Refrigerators

Electrolux EI27BS26JS Refrigerator Review

An expensive fridge that just might be worth what you spend.

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The Electrolux EI27BS26JS (MSRP $2,699) offers almost everything you could ask for in a fridge without going ridiculously high end. With a glossy stainless finish, plenty of space, and strong performance, it would make for quite a showpiece in your kitchen. Yes, it had a few important performance lows in the freezer, and the controls are a tad busy. On the whole, though, it’s a really satisfying product.

Design & Usability

Blinded by the fridge.

We’re used to dealing with stainless steel, but this Electrolux is shiny. It's not reflective enough to use for shaving or putting on makeup, but it does bounce light something fierce. It’s definitely worth thinking about if your kitchen gets a lot of direct sun, or if you’ve got small children: That gleaming finish didn't hide our fingerprints at all.

On the inside, the fridge handles like a dream. Shelves slide forward and back for easy access to items in the rear, crispers glide like they’re on butter, and the door shelves have plenty of room for storing gallon-sized containers. It’s accessible and easy to use.

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That said, the interior icemaker is bulky and unwieldy, and the controls—definitely designed to look technologically advanced—are just plain busy. The wire rack in the pull-out freezer isn’t quite as graceful as the fresh food drawers, either.

Speaking of the wire freezer shelf, Electrolux found a surprisingly simple way to deal with the lack of spill protection caused by the gaps: it comes with an easy-to-remove, easy-to-clean plastic tray that sits on the bottom of the freezer drawer. As someone who has witnessed the horror of a split bag of frozen peas, I say this is genius!

Still, that control panel kept aggravating us. Generally, most people don't touch the controls on their fridge unless they're plugging it in for the first time. Electrolux gives each fridge function its own button, meaning the control panel will stick out like a sore thumb. For folks who like a gadget-heavy fridge, though, it does make for easy use.

Performance & Features

Robust performance dampened by an inconsistent freezer.

We didn’t foresee great things based on the last Electrolux we tested, but this model really blew our expectations out of the water, with one major exception. Despite low power consumption, great fresh food preservation, and superb crispers, we weren't thrilled with the freezer. That said, let's start with the good stuff first.

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Fresh food storage ran a bit warm, but not by much. It’s an easy fix: just turn the thermostat down a degree or two. More importantly, temperatures were consistent; not the best we’ve seen, but more than enough to keep food fresh. The crispers complemented the even temperatures well, retaining more moisture than almost every other model we’ve tested. Stock up at the farmer’s market, friends, these crispers can keep kale fresh.

The freezer is where things get a bit inconsistent. It's definitely cold enough, no problems there. Unfortunately, temp fluctuations went well above and below 0ºF. That might cause freezer burn over time, and is this machine's worst flaw. To counteract it, turn the freezer thermostat way down if you need to store anything longterm.

The EI27BS26JS has got a hefty amount of usable storage space, incredibly low energy consumption rates, and acceptable freezing times. One freezer flaw shouldn’t be enough to keep you away. Unless, of course, your diet consists entirely of year-old steaks.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

Conclusion

Expensive, but worth it.

There’s no way around it: this is an expensive fridge. But at least you get your $2,699 MSRP worth, as the EI27BS26JS is capable of commendable performance.

With phenomenal usability, low energy consumption, and solid performance that delivers in almost every way, it would be hard to go wrong with this model. Track down a sale and you’re golden: a quick internet search yielded prices as low as $2,145.

The Cold Hard Facts

Based on our extensive test results, the Electrolux EI27BS26JS comes across as one of the most well-rounded fridges on the market today. With great fresh food storage, incredible electricity rates, and a chilly—if inaccurate—freezer, this model should be suitable for everyone from the hungry bachelor to the large family.

Temperature Performance

Nearly perfect refrigeration, chilly but unsteady freezing.

The main refrigerator compartment did a great job at delivering consistent temperatures, but it ran just a bit warm at different points. Turn down the thermostat a degree or two, and you’ll be fine. From top to bottom, average temperatures ran 39.39ºF, 37.47ºF, and 40.27ºF. A little extra heat on the bottom is a good thing, since produce isn’t necessarily meant to be stored at as cool a degree as milk or juice. An average fluctuation of 0.52 degrees in the fridge is also quite acceptable, though it was most consistent at the very top.

In terms of frozen food, the freezer had the opposite problem. It was certainly cold enough: the upper part of the freezer averaged -0.03ºF (absolutely spot-on), warming only slightly to 0.95ºF at the bottom. That’s nearly perfect, but an average fluctuation of 1.3 degrees—an exceptionally large gap—keeps this product from being a perfect recommendation. That much of a shift breeds freezer burn, so you’ll want to avoid any long-term storage in here.

Moisture Retention

Fresh and crisp in the dual crispers.

The quality of this Electrolux’s moisture retention came at us from out of nowhere. We almost never come across a crisper in which our test materials lose an average of only 0.11 grams of moisture per hour. That’s incredible, and means your produce should stay edible for longer than in most other fridges.

Freezing & Thawing

Unremarkable freezing times.

Our room-temperature test materials took one hour and 43 minutes to freeze. That’s simply fine, neither remarkable nor disappointing, though it does leave room for improvement.

The freezer passed the thawing test, as well. After 36 hours without electricity, internal temperatures had reached just 28ºF, still thoroughly frozen.

Storage Space & Energy Efficiency

Not as large as some, but with huge energy savings.

The Electrolux doesn’t quite have as much internal space as some other similarly sized models, but most consumers should find plenty of room in here nonetheless. The main fridge compartment has four adjustable shelves—one that’s thinner due to the bulk icemaker—and two crispers. There’s also a full-width temperature control drawer at the bottom. The left-hand door has three oddly shaped shelves for miscellaneous storage. Bucket shelves on the right-hand door offer up plenty of gallon-sized storage, and the dairy bin has both a lock and a sliding divider. All together, it adds up to in 13.28 usable cubic feet.

The freezer is much more straightforward. You’ve got a pull-out wire drawer on top with deeper wire buckets underneath. Both sections have an adjustable divider right in the middle, while the lower section comes with a removable plastic tray for spill protection. While not overly roomy, the 3.56 usable cubic feet is still pretty spacious.

Its smaller size may turn off some consumers, but the heightened energy savings will likely attract others. Based on an average rate of $0.09 per kWh, we determined that this fridge would cost you $56.09 per year to run. Keep in mind that this is with the icemaker on and actively producing ice, something it won’t likely be doing all the time. Spread that energy out across all the usable storage, and you find that the Electrolux only needs 0.1 kWh per usable cubic foot, making this one of the most energy efficient models we’ve tested.