Quick-to-chill fridge freezers tested by Which?Best Buy fridge freezers chill and freeze fast

11 September 2011

Haier AFL631CS

Which? has tested the latest fridge freezer and discovered that not all fridge freezers are the same when it comes to preserving your food. Some models able to chill fresh groceries four times faster than others, helping ensure your food is fresher and nutrient-rich for longer.

Fresh food can start to warm up on the journey back from the supermarket - particularly on a hot day - but a good fridge freezer should be able to cool it down quickly when you get home. The best fridge freezer model on test chilled our shopping perfectly in little over four hours, whereas the worst took almost 17 hours to cool the same amount of food.

The speed at which a fridge can cool food to a safe temperature is crucial - because the quicker food reaches safe storage temperatures the less likely it is to deteriorate. 

Best Buy fridge freezers - see which speedy coolers we recommend.

Fridge freezer cooling

We found a similar variation in results for freezing power too. Two of the fridge freezers we looked at managed to freeze an impressive 14kg of fresh food in 24 hours - which should give you ample opportunity to store those surplus runner beans or apples. 

The worst performers were significantly slower, and only managed to freeze 1.5 kg in the same period. Rapid freezing prevents the formation of large ice crystals, which can have a detrimental effect on the taste and texture of your food. The quicker your food reaches -18°C the better.

Fridge freezer reviews

Our latest batch of freestanding fridge freezers includes models from well-known brands like Indesit, Samsung and Zanussi. We've also reviewed the Haier AFL631CS, which has two freezer drawers instead of a conventional freezer compartment.

Six of these are frost-free, which is great news if you don't want the hassle of regularly defrosting your appliance, and the American-style Samsung RSH5UBBP benefits from a built-in ice and water dispenser.

To find out about the Samsung models we've tested, check out our Samsung fridge freezer reviews.

Fridge freezer running costs

Fridges and freezers are the second biggest energy users in the home behind central heating - and with electricity prices on the rise, choosing an energy efficient model could save you more money than ever before 

The energy labels supplied on each product aren't always accurate, so we run our own tests and list the running costs for every model we review.

More on this...