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LG LFC22770ST 22 Cu Ft Largest Capacity 30" French Door review: Cramped style limits LG's fine performing fridge

We also try to place milk jugs in the main compartment, since the doors of lots of fridges run warm. We aim to place veggies in a drawer, dog food separate from human food, and condiments on the door. In round one, the LG LFC22770ST struggled with these basic groceries.

The milk had nowhere to go in the main compartment, and our two jugs took up two door bins. That led to us not having enough space in the door for the condiments, and we had to lay a couple of our taller bottles of sandwich fixings on the shelves of the main fridge. In turn, those shelves didn't have enough room for everything else without stacking and cramming a few items.

Even with everyday groceries, the fridge was stuffed. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Round one was only partly over -- we use large items like party platters and cake trays to push the space even further after loading the normal groceries -- but already the space felt overfull.

The comparable GE GNS23GMHES didn't have a lot of room to spare after we loaded the normal groceries. It even had the same trouble with tall items on round one -- we still had to load the milk bottles in the door -- but we were able to fit the condiments in the door with the milk jugs on GE's fridge.

The GE model also felt less cramped when it came time for our large items. We try to fit each of our six stress test items individually, then see how many the fridge can fit simultaneously. The LG fridge fit the pizza box, the casserole dish, and the cake tray one at a time, and the latter two together. It couldn't fit the party tray, the roasting pan, or the pitcher.

Our six stress test items. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

GE fit four of the six individually. It wasn't deep enough to fit the pizza box, and couldn't squeeze in the cake tray. It also fit two of the six at the same time. GE won the round based on a more ideal food layout of the normal groceries and fitting one extra large item individually.

Outside of French door offerings, the $1,000 Frigidaire FGTR1845QF top freezer and the $1,200 GE ABE20EGHBS Artistry bottom freezer both have 30-inch wide frames and less cubic feet with 18 and 20.3 respectively, but they fit more food on this test. Both squeezed in five of the six items one at a time. The Frigidaire fit two and the GE fit three simultaneously. The LG French door model didn't suffer because of its width.

On round two, we're allowed to move the shelves as we sit fit to try to make the most of the space. Here's where I discovered how limited this LG fridge really was. You don't have the options for customization that we've seen on other models from that company, or even other models of a similar price from different companies. The GE GNS23GMHES costs less, and offers a lot more flexibility.

With the LG LFC22770ST, we put both shelves on the bottom position and were just able to fit the milk on the top row. That's an acceptable spot, but still not an ideal one since it's right next to the fridge's fan. The cold air blowing directly onto the milk could cause it to freeze. More troubling is the fact that we really didn't have any other options.

Without removing any shelves, the tallest gap we could create was just enough for a jug of milk. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If you want this fridge, I recommend setting one of the half shelves aside. That should relieve some of the logjam, but it's too bad that you have to find storage for one of your fridge pieces and lose a good deal of shelf space in order to comfortably fit tall items.

For our tests, we keep all shelves in the compartment, and we still couldn't fit soda bottles or wine bottles on any shelf. The deli drawer, while a nice add on, actually hurts the fridge here, as it takes up some of the possible height.

That said, with the milk bottles in the main compartment, we were able to fit the condiments in the door and get the rest of the groceries in the fridge more easily. It still looked full when it came time to squeeze in large items, but not crammed.

We still managed to squeeze in several stress test items. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

It did, however, have enough nooks and crannies for us to cram in all six stress test items individually, and four simultaneously. The GE GNS23GMHES still wasn't deep enough to fit the pizza box, but it fit all five other items and four simultaneously. The LG gained a slight edge on the numbers, but GE's model was much easier to use and fit everything more comfortably.

The GE Artistry fit all six stress test items individually, and an impressive five out of six together. The Frigidaire top freezer got all six in as well, but only three of the six simultaneously. Both prove that with proper shelf flexibility and room for tall items, you can do more with less.

GE's budget French door fridge has 22.7 total cubic feet of space in the fridge with 15.8 in the fridge. The LG LFC22770ST isn't much smaller at 21.8 and 14.5 in the fridge, yet it feels much more cramped, even more so than the 20.3 cubic feet of the GE Artistry or the 18 of the Frigidaire top freezer.

I don't imagine you rearrange your fridge shelves often, but when you first get the fridge, you'll want to set up your space to best fit the items you buy the most, and with the LG LFC22770ST, you don't have many options.

