A propane fridge helps hungry homesteaders maintain meals recent with out electrical energy. One of the best one for you’ll rely on your loved ones’s dimension, price range, and distinctive dwelling state of affairs. 

To assist get probably the most bang on your buck, I’ve in contrast the preliminary worth of varied merchandise in opposition to their power effectivity in the long term. By inspecting different components, akin to dimension, type, and additional options, I’ve compiled a definitive record of the 5 finest propane fridges available on the market. 

Every one fits completely different circumstances, so learn on to find the very best propane fridge on your specific wants.

Greatest Compact

Smad Caravan Propane Fridge

The Smad Caravan Fridge is a small but highly effective unit that gained’t price you an arm and a leg. It’s a handy and environment friendly fridge with three energy choices, so you possibly can stow it in an off-grid cabin or take it on the street for versatile cooling wherever you’re. 

Propane Fridge Evaluations

1. Greatest General: SMETA Upright Propane Fridge

SMETA Propane Refrigerator with Freezer

The SMETA Upright Fridge is a spacious unit good for energy-conscious off-grid households. 

At first look, the SMETA Upright Propane Fridge seems like an everyday residence fridge. It has the identical fundamental form however is smaller, with 1.6 cubic toes of freezer storage and 4.5 cubic toes of fridge house. That must be sufficient to retailer per week’s price of meals for a pair or small household. 

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This unit has a piezo ignition, reversible doorways, and wheels for straightforward transport. Nevertheless, the very best half is its gasoline effectivity. The SMETA runs on simply 0.28 gallons of propane every day or 8.4 gallons month-to-month. At propane’s nationwide common of $2.70 per gallon, you possibly can anticipate to spend roughly $22.70 every month to gasoline your unit. That’s a small worth to pay for the comfort and peace of thoughts the SMETA supplies. 

You gained’t need to plug it in to get these crisp, cool drinks you’ve been craving. But when the propane shops run dry, you will have that possibility.

The SMETA can run on 115-volt AC energy along with propane, so that you’ll be golden in a fuel scarcity. Take into account that this unit isn’t low-cost, neither is it the biggest you should buy. Nevertheless, it makes use of much less gasoline than comparable fridges and might save power in the long term. 


  • AC energy possibility
  • Freezer
  • Numerous storage


  • No DC energy
  • Not for big households 

2. Greatest Compact: Smad Caravan Fridge

Smad Caravan Propane Fridge

The Smad Caravan fridge is a smaller unit good for solo homesteaders or {couples}. 

True to its title, the Smad Caravan Fridge can match comfortably inside your camper or trailer. At just below two toes tall and 18” throughout, it’s additionally good for tiny properties and small cabins.

The handy design makes it simple to disassemble, but it surely isn’t flimsy like another moveable fashions on the market. 

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You possibly can run the Smad off photo voltaic panels with a 12-volt DC possibility or use it in an everyday outlet with 110 volts of AC energy. Most significantly, it additionally delivers environment friendly propane-powered cooling. You’ll be utilizing simply 1.4 gallons of propane monthly to run it constantly, with prices sitting round $3.78. 

Did I point out that this fridge is lovely? It has simply 2.1 cubic toes of capability, so that you gained’t be capable of retailer the entire farm inside. Nevertheless, it’s superb for solo homesteaders or those that don’t maintain many perishables round.

You’ll discover most of the identical options on this tiny fridge that bigger choices have, together with reversible doorways and a match-free piezo ignition.


  • Compact
  • Environment friendly
  • Fairly priced


  • No freezer
  • Restricted cupboard space

3. Greatest for Massive Households: Diamond Elite Additional-Giant Fridge

Diamond elite propane refrigerator

The Diamond Elite is a strong unit appropriate for big households and large eaters. 

Are you feeding the entire neighborhood? The Diamond Elite propane fridge will remedy all your storage points. It’s received 19 complete cubic toes of fridge and freezer house, so that you’ll be good to go it doesn’t matter what. You possibly can even cover the ice cream behind some frozen peas so the children don’t discover it. 

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Uncover how huge the Diamond Elite actually is and take a look at some options that add to its comfort. 

To chill that capability, you’re taking a look at 0.35 gallons of propane per day or 10.5 gallons monthly. It’s going to run you about $28.35 month-to-month, which isn’t unhealthy for the way a lot house you get.

The Diamond Elite has a five-year guarantee and is the biggest CSA-Licensed fridge within the US market. This implies it’s third-party examined and backed to maintain meals chilly it doesn’t matter what. 

This hefty unit is over 65” tall and 36“ vast, so it’s not appropriate for smaller areas. It additionally weighs practically 300 kilos however does come on wheels to make shifting it a bit simpler.

The value tag isn’t any smaller than the fridge itself. Nonetheless, additional options like battery-operated inside lighting, crispers, detachable cabinets, a piezo ignition, and reversible doorways make it a worthwhile funding. The one factor that’s actually lacking is one other energy possibility. 


