If you're looking for an affordable mini-fridge that you can keep outside, and store drinks and small food items for convenience, the Bull Outdoor Refrigerator is a good option.
The company is well known for its barbecue island components, grills, and appliances. Of the two Bull Outdoor Products refrigerators they make, the smaller 11001 model is the more affordable and more popular. So, that's the one I review here.
Overview of Features
The Bull 11001 measures 32¾” high × 19⅞” wide × 20½” deep. It provides an ample 4.5 cubic feet of storage for snacks and beverages, organized with two shelves and a vegetable crisper drawer.
The door features a can-dispenser that holds up to five 12 oz. cans, an area that will hold two 2-liter bottles securely, and two additional door bins for easy access.
It also features a rust-resistant stainless steel door (reversible, for left- or right-opening), and a flat-back design that allows you to keep the fridge flush up against a wall, for a good look that saves space.
A full-range temperature control lets you find the right setting to keep things cold in the fridge during a variety of temperatures outside.
**1) interior light; 2) temperature control; 3) 2 full wired shelves; 4) glass crisper lid; 5) crisper; 6) leveling leg; 7) door bins; 8) can dispenser; 9) 2-liter bottle bin
Real-World Pros & Cons
When you research this product online, you'll find a majority of positive reviews, but with a mixed reception.
Many of the negative reviews are based on unrealistic expectations from the product. I'll go over a few things you should know here.
Starting with what's good about the unit is the value for the price. (At the time of this writing, about $320 online.) Similar units designed to function outdoors can cost a lot more.
This basic unit does what it's supposed to: keeps items cold while operating in the unstable temperatures of an outdoor environment.
That, combined with the storage features and design mentioned above, makes this a solid choice for anyone looking to enhance their outdoor home life with the convenience of a refrigerator.
Now for a few things people might not like about this model…
No Freezer — This model is a refrigerator ONLY. It does not come with a smaller freezer section to store ice or frozen items. Its main function is to keep food and beverages cold.
Shelving — The plastic shelving is wired. So, while it's fine to store most flat items, taller, narrower items may have to be put on their sides or else slip through the cracks.
There are two major misunderstandings about outdoor refrigerators that lead to false expectations about where to place your fridge.
Freestanding — Normally, I wouldn't consider this a bad thing, but after reading about so many people complaining that it wouldn't keep anything cold after they installed it into a kitchen island of some sort, I feel like I need to post this as a warning:
This model is NOT designed to be “built-in” to outdoor cabinetry or bricks.
Built-in models have front ventilation so that they can fit flush into a cabinet. Freestanding models need an inch or more on all sides to have adequate ventilation, or else they will not function properly.
If you plan on building the fridge into a cabinet or island of some sort, this may not be the model for you.
Rust — I can almost hear you ask, “But, isn't this made of stainless steel, which doesn't rust?” Yes, and no. Not all stainless steel is made the same. It seems that Bull uses a more ferrous-based grade of the stainless steel (probably why it can be sold inexpensively). It may rust in extremely wet environments.
This is probably the biggest misunderstanding people have about outdoor refrigerators: they are not all-weather proof.
Temperatures outdoors vary widely from night to day. Indoors stay pretty even. While indoor refrigerators are designed to keep things cold in that pretty evenly heated environment, outdoor refrigerators are designed to work in unstable temperatures between 40ºF and 100ºF or so.
And, while they are also designed to safely protect the electrical circuits from water, they shouldn't be immersed in water, or stay exposed to the deluge of a thunderstorm.
You can't expect the fridge to stay buried in a foot of snow all winter, and thaw out without having any trouble whatsoever. Also, they are not designed to work in the freezing temperatures of winter.
Bring it indoors, or at least cover it in extremely cold or wet weather. Wipe it dry when it gets wet, and you should have no trouble.
For a better understanding of what to expect from your outdoor fridge, read my post about outdoor refrigerators.
The Bull Outdoor Refrigerator could be an excellent addition to your patio, backyard, or barbecue island area. It's full-featured and adaptable for storing various items, making it a very good purchase for the price.
To see more outdoor refrigerators, check my post 3 Good ones…
Disclosure: 3GoodOnes.com is a professional review site. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission for your purchase. It is my hope that this post leaves you so well informed, that you won't mind that very much.