Samsung RSG257AARS 24.5 cu. ft. Side-By-Side Counter Depth Refrigerator Review$2,399.00
A good refrigerator should take your food to the required temperature and hold it there without much variation. To find out if it does, we put dummy food packages into the refrigerator fitted with temperature sensors at several locations, and measure how the temperature of these varies over time, which is shown below.
In the graph above, the yellow zone is the optimal range for food to be stored at: the red is too hot, and the blue is too cold. As you can see, the temperature in the fridge compartment of this refrigerator remains pretty constant, although it does get a little warm on occasion (the graph shows a typical 12 hours from our test, which runs over several days). This consistency of temperature is partly because this refrigerator has two compressor systems (the component that does the actual cooling), one for the fridge and one for the freezer. Other refrigerators with one compressor have to use the same cooling system to cool both the freezer and the refrigerator, but the Samsung RSG257AARS can pump cold air into both compartments separately.
As well as keeping the food in the fridge compartment cool, your refrigerator has to keep the frozen food at a constant temperature: variations here can cause freezer burn and ruin your food. So, we test this by putting several temperature sensors inside simulated food packages and placing them at various points in the freezer compartment, so we can monitor the temperature in different locations and at different times.
The Samsung had the same strong performance for the freezer compartment as it did for the fridge. We found that, once our test foods had frozen, the temperature remained pretty constant at both of the points within the freezer that we tested, with the variations being less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit. The graph above shows a typical 12 hour period from our tests, which run over several days.
A vegetable drawer is supposed to keep your fruits and veggies cool and crisp, but without drying them out. So, we test the performance of the vegetable tray by putting a mock vegetable (made of floral foam) into the tray and monitoring how much water is lost over time. A good veggie tray will cool the veggies without much water loss. We found that this refrigerator kept our test food cold, but didn't dry it out overly: the amount of water lost from our food was about 0.11 grams per hour, which is less than most refrigerators.
If your power goes out, the food in your fridge is in danger of being damaged. A good refrigerator should keep your food cool for a few hours, though, so we test this by disconnecting the power from the refrigerator and monitoring how the temperature rises over time in our test food. We found that the Samsung RSG257AARS had no issues here: our test food in the freezer section stayed below freezing for over 36 hours, so unless the power goes out for more than a day and a half, your food should remain frozen. That is assuming that you don't open the door and let all the cold air out, of course.
Professional chefs use freezers that can freeze food very quickly, so the ice crystals are small and don't damage the texture of the food. That's not a luxury that most of us amateurs have, but we do need a refrigerator to freeze food quickly. So, we test this by putting a block of fake food with a temperature sensor inside it into the freezer section on the shelf closest to the cold air output (or in the designated fast freeze section if there is one) and monitor how quickly the food freezes: the faster, the better.
We found that our test package took 1 hour and 46 minutes to go from the room temperature to being frozen in the center of the package, which is a little slower than we like to see. This refrigerator does also offer a turbo freeze mode if you want to freeze a lot of food quickly, but this comes at the cost of extra energy use.