6 Reasons to Add a Beverage Refrigerator to Your Entertainment Areas

Entertaining at home has become a popular choice for many people, giving them the ability to lower their spending and still provide a good time for their closest friends and loved ones. Creating the perfect entertaining space can be a fun project that often includes brainstorming about all the different fun things that can be done with your space. Hosts should consider features that will make their parties and get-togethers run more smoothly, while also impressing those who attend. Adding a beverage refrigerator to your party space has many different benefits that can be helpful to both you and your guests. Read on for the top six reasons why.
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6 Must-Have Party Appliances for Sunday’s Big Game

The only good thing about the NFL season coming to an end is the massive Championship party that inevitably finishes the season. It’s a time we can get together with our friends and family to root for your team, watch commercials, pick squares, drink beer and eat way too much food.

When you really think about it, Sunday’s Big Game is a time-honored tradition. If you’re planning on throwing a party, there are a few items that you should buy that will make your party easier to plan and more enjoyable for all.

The following six appliances will make your party easier to throw, so you can focus on what’s really important that day – the commercials.

Football Party Appliances

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Tailgating 101: The Best Travel Coolers for Tailgate Parties

Travel Cooler

Finally! The start of the 2013/2014 NFL season is upon us. It’s been exactly 6 months and 3 days — or 194 days to be exact — since the Superbowl ended. If you’re like us here in the CompactAppliance office, you’ve got your pick’em leagues already set up, your fantasy football draft night scheduled and you’re now counting down the days for kick off. But, don’t forget to get your essential tailgate supplies in order, before the season officially starts.

Most people think that tailgating involves a lot of time and effort, and at the end of the day, it does take a lot of planning. But it’s much easier to plan out the perfect tailgate party when you have the right supplies ready to go. No matter how extravagant your tailgate party is, one of the most important accessories you need is a durable cooler to keep your tasty beverages cold.

Choosing the Right Cooler For Your Tailgate Party

Without a cooler, it’s a little difficult to keep your food and drinks cold, and what is a tailgate without hamburgers, hot dogs and ice-cold beverages? Travel coolers are an ideal choice for tailgating because they are easy to transport and come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes. There is a cooler for every situation, guaranteeing that your tailgating needs are met.

Type

There are a couple of types of coolers you can choose from. Each type has their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Chest Coolers:
A portable chest cooler, for example, is probably your go-to cooler. Chest coolers are your basic cheap insulated plastic boxes that keep your drinks and food cool. You probably know them as the bright blue or red box, with a white top. They’re light and easy to carry around. Some of them have wheels and a handle on them to make it easier for you to transport. Once you add loads of ice, they do a pretty good job at keeping your contents cool… at least until the ice melts. This is one of the main disadvantages of a chest cooler. It only works for a short period of time. On top of that, you still have to deal with trying to find the right drink buried under all the ice.
12 Volt Travel Coolers:
Portable 12 volt travel coolers, on the other hand, work on the same principles as the chest coolers, but they are more reliable, less messy and have many desired features available. The most important difference between a chest cooler and a 12-volt travel cooler is that you can control the temperature. If you want to bring along frozen foods, you can do that without worrying about them defrosting or going bad. Or, if you just want to keep your food and drinks cold, you can do that as well. Because there’s no melting ice, there’s less clean-up involved and it’s much easier to find the drink you want. You can plug them into an wall outlet or a lighter outlet in your car. This is the perfect type of cooler for tailgating, as well as camping, boating, picnics and all other outdoor activities.

Size

No matter what you’ve heard, size does matter. Choose the best travel cooler for tailgating based on the amount of people at your event, as well as the amount of food and beverages you need to entertain your guests. When it comes to the size of a cooler, you have plenty of options. Travel coolers can range in size from 18-quarts to over 100-quarts.

A 40-quart cooler has enough space to store approximately 50 cans of beer or soda. Generally, this is an ideal size cooler for smaller tailgate parties. If you plan to have a larger tailgate, you will obviously want to choose a travel cooler with a larger storage capacity. We would recommend a 100-quart cooler, or larger, to ensure you have enough room to store both food and beverages.

Material

In addition to size, travel coolers are made from different materials, including fiberglass and plastic. Both of these materials are a good choice. They’re both lightweight and rust-resistant. Unpleasant odors don’t linger in either type. They’re also both easy to clean and easy to carry. Both types of materials are great choices for tailgating purposes, because they have superior insulation and store ice for an extended period of time.

