A few of the most important factors to consider when looking for the best commercial refrigerator are the unit’s capacity and energy efficiency rating. As well as its temperature control and display. To help you shop, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best commercial fridges available.
And if you feel the products on my list don’t meet your demands, this article also includes a buying guide. You can refer to it in finding the ideal refrigerator for your food business.
Growing your food business means investing in reliable equipment like a commercial refrigerator. This equipment works around the clock. And they perform a big role in making sure your customer’s health and safety come first.
This type of fridge is quite versatile. Not only can they be used for commercial settings, workspaces, and offices with big staff kitchens that demand fridge capacity typical home fridges cannot offer would benefit from a commercial fridge.
When it comes to purchasing a commercial refrigerator, you’ll have many options. But you should consider various factors. This is to ensure that you’re only getting the best unit that’s up for the task.
My Top Picks
|Best Overall||hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator||– 17.3 x 18.9 x 33.3 inches|
– 3.2 cubic feet capacity
– Easy touch temperature control
– Quiet compressor
|Best for Grab-and-Go Goods||Premium Levella PRF90DX Merchandiser Refrigerator||– 22.6 x 23.22 x 67.12 inches|
– 9 cubic feet capacity
– Thermostat and light switch
– Fully customizable lightbox
|Best for Commercial Kitchens||Arctic Air AF49 Reach-in Commercial Freezer||– 54 x 32.75 x 82.75 inches|
– 49 cubic feet capacity
– Electronic thermostat and LED display
– Self-closing doors
|Best Workstation||Kratos Refrigeration with Prep Table||– 48.6 x 30.9 x 45.6 inches|
– Reversible cutting board
– Adjustable solid state temperature control
|Great for Office Use||Euhomy Beverage Refrigerator||– 17.3 x 33.3 x 18.9 inches|
– 3.2 cubic feet capacity
– Intelligent control and auto defrost
– Advance and quiet cooling system
The Best Commercial Refrigerators, Reviewed!
hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator – Best Overall
Compact yet offering large capacity with 3.2 cubic feet, the hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator is one of the most popular and highly-rated commercial refrigerators on the market. It features an elegant, see-through left hinge glass front door framed in stainless steel.
This 240-watt under-counter fridge is equipped with three adjustable and detachable chrome shelves. While the drinks organizer neatly holds up to 120 regular soda or beer cans. Or if you like, you can store even many bottles of liquor. And you can easily pick them for quick pour – all thanks to the white LED interior light!
The hOmeLabs mini fridge is also incredibly simple to operate. With an easy touch temperature control, you can cool down your drinks up to 34 degrees Fahrenheit. And with a huge digital display, you can easily monitor and adjust the temperature.
What I like about this model is the useful memory feature that automatically resets the cooler’s programmed setting. This mechanism comes in handy if the refrigerator is unplugged or if there is an outage.
And if you want it to not add noise to your workplace, you might enjoy this model. It’s equipped with a whisper-quiet compressor. Which interacts with a small convection fan to instantly chill your drinks. As well as maintain steady air circulation for a stable temperature source within the unit.
Another feature I appreciate is the auto defrosting function. Which is built with an extra temperature sensor for auto defrost mode. This refrigerator’s energy-efficient advanced technology is also a wonderful perk!
• Compact and saves space
• Easy to use
• Intuitive digital display
• Auto restores programmed setting in case it’s unplugged
• Whisper quiet
• Auto defrost mode
• Shelves aren’t wide enough to stay in position
• Some users find it noisy
Premium Levella PRF90DX Merchandiser Refrigerator – Best for Grab-and-Go Goods
With a 9 cubic feet capacity, the Premium Levella PRF90DX Merchandiser Refrigerator comes with four adjustable and removable shelves that can accommodate a variety of drinks. This commercial refrigerator could be perfect if you run a convenience store. You can even use it at home as a dedicated fridge for your drinks.
It features a reinforced double-layer solid glass door that keeps your products cool and fresh. It does this by maintaining the optimal temperature and humidity levels inside the unit.
This fridge is also easy to use with its thermostat and light switch. To manually control the temperature, simply reach the switch located inside the unit and at the top.
