Should We Get A Freezerless Refrigerator AND A Standalone Freezer Instead Of A Side-By-Side?

by Lynnette

appliances, kitchens

It recently dawned on me: Go freezerless!

And if it weren’t for the in-the-door ice & water dispenser (that we use several times a day currently), we’d probably do just that: Go with a freezerless refrigerator in the kitchen of our new log home.

Because… we’ve been toying with the idea of including a full-size freezer in the nearby pantry anyway. The reason? We buy a lot of bulk meats, vegetables & processed foods (pizzas & tv dinners). And the pantry is just a skip away, with merely a pocket door separating it from the kitchen — so it will be really convenient to access the freezer in there.

What About Buying A Refrigerator And A Freezer?

Since freezerless models obviously don’t have the built-in ice & water dispenser, the plan now is to buy regular refrigerator (with or without a freezer attached, but definitely with lots of fresh food storage capacity) for the kitchen and also buy a standalone full-size freezer for the pantry (for all our frozen food needs). In my mind, that’s the best of both worlds.

Yay! I think I’ve finally found the answer to our cold food storage needs.


Finding Refrigerators That Fit Into My New Plan

Okay, so I did some homework to see what my options were going to be like and how much I was going to have to spend to pull this off.

Here’s what I found:

First of all, I’ve decided that a counter-depth refrigerator would be the most ideal choice for for our log home’s kitchen layout. Why use up more space in the kitchen if you don’t have to? Plus, the spot we’re planning to put the refrigerator in the kitchen just so happens to block one of the windows to the adjoining porch. But if we go with a thinner, counter-deep model, less of that view will be blocked.

Initially, counter-deep units didn’t make much sense because the deeper refrigerators are usually larger (more capacity) than the counter-deep ones. But now, I don’t have to worry about refrigerator and freezer space in the kitchen. And since I’m really only concerned about fridge space now, whatever freezer space comes with the unit will merely be a “bonus”.

Lowe’s has 125 counter-depth refrigerators
Best Buy has 69 counter-deep refrigerators
Sears has 66 counter-deep refrigerators


Some Examples Of What’s Available

Since Lowe’s has the largest selection, I’ll use them as a guide…

When you narrow the list down to only those with ice & water dispensers (a necessity for us), there are 128 to choose from. Since we’re only interested in the energy-efficient ones, I narrowed it down even farther and found there are only 65 of those with an Energy Star rating.

From there, they have 3 that are stainless steel (ranging from $1,600 – $3,800) and 34 with a stainless “look” (Whirlpool & Frigidaire units ranging from $1,900 to $2,000.)

Or, if you narrow the list down by size instead of color, starting with the largest in size.. there are 3 units which are 25 cu ft or larger (…they just so happen to be stainless steel and the prices range from $2,200 – $2,400; a KitchenAid and a Whirlpool).

Of those larger ones, I would seriously consider the Whirlpool. I just haven’t researched KitchenAids enough at this point.

Looking at the next down in size (22-24 cu ft), there are a couple with the stainless look (Frigidaires & Whirlpools ranging from $1,900 – $2,000 in price) and 28 that are stainless steel (GE Profile, Whirlpool, Kitchenaid, and Frigidaire units with prices ranging from $1,800 to $3,800).

Of that last batch, I think I’m only interested in the 3 GE Profile units ($3,000 – $3,800) and the 4 Whirlpool units ($2,100 – $2,600).

So, in sum… If we were going to buy from Lowe’s, I guess we’d be looking at a 22-25 cu ft counter-depth stainless steel Energy Star GE Profile or Whirlpool refrigerator that is a side-by-side unit with a built-in ice & water dispenser priced between $2,100 and $3,800. (I can tell you this… we’re not crazy about paying more than $2,500 for a fridge! So in this case, we’d probably end up with a Whirlpool.)


What About Counter-Depth French Door Units?

The biggest bummer after researching Lowe’s above was the fact that we were kind of hoping to find a french door unit with the freezer on the bottom …for those times when we’d need to store large, wide platters in the fridge.

Turns out, Home Depot has a Maytag refrigerator and a Jenn-Air unit with french doors (and with all the other features mentioned above) that cost about $2,500 each. (Best Buy only has 4 side-by-side units that range from $2,000 to $2,600.)

Of those, I’d seriously consider the Maytag and the Jenn-Air.