A Smeg fridge has been on my appliance wishlist for as long as I can remember. My obsession with the classic Smeg started at an age when I really should have been getting more excited about shoes. Or underage drinking. Or boys. Not white (or maybe baby pink) goods.
This latest model, the FQ60XP, looks nothing like I still dream of, but it’s an awful lot more practical and clever. (I still remember seeing my friends’ beautiful cream Smeg banished to the garage when it became too small for their two-child family and replaced with something far less good looking). I digress. Australians are showing a strong preference for the ‘French door’ style refrigerator with sales increasing 38 percent in the past year. And these style fridges are becoming so advanced they’re moving from the purely ‘replacement buy’ category to ‘aspirational must-have’.
Smeg’s latest addition to this genre melds the clean, streamlined styling of the four-door refrigerator in fingerprint-resistant stainless steel with new generation technology in food storage. Because fruit and vegetables have varying optimal storage requirements, the FQ60XPA has an extensive degree of temperature and air-flow control flexibility. The crisper, designed for leafy greens and vegetables, benefits from cool air circulation that maintains the humidity required to preserve crispness and moisture content and delay shrivelling.
The Zero Temperature compartment is for meat, fish, chicken – items that need to be kept at a lower temperature – and for thawing frozen items slowly and safely. Meanwhile the appliance’s built-in ioniser minimises the amount of bacteria in the refrigerator, which is another key factor in extending the life of stored foods.
Another clever addition is the Multi-Zone compartment in the righthand side of the freezer – as the name suggests, this can be used as either additional refrigeration space or as a freezer. It comprises both shelving and dual compartments that can be set at a variety of refrigeration and freezing temperatures, including a 0-degree setting for longer safe storage of delicatessen products and a -6 degree setting for keeping meats up to 2 weeks in an easy-to-cut condition.
Wow. I had no idea fridges had become this sophisticated, had you?
The FQ60XPA’s indicator panel controls all audio and visual functions and is operated by touch with clear icons indicating temperatures and functions currently in use. At a glance the user can see the exact temperatures of the refrigerator, freezer and multizone compartment and whether the economy and/or vacation modes have been activated. Both the economy and vacation modes reduce energy consumption while maintaining food-safe temperatures in all areas of the refrigerator and freezer.
Other convenience factors are the sliding body shelves that enable easy access to foods stored at the back, a rotating middle section that creates a completely airtight seal as soon as the doors are closed, preventing cold air from escaping and therefore reducing energy consumption.
Ok, my mind is officially blown by all this fridge-sophistication!
Now, the stuff you really want to know: the FQ60XPA is 920mm wide and 1825mm high giving a total storage capacity of 610 litres – 435 litres in the refrigerator and 175 litres in the freezer. The appliance carries a 2 star energy rating, consuming just 584kWh per year and uses the environmentally friendly R600a gas (low global warming potential and ozone depletion).
Available nationally from appliance specialists and electrical retailers. RRP of $3190.