UnFoodie vs. the Fridge

By Karen

Buying a refrigerator wasn’t on my Memorial Day weekend To-Do list when I woke up Saturday, but…

My 24-year-old 18 cu. ft. Whirlpool fridge was cashing in. Nothing I did with the temperature controls made the ice cubes freeze or keep my DiGiorno pizza from bending.

It was either poison myself on semi-thawed chicken fingers or act. My father came to my rescue with his big cooler and took my freezer’s contents to his house. We figured the fridge stuff would be safe for now.

At hhgregg I found a shiny new 28 cu. ft. Samsung with French doors. Ooh, la la!

Meet "Sam"

Even on sale, it cost nearly twice as much as I wanted to spend, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy another fridge like my simple little Whirlpool because the seeds of distrust had been sown.

The Whirlpool’s automatic ice maker was never hooked up because I considered it just one more thing to break. But my Samsung now has a touch-screen computer on the door and shoots out water, ice cubes, AND crushed ice.

So now I have a water filter to worry about.

Today’s refrigerators are like Hummers without wheels. Ludicrously oversized, poorly designed, and only an idiot thinks owning one is a good idea.

But you don’t realize all that until it’s in your house.

The Whirlpool had one big door and a freezer on top. Now I’ve got 2 little doors and a freezer on the bottom. Even though I’ve upgraded by 10 cu. ft. and this sullen brute of a fridge dwarfs everything else in the kitchen, the Samsung inside feels smaller.

When the Samsung arrived Sunday morning, the delivery guy said it needed 48 HOURS to cool down. That meant another trip to my parents with a cooler full of the fridge stuff — deli, drinks, condiments, pickles, half-eaten Fancy Feast.

Then I had to run 2-3 gallons of water through the door and throw out the first batches of ice cubes, although not as many as recommended because, by Sunday night after 2 full days without a fridge, I needed ice for my vodka — badly.

Everyone tells me Samsung fridges are great, but I’ve discovered one thing that sucks: The layout.

The French doors are the only place large bottles fit upright (unless you give up half an interior shelf that flips up), and the ice setup knocks out most of a shelf on one door.

Right door

Left door

The 2 crisper drawers have humidity controls, but the owner’s manual contains NOT ONE WORD on how they’re supposed to work. Who knows how damp a cucumber likes to be in the dark?

The manual only discusses putting fruits and vegetables in the DELI compartment, which also has separate temperature controls. But the temps they recommend for deli and fruits and vegetables are different.

Confused yet?

Samsung must take us for saps with all the fancy-schmancy controls on flimsy plastic bins that are in NO WAY insulated or air-tight. The controls aren’t documented because Samsung knows they don’t do a damn thing.

The freezer is a big plastic pit, as handy as keeping the food in a clothes basket under the bed (if the bed could keep it frozen, I’m just sayin’). To see what you have, you need to stand boxes on end. If there’s anything liquid in them (I’m thinking gravy in TV dinners), heaven help you if the power goes out.

By Monday afternoon — 24 hours later — the Samsung, whom I call “Sam” because something that big deserves a name, seemed to have found his groove, so I went to my parents for a Memorial Day barbie, then reloaded my fridge contents back into the coolers and lugged it all home.

I’m not thrilled with how things are arranged yet, so Sam and I have a lot of work to do on our relationship. And his stainless-steel good looks now have the rest of the kitchen screaming for a makeover.

UPDATE for reader kittiequeen, pictures of the freezer:

The bottom of the freezer with the drawer closed…

Here’s the freezer drawer open…


17 Responses to UnFoodie vs. the Fridge

  1. adele says:

    Dam is a handsome beast, and I think you’ll get used to the ice dispenser quickly. Just think of your frosty martini glasses == and I’m suspecting after this weekend, martinis sound awfully good. Looks like Sam takes up more room than the last fridge.

    Hope Yul’s homemade chicken stock wasn’t lost.

  2. catsworking says:

    Yul’s special chicken stock made the trip, as well as 2 bags of my own chicken stock.

