Having your fridge right next to your stove in the kitchen can be convenient, but is it safe? This common kitchen layout has its pros and cons that are important to consider before deciding on your appliance placement.
What Are the Benefits of Putting a Fridge Next to the Stove?
There are a few potential advantages to this popular kitchen configuration:
- Convenience: Having the fridge right beside the stove keeps frequently used ingredients within arm’s reach while cooking. You can easily access butter, milk, eggs, condiments, and more without leaving your workspace.
- Space Saving: Adjoining appliances maximizes floor space in smaller kitchens. Eliminating gaps between the appliances fits them neatly into tight footprints.
- Efficiency: Side-by-side appliances minimize steps between tasks. You can quickly transfer ingredients from the fridge to the countertop or stove, making cooking more seamless.
- Aesthetics: Aligning appliances can provide a streamlined, uniform look. The fridge and stove double as decorative elements that create visual harmony.
What Are the Disadvantages of Putting a Fridge Next to a Stove?
However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider:
- Heat Transfer: The heat emitted from the stove over time can warm the refrigerator. This forces the fridge to work harder to maintain cool temperatures.
- Energy Use: Due to heat transfer issues, an adjoining fridge may use more electricity over time to stay cold. This drives up energy bills.
- Food Safety: A warmer fridge increases the risk of bacterial growth on perishable foods. Dairy, meats, and produce may not keep as long.
- Fire Hazard: Positioning two major appliances too closely creates a fire risk if flames spread from the stove. Have a plan to quickly extinguish stove fires.
- Cleaning Difficulties: It can be tougher to fully clean behind and between two bulky, adjoining appliances. Grease and grime can build up in hard-to-reach areas.
Tips for Safely Putting a Fridge Next to a Stove
If you do choose to place your fridge next to the stove, follow these tips for doing it safely:
- Leave 2-4 inches of space between appliances for air circulation. This prevents heat transfer and buildup.
- Keep the fridge door handle adjacent to the stove. Less heat will transfer to the food storage compartments.
- Install a heat-resistant metal flashing plate between the appliances. This shields the fridge from stove heat.
- Equip the kitchen with a fire extinguisher nearby. Be sure everyone knows how to use it in an emergency.
- Clean regularly behind and between both appliances. Don’t allow grease deposits to collect over time.
- Consider a hybrid fridge/oven combo unit. These are designed to safely operate with the appliances merged together.
Frequently Asked Questions About Putting a Fridge Next to the Stove
Can you put a refrigerator directly next to a stove?
Yes, you can install a refrigerator directly next to a stove, as long as you take proper precautions. Leave a few inches of space between them for airflow, shield with metal flashing, and clean regularly to prevent issues.
What are the clearance requirements between a stove and a refrigerator?
Most experts recommend leaving 2–4 inches of clearance between a stove and refrigerator. Enough space to allow air circulation helps prevent heat transfer between the appliances.
Is it safe for the fridge to touch the stove slightly?
It’s generally not recommended for the fridge and stove to touch. Even slight contact allows for more heat transfer and makes both appliances work harder. Leave a small gap between them.
Can you put wood or metal between a fridge and stove?
Yes, you can install a metal flashing plate or wood panel between the fridge and stove to act as a heat shield. Use a non-combustible metal sheet for best fire safety.
Where should you put a fire extinguisher in relation to the fridge and stove?
It’s important to place a fire extinguisher near the fridge and stove since they pose a potential fire hazard if installed closely together. Ideally, keep an extinguisher visibly mounted and readily accessible.
Should you put anything between the stove and refrigerator when they are side by side?
It’s recommended to install a heat-resistant shield made of metal flashing or wood between a side-by-side fridge and stove. This helps deflect heat, improves air circulation, and enhances fire safety.
The Bottom Line: Evaluate Your Needs
The layout of having a fridge right next to the stove is common for good reason: it offers convenience and efficient use of space.
However, the potential downsides around heat, energy use, and fire hazards should also be considered. Take steps to allow for airflow and use a heat shield if choosing this arrangement.
Most importantly, identify your needs and kitchen footprint to determine if adjoining or separating these major appliances best fits your situation.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.