  • Large capability
  • CSA Licensed
  • Vitality environment friendly


  • No electrical plug-in possibility
  • Costly 
  • Transport charges

4. Greatest Funds: SMETA Moveable Upright Fridge

SMETA Compact Camper Refrigerator

The SMETA Moveable fridge is a smaller, budget-friendly unit you possibly can tackle the street.  

Sadly, propane fridges can get expensive. If you wish to mitigate the upfront price, your finest guess is a budget-friendly unit just like the SMETA Moveable Fridge.

At simply 1.4 cubic toes of capability, this fridge is certainly the smallest on the record. You’ll solely be capable of retailer sufficient meals for a protracted weekend and perhaps a six-pack. 

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Nevertheless, many homesteaders get pleasure from getting artistic with meals storage.

Utilizing this unit along side one other off-grid refrigeration system might enable you adequate wiggle room to satisfy all of your meals storage wants with out taking a considerable monetary hit.

Handy options like adjustable cabinets, a piezo ignition, reversible doorways, and a frost-free cooling design assist it stand out in opposition to the competitors. 

I’m smitten with the Smeta. Regardless of its small stature at simply over two toes tall, this pet packs a large punch. It’s a three-way unit that runs off propane, 110-volt AC, or 12-volt DC energy.

As a result of the SMETA is so tiny, it doesn’t take that a lot gasoline. You’ll have to shell out round $5.73 month-to-month to run it constantly. It’s additionally simple to take aside and carry with you, making it good for tenting journeys or shifting across the homestead. 


  • Cheap
  • Moveable
  • Three energy choices


  • Small capability
  • No freezer possibility

5. Greatest Freezer: Techomey Propane Chest Freezer

Techomey Propane Freezer

The Techomey Chest Freezer is a big, top-open unit good for hunters and people who want long-term chilly storage. 

Wish to really feel like a pirate opening a treasure chest each time you seize some meals? The Techomey Chest Freezer is the unit for you.

Okay, so it’s not technically a fridge. Nevertheless, the Techomey will nonetheless work for industrious off-gridders who prefer to get artistic. And should you harvest your individual meat, an enormous deep freeze is virtually important anyway. It lets you retailer meat indefinitely, conserving you full and happy lengthy after the looking season is over. 

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The Techomey unit has a built-in clasp for a padlock so you possibly can safe your meals whereas away. It boasts 6.75 cubic toes of meals cupboard space and a single hanging basket to prepare your gadgets. That’s much more house than the SMETA Upright mannequin, and additional options like easy-control temperature knobs and a piezo ignition make it simply as handy. 

Like most models on this record, the Techomey can run on 110-volt AC energy or propane. It requires round 13 gallons of propane month-to-month and can run you $35.40 monthly. As a result of it retains meals frozen as a substitute of refrigerated, the Techomey wants extra energy and extra gasoline. 

Nevertheless, you may be capable of crank up the temperature controls and use it as a fridge as a substitute of a freezer in heat climates. Alternatively, you possibly can change the thermostat to a devoted fridge thermostat to transform your freezer right into a fridge full-time. This may also help you save on propane and retailer chilly meals you don’t need to freeze, like milk. 


  • Giant capability
  • Constructed-in padlock clasp
  • Pirate vibes


Propane Fridge Purchaser’s Information

It’s pure for off-gridders to make use of a propane fridge. We already use propane mills, propane heaters, and propane cookstoves. And whereas many people take steps to protect meat and different items with out refrigeration, it’s good to have a backup plan in case we’d like that chilly storage. 

With that in thoughts, what precisely do you have to search for in a propane fridge? It’s very important to grasp a bit extra about these models and take into account your individual state of affairs earlier than buying one.

The way it Works

Propane fridges cool with absorption know-how moderately than a compressor. They include a mixture of ammonia, hydrogen, and oxygen inside a single closed-loop system.

When the combination is heated, ammonia rises and meets the hydrogen. It reacts by pulling warmth from contained in the fridge, lowering the temperature and cooling it down. 

Neat, proper? But it surely does include a couple of caveats.

Whereas a propane fridge doesn’t want electrical energy, the parts that enable it to operate are heavier, bulkier, and might be finicky. They are going to be a bit extra awkward to deal with than electrical fridges, and they’re going to carry out finest in properties which can be utterly stage. 

Be taught precisely how a propane-powered absorption fridge works.

Measurement and Form

The place will your fridge go? It has to suit comfortably within the house you designate. Every unit’s dimensions are listed on-line, however you have to additionally take into account different components. For instance, upright fridges want additional clearance on the facet to open the door. Chest freezers require house on prime to swing open. 

Moreover, some propane fridges want house for vents. Many must be positioned close to electrical shops or batteries to benefit from different energy sources. Measure your house and take into account all the opposite components to make sure your fridge matches properly. 

