Author Topic: Refrigerator sizes  (Read 2619 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Refrigerator sizes
« on: November 20, 2013, 09:51:06 AM »
I've watched a ton of episodes of House Hunter International which usually focuses on North Americans moving to other countries and looking for homes or apartments. The kitchen seems to always be a key issue, especially refrigerator size. My current fridge is a "French Door" model which means the fridge part is on top and has two doors. The capacity of it is around 20 cubic ft (.6 cu meters). The freezer is two pull out drawers on bottom with a capactiy of around 11 cubic ft (.3 cu meters). We have a separate small fridge in the utlility froom for canned or bottled sodas, waters, and beers. Many of my friends and relatives keep 2 full size fridges.

The ones they show on many episodes seem to be half this size or the realtor will comment on the kitchen having an "American" style refrigerator. 

Even with the capacity of my fridge, I'm at times challenge to get everything into it after weekly shopping.

I remember watching one show with a couple moving to Amerstadam and the fridge was about the size of the fridge my DD has in her dorm room. I remember thinking it wouldn't be big enough to store our condiments and a half gallon of milk let alone yogurts, eggs, fruits,vegetables, and meats for the week.

Are these shows acurately representing an average European fridge? And if so, do we just refrigerate more stuff than other countries?

Edited to fix typo.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 10:00:29 AM by Hmmmmm »

123sandy

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 09:57:20 AM »
Fridges are small over here compared to American sized ones. I think it's because it's more common for people to shop on a more than weekly basis, going to the fruit and veg shop, bakery and butcher for fresh food, rather than fill the fridge and eat from it over the course of the week.

cwm

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 11:38:50 AM »
I've never had a huge fridge, I've always been in houses with the smaller fridges. Not the mini-fridges, but one that's maybe only 5'10" high rather than a full 6", and it's thinner and shallower than the bigger ones. I've never had a problem storing everything, and neither does BF with his smaller fridge.

Mom, on the other hand, has her fridge full. Then again, most of her alcohol collection needs to stay cooled, and she keeps a lot of kid food on hand for when Sproglet is over, so it makes sense that even though she lives alone, she has a bigger fridge. It's always full.

TXJess

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 11:55:50 AM »
I had a friend from middle school that is American, but lived in England for a while due to her dad's job. Her family explained that it was because they would shop for groceries as needed throughout the week instead of buying everything at once and storing it in the fridge/freezer. So whatever meal they were going to have for dinner that night, the mom would go shopping for the main ingredients that day (or the day before). I'm not sure if that only applied to the part of England they were in.

magicdomino

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 12:08:54 PM »
My understanding is that Europeans traditionally shop more often, particularly in urban or village areas where one is often walking or taking the bus to the stores.  Americans traditionally drive to one large store and stock up.  Also, some things that are refrigerated here, like fruit, butter, and eggs, don't need chilling in the relatively cool climate of middle and northern Europe. 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 05:13:51 PM by magicdomino »

perpetua

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 12:15:08 PM »
Also, some things that are refrigerated here, like fruit, butter, and eggs, don't need chilling in the relatively cool climate of middle and northern Europe.

That had never ever occurred to me.

My fridge fits under the worktop and is built in with a door on the outside to match the rest of the kitchen units. It has three shelves, a couple of salad boxes under the bottom shelf and space in the door for storing eggs, milk bottles, etc. They're the most usual type of fridge you'd find here - American style fridges aren't common although you can get them.

'Big' fridges, ie, about 6 feet tall, are usually fridge freezers - half of it is a fridge and half a freezer, like this:



Lots of people have those.

Mine are separate - I have an under-worktop freezer the same size as my fridge with three drawers in it.

menley

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 12:25:44 PM »
Yes, this was a hard adjustment for me moving to central Europe from the US. My fridge is slightly bigger than the size that I was allowed to have in my dorm room in college.

The primary reasons I've found in my particular location is 1) eggs, milk, cream, etc do not need to be refrigerated as they are UHT, 2) fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak for ripeness, so you buy them daily.

Generally, people here go to the market nearly every day. The local markets and most other shops are closed Sundays, so that is the exception.

katycoo

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2013, 07:04:21 PM »
My fridge is very similar to this one:



I believe it is about 390L capacity, from memory

Mergatroyd

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 10:37:49 PM »
My fridge is very similar to this one:



I believe it is about 390L capacity, from memory

My fridge is similar to that as well. I actually wish I had a smaller one, so it would take up less space visually. I have an additional separate deep freeze as well. My aunt in England has a fridge BIGGER than mine  ::) so it can happen.

marcel

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 11:39:22 PM »
It is probably mostly because most people live with a grocery store close enough to do regular shoppings, so you don't need a fridge to store stuff for a week.

About not storing stuff in the fridge, there are as many people putting stuff in the fridge that doesn't need to be in it, here as there are in the US I guess, except maybe for fruit, I don't know many people who put fruit in the fridge.
Wherever you go..... There you are.

Bashful

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2013, 01:55:16 AM »
South Europe here.
DH and I got married last year and he would have loved a two-door-american-style fridge, while I wasn't into it. In the end we bought this:
http://www.reevoo.com/p/whirlpool-arc4209ix-aqua
The upper door is the freezer.
We are just two at home: I buy groceries once per week (except for milk: here fresh milk doesn't last 1 week so I buy it every 2-3 days). I keep in it meat, eggs, butter and vegetables (fruit just in summer), yoghurt, cream, fresh cheese, sodas, fruit juice, white wine, water bottles and it's still empty! I always say you can ear echo in it :)
My mom (family of four) has a similar fridge and sure it's stuffed but still sufficient.