I particularly like how our merchandiser displays freezers’ lightboxes and sidewalls that are fully customizable to meet your needs. And you can use a vinyl wrap to display your brand name or your bar’s name.
Another feature I appreciate is the locking door and keys. These handy accessories keep your products secured. So, whether it’s to keep kids from reaching your booze or to lock up your goods at night, you can count on this feature.
• Generous capacity
• Easy to use
• Thick glass door for keeping products cold and fresh
• Fully customizable lightbox
• Thin profile makes it easy to fit into tight corners
• Compressor creates a buzzing noise
• Some users find it inconsistent in holding temperature
Arctic Air AF49 Reach-in Commercial Freezer – Best for Commercial Kitchens
Ideal for professional kitchens, the Arctic Air AF49 Reach-in Commercial Freezer is one of the top-rated commercial refrigerators available. Sporting an elegant stainless steel exterior, this 49 cubic feet reach-in freezer communicates durability and reliability just by looking at it.
It features high output fan motors, and an electronic thermostat including an exterior digital display, allowing you to easily track temperatures ranging from -10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
This industrial freezer also includes three epoxy-coated, adjustable shelves in each section, giving you six levels for optimal storage capacity. These allow you to readily customize to properly fit your frozen products and ingredients.
Back to its appearance, I think what makes it even more elegant is the two-door design. They are lockable with foamed-in-place recessed handles. And they are self-closing doors, too, which come in handy in the busiest of kitchens.
• Elegant with its all-stainless steel design
• Intuitive digital display
• Two self-closing doors
• Warranty doesn’t cover issues for residential use
Kratos Refrigeration with Prep Table – Best Workstation
If you’re looking for a fridge with a room to prepare your sandwiches and salads, the Kratos Refrigeration with Prep Table could be a wonderful addition to your commercial kitchen. With a 48-inch wide prep table, this fridge serves as both a cooling and a workstation.
What I like about this unit is that the prep table is large enough even for two staff to work smoothly at the same time. It also includes a reversible cutting board that you can easily detach for cleaning. The hinged food cover keeps the food fresh and cool.
This refrigerator provides a generous room for your cold drinks. As well as storage for your salad, sandwich, and pizza toppings. It features hinged doors and two epoxy-coated shelves for convenient storage. You can also adjust them and give you easy access to your products. All without interfering with airflow.
The stainless steel prep tables also make the unit a durable workstation that’s comparable to your regular kitchen worktop. And because it’s steel, you can expect it to be extremely easy to clean and maintain. It’s also rust-resistant for long-term use.
• Durable construction
• Wide enough prep table for two people
• Offers generous storage
• Easy-to-clean design
• Some users say the gasket seal comes off easily
Euhomy Beverage Refrigerator – Great for Office Use
The Euhomy Beverage Refrigerator could also be a great option not only for commercial settings, but also for use in the office, home, or bar. It has a capacity of 3.2 cubic feet and is equipped with an elegant stainless steel frame.
This refrigerator is powerful, yet it operates quietly. And with a powerful compressor and internal air-cooled system, this mini fridge offers an adequately cooled space by making sure that the air circulates all around the entire beverage section.
It also features adjustable and stable shelves. These allow you to hold up to 110-130 cans of regular soda, beer, or even bottles of wine. And you can store them upright or on their sides with its three removable shelves.
One of the things I appreciate about appliances like refrigerators is their smart features. And Euhomy’s compact fridge is no exception. It has an intelligent control that allows you to set temperatures ranging from 34 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Which you can conveniently monitor with the digital display.
And, unlike many beverage coolers, this one automatically defrosts. Such a feature cuts the compressor’s amount of work, resulting in lower energy consumption.
Another thing I appreciate about this unit is the three-layer glass door. It offers excellent thermal insulation, minimizing the impact of ambient temperature. It also helps keep an optimal humidity level to maintain the taste of drinks. Plus, the soft, white LED interior lighting nicely illuminates your beverages.
