Undercounter refrigerators are ideal for any business or restaraunt where easy access to chilled items would be beneficial. They are often found under bar tops, in cafés, or in commercial kitchens. Three common materials are used to build the interiors of commercial coolers:
- Stainless steel is very durable, which means it's scratch- and dent- resistant, easy to wipe clean with a cloth, and resists the growth of corroding rust, though that can form given damage or the use of caustic cleaners.
- Aluminum is easy to clean and more affordable, but it isn't as durable stainless steel. It's less resistant to scratching and denting. While aluminum can corrode if damaged, the corrosion is clear, unlike rust, and actually forms a protective barrier that prevents further corrosion in that area.
- ABS plastic will not dent, scratch, or rust. Interiors made of this material are molded in one piece, with coved corners and no hard angles, so it's easy to clean and contains spills. Unlike metal, ABS can be punctured by a hard enough blow.
There are three groups of undercounter refrigerator models. Find the one that best suits your needs.
- Hotel Minibar- these models feature a small size of about 1 square foot. They are designed for food and refreshments in hotel rooms
- Counter height - These models feature a larger size of about 6 square feet of storage space and are ideal for break rooms and small cafes
- Standard Undercounter - these models offer anywhere from 12 to 40 cubic feet of storage space and are ideal for large kitchens.
There are two types of doors each having its own advantages.
- Solid doors are better insulated, so they are the more energy efficient of the two under most conditions.
- Glass doors provide visibility into the fridge when the door is closed, which means users can see what's in each section before opening the door. If your equipment is frequently accessed, this can save energy in the long run since it could cut down on the length of time the door remains open.
Depending on how much storage space you need, the number of sections you need may vary.
- Single section refrigerators typically comes with three shelves, with the option to buy more if you're storing smaller items.
- Larger boxes are split up into multiple sections, each with its own door.
Trying to store too many items in a unit that's too small can overfill the unit which may cause it to be unable to maintain safe temperatures and run the risk of breaking down.
When installing your undercounter refrigerator remember these tips.
- The refrigerator’s back should be at least 7 inches from the wall to allow proper airflow and chilling of your items.
- Place the fridge away from any heat producing appliances for keeping your ingredients fresh.
- Then it is as easy as plugging your undercounter fridge into an electrical outlet.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, your fridge should be set at or below 40 F (4 C). Your freezer should be set at 0 F (-18 C).