Refrigerators 2011 Select Awards

Here are our picks for the very best fridges of 2011.

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On average, American households have up to $800 worth of food in their refrigerators at any given time. Choose the wrong fridge, and all that food could end up in the trash. At, we put the most popular refrigerators on the market through rigorous temperature, efficiency and power-loss testing, and we're giving out our annual Selects awards to the top performers. Here are the refrigerators that did the best job keeping their cool.

Refrigerator Of The Year

Samsung RSG257AARS
(MSRP: $2299.00)


The Samsung RSG257AARS has everything you'd want in a fridge. Even before plugging it in, we could tell the fit and finish was of high quality, as drawers slid easily and doors closed with a satisfying "thunk." Once we started testing it, we found out just what a good refrigerator it is. In the fridge and freezer it kept food at even temperatures over long periods of time, and cold air circulated steadily across the fronts and backs of all shelves. Though many refrigerators circulate cold air between the fridge and freezer, the Samsung features dual compressors that cool the fridge and freezer separately for more accurate temperature control.

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Runner Up

(MSRP: $2599.00)


The faster a fridge freezes food, the better that food will taste once it thaws. The GE Profile PFSS6PKXSS took just under an hour and a half to freeze room temperature food, which was very impressive. Also impressive: the wide, roomy interior with smooth-gliding shelves and even a separate container for frozen pizzas. To maximize freezer space, the ice maker is actually in a small compartment in the fridge.

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Best Value

(MSRP: $1049.00)


Though it's small, the LG LTC22350SS had some of the best temperature and humidity performance we'd ever encountered. Food was as cold on the bottom shelf of the fridge as the top, and there weren't any hot or cold spots. Up in the freezer, temperatures remained steady throughout our tests, which means there's a low chance of freezer burn. The exterior is stylish, too, with a stainless finish, hidden handles and reversible doors.

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Runner Up

Whirlpool GB2FHDXWS
(MSRP: $1599.00)


If you find yourself reaching for fresh vegetables more often than a TV dinner, the Whirlpool GB2FHDXWS bottom freezer may be the right fridge for you. With a sleek stainless exterior and a roll-out bottom fridge, it keeps fresh foods at eye level. More importantly, it keeps fresh foods fresh with even temperature performance and excellent humidity control. Shelves slide out, so you'll never have to reach to the back of a fridge to get that jar of pickles you forgot you had.

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Best Upscale Fridge

Maytag MFF2558VEM
(MSRP: $1699.00)


The Maytag MFF2558VEM is a monolith in stainless steel that feels as solid as the old Norge your grandmother had. But unlike that old icebox, the Maytag is energy efficient and keeps frozen food frozen for more than 36 hours when the power goes out. All the interior shelves are adjustable, and a wide deli drawer is perfect for storing cold cuts and cheeses. Variations in freezer temperature can cause freezer burn, but that won't be a problem with this Maytag as the chill in the freezer drawer remained steady during all our tests.

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Runner Up

Kenmore Elite 41003
(MSRP: $3039.99)


The Kenmore Elite 41003 is mechanically identical to our Refrigerator of the Year, the Samsung RSG257AARS. Sears souped it up with some extra features, which means that you get an LCD display screen in addition to even temperature performance and energy efficiency. The easy-to-slide drawers and high-end interior are the same as the Samsung, but the Kenmore lets you leave messages and show photos. It's a good feature if you don't want to clutter the surface of your new fridge with pictures of the kids or shopping lists.

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Best Family Fridge

Frigidaire FGUS2642LF
(MSRP: $1499.00)


If you've got a lot of mouths to feed, the cavernous Frigidaire FGUS2642LF is a great choice. The manufacturer rated it as holding 26 cubic feet of food, and we found that more than 16.5 cubic feet of that is usable space. Temperature performance remained even throughout the fridge and freezer categories, so you can stock up on food at a warehouse store without worrying about spoilage. There's a water dispenser and ice maker on the door, and the stainless finish is also surprisingly resistant to fingerprints, which makes cleaning a breeze.

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Runner Up

Whirlpool ED5KVEXVB
(MSRP: $899.99)


This Whirlpool side-by-side isn't flashy, but it keeps food cold and vegetables fresh at a price that's very attractive. Adjustable shelves, through-the-door water and ice and contoured handles make the ED5KVEXVB a great value for families. For a little more money, the same fridge is also offered in a stainless finish.

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