Fresh food is the basis for wholesome, healthy living and an efficient fridge freezer is essential to keep your ingredients as fresh as when first purchased.
We spoke to Max McCormick, product manager for kitchens at Miele. Max offers his expert advice on how to choose a fridge freezer best suited to your needs, along with some suggested models.
The Importance of Temperature Accuracy
“The foundations for food freshness lay with temperature accuracy and a stable temperature condition for food to thrive in. To keep your ingredients fresh for as long as possible, look out for appliances that offer precise, stable temperatures. Fridge freezers that feature an effective fan to circulate cool air, separate fridge and freezer air circuits for better control and one-degree temperature accuracy make all the difference.
Certain models feature individual optimised humidity controls on the drawers for specific ingredients such as fruit and vegetables. This helps to ensure that vitamins, flavour and texture are retained for up to three to five times longer. Separate cooling circuits ensure the optimum climate in both the fridge and the freezer. In addition, there is no air exchange between the two areas. This prevents produce in the refrigerator from drying out. It also helps to stop odours from food such as fish, onions and cheese from being transferred to food in the freezer.”
“With fridge freezers using electricity 24 hours a day, an energy efficient model will help keep costs low and conserve natural resources. Look out for models that feature an efficient refrigeration cycle and insulating materials to preserve energy.”
Freestanding or Integrated?
“Available in different sizes, colours and designs, freestanding models can create a style statement in your kitchen. They can also be easily moved and placed anywhere.
If you are looking to create an uninterrupted, streamlined look, integrated designs are a great solution, as they can be subtly hidden behind cupboard doors.
For larger kitchens, you may want to consider a combination of models that can be placed side by side. In this case, we recommend built-in appliances, as they can be fitted with a front panel to match your kitchen furniture.”
“When it comes to choosing size, think about the type of food you wish to store. Do you buy plenty of fresh ingredients that need to be kept chilled in the fridge? Or maybe you freeze homemade meals in bulk for the week ahead? Ensure that the fridge and freezer have enough storage space to meet your specific needs.
You should also think about the available space in your kitchen. Will you require a tall or a shorter fridge to store under a worktop, a narrow or wide model?”
“Not only is the size of the appliance important to consider, but also the storage options it offers. For maximum convenience, look for fridge freezers that include flexible storage. These allow for drawers to be arranged in a variety of ways, depending on the produce or the dish size that needs to be refrigerated.”
“In terms of lighting, look out for models that feature LED lights. Compared with conventional lamps, LEDs are particularly energy-saving and have a considerably longer service life.
Flexible shelf lighting is good to consider. Certain models offer individually adjustable LED glass shelf lighting. Depending on the size and number of food items, these can be positioned to your liking.”
“Many of the latest models benefit from clever additional features. We would recommend looking out for frost-free technology. This stops ice crystals from forming around your freezer and on the surface of stored food. Although perfectly safe to eat, freezer burn can affect the flavour and texture of food. Frost-free technology distributes cold, dry air evenly so that ice cannot build in the interior cabinets. This means that drawers can always be opened and closed easily, whilst maintaining your food free of freezer burn. Additionally, it stops the need for regular manual defrosting of your appliance, helping you save valuable time.
Other helpful features include integrated ice makers for fridge freezers with a mains water connection. For hassle-free cleaning, dishwasher-proof shelves and drawers are a must.
For further convenience, you may want to consider a smart fridge freezer which allows you to control your appliance from your smartphone. No matter where you are, you can immediately have access to the current status. You can also programme certain functions, such as your desired temperature.
Last but by no means least, as fridge freezers are always running, it is important to consider a quiet model, particularly in small or open plan kitchens. Look out for appliances that are equipped with sound optimised refrigeration circuits or targeted buffers, ensuring minimal noise.”
For a First Home – Miele KFN 29683 D Fridge Freezer:
Available in a sleek black or white glass finish, this freestanding fridge freezer is ideal for a first home. Benefitting from Miele’s PerfectFresh technology, it helps keep ingredients such as fruit, meat and dairy fresher for longer as a secure lid keeps moisture locked in the fridge drawers. This model also allows you to control humidity levels in three stages, indicated by one, two or three drops. Thanks to the exclusive Miele information system, you can easily determine which level suits which ingredient best. A specially sound-optimised refrigeration circuit with perfectly placed sound buffers dramatically reduces noise, ideal for smaller kitchens. Additional benefits include an extra-large 241L interior, adjustable FlexiLight LED glass shelving and FrostFree technology.
Family Friendly – Miele KFN 37692 iDE Fridge Freezer:
This built-in fridge freezer is great if you are looking to maintain a sleek and streamlined design, as it can be easily hidden behind cupboard doors. Benefitting from Miele’s PerfectFresh Pro technology, fruit, vegetables, meat and a variety of dairy products keep their freshness for up to three to five times longer. A VarioRoom storage concept allows for space in the freezer to be arranged to your liking, ideal for casserole dishes. DuplexCool guarantees the best conditions, as the fridge and freezer have separate cooling circuits. This ensures that temperatures in each area are kept at optimum levels, whilst preventing food from drying out. It also stops odours from pungent ingredients such as fish from being transferred to food stored in the freezer. Other benefits include an integrated IceMaker and FrostFree technology.
Top of the Range – KF 1901 Vi Fridge Freezer:
The ultimate fridge freezer, this premium model is part of our MasterCool range. Innovative MasterFresh drawers will store ingredients at individual micro-climates, providing them with the optimum humidity level and temperature. Simply select the drawer location and type of food from the MasterCool touch pad menu and the appliance will automatically adjust to the required levels. Thanks to FrostFree technology, you’ll never have to worry about defrosting your appliance. What’s more, thanks to the IceMaker, you can enjoy fresh ice cubes when plumbed to a mains water connection.