One of the first appliances I received was my new refrigerator. And other than being able to say “ooooh, shiny!” when it arrived—the stainless steel replaced a boring old white fridge—I really didn’t think too much about it. Because, well, a fridge is a fridge is a fridge, right?
Well, yes. But also no.
In replacing my old side-by-side with a new side-by-side I didn’t expect to see much of a difference. But it turns out that my new fridge has several differences from my old one. Some are good. Some are a little less good. And still others are just plain nifty.
I recently realized that mostly what I notice about my new fridge is the ice. If you, too, find you have a strange obsession with ice, read on.
Aside from having a place to store food, in my mind the main purpose of owning a fancy refrigerator is crushed ice. Yes. Having a dispenser in the door that gives me crushed ice whenever I want it is pretty much how I knew I’d reached adulthood. (Sometimes I am astonishingly easy to please. Not always, mind you, but still.) Our old refrigerator had what I consider a “standard” dispenser: One side for water, the other for ice.
The new fridge has a dispenser that looks like this. There is a single dispenser, and you have to select either water, cubes, or crushed ice. Sometimes one of my children leaves it on ice and go to get some water and end up with a little surprise. That’s just a minor annoyance. On the whole, this construction looks a lot nicer, and it accommodates even very tall glasses, which I like a lot. (On the old fridge, tall glasses needed to be tipped, which was annoying.) You’ll also notice that there’s a readout of freezer and fridge temperatures (and you can adjust them right there, too—no unmarked dials inside to futz with), and it’s probably hard to see, but there’s also a display to tell you if the water filter needs to be changed.
I have but one complaint about the dispenser, really. Combining the two dispensers (water and ice) into one slot means that the tube that dispenses the water is now positioned fairly far out from the fridge. The ice tube is, say, the diameter of a tennis ball. The water tube is on the outside edge of that. As a result, if you press a slender vessel against the activator, it will actually be too far from the tube to catch the water. Instead, the water will run all over your hand, which is firmly holding your cup against the back wall of that slot.
Ask me how I know this. Ahem.
If you have children with child-sized cups or if you have very slender glasses because you’re very fancy, you’ll need to pay attention. My kids often press the activator with one hand and hold the cup further forward with the other, now.
Two other ice-related items to share with you:
First, check out the icemaker. What’s what? You can’t actually see it? Huh. Yeah, I thought that was interesting, too. I said to the delivery guys, “Hey, wait. There’s a shelf here. What if I want to actually put my hand in and grab some ice?” They showed me I can easily slide that little shelf there out and do so, if I want, but in my freezers that’s just wasted space. With an in-door dispenser I hardly ever need direct access to the icemaker, so it’s nice to have that shelf. It is—as you can see—exactly the right size for a carton of ice cream or two.
Second, in addition to a couple of humidity-controlled produce drawers, this fridge has a chill drawer. When I was reading the manual (yes, I read the manual; I am that level of geek), it went on and on about how the chilled air comes directly from the freezer into a little vent by the chill drawer, assuring that this is the coolest spot in the fridge. Your lunch meats will stay fresher, longer! And so on and so forth. I just liked that there’s a drawer; my old fridge didn’t have one, and the sandwich fixings had a habit of migrating all over the fridge and then hiding and growing mold when I wasn’t looking. So anyway, I was jazzed about the drawer.
And then stuff in the drawer started freezing. And I began significantly less jazzed about the drawer. Because by the time stuff started freezing, I couldn’t remember where I’d put the manual. I figured it had to be adjustable, but I couldn’t remember how to adjust it.
One day I was putting away the groceries and right in front of me was the answer. I suspect one of my kids had slid it alllllll the way over to the coldest setting at some point. I moved it back, and everything has been chilly—but never frozen!—since.
On the whole, I’m enjoying the well-chilled conveniences of our new fridge. And my husband would like you to know that the soda can holders on the bottom of the fridge door are his favorite.