How much does refrigerator performance matter to you? If your answer is anything north of "some," you'll want to pay attention, because the $1,800 LG LDC24370ST bottom-freezer fridge offers the best performance of any refrigerator we've tested to date. That includes high-end models like the Samsung Chef Collection fridge and , which retails for about $4,000.
It's not the most eye-catching design, and the stainless steel finish is about as smudgeable as refrigerators get, but it comes packed with thoughtful, user-friendly features and plenty of storage space -- enough so to justify the price point. If you're looking for a refrigerator but don't want to spend more than two grand, this is one of the best options we've found.
Design and features
At $1,800, the LG LDC24370ST is about as expensive as bottom freezer refrigerators come, but it works to justify the cost with a 24-cubic-foot capacity (bigger than any other top brand bottom freezer I could find) and more features than you might expect from such a simple-looking fridge.
That's not to say that it's an inherently huge fridge, or one that's particularly feature-rich -- French door models in the same price range will often boast bigger builds and flashier features. If fridge capacity and the sheer number of bells and whistles you get are your main motivations to buy, then one of those is almost certainly a better fit for your kitchen.
Bottom freezers aren't known for their fancy designs -- they're really just top freezers flipped upside down, with the fridge compartment up at a more comfortable height. Of course, that puts the frozen stuff down at your shins, but thankfully, this LG model utilizes a drawer-style freezer instead of one with a hinged door. That was a good call -- bottom freezers with hinged freezer doors are a real pain to get things in and out of, though they typically cost a little less. Sure enough, LG offers a very similar bottom freezer without a drawer for about $1,500.
You can also save $100 by passing on the stainless steel finish and going for the same fridge in white. That might be more of a temptation with this fridge than with others, as the stainless steel finish is about as fingerprint-prone as I've seen. Other stainless steel models like theoffer smudge-proof finishes that are a lot easier to keep clean.
Inside of the fridge, you'll find three main shelves atop two crisper bins with adjustable humidity vents. There's also a third "Glide N' Serve" drawer that runs the width of the fridge. It pulls out smoothly, with the hinged plastic cover automatically lifting up and out of the way, and offers plenty of room for meats and cheeses, along with wide items like party platters.
In the default position, none of the three main shelves had enough vertical clearance to accommodate a jug of milk or a carton of orange juice, which seemed odd to me. Thankfully, the shelves are removed and replaced easily enough, and after repositioning the middle shelf one step higher, I had all the space I needed.
You'll find the refrigerator's temperature controls in the form of a digital touch display on the inside of the door frame. I was happy to see independent controls for the fridge and freezer compartments -- with some lower-end models, like thetop freezer, the two compartments share a thermostat, which means you can't adjust one without adjusting the other. Not a problem with this LG model.
The door comes packed with plenty of shelf space, including shelves that are easily wide enough to fit bulky items like beer and soda. If you're trying to fit an especially tall item like a bottle of wine, the top right shelf folds up and out of the way to give you extra room. You'll also find plastic dividers in each of the main in-door shelves that slide back and forth to help you section things off -- not the most useful feature I've ever seen in a fridge, but a nice organizational touch, nonetheless.
Everything about the fridge felt sturdy and well-constructed. From the smooth-sliding Glide N' Serve drawer to the sufficiently spill-proof shelving, it's an interior that has the premium feel of something more expensive than it actually is. The stainless steel bottom freezer build is nothing terribly fancy, but if you're willing to pass on flashy French door looks, there's a lot to be happy with here.
Performance and usability
The LDC24370ST is as strong a performer as we've seen from any fridge we've tested thus far, but to understand that claim, you need an idea of what we're looking for in our fridge performance tests.
First off, you want your fridge to be accurate. If it lets you select a specific temperature, then you want as many regions of the fridge to fall as close to that target temperature as possible. You also want those regions to be consistent with each other -- if one shelf is noticeably warmer than a neighboring one, then your milk might expire faster in one spot than in another. That's not good.
By that first metric, the LDC24370ST came through, but not with total accuracy. With the fridge set to 37 degrees F, the temperatures all averaged out a degree or two warmer over the course of a three-day test. That's close enough to be satisfying (everything in the body of the fridge stayed below 40 degrees, an FDA benchmark for food safety), but still, it isn't perfect.