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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Stuart Pritchard

Best integrated fridge freezers for a seamlessly cool kitchen

If you can afford both the financial outlay and are oozing spare space in your kitchen, then a great fridge freezer is pretty much a must.

As internally voluminous as a TARDIS, with litres of room for enough chilled and frozen food to see you through a nuclear winter, the only downside of a owning a great fridge freezer is that their external dimensions can also be TARDIS-esque too, and not everyone wants a giant metal box ruining the otherwise flawless flow of matching design they’ve worked so hard to accomplish.

However, there is another way to have your perfectly preserved cake and eat it: integrated fridge freezers. Yes, just as capacious as their standalone cousins and capable of all the same advanced food tech trickery, the difference here is that these colossi of the kitchen can be installed into specially constructed cabinets in places where normally you might just have boring old cupboards and then covered over with cabinet doors that match the rest of the kitchen design. This not only means you free up more space for cooking, eating and harbouring guests at parties, but also that your kitchen décor will look sleek and deliciously uncluttered.

What’s more, integrated fridge freezers tend to be built to a higher standard, so they enjoy a longer lifespan than standalone models too (and with all the faff involved in replacing a broken one, you might hope as much). This also generally means they cost more, but if you’re getting up to 10-years’ extra usage out it, the higher cost against sore-thumb standing-out standalones balances itself out beautifully.

If all that sounds like the kind of, quite literally, cool thing you want to be cooking up for your kitchen, then pick up your perishables and follow me…

Best integrated fridge freezers at a glance:

Miele KDN 7724 E Active

Best for: A big name at a small price

The baby in terms of price amongst Miele’s nine-strong built-in range, I’ve picked this model as Miele has one of (it not THE) best reputations amongst kitchen appliance manufactures in the world. All of its models are tested for up to 20-years of use, so, as you can see, £1400 buys you a long life of stress-free fridge-freezing.

But not just in it for the long run, the KDN 7724 E Active also offers some 260-litres of storage capacity, spilt between the fridge and freezers sections at 184- and 76-litres respectively, so the average-sized family will have ample room all and shopping sundry.

With four shelves and two drawers in the fridge, one drawer comes packing something called ‘ExtraCool’ which permits particularly low temperatures, making it perfect for meat and fish, while the second drawer is imbued with ‘DailyFresh’ which works to keep fruit and veg in edible nick for up to two times longer. And the whole unit is blessed with ‘Automatic SuperCool’ which, aside from being my Hip Hop name back in the 80s, means all food is chilled quickly, thus ensuring no harmful bacteria has time to take hold.

Beyond the drawers, there’s a bottle rack for your booze (or whatever no-booze equivalent you favour) and three racks built into the door, so a world of cooler convenience.

Downstairs, meanwhile, in the freezer compartment, here we get three drawers with a cunning circulation cooling system called ‘NoFrost’ that, well, ensure there’s no frost. Ever. That’s best-case scenario for anyone who has ever had to spend hours with a bucket and some kind of improvised ice-chisel.

Energy efficiency rated at ‘E’ (most efficient being ‘A’, least efficient being ‘G’), the Miele KDN 7724 E Active is relatively eco-friendly and, by extension, kind on running costs.

With LED lighting throughout within and an egg tray and ice cube tray thrown in for free, this slice of German-made cold-bringing genius is an absolute bargain.

Buy now £1400.00, Currys

Fisher & Paykel RS7621WRUK1

Best for: When only the best will do

Yes, yes, that is a lot of money for a fridge freezer; but this is no ordinary fridge freezer, this is the RS7621WRUK1 from high-end Kiwi company, Fisher & Paykel. A big old box on the inside that’s capable of a combined volume of a whopping 449-litres, split 298L in the fridge and 151L in the freezer, yet which remains elegantly svelte on the outside.

Built to the exacting demands of connoisseurs of cooling, the fridge section features four adjustable door shelves along with four main shelves and two bins, all benefitting from ‘ActiveSmart Foodcare’, a system that learns how you use your refrigerator and adjusts temperature, airflow and humidity inside accordingly to help keep food fresher for longer. On top of that comes ‘Variable Temperature Zone’ which, as the spoiler name gave away, allows you to utilise four different modes of ‘Pantry’ ‘Fridge’ ‘Soft Freeze’ and ‘Freezer’ to ensure the perfect climate for different foods.

Also on the inside you’ll find one of my favourite features of any fridge freezer, a water dispenser and ice maker – the former to supply your family with perfectly chilled H2O, the latter to ensure your G&T is never warm.

With a freezer that comes frost-free, LED lighting for the bins and on the ceiling and sides in both fridge and freezer sections, and a ‘SmartTouch’ interface to keep control, the Fisher & Paykel RS7621WRUK1 is a work of refined refrigerator freezer absolute elegance, ideal for any well-heeled home.

Buy now £9660.00, Fisher & Paykel

Beko HarvestFresh BCFDV3973

Best for: Grabbing a budget built-in

Despite being owned by a parent company with the unfortunately name of Arçelik (I doubt it’s pronounced that way…), Beko has built an enviable reputation for quality and reliability since it first started in the game just 34 short years ago. If you’re in the market for an integrated option that offers innovation and longevity at a lovely low price, look no further.