• Powerful yet operates quietly
• Generous capacities for different drink containers
• Auto defrost lessens power consumption
• Excellent insulation
• Some users still find it loud
• Small shelves
A Buyer’s Guide in Choosing the Best Commercial Refrigerator
Consider these factors when buying a new commercial refrigerator:
If you want to consider storing a whole food pan in your fridge, you may want a large interior space so you can keep as much food as you want. Just ensure that your cookware will fit straight in the unit. It can fit up to 18 x 26 inches, and it would be excellent for a full-sized meal plan.
You can take a break between shifts but your commercial refrigerator can’t. It operates around the clock. So, it’s important that it’s energy-efficient. The less electricity it consumes, the better.
Luckily, many manufacturers recently upgraded or improved their designs and parts for sustainable purposes. High-efficiency compressors, fan motors, and LED lighting are all included in the creation of and re-designing such appliances. The components help maintain the ENERGY STAR® rating.
The Hot Gas Efficient Condensation System, for example, uses hot gas from the fridge’s compressor. It efficiently evaporates condensed water instead of a heater. Which could raise your energy consumption.
Certain refrigerators may also use a frozen drip pan liner with absorption paper. And it needs to be replaced as keeping a soaked paper might cause the water to overflow. It can also encourage mold growth.
Temperature Control and Display
In serving cold beer, you can keep the temperature at 34 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. For raw and prepared products, you can store them at below 39 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to adjust this for a vegetable fridge to keep herbs and veggies from spoiling quickly.
To precisely monitor temperatures, I suggest you look for a unit with a digital display. Commercial refrigerators with this feature make it easy to read and control the settings from the outside of your unit. This means you won’t have to open the fridge to set the temperature.
It’s also important to consider the maximum ambient temperature your fridge can handle. This is especially important if you intend to put your refrigerator in the warm spots of your business, or in outdoor bars during hot summers.
You might prefer a commercial refrigerator that can be locked, includes locks and a set of keys, or has a roll-down locking door. A lot of commercial fridges have these features. And you’ll typically see them in cafeterias.
The size of your new fridge matters to make sure it fits your space without interrupting your workflow. I suggest you conduct measurements to make sure the fridge won’t obstruct traffic. If you’re looking for a commercial under-counter refrigerator, getting the correct height to fit beneath your counters is important.
You need to also consider your needs. A fridge that’s too large with too many storage spaces will just eat up square footage. Plus, it will be harder for your commercial fridge to maintain its temperature due to the higher air volume that it will work on. But you’ll benefit from it if you always have to store a lot of food products.
But depending on the nature of your business, don’t opt for a too-small fridge either. A too-small unit will have you repeatedly squeezing food onto the shelves and improperly stacking them.
The location of the compressor is also important. In reach-in fridges, the compressor takes in ambient air to control interior temperatures. The warm air entering the unit will make it harder for its compressor to function.
Because warm air typically rises and cold air naturally falls, units with top and bottom-mounted compressors are preferable. They perform better in different situations.
You need to consider the positioning or hinges of your fridge doors. Check whether or not the right or left-hand door will be troublesome for your employees. You may also want to think about double-door and single-door commercial refrigerators. But this one depends on the space you have, of course.
The seal is one of the most common concerns about refrigerators. So, you must also consult with your manufacturer about the units that swing shut without requiring lots of force.
Certain refrigerators may never completely close unless you make a strong force to do so. But this is common and can still happen to most refrigerators over time as their seals wear out.
Door handles are just as important as door types. You may consider looking for ergonomic, full-length handles for easy opening while preventing dust and dirt accumulation. There are recessed door handles that will not break off because they are integral to the door’s design.
It’s best to avoid barred door handles as these aren’t going to last. Consider how many times your crew has to access and lock freezers per hour. Then, think about how rapidly such door handles will loosen or break over time.
Buying a new commercial refrigerator might be one of the most major investments for some. Particularly those with commercial kitchens looking for reach-in refrigerators. Stainless steel is the industry standard due to its greater durability and long-lasting quality. As well as ease of maintenance.
I suggest you go for a fridge that’s made of thick gauge stainless steel on both its interior and exterior. For beverage coolers, a thick and glass construction with a stainless steel frame would be ideal.
It’s best to avoid choosing a commercial fridge with plastic. This is because plastic is less durable and prone to shatter. Plastic also retains odor and might be difficult to remove. Aluminum is also considerably weaker than stainless steel. Also, it has lower scratch resistance, making cleaning more difficult.