    Sam is about 5-6 inches wider than the Whirlpool, and quite a bit taller. And he protrudes into the room a LOT more, even though there are no coils in the back and he sits much closer to the wall. The thing is just a monster. But here’s an interesting fact: a 25 cu. ft. fridge has the SAME dimensions. The sales guy couldn’t tell me what they did with the extra 3 ft., since the smaller capacity wasn’t necessarily better insulated. The fridges 18 or 22 ft. all felt like flimsy junk, and the freezers were just wire baskets, so I really felt as if I didn’t have any choice but to go with a monster, just to get SOME quality. When you’re spending 4 figures, you don’t want to end up with a piece of junk.

    Going nearly 3 full days without a fridge was awful. The first night I got Chinese takeout for dinner, and enough for the next day’s breakfast because I still had the fridge section. But the next night I had NO fridge while the Samsung cooled so I ate a tin of smoked oysters and the cats got Cheese Lover’s Fancy Feast because I knew they’d polish off the whole can. Breakfast on Memorial Day was oranges because I had nothing to put on cereal, my eggs and bread were at my parents’, along with the butter. I hadn’t done any grocery shopping in weeks (which was good because we couldn’t have gotten another thing in the coolers), but that left me almost nothing in the house. I guess I could have fixed Pop Tarts for breakfast.

    I’m just glad the ordeal is over. Schlepping food back and forth was very time-consuming.

  3. zappa says:

    It certainly LOOKS glamourous! I don’t see any vodka,just beer.


  4. catsworking says:

    ZM, the vodka is the green label peeking out from behind the milk. The beer has been there since Christmas. I’m not a beer-drinker. And notice that the six-pack is lying on its side because there’s nowhere it can stand up in the main part of the fridge. The pickle jars barely clear the rooft. Sure, I the shelves are adjustable, and I may move one to get the milk out of the door, but then I’ll just create another space that’s super-short and won’t hold much.

    It was funny, when I finally got to the grocery store after Sam had cooled down, I kept catching myself thinking, “Will I be able to fit this in the freezer?” because my Whirlpool freezer was pretty small. Then I’d go, “Wait a minute! Now you have Sam and PLENTY of room!”

    The new question will be, “Once I open this bottle of X, will I have to lay it on its side and risk it leaking all over everything?”

  5. cheray smith says:

    It’s an impressive looking beast for sure…but I must be getting old…I’m starting to yearn for the days when my family’s simple refrigerator/stove/toaster/etc. lasted for all the years of my childhood/youth (which consists of many more years than I like to admit).

    Finally! Someone who agrees with me! I’m always spouting off about “lots of bells and whistles mean lots of expensive repairs”. That applies to cars too.

    My friends just scoff.

  6. catsworking says:

    Cheray, I saw an ad on TV last night for a Samsung fridge with a computer with a full-color LCD display in the door that probably knows when it’s time to call the guy to come and cut the grass — and then does it. Totally ridiculous.

    Because of my stupid door computer and ice grainder (which I have yet to test, BTW, because I’m afraid of it — you should have seen me last night gathering ice cubes off the kitchen floor after the door kept spitting them out when the glass was full and I couldn’t make it stop), hhgregg coaxed me to shell out a few extra hundred $$ for the 5-year warranty. You just KNOW that computer isn’t going to last 24 years, like EVERYTHING in my old Whirlpool did.

    When I bought my Saturn in 2000 (and still drive), I opted for crank windows instead of power because I’ve seen too many people opening the car door and tossing money over the top to pay a toll because their power windows stopped working and they’re too expensive to fix. I’ve also helped a friend wrestle her window up when the power control suddenly died. But a crank has never failed me.

  7. Cheray Smith says:

    I too opted for crank windows!!!

    The people that I know who INSIST on auto windows also spend mega bucks on gym memberships and personal trainers. They would not dream of actually leaning across the front seat to roll down a window.

  8. MorganLF says:

    Oh gee, I need a new fridge soon,I can’t cope- back under the covers for me. I just had to install a router I am scarred for life!