Ezeesee

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2013, 03:24:29 PM »
Also, some things that are refrigerated here, like fruit, butter, and eggs, don't need chilling in the relatively cool climate of middle and northern Europe.

That had never ever occurred to me.

My fridge fits under the worktop and is built in with a door on the outside to match the rest of the kitchen units. It has three shelves, a couple of salad boxes under the bottom shelf and space in the door for storing eggs, milk bottles, etc. They're the most usual type of fridge you'd find here - American style fridges aren't common although you can get them.

'Big' fridges, ie, about 6 feet tall, are usually fridge freezers - half of it is a fridge and half a freezer, like this:



Lots of people have those.

Mine are separate - I have an under-worktop freezer the same size as my fridge with three drawers in it.

This picture is very similar to what we have, except it only has three drawers in the freezer-section, rather than four. I live in a house share of 4 people and we don't share any groceries (so there's 4 sets of milk, margarine, etc. going at the same time) as well as whatever else we put in there. We still have plenty of room left over though, enough that we managed to fit half a wedding cake in there once.

My parents have one of a similar size for just the two of them, but they also have a big chest freezer in the shed. They grow so much fruit and veg in the garden they can't eat it fast enough so need to freeze it before it goes off, then they spread it out over the winter.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 03:47:31 PM »
Also, some things that are refrigerated here, like fruit, butter, and eggs, don't need chilling in the relatively cool climate of middle and northern Europe.

That had never ever occurred to me.

My fridge fits under the worktop and is built in with a door on the outside to match the rest of the kitchen units. It has three shelves, a couple of salad boxes under the bottom shelf and space in the door for storing eggs, milk bottles, etc. They're the most usual type of fridge you'd find here - American style fridges aren't common although you can get them.

'Big' fridges, ie, about 6 feet tall, are usually fridge freezers - half of it is a fridge and half a freezer, like this:



Lots of people have those.

Mine are separate - I have an under-worktop freezer the same size as my fridge with three drawers in it.

This picture is very similar to what we have, except it only has three drawers in the freezer-section, rather than four. I live in a house share of 4 people and we don't share any groceries (so there's 4 sets of milk, margarine, etc. going at the same time) as well as whatever else we put in there. We still have plenty of room left over though, enough that we managed to fit half a wedding cake in there once.

My parents have one of a similar size for just the two of them, but they also have a big chest freezer in the shed. They grow so much fruit and veg in the garden they can't eat it fast enough so need to freeze it before it goes off, then they spread it out over the winter.

OK, this just stuns me. One reason I'm curious about this is my DH and I are discussing building a weekend/future retirement home and plan to make it as energy efficient as possible. One suggestion we've received is about downsizing appliances. While I'm happy to do so for the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, I'm having a difficult time with the fridge.

Last night we "inventoried" the condiments in the fridge door shelves. Between the large number of asian style sauces, salsas, pepper sauces, jams/jellies, capers, pickles, olives, relish, chtuney, and mustards, we have about 40 items. And none were things that won't get used. Maybe not weekly but they'll all be used up before they expire.  And all of my friends and relatives fridges are similar if they do a lot of home cooking.

Are we just condiment crazy?

Margo

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2013, 03:48:51 PM »
I thinlk the size may be less to do with shopping more often and more to do with (average) room sizes - in my experience, it's not only fridges, stoves, washing machines and such are typically bigger in the US, too.

I just went and read the instruction booklet, which tells me my fridge has a 4.2 cu.feet capacity and my freezer (which is separate) is 4.8.
I've never had any trouble fitting everything in. I get milk delivered, so I don't keep huge amounts in the fridge, but the fridge we had at home wasn't much bigger, and that was fine for a family of 6, with one main shop per week.

I don't generally put fruit in the fridge (except sometimes raspberries), or eggs.

I think the only time I've ever had trouble fitting eveything in has been at christmas, when we've have a dozen people in the house, and lots of extra desserts, cream, and a turkey to have to fit in.

NestHolder

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Re: Refrigerator sizes
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2013, 03:58:32 PM »
Our fridge (in UK) is similar to what Perpetua posted, but when the children lived at home, we found it convenient to have more space, and bought another fridge which is an under-the-counter one with no freezer compartment.  I probably keep more things in the fridge than are strictly necessary - bread, carrots, eggs etc, at least in part because it keeps them tidied away.  And it's certainly easier to do a 'big shop' once a week rather than replenish the ingredients every day.  I think more frequent shopping may be more the custom in continental Europe than here.

American appliances are in general a lot bigger, I think.  I remember that on our first family trip to Disney World, we stayed in a cabin on the campsite.  The stove was bigger than a regular stove would be here—the standard size here would be 60cm wide, and the one in the cabin was at least 70cm by my reckoning.  And I read, in my Unofficial Guide, complaints from some visitors about how small the stove was!  The only time I've ever wished for something a little larger than the regulation 60cm oven was when I cooked suckling pig, and had to hack it in half to fit it in.  The refrigerator, incidentally, was very generously sized by my standards (and we only used it for milk, and freezing water bottles overnight).