The BCFDV3973 is one of Beko’s HarvestFresh models and, as such, comes with a ridiculously smart internal light system that mimics the sun’s 24-hour cycle, something which helps to keep the vitamins in your fridge-stashed fruit and veg preserved for up to five additional days.

With a total volume of 289-litres (220 for the fridge and 69 in the freezer), there’s plenty of space to play around with, although families that like to, say, batch cook and freeze might want to consider a model with a bigger bottom section.

Inside the fridge, you’ll find four adjustable shelves and four door racks, a chiller zone compartment, a chrome wire wine rack and, of course, an internal, whilst in the freezer you’ll be greeted by an adjustable thermostat and three frost-free drawers with a fast freeze function.

Rated ‘F’ for energy efficiency, so the Beko may not be the Greta Thunberg of the fridge freezer world when it comes to power consumption, but it will reduce food waste quite considerably, so ‘green’ in its own way too.

Buy now £589.00, AO

Samsung BRB26600FWW

Best for: Super slim cold storage

A real slim Jim yet surprisingly capacious at 261-litres overall, the Samsung achieves this by using what it terms ‘SpaceMax Technology’, which translates as the thinner walls of the fridge freezer allow for more internal space, while keeping the footprint of your floor to a minimum.

Boasting ‘All-Around Cooling’, the BRB26600FWW constantly moves cold air around its interior to ensure all food stays evenly chilled no matter where in the fridge it can be found, while ‘No Frost’ means, well, I think you can surmise what ‘No Frost’ means.

Fridge-wise, the Samsung gives you 193-litres of storage space with four shelves and six door pockets (although, between us, the middle four could just have well have been two full-length pockets), alongside a fruit and veg bin and a fresh zone.

Shuffling south, here we find one shelf and two drawers, all blessed with the freezer’s ‘Power Freeze Function’, which serves to freeze food in a flash.

When it comes to the question of energy efficiency, the Samsung is but an ‘F’, however it claws back eco-credentials by coming with an extended parts warranty period of 20-years on its Digital Inverter Compressor, thus reducing waste electrical and electronic equipment clogging up the world.

Finally, saving a favourite feature to last, ‘Power Cool’ and ‘Power Freeze’ can be unleashed at the push of a button to deliver a fast blast of cold air to get your comestibles cold quicker – great for all groceries, but a real time-saver when it comes to cooling drinks and making ice for those baking hot summer days ahead of us.

Buy now £700.00, Samsung

Hotpoint HBC18 5050 F1

Best for: Ample room for fresh and frozen

Some people prefer their integrated ice appliance sporting a 70/30 split betwixt fridge and freezer compartment size, while others favour a 60/40 sharing. However, there remain those out there who just want to watch the world burn and demand a straight down-the-middle 50/50 for each end. For these symmetry addicts, Hotpoint has the HBC18 5050 F1.

Another nicely slim model that can slip between your kitchen cupboards undetected, the also ‘F’ energy efficiency rated Hotty features a 230-litre capacity shared 145/85 between fridge and freezer, comes with ‘No Frost’ frost-free tech, and utilises a fan to circulate air smoothly around the internal cavity to keep all things equally cool.

With four shelves and a fruit and veg ‘Fresh Zone+’ drawer in the fridge, plus three racks on the inside of the door and four compartments in the freezer, there’s space aplenty to keep you and yours stocked up on fresh fodder for far longer.

Priced at a shade over £500, the Hotpoint HBC18 5050 F1 is an excellent option for families whose eating habits fall firmly between the fresh and the frozen.

Buy now £499.00, Currys

AEG 6000 TwinTech SCE818C5TC

Best for: Energy efficiency excellence

Without wanting to bring the whole mood down, the price of not keeping a careful eye on our energy consumption is that we leave behind a much worse world for Keith Richards to live in. The price of keeping a careful eye on our energy consumption is, however, impossible to quantify as… of, wait, hang on, it’s £1700.

Yes, with a proud energy efficiency rating of ‘C’, the 6000 TwinTech from AEG is greener than Mid Suffolk after the recent local elections, but also comes armed with all the latest cooling appliance tech. For starters, there’s the fact it has a dual cooling system to maintain the perfect level of humidity, this in turn means food kept 60% juicier than mere mortal fridge models with only one cooler.

Also, thanks to ‘CustomFlex’ you can arrange the layout of the inside of the fridge to your bespoke likings, while ‘DynamicAir’ keeps constant, stable airflow throughout to stop bacteria growth in its tracks.

With a 247-litre total volume with a 186/61-litre split between the fridge and freezer, four shelves, twin fruit and veg bins, and an array of door racks, storage options are epic. Meanwhile, the freezer throws you three slide-out shelves and a No Frost guarantee that will keep your hands thankfully scraper free.

Flexible, eco-friendly and frost-free, touchscreen controls along the top add ease of use into the mix too, making for an integrated icebox that offers everything.

Buy now £1700.00, AEG

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