High-end cooling

Some aspects of the LG LFC22770ST do get noticeably hurt by LG's efforts to streamline the fridge. Fortunately, performance doesn't fall into that category. The LG LFC22770ST still gets bested by the GE GNS23GMHES, but only barely so. The previous LG fridges we've tested have shown extremely well in our temperature tests, and here, the LG LFC22770ST stays right with them and shines.

The main body of the fridge maintained accurate temps. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

On our first temperature test, we set the fridge to 37 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer to 0. That's the recommended default setting across the industry. We place thermocouples on every shelf and in every compartment, then we let it run for three straight days, gathering data and opening the doors regularly to simulate use.

The accuracy of the main body of the LG LFC22770ST looks great, with the shelves a degree or less from the set point. The drawers weren't quite as on-point, but still stayed consistently below our upper benchmark -- 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the number given by the FDA for maintaining spoilable foods. You'll want to keep fragile items below that. After 2 hours above it consecutively, or 4 hours over the course of the life of a food, the FDA recommends tossing it.

Beyond the averages, we also look for the ebb and flow of the temperatures in our fridges. They'll all see some fluctuation, but better ones keep a mostly steady hand throughout the test. The LG LFC22770ST succeeds here too.

Other than the top shelf and the butter bin, the fridge temps stay nice and steady. Jared Hannah/CNET

The butter bin and the top shelf show a bit of discrepancy between their respective peaks and valleys. Again, the top shelf sits next to the cold air fan, so it gets hit first when the compressor turns on. Then, the cold air sinks and the temp rises before the thermostat triggers the next cycle.

The butter bin sits across from the top shelf, and is generally the warmest part of any fridge. That's intentional, so you can put toppings in that compartment to make them more spreadable.

Performance-wise, the top shelf fluctuation isn't an issue. It's pretty normal. It just added to my frustration when loading the fridge since that's the only spot where I could fit milk in the main compartment. That said, it never drops below 32 or climbs above 40.

In fact, all of the shelves and drawers in the main compartment do well to stay between these marks. That bottom right drawer has an average that would suggest it spends time over 40. Fortunately, it maintains great stability and spent less than an hour over that mark during the course of the 72 hour test.

The doors run warm, but that's typical of fridges, and we why recommend saving those bins for condiments. When we turned the temperature down, the door bins found a comfortable spot under 40. For round 2, our fridges spend three days with the temp turned to its lowest setting. For most refrigerators, including this one, that mark is 33 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer stays at 0.

The averages weren't quite as accurate at 33, but they still stayed within the usable range. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Every compartment stayed between 40 and 32 for the entire duration of this test. That's a great result. Unfortunately, the accuracy took a hit. The GE GNS23GMHES did better on this test by averaging closer to the set point. The LG one plays it safe and keeps everything far away from that lower 32 degree benchmark. That's understandable, just not perfect if you want some extra chill to your food.

LG packed great performance prowess into the LFC22770ST. It keeps temperature steadily and mostly accurately, putting it in the top tier of performers from any fridge category and at any price range. It does get edged out by the GE GNS23GMHES due to a familiar shortcoming -- the LG LFC22770ST lacks flexibility.

It's great at the default, and keeps things within a usable range at multiple settings, but it doesn't let you stray from the standard as far as you might like. For most, that'll be a non-issue, but it makes it that much harder to look past the competition.

The verdict

LG cut quite a bit from the brand's premium French door fridges to get the price down on the $1,800 LFC22770ST. That's reasonable, and a number of the sacrifices make sense. If you're looking for an entry point into French door fridges and have strict space restrictions, the 30-inch LG LFC22770ST will perform well for you temperature-wise, and is worth your consideration.

Just expect a few frustrations when you try to load in a lot of groceries, particularly tall items. If it's price, not space that's your primary concern, the 33-inch GE GNS23GMHES looks more distinct, performs slightly better, and offers better shelf flexibility so you can fit more food, and all for $200 less. If you need a fridge with a 30-inch width, consider the stylish GE Artistry bottom freezer , or the simple but competent Frigidaire top freezer . Between the performance, the good-looking stainless finish, and the spill-proof shelves, the LG LFC22770ST can make due with tight spaces, it's just not flexible enough to rise above them.

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