Storage Capability

How a lot meals do it’s good to retailer? Equipment producers state that almost all adults want between 4 and 6 cubic toes of fridge house to satisfy their wants, however this quantity is very variable. It doesn’t take into account how typically you store, how a lot meals you produce at dwelling, or what concessions you’re keen to make to avoid wasting on cupboard space. 

Many off-grid properties will want much less house as a result of they’ve gardens for recent produce.

Some households additionally make the most of methods like canning and dehydrating to protect perishables, which may minimize down significantly on the required capability. As at all times, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all resolution. Every family may have distinctive storage wants.


Most propane fridges require venting to the skin world. A vent is an airway that permits carbon monoxide from the propane to journey exterior and helps recent air flow into contained in the burner field. Venting retains your property’s ambiance clear and ensures a secure temperature in your unit.

Observe: All the time have a working CO detector to protect in opposition to Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Putting in a vent might or will not be an enormous deal relying in your dwelling state of affairs. Fridges don’t often include a venting equipment, so that you’ll have to dimension and purchase one independently. These prices can differ wildly relying on their dimension and should you set up them your self or pay a contractor.


There’s no getting round the truth that propane fridges price greater than electrical ones.

A part of the explanation for his or her excessive price is that they operate in another way. They don’t have any shifting elements or electrical parts, in order that they’re a lot simpler to keep up and restore. Propane fridges are additionally extremely power environment friendly and extremely handy, including to their worth over time. 

As a result of your start-up prices will likely be larger with a propane fridge, selecting the correct unit is crucial.

Consider methods to avoid wasting house so you should buy a smaller fridge, preserve propane, and maintain your pockets from taking a big hit.

Fortuitously, off-gridders are often fairly good at this. Simply take into account your fridge a long-term funding that can repay finally. 

Energy Choices

Shopping for a propane fridge with an electrical energy backup possibility is smart should you generate any electrical energy. Most fridges already include this, and it’s very handy should you run out of propane. Some may have an AC possibility, others a DC possibility. Many models even have each. 

Typically talking, a DC backup is healthier in case your homestead runs on photo voltaic and also you don’t have an inverter. DC additionally works with automobile batteries. AC is healthier in case you have an inverter or get energy from a generator. If you’d like limitless choices, get a three-way unit that may run on AC, DC, and propane. 

Propane Use

Propane fridges are typically environment friendly. On common, a 20-pound propane tank will energy your fridge for roughly a month.

Relying on the place you reside, it is going to price anyplace from $10–$30 to refill. In fact, the precise quantity you’ll use (and pay for) is very variable and will depend on the unit you purchase.

The Diamond Elite would require greater than a 20-pound tank of propane monthly, whereas the Smad Caravan gained’t even set you again a 3rd of a tank.

Uncover how a propane fridge may also help scale back energy consumption in an off-grid dwelling state of affairs. 

If you wish to minimize prices, purchase a smaller unit requiring much less propane. You can too simply run it much less typically or flip the temperature controls up a bit larger.

Conserving meals barely chilly as a substitute of ice chilly will nonetheless assist protect it on scorching summer time days. And should you reside someplace with chilly winters, you possibly can spend money on appropriate meals storage containers and easily depart perishables outside within the snow.


Propane fridges are mechanical and don’t often require a lot upkeep. To increase their lifespan and maintain all the things operating easily, you must disconnect the fuel strains and clear the fridge, the burner component, and the pilot mild a few times a 12 months.

Each unit is completely different, so learn the instruction handbook in your chosen fridge to find out the very best upkeep practices. 

Learn to handle your propane fridge and maintain all the things working accurately.


Relying in your off-grid state of affairs, you may take into account fridges with particular options. Listed below are a couple of I believe are nonnegotiable:

  • Reversible doorways: These mean you can change the course an upright-style fridge opens, from left to proper, or vice versa. They’re an awesome characteristic in case you have clearance to open the door to 1 facet however not the opposite. 
  • Security options: All models on this record have a built-in thermocouple to measure the temperature and shut off the fuel if the flame goes out for any cause. By no means function a propane fridge with out a working thermocouple, and at all times comply with finest security practices when working with any propane-powered equipment. 
  • Piezo ignition: The Piezo ignition idea requires no lighter, matches, or electrical energy. You simply need to push a button. As you press down, a handbook hammer strike will mild your fridge. When you’re at all times dropping lighters like I’m, it’s a lifesaver.  

Wrapping Up

Switching to a propane fridge may also help remove your dependence on the facility grid and prevent cash in the long term.

Off-gridders who need a traditional-style fridge ought to look to the SMETA Upright mannequin, whereas these trying to find one thing extra compact and inexpensive can select the versatile Smad Caravan. Irrespective of your dwelling state of affairs or storage wants, there’s a fridge on this record that can match.

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