Warming Coolers

This may seem odd at first, but there are coolers out there that can help keep your food warm. Working on the same principles for keeping your food cold, these coolers utilize the insulation to help keep your food warm. Depending on your tailgate setup, there are coolers that are flexible enough to allow you to choose between cooling or heating its contents.

When choosing the best travel cooler for tailgating, it’s important to consider the amount of room you need for storage and the temperature at which your items need to be stored. This information helps you determine the right size and type of cooler is best for your tailgate party. Regardless of whether you actually use it for tailgating or not, a durable travel cooler is just one of those items that everyone should own.

Utilizing Your Small Space: Freestanding vs. Built-in Beverage Refrigerators

Living in a small space certainly has its pros and cons, but one challenge that can be easily avoided is cramping due to large appliances. If you have a smaller home, you need to decide whether you prefer a freestanding or built-in refrigerator. For a lot of people, the built-in option is their preferred choice due to their added space efficiency and storage capabilities. No matter what you choose, beverage refrigerators also come in a variety of shapes and sizes designed to accommodate any home. It’s wise to weigh all of your options to figure out which type of refrigerator is the ideal choice for your home.

The Differences Between Free-Standing & Built-In

Danby Beverage Fridge

While the differences between the two types of refrigerators seem pretty clear, they each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages associated with them.

Built-in refrigerators are designed to fit under your existing counter. These can typically replaces old appliances that are taking up space, such as a trash compactor. Whether you use it as your primary or secondary refrigerator, the built-in option is great for freeing up some much-needed space in a smaller home or apartment. If you live in a large home that has a crowded refrigerator, the built-in device is perfect for storing smaller items, in order to free up some space in your main fridge.

Free-standing refrigerators can be set up just about anywhere. They make a great addition to a game room, home bar or man cave, as you can store your drinks right there for easy access. For the same added convenience, the free-standing beverage fridge is also a great addition for parties. The downside is that they take up more space than a built-in. If you have a small living space, then the free-standing fridge may not be the best choice for you. The important thing to take into consideration, is the size and shape of the fridge, and whether or not you can live with it taking up your much needed space.

If you have limited counter space, a built-in unit frees up room for cooking and other appliances, whereas a freestanding unit requires its own area. On the flip side, beverage refrigerators that are built-in eliminate some of your storage space, but keep your counters clear and your home easier to walk around in. There are a few obvious trade offs between the two types, so just remember to think it out and utilize the space by purchasing compact appliances wherever possible.

Converting a Free-standing to a Built-in

One of the added benefits of a freestanding refrigerator, is that it can stand alone or on top of a countertop, all you need is an electrical outlet and you’re good to go. If you choose to install a freestanding unit under your counter, just know that there is a safety risk associated with doing so. This is because the unit needs the proper amount of venting space, it’s likely that it’ll overheat.

If you choose to install a free-standing unit underneath your countertop, try to leave at least two to three inches on each side of the cooler, as well as at the top, if possible. This will help keep the unit from overheating. Another possible downside of converting your fridge for this purpose, is that you run the risk of voiding your warranty by operating it in too small of a space.

The Benefits of Thermoelectric Cooling

EdgeStar Beverage Refrigerator

Furthermore, you can look for beverage refrigerators that employ special features, such as thermoelectric cooling instead of a compressor. A thermoelectric cooler is a cooling node with a ceramic piece that passes an electrical current. There are also often small fans which help to evenly distribute the cool air throughout the unit. There are many advantages of having a refrigerator that has this feature. Not only do they work well in small spaces, but they also tend to have a longer life associated with it. This is because there are no “moving parts” within the unit, unlike the compressor-based refrigerator, so less maintenance is required.

Thermoelectric cooling systems are available for both built-in and freestanding models and are much safer and energy-efficient than their compressor-based predecessor. Depending on how large your living space is, this may be a great alternative for you.

Top Models To Get You Started

There is a wide variety of beverage refrigerators to choose from. So, here’s a quick list of our favorite models to get you started.

Built-In Refrigerators:
Freestanding Refrigerators:

Choose whether a freestanding or built-in beverage refrigerator is right for you based upon your current space availability. For small spaces, a built-in unit is a smart choice. Opt for a thermoelectric model to save money and provide your beverages with optimal storage safety. Home beverage refrigerators are functional, beautiful and ideal for storing your favorite beers, sodas and wine.

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4 Key Appliances for Outdoor Entertaining

When it comes to outdoor entertaining, the key to a successful party is creating an oasis for you and your guests. Understanding the important elements that will complete your event is crucial. If you plan to entertain outdoors in the summer, it means lots of heat. To ensure your guests do not become overcome by the intense heat that may be present, it would be wise to have a couple of cooling appliances readily available.

