7 Fridge Features You Must Have

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Traditionally, a refrigerator was little more than an update to the old-fashioned icebox, using electricity and coolant in place of blocks of ice. It was simply a cupboard for cold things, and until the late 20th century most models had few advanced options. That's no longer the case, and modern, premium-quality refrigerators contain a number of must-have features.

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1. Digital Temperature Control

In entry-level fridges, controlling the temperature consists of turning a dial and hoping for the best. Well, that kind of guessing game doesn't cut it in the 21st century. Quality fridges have digital controls, so you can enter in precise temperatures. Just a few degrees' difference can affect food safety dramatically, so accuracy is important.

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2. Multiple Temperature Zones

The only thing better than accurate temperature control is multi-zone temperature control. Not all foods benefit from being kept at the same temperature, and premium fridges have the flexibility to set multiple temperature zones independently, so delicate fruits and vegetables can luxuriate at a relatively balmy 40 or 41 degrees Fahrenheit, while your cold cuts and bacon keep their cool at a chef-recommended 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

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3. Power Chill, Power Freeze

When you have to load your fridge to keep up with the garden or prepare for a holiday meal, it can take a long time for the food to cool properly. Many top-of-the-line fridges offer a special mode that speeds the chilling process. These models ramp up the refrigeration temporarily, sharply reducing the time it takes to bring your food down to a food-safe temperature.

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4. LED Lighting

Given that the whole point of a refrigerator is to keep things cold, how much sense does it make to illuminate the interior with a heat-emitting light bulb? Modern, premium refrigerators offer bright, well-distributed illumination through several bars of low-power LED lights. In some cases, you can also set the LED over the water dispenser to stay on continually, easing the trip for that late-night glass of water.

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5. The Wide-Open Spaces

The ultimate measure of a fridge is how much food it can hold without crowding, since air circulation is critical to good cooling. The slimmed-down models used in many apartments can have as little as 10 cubic feet of storage capacity, while at the other end of the scale, large-capacity refrigerators can boast a cavernous 34.3 cubic feet of total storage.

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6. Flexible Configurations

Of course, the usability of that space has a lot to do with how it's laid out. The more freedom you have to rearrange, the better you can adapt to your changing needs. Some refrigerators take that notion to a whole new level, giving you the option of switching one of its lower compartments from freezer to refrigerator use as needed.

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7. Wi-Fi® and Connectivity

Like the best football players, premium fridges are smart as well as big. With Samsung's Chef Collection Refrigerator and a companion app on a compatible Galaxy device, you can monitor your power usage, get alerts if the door's been left open, and program the fridge to take advantage of reduced nighttime power rates.

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