  9. adele says:

    I have crank windows on my 2003 Toyota for the same reason.

    And I was at a dinner party on Sunday where every time the conversation drifted to something no one at the table could answer, the smart phones came out, and the answer was looked up. Seemed like Cliff’s notes for conversation.

  10. catsworking says:

    OK, Cheray and Adele, I’ll see ya and raise ya: All my phones have speed dial but I don’t have anything programmed because I’m afraid I’ll turn into an idiot and forget everybody’s phone number.

    Actually, that has happened to my mother. She has me on speed dial and now can’t call me from another phone because she doesn’t remember my number.

    I do have numbers programmed into my cell phone, but only because I think using it for any reason is such a pain in the ass. And this is after I just broke down and bought a new phone with a full keyboard and increased my annual cell phone bill by about 600%. No joke.

    Cheray, I didn’t have an electric can opener for many years because I considered opening cans exercise and figured I’d be screwed in a power failure. But once most cans went to pop-tops, I caved and bought one. I’m such a creampuff.

  11. adele says:

    I’ll see that and raise a little — I still don’t have a cell phone with a keyboard, and I’ve never owned an electric can opener. I am thinking about getting a fancy cork screw, though. And someone should invent an electric champagne opener. I love good champers and have always prided myself on being able to open any bottle, but the touch of arthritis in my right hand is making bottle opening harder and harder.

  12. catsworking says:

    Adele, after our trip to DC in November where my phone seemed to be so problematic for everybody (even though it was less than a year old), I’ve been feeling guilty. Then AT&T totally screwed up my account, causing me to lose more than $300 in accumulated minutes, and it seemed like a sign to get with the times, so I switched to Verizon and got a keyboard phone. I’m still feeling raped by what I’m paying (since I STILL never use the phone), especially because the sum DOESN’T include Internet access. AND I’m now locked into a 2-year contract, where I was prepaid with AT&T. Yes, the phone is fancier, but I feel like I’ve taken a huge step backward.

  13. catsworking says:

    Morgan, my router started acting up when I bought a new desktop computer a few months ago. Now I have to unplug and replug it every time I want Internet access on the laptops or e-reader, and that’s a pain. But the thought of installing a new router gives me a bigger headache.

    I have 2 pieces of advice on a fridge: 1) Don’t go with a cheapie with a wire basket in the freezer. If something falls through, getting to it will be a nightmare. And how well will a wire basket hold cold? But as soon as you start looking as fridges with solid plastic freezer compartments, you’re probably looking at more than you want to spend, so brace yourself. 2) Don’t even consider a side-by-side with the freezer next to the fridge. It’s too narrow and you’ll despise it. My mother has one and just tried to give it to ME so SHE could buy a new fridge, just to get rid of it. (Thanks, Mom!)

  14. kittiequeen says:

    Karen— would you be so kind as to take a few photos of what the freezer looks like? Certainly, your new fridge sure looks snazzy on the outside. The space inside reminds me of how tiny the inside of brand new washing machines look. Thanks— from Kittiequeen.

  15. catsworking says:

    Welcome, kittiequeen. I was going to oblige you with pictures of my freezer, but the battery on my camera was dead. Recharging now…

  16. kittiequeen says:

    OK—-so your not up to posting pixs of the freezer part of the new fridge.Once opened, it must be nothing more than a tiny pull-out drawer with an even tinier interior. All the bottles on the doors instead of sittting deep inside on the shevles in the fridge its self would drive me nuts. At least you dont have to have the eggs on the door(s)—also eggs stay colder inside the fridge than when stored on the door. If you have people in the house who open/slam close the doors on everything in the house— not storing eggs on the doors means you should have unbroken eggs. No more hearing you bought them that way (sure!!!!) (broken!!!) at the food store.

  17. catsworking says:

    kittiequeen, sorry about the delay in posting the freezer pics. I will stick them at the end of the post because I can’t figure out how to paste them here.

    The eggs don’t fit in the doors, no way, no how. They would take up too much room.

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