From cold drinks to a refreshing environment, your outdoor party will be successful when you implement the following elements. Each one holds equal importance in creating the perfect outdoor entertaining area. These four appliances ensure that you can refresh your guests’ drinks and provide comfort for everyone who attends your get-together.

1. Ice Maker

Portable Ice Maker

Ditch the trays, and keep your guests cool with ice on the go. There are many types of ice makers, but if you’re throwing an outdoor party, we would recommend going with a portable ice maker. You can bring it outside and put it just about anywhere. A portable ice maker gives your guests the convenience of getting quick ice, without having to go in and out of your house all day long. This will save them the hassle, and save you on your energy bills.

Portable ice makers will produce ice in as little as ten minutes, and produce 33 pounds of ice daily, or roughly the equivalent of three bags of ice.

2. Outdoor Beverage Refrigerators

Outdoor Refrigerator

It doesn’t matter what your guests are drinking, it’s a fact that everybody loves a cold drink on a hot day. Conveniently placed on your patio or deck, an outdoor refrigerator provides your party guests with easy access to the coldest beverages they crave.

Designed to thrive in unfavorable weather conditions, outdoor refrigerators are durable enough for year-round exterior use. Before you buy an outdoor refrigerator make sure it allows for various shelving configurations so you can fit a wide variety of shapes and sizes, as well as gives you multiple temperature options. For optimal convenience, place your refrigerator next to your ice maker and your guest can have an all-in-one beverage station and not even leave the party!

3. Kegerator

Mini Kegerator

Instead of having an unsightly keg sitting around, utilize the latest in beer-cooling technology with a kegerator. These devices can keep your beer at brewery-recommended conditions, allowing you to enjoy one keg for several months. This is another convenient way to cool your guests down while entertaining outdoors, without requiring everybody to go inside.

For small parties, a mini-kegerator may suffice. They are easy to move around and hold just enough beer for a small get together. However, for large parties or beer enthusiasts, we would recommend a dual or triple-tap kegerator. This gives your guests the option to choose between multiple types of beer. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love the opportunity to taste multiple types of beer.

4. Air Fans

Air Fans

When it’s really hot outside, a nice breeze can help cool your guests down. When a natural breeze isn’t an option, we would recommend adding a portable fan to the mix. This is a easy and cheap way to provide your guests with a quick reprieve from the heat.

When the heat is really bad, a misting fan is guaranteed to provide some prompt relief. These fans work by expelling a delicate mist into the air, which cools the air flow coming from the fan.

More Outdoor Entertaining Ideas:

If you have the four elements above, then your outdoor party is just about guaranteed to be a success. But, if you really want to impress your guests, you should consider adding a couple more items to the party.

When it comes to outdoor entertaining, success is definitely in the details. Having cold drinks and a comfortable and relaxing place to sit are factors that will help to complete the space and allow your guests to enjoy the party or event in comfort. Remember, you can entertain at any time of year when you use the suggestions listed here, since even in the hottest conditions these drink-cooling gadgets will provide refreshing beverages.

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2011 Deals

We are very excited to announce our deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2011. As usual, Compact Appliance customers will still receive free shipping on almost every product, no sales tax (outside of TX, NV & SC) and our price match guarantee – if you find it for cheaper somewhere else, we’ll beat that price! In addition to these great, everyday offers, shoppers will also get these great perks during our Cyber Weekend sale:

  • All Weekend (Fri-Mon): Save 25% off almost every product on our site!
  • Black Friday Only: All orders $450 or more will receive a free EdgeStar 62-can beverage cooler with coupon code HOLIDAY2011. Limited to the first 100 customers.
  • Black Friday & Saturday: Get an extra $10 off the Ronco stainless steel rotisserie oven (that’s on top of the 25% off)! No coupon necessary.
  • Sunday & Cyber Monday: Receive an extra $30 off the EdgeStar 148-can built-in beverage refrigerator (that in addition to the 25% off)! No coupon necessary.
  • Cyber Monday Only:  All orders $450 or more will receive a free Koldfront 4-bottle wine cooler with coupon code HOLIDAY2011. Limited to the first 100 customers.

Make sure to also check out our Holiday Gift Center! We are running 48-Hour Deals everyday through December 18, so don’t miss out on any of our great discounts, especially if you are interested in a kegerator, beverage fridge or wine cooler.