Electrolux EI23BC35KS Counter-Depth Refrigerator Review
High-end style, only adequate quality.
The Electrolux EI23BC35KS (MSRP $3,199) counter-depth French door is a niche product for those who want a fridge that sits flush with their countertops. It has a fancy design and extra features, but disappointed in our lab tests. Sure, it’s energy efficient, but uniformly poor temperature consistency in both compartments is a major no-no when it comes to refrigeration and freezing.
Design & Usability
A shallow build for a streamlined kitchen.
Aside from its 28.5 inch depth, the EI23BC35KS is more or less identical to every other French door Electrolux that we’ve reviewed. It’s got an incredibly reflective stainless steel finish that picks up on every single fingerprint and smudge. Pale LED interior lighting is bright, and casts a cool glow over all of your food. All the drawers easily slide open and shut, and the shelves—though a bit heavy—aren’t too difficult to reposition.
Electrolux is one of the few manufacturers who hasn’t jumped onto the on-the-door icemaker bandwagon. Instead, they have two icemakers: a large, cumbersome one in the fridge that supplies the through-the-door dispenser, as well as a traditional icemaker with flip handle in the freezer. This model comes with a large ice bucket, but it takes up about a third of the upper freezer rack, cutting dramatically into the available storage space.
Normally you can reposition door shelves on a French door fridge with impunity, but not so with a counter-depth. If you put the larger, gallon-sized shelf in the wrong spot, it’ll actually hit the front edge of the interior shelves. That’s not an Electrolux-specific fault, just one that’s endemic of counter-depths. The water filter, on the other hand, is of a manufacturer-specific design that’s definitely irritating. Supposedly you just push on a small panel and it pops out, but more often than not we had to push and pry on the filter to remove it.
Performance & Features
Temperature output is way too shaky.
It’s common for a fridge to run a little warm, but this Electrolux churned out temperatures about five degrees hotter than what was set on the external thermostat. Even worse, both the fridge and freezer compartments were very inconsistent over time. Delicate items like cottage cheese or yogurt kept in the fridge section may spoil sooner than they would in a more consistent, while the freezer runs a higher-than-average risk of causing freezer burn.
The fringe benefits of this fridge were actually quite impressive. Energy consumption was low, storage capacity—for a counter-depth—was high, and the crispers were absolutely fantastic when it came to retaining moisture.
As far as fridge features go, the Electrolux covers all the standard bases. From the exterior control panel, you can activate the icemaker, turn on a control lock—great for households with small children—or switch between crushed and cubed ice for the dispenser.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
A Cold Shoulder
Too much inconsistency.
Sure, the Electrolux EI23BC35KS may save you money on the electric bill, and its crispers retain a ton of moisture, but it doesn’t do a great job of actually refrigerating groceries. This is more likely than not a fridge you'll probably want to pass on. If you’re dead-set on an Electrolux counter-depth, you could always go with the nearly-identical EW28BS85KS. It’s more expensive, but the performance was more in keeping with its high price tag.
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