How Cold is Your Fridge?

In the past year, I’ve owned or rented three different fridges in three different countries. In each case, the fridge’s thermostat was set very low.

Here in Morocco, our little bar fridge has a knob which (rather oddly) goes from zero to seven. If we set it above two, the food freezes. My other recent fridges have behaved in similar fashion. If you increased the setting beyond, like, 25%, you had rock-hard bologna.

Do you find this as well? If so, why are fridges set this way? Is it because their freezing power gets exhausted over the lifetime of the appliance, and you need to keep turning it up higher to maintain the same temperature?


  1. Oie! I have the same problem. I’ve just bought a new house here in Toronto and neither the freezer nor the fridge works correctly (a bad, mid-80s renovation in the kitchen). Either I get curdled milk, or frozen fruit. Have you ever tried to peel a frozen apple? It FEELS the same, but you slowly realize your fingers are turning numb.

  2. Darren, it takes a while to get the older fridges tuned in, but you should be looking for 4C in the fridge and -18 in the freezer section of the fridge. I bought a small thermometer and it took about a week to finally tune in our (relatively) new fridge. Before then, it was frozen lettuce and/or sour milk.

  3. Imo: No, I was just joking.

    Travis: Heh. “If you increased the setting beyond, like, 25%, you had rock-hard bologna.” Sounds like a ringing endorsement of a sex toy.

  4. Not quite sure how they work but I tend to have the same problem. Our Frigidaire (which is going on 10 years old) has a nob that goes from zero to 8 and we have same problem: anything above 2 and we have frozen food.

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