Best built-in fridges of 2022

CR’s extensive testing reveals the best models made by Dacor, Jenn-Air and Thermador

The 42-inch-wide Jenn-Air JF42NXFXDE, one of our top-rated built-in refrigerators.

By Daniel Wrocławski

In the finest kitchens, built-in refrigerators take center stage, even if you don’t immediately spot them.

Unlike freestanding refrigerators that protrude up to 10 inches from cabinets and counters, built-in refrigerators sit flush with cabinetry. Minimalism is the rule here, in the aesthetics if not the price. Clean lines, flat surfaces and right angles are the hallmarks of downlights. They are usually finished in stainless steel or not at all, in which case they are panel ready, meaning your cabinet builder can make panels to attach to the front of the fridge so they blend in with your cabinets.

But there is a compromise. “With an integrated appliance, what you’re really paying for is the high-end styling and finishes,” says Larry Ciufo, who oversees CR’s refrigerator testing. “Compared to freestanding fridges, built-in fridges cost a lot more but actually offer less interior storage space.” And features are a mixed bag. Every built-in item currently in our reviews has a freezer light, digital controls, and even an ice maker. Most have splash-proof shelves and air filters. But water dispensers are rare, and shelves that can be adjusted without cleaning them first are completely absent.

Built-in items are made primarily by high-end manufacturers such as Dacor, Miele, Thermador, Sub-Zero, and Viking, and range in price from around $5,000 to over $10,000.

Like freestanding refrigerators, built-in refrigerators come in a variety of configurations, including French door, bottom-freezer, and side-by-side. But due to their shallow depth (only 24 inches), some built-ins reach a width of 42 inches to maximize storage space. (In contrast, the largest freestanding refrigerators are 36 inches wide.) Alternatively, manufacturers offer built-in column refrigerators and freezers, which are separate appliances that you can place next to each other or in different areas of your room. kitchen.

To test the refrigerators, we fit each model with thermocouples in a climate-controlled chamber and monitor it for a month, collecting over 5.4 million temperature readings that identify hot and cold spots to determine which models will keep your food fresh longer. .

We also consider survey data from thousands of CR members to judge brand trustworthiness and satisfaction. All of this data, and more, informs CR’s refrigerator rating charts and each model’s overall rating.

Below, CR members will find ratings and reviews of the top five built-in refrigerators in our tests, models from Dacor, Jenn-Air and Thermador. All are French door configurations. For other highly rated built-in appliances, check out our built-in refrigerator ratings. And for advice when shopping, check out our fridge buying guide.

The 5 best built-in refrigerators

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Karl M. Bailey