That's not the case with the Frigidaire Gallery FGHI2164QF (MSRP $1,299), which gives consumers some of the most flexible storage we’ve ever seen in a 21-cubic-foot top freezer. Adjustable door buckets and an extra fridge drawer offer superior organization compared to most other fridges of this style.
We measured even temperatures over time, too. Our only complaint is its high MSRP. On sale, the price drops just below $1,000, putting this top-of-the-line top-freezer at the upper end of the market.
Aside from its fancy interior, the Frigidaire Gallery FGHI2164QF (MSRP $1,299) maintained some of the most consistent temperatures we’ve seen in a top freezer. Sure, the entire unit ran warm, but simply turning down the thermostat will easily mitigate the only major flaw we could find in this model.
Shelves and drawers galore
As far as top freezers go, this Frigidaire is downright fancy. On the outside, you get Frigidaire's smudge-free stainless finish. Inside, LED lighting casts a pale blue glow over an array of adjustable shelves and twin crispers.
Up at the top of the fridge, you’ll find Frigidaire’s new Store-More drawer. The drawer is situated at the perfect height for children to grab their own snacks out of the fridge, and the Store-More is tall enough to fit anything from single-serving yogurt containers to Tupperware filled with chopped vegetables. While this drawer's sliding action isn't the smoothest, it does feel sturdy.
Half-width shelves in the main compartment give consumers more storage flexibility than most other top freezers, but it’s the door that really impresses. Seven independent containers of multiple sizes create what Frigidaire calls the Custom-Flex Door.
In addition to an enclosed dairy bin—uniquely shaped to accommodate the Store-More drawer—you also get a dispenser capable of holding about seven 12 oz. cans at a time. There’s also the Mini Bin, a narrow compartment great for loose items like string cheese or juice boxes.
What’s more, every shelf—except the full-width one at the bottom—can slide along plastic mounts, allowing you to push drawers left or right for easier access. Plastic on plastic means they don't slide without some effort, but any customizability in a top freezer is welcome.
The freezer also has additional perks. A single-adjustable shelf divides the compartment, plus the bottom half has been outfitted with a sliding drawer. The top shelf on the door tilts forward, which helps minimize the risk of groceries falling out of an overcrowded freezer.
First, the good stuff: This Frigidaire is extremely consistent. Temperatures in the main fridge compartment had an average fluctuation over time of just ±0.11°F. The freezer—which almost always has a bigger shift than the fridge—varied about ±0.62°F.
On the other hand, overall temperatures ran quite warm. At the top, middle, and bottom, the fridge retained average temps of 39.85°F, 40.53°F, and 43.01°F, respectively. The freezer clocked in at 3.49°F near the top and 6.16°F near the bottom. That’s definitely too warm, but easily fixed by turning down the thermostat.
The twin crispers performed on par with other fridges in this price range. Our test materials, which were weighed over the course of three days, lost an average of about 0.19 grams of moisture each hour. It’s not great, but we’ve certainly seen worse.
Very consistent, but double check those temps
Easily the biggest strength our tests uncovered was the Frigidaire’s consistency. While in our environmentally controlled labs, both the fridge and freezer compartments maintained even temperatures over time.
The downside, however, is that both compartments ran too warm. The key here is to ignore the recommended setting on the controls (marked with an asterisk on the sliding thermostat), and simply turn the temperatures in both compartments down.
The other highlight of this model is its efficiency. Even with the icemaker running, this Frigidaire was exceptionally efficient, compared to both other top freezers and to refrigerators in general. Freezing times were average, as was moisture retention in the crispers.
That aforementioned icemaker is really the only extra feature that comes with this model, but top freezers tend to err on the side of low-tech.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Flexible, family-friendly storage
While the Frigidaire Gallery FGHI2164QF may not be the most expensive consumer top freezer on the market, it’s pretty close. Sale prices tend to place this unit at around $1,000, give or take. But for all those dollars, you do get some of the most innovative top freezer storage we’ve seen, as well as exceptionally consistent internal temperatures.
Its 21-cubic-foot capacity, energy efficiency, and flexible storage options make it an ideal fit for a low-frills, kid-friendly household... as long as you’ve got a little extra to spend. Either way, it's still less expensive than a French door.
Freezing times were average. We placed room-temperature simulated food test materials inside the Frigidaire, which was housed in our climate-controlled test lab. The internal temperature of those simulated foods reached 32°F after an hour and 35 minutes.
At an advertised capacity of 21 cubic feet, this model is larger than most top freezers. By actually measuring the main fridge compartment, including the Custom-Flex door, we found 11.23 cubic feet of usable storage space. We did our best to optimize the position of the sliding door shelves to get as much use out of each shelf as possible.
The freezer, with its sliding bottom rack and tilting door shelf, proved more straightforward. Without the ice bucket in place, it provides 3.77 usable cubic feet of frozen food storage—not bad for a top freezer.
Perhaps one of the most exciting elements of this Frigidaire’s performance was its energy efficiency. Even with the icemaker running, this model only needed 0.06 kWh to cool each usable cubic foot of space, making it one of the most efficient models we’ve tested. At a fixed rate of $0.09 per kWh, this model should only cost you about $30.67 per year to run.
Meet the tester
Logistics Manager & Staff Writer@ReviewedHome
Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.
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