Frigidaire Gallery FGTR1837TF refrigerator
This basic fridge is a good value
Not everyone needs a huge refrigerator. Maybe your kitchen is too small for a French door or side-by-side model, or you want a refrigerator for a beach house, or you'd enjoy having an extra fridge to hold snacks and beverages in the family room.
We recently did some testing to evaluate a smaller fridge, bringing an 18 cu.-ft. Frigidaire Gallery top-freezer model, the FGTR1837TF (available at AppliancesConnection for $619.00) into our labs. It’s a good value, and after spending a week with it, we conclude that it can do the job, if you’re willing to make some minor temperature adjustments.
Let’s start with style. The stainless finish looks up-to-date, and if you’d prefer black or white, you can select either of those colors at a slightly lower price point. Don’t hesitate to go with the stainless if you’re concerned about fingerprints—we found that the so-called "smudgeless" exterior hides them. The handles feel comfortable, and it takes little effort to open the doors with them.
Inside it's brightly lit, making it easy to find what you’re looking for quickly.
The fresh food side does well with organization. There’s a butter dish, and gallon-sized bins in the right-hand door. The shelves capture spills, so spills are less likely to spread.
Two crispers are at the bottom. They’re a little rough to open and they’re not labeled, but each one has a slider adjustment. All you need to remember is that fruit needs high humidity and vegetables do best when the humidity is low. The crisper drawers are well sealed and do well maintaining humidity, thus keeping produce in good condition.
The full-width cold drawer slides open easily, and it provides a convenient place to store lunchmeats and cheeses.
The single shelf in the freezer doesn’t allow you to organize much, though the two door bins help. There’s no icemaker, but you can buy one and have it installed, if you decide you want one later. Without an icemaker, 93% of the freezer space is useable, which is excellent.
Top freezer models are generally energy efficient. We project that this one will cost an average of $37 a year to run, which works out to a mere 10 cents a day. That's a thumbs up.
If you buy this model, you may have to adjust some temperatures to preserve your food well. Quick review: to keep food at its best, the freezer section of any refrigerator should be about 0°, and the fridge should be about 37°.
In our tests, this freezer ran consistently at 3°. You may want to nudge the slider up a notch toward the “coldest” setting, to get closer to the ideal 0°, but its consistency makes freezer burn unlikely.
The refrigerator section tested colder than it needed to be, averaging 33°, and unlike the freezer, the temperature fluctuated a lot. So, be ready to dial the thermostat to the left to warm things up, if you find your fresh food freezes. Since there are no exact temperature settings for either compartment, you have to experiment with the settings.
The bottom line
This stainless top-freezer refrigerator is a good value from a familiar brand. It can work in a small kitchen, or as a second fridge, as long as you’re willing adjust the freezer to make it colder, and the fridge to make it warmer. Of course, you should test it first on the factory settings.
Before you buy, consider looking at a different top-freezer fridge, the Samsung RT18M6215SG/AA, which earned both our Editors’ Choice and Best of Year badges for 2017. It’s a similar size and price to the Frigidaire Gallery, model, has a great looking black stainless steel finish, and offers a bonus—the freezer can convert to extra fridge space.
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