What Food To Store
Are you going to keep beverages in your commercial refrigerator? How about raw and processed meat? These are just a few points to keep in mind.
You should also consider the size of the food you’re storing, as well as the size of the pots you wish to store in the refrigerator. I always advise buyers to look for a unit that lets you remove shelves or containers to create rooms for large items.
It’s essential to consider the location of your commercial fridge’s ventilation. Which should preferably not be shoved up against the wall. If you’re looking for an under-counter fridge, for example, you must check where the ventilation is to ensure there is enough room for circulation.
Accessibility to the ventilation system is also important. This way you can easily clean it when you need to. Before installation, consult with the manufacturer for the spacings. You can also refer to the user’s manual for proper installation.
Design of Interior Door Step
The gasket lining in refrigerator doors creates a sealing between the cold air within and the warm air outside. You may want to consider a unit with intelligent lining features. An internal step door design offers thicker insulation. And it reduces strain on the door’s gasket.
The warranty is also a very important consideration. It protects your investment from instances such as theft or accidental damages. Buying a new commercial refrigerator may give you a 12-month warranty on parts, but not on service. Always read the manufacturer’s warranty policy.
Types of Commercial Refrigeration
Commercial refrigerators come in various types. With each designed for a specific purpose. To help you choose the right commercial refrigerator for your business, here are a few of the many types of refrigerators to look at:
Walk-in refrigerators are great for large spaces. And they offer great storage capacity. You’ll also find several varieties of walk-in refrigerators based on your needs, which makes this an interesting concept to consider.
But since such units require a lot of square footage, you must only consider this option if you intend to use it as your main fridge for everything. To save money on energy expenses, make sure you pick one with a good insulation system.
Reach-in refrigerators are an easy pick if you have a large back-of-house room for food prep. Always pick one with a thick and durable glass door to make it easier to view the products available. Reach-in refrigerators are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate your needs.
Refrigerated Prep Tables
Are you running a pizza restaurant? How about a sandwich shop? A refrigerated prep table helps keep preparation efficient and seamless. It keeps frequently used ingredients refrigerated and within arm’s reach.
They are frequently made of stainless steel and are intended to prepare and keep foods for speedy preparation. Worktop refrigerators are also often used in fast-food places. As well as in professional kitchens for line prep.
Serve Over Counter Refrigerators
Serve over counter refrigerators are ideal for bakeries or cake and pastry shops. As well as sandwich shops that have fresh produce on sight and available to buy. They are an excellent choice for any restaurant where clients select the ready-made food they crave.
Under-counter refrigerators are the best solution if you want to save space. They are smaller and more compact than upright fridges. The drawback is that you can only use it to keep products for faster and easier reach in smaller working spaces.
As the name implies, bar refrigerators are typically used in bars or to keep drinks. You can pick from the three types of commercial bar refrigerators. There’s a cooler for alcoholic drinks, a direct-draw for dispensing directly from a keg, and a hybrid bar refrigerator that combines both.
Dual Temperature Refrigerators
A dual-temperature refrigerator is typically a fridge-freezer combo. It has two distinct temperature ranges which come in handy in large kitchens that hold a variety of items. Such a fridge is ideal if you want to store food at varying temperatures.
Merchandiser refrigerators are perhaps the most commonly-used refrigeration system. They are often found in groceries and convenience stores. They look similar to reach-ins that have glass doors to display products.
Maintenance Tips for a Commercial Refrigerator
Cleaning and maintaining your commercial refrigerator help keep it in tip-top shape. It can also drastically reduce the number of maintenance calls. As well as the amount of money you pay for repair and replacement. Here are some maintenance tips that you can follow:
Thoroughly Clean the Fan Blades
Always clean the fan blades of your commercial refrigerator using a soft cloth. But if the manual says that you need to wash them, consider shielding the fan motor to avoid moisture damages.
Clean Door Gaskets
You can do this once every week. To clean the door gasket, detach it from the door frame, then soak it in soapy warm water. Dry with a soft towel afterward and reattach. After this, make sure they are correctly sealing your fridge.
