The Best Off Grid Appliances for Off Grid Living

Introduction To Off Grid Appliances

Living off the grid can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it also comes with some challenges. One of the biggest ones is finding the right appliances that can run on renewable energy sources, such as solar power, and meet your needs and preferences.

Whether you are looking for a fridge, a stove, a washer, hot water for a shower, or even wanting to bake a cake you need to consider several factors, such as the size, the efficiency, the durability, and the cost of the appliance. In this article, we will give you an overview of the different types of off-grid appliances that are available on the market, and compare some of the best models that you can buy for your off grid home.

We’ll also provide you with some tips and tricks on how to use and maintain them properly as well as form FAQs folks have asked us about off grid appliances. By the end of this article, you will have a better idea of what off grid appliances are best for you and your lifestyle and how to debunk some of those off grid myths.

NOTE: We’ve partnered with two well know and trusted businesses that specialize in off grid appliances and can offer you special rebates, savings, discounts and more! Before you buy any off grid appliances, solar system, or equipment be sure to check out the following websites!

The Cabin Depot USA

The Cabin Depot US Website Logo

The Cabin Depot Canada

The Cabin Depot Canadian Website Logo

Solar Power Store

Solar Power Store Logo

An image of a smiling woman holding freshly backed bread from an off grid appliance

Table of Contents


An off grid home kitchen with off grid appliances

Do You Need a Fridge for Off-Grid Living?

You don’t “need” a fridge to live off grid but it makes life a whole lot more simple and enjoyable when you can keep fresh food from spoiling and even being able to freeze foods all year long. So for us, one of the most essential appliances for off-grid living is a fridge. A fridge can also help reduce food waste, and save money with the right set-up. It keeps your drinks cold, any dairy products fresh, and your ice cream frozen. A fridge can make your off grid living more comfortable and convenient, especially if you live in a hot climate or have a large family.

However, not all fridges are suitable for off grid living. Most conventional fridges consume large amounts of energy, which can be scarce or unreliable in off grid situations. They also consume a lot of energy, which can drain your batteries or solar panels. Moreover, they can be noisy, bulky, and expensive to buy and maintain.

That’s why you need a fridge that is specially designed for off-grid living. An off-grid fridge can run on alternative energy sources, such as propane or solar power, and use less energy than a regular fridge. It can also be more compact, durable, and affordable than a regular fridge. An off-grid fridge can offer you the same benefits of a regular fridge, without the drawbacks.

One thing we like to do is make preserved foods that don’t need refrigeration. Our latest hobby it fermenting foods which you can read about in our How To Ferment Food: A Fun and Easy Beginners Guide.

How to Ferment Anything The Off Grid Cabin Featured

What We Use At The Off Grid Cabin

We have a Danby apartment sized fridge (DFF116B2SSDBL) with 11.6 cubic feet of space and a separate top freezer compartment.  The energuide sticker indicates 310 kWh per year.

The Off Grid Cabin Bathroom 2

Additional tips to we use to save power when living with solar:

  • When you turn on the fridge after it’s been unplugged, defrosted or the first time you plug it in, run your generator as it will require much more energy to cool the fridge and freezer. Save your solar battery power for maintaining the temp.
  • Keep the fridge full at all times. If we have room we keep a 5 gallon jug of water in the fridge to take up space. It takes much more energy to cool the air in a fridge than it does to cool objects. Once cooled they help maintain the temp and reduce power consumption.
  • If you can buy a fridge that doesn’t have exterior condensation prevention. This is normally a heater coil that runs around the exterior of the fridge to combat moisture. However it is an unnecessary power drain and can eat up more power than expected.
  • Cold dense air drops and warm air rises. Therefor, its most efficient to have the freezer section at the bottom of the fridge.
  • In the winter months hen it’s below freezing we have two Tupperware containers that we fill with water, let freeze over night, and then leave in the fridge and/or freezer for several days sometimes the fridge compressor doesn’t need to run at all during that period greatly reducing power consumption in the darker winter months when living with solar.

Types of Off-Grid Fridges

There are three main types of off-grid fridges that you can choose from: propane fridges, solar fridges, and portable fridges. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and preferences. Here is a brief overview of each type:

  • Propane Fridges: Propane fridges are fridges that run on propane gas, which is a common fuel source for off-grid living. Propane fridges are also known as absorption fridges, because they use a process of heating and cooling a liquid ammonia solution to create a refrigeration cycle. Propane fridges are very efficient, reliable, and quiet. They can work in any weather condition and do not need electricity or batteries. However, propane fridges are also very expensive, heavy, and require regular maintenance. They also need a vent to release the exhaust gas, which can be a fire hazard if not installed properly.

The Classic Retro by Unique 14 cubic foot Propane Fridge

Classic Retro by Unique 14 cu ft Propane Fridge

  • Solar Fridges: Solar fridges are fridges that run on solar power, which is a renewable and eco-friendly energy source. Solar fridges are also known as DC fridges, because they use direct current (DC) electricity from solar panels or batteries to power a compressor. Solar fridges are very energy-saving, environmentally friendly, and versatile. They can work with any solar system and do not need propane or other fuels. However, solar fridges are also very costly, complex, and dependent on the sun. They need a large and expensive solar system to operate, and they may not work well on cloudy or rainy days.

The Classic Retro by Unique 14 cubic foot Solar Fridge

Classic Retro by Unique 14 cu ft Solar Powered Fridge

  • Portable Fridges: Portable fridges are fridges that are small, lightweight, and easy to transport. Portable fridges are also known as 3-way fridges, because they can run on three different power sources: propane, AC electricity, or DC electricity. Portable fridges are very convenient, flexible, and affordable. They can work in any location and with any power source. However, portable fridges are also very limited, low-quality, and high-maintenance. They have a small capacity, a short lifespan, and a high energy consumption. They also need a level surface, a stable temperature, and a manual switch to change the power source.

The EcoFlow Glacire 3 in 1 Portable Fridge/Freezer/Ice-Maker

EcoFlow GLACIER - 3 in 1 Portable Fridge, Freezer & Ice-Maker

Comparison of the Best Off-Grid Fridges

Now that you know the different types of off-grid fridges, you may wonder which one is the best for you. To help you decide, let’s compare some of the best models of each type that you can buy online. We have evaluated them based on their features, performance, reviews, and price. Here are the results:

Model Type Capacity Dimensions Weight Energy Consumption Price Pros Cons
Unique Appliances 14 Cu. Ft Pr