work just to get around it. Depths coming in at over 33 inches, set on a 24" deep counter--that's a lot of refrigerator sticking out into the room.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:49AM
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As a lot have stated, I don't think you can go wrong with the bigger fridge. My decision was dictated by the cabinet height. So whichever unit you choose make sure it will fit. And as Athome stated, make sure it's not sticking out too much.

I do have a french door and still have a small freezer in the garage. It's the Maytag H2O which fried a circuit board and shoots ice out the door like bullets. Luckily there was a plate over the board so there was no damage to the surrounding area. So if you go Whirlpool do some googling to see if they are having problems with the circuit boards on the model you are interested in. Apparently they are also having issues with some dishwasher circuit boards.

Love the french door concept, which is great for placing large platters when you are setting up for parties.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:44AM
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Call me the odd ball but we just got rid of a side by side and replaced it with a regular top freezer fridge. I had several reasons. First the previous owners must have really wanted a side by side. They shoved it into a spot that wasn't meant for one. They took out floor molding and everything. ugh. Every time I opened the door it gouged into the wall. So it had to be pulled out to a certain point to eliminate the wall issue. Second reason we were getting new counters and since this fridge was jammed in there, I was told it could chip the granite if we needed to pull the fridge in and out. Lastly, there are only 3 of us and most of the time the fridge was half empty. I don't know how much energy we are saving with the smaller fridge but I always felt like I had to go grocery shopping with the bigger one. If space is not an issue then go with a larger fridge. I was surprised there wasn't that big of a price difference between the top freezer and side by sides. This annoyed me. Lucky for me I found the model fridge I wanted at a huge discount, then added competitors coupons and I ended up with a 900 fridge for 619.00

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 2:33AM
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