Clean the Condenser Coil
To maintain the condenser coil running at peak efficiency, keep it clear of dirt and dust. You can dislodge any accumulation with a condenser coil cleaner. You can do this once a month at the very least.
Replace Any Damaged or Faulty Parts
Many refrigeration components and accessories are essential. They make your refrigerator operate properly. Having said that, it’s necessary to replace those elements once they stop working. This way, you avoid getting into worse problems with your unit.
You should also inspect the condition of parts like fuses, bulbs, thermostats, and gaskets. And you should do this regularly.
Clear Any Airflow Blockages
Refrigeration with unrestricted access to clean air makes it function properly. So, make sure that any dirt or dust is cleared from the air intake or exhaust locations. And this should be done once every week at the very least.
Best Commercial Refrigerator FAQs
Are commercial refrigerators better?
Commercial refrigerators are ideal for use in businesses like supermarkets, restaurants, and cafés. As well as food service companies. and even households. Compared to a regular refrigerator, these refrigerators are more efficient, safe, and sturdy. They also offer more storage capacity and enhanced chilling capabilities.
Which fridge is best for a restaurant?
A reach-in refrigerator is the perfect refrigeration appliance for many restaurant kitchens. This is because it is easy to access and has a big storage capacity. It’s where you can store all perishable and cold products.
What makes a refrigerator commercial grade?
A commercial refrigerator should have chilled compartments that are capable of operating at or above 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
How noisy is a commercial fridge?
Since commercial fridges are meant for heavy-duty use in the food industry, you can expect it to have more power. Which means it can generate noise louder than a household fridge. Certain models have a noise level of 51 decibels (dB).
Why are commercial appliances so expensive?
Prices of commercial appliances vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It also depends on the model you get. Also, because these equipments are highly durable, you should expect to recuperate more of your initial investment. You can do this by reducing maintenance, parts, and labor costs.
How efficient are commercial refrigerators?
Commercial fridges have an average ENERGY STAR efficiency rating of 25 percent on average. Refrigerators within this rating are more energy-saving than standard models. This is because they are built with components like an electronically commutated motor (ECM) evaporator and condenser. As well as hot gas anti-sweat heaters, or high-efficiency compressors that greatly reduce energy consumption.
Can a commercial freezer be used as a refrigerator?
Yes, you can. You may convert an upright freezer into a refrigerator. The conversion is simple, requiring only the replacement of the freezer thermostat with a refrigerator thermostat.
How much energy does a commercial fridge use?
Given that they run non-stop to keep perishable goods chilled, commercial fridges and freezers consume a lot of energy. A typical commercial refrigerator uses up to 17,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. And a large commercial freezer uses up to 38,000 kilowatt-hours.
Such consumption can result in expensive electric bills. This is why picking a model with a high energy-efficiency rating will be a good investment.
My favorite is the hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator. It’s compact and saves space, and it’s easy to use with an intuitive digital display. This fridge also includes handy features like an auto restore and auto defrost. And if you want a quiet unit, this might be a good choice.
The Premium Levella PRF90DX Merchandiser Refrigerator could be a wonderful option if you run a grocery store. This upright fridge offers generous capacity. And with a thick glass door, you can count on the machine for keeping your products fresh and cold. It also comes with a fully customizable lightbox.
If you need a durable and reliable refrigerator for your commercial kitchen, you may consider the Arctic Air AF49 Reach-in Commercial Freezer. It’s elegantly designed with stainless steel and has an intuitive digital display. It also features two self-closing doors that come in handy in busy kitchens.
Prepping salad and sandwiches? Then the Kratos Refrigeration with Prep Table could be a wonderful addition to your commercial kitchen. This unit boasts a durable construction, with a wide prep table for two people. Plus, it’s NSF-certified!
Lastly, the Euhomy Beverage Refrigerator may be a fantastic option if you want a powerful yet quiet unit with generous capacities for different drink containers. This fridge features an auto defrost mechanism, as well as excellent insulation to keep your products cold and fresh.
There are many commercial refrigerator models on the market, but not all of them are capable of doing the tasks for which they were designed. And I hope you find the ideal refrigeration system for your food business from my list.
Make sure to check their latest prices and discounts, and I can’t wait to hear how well they work for you! Good luck!