If you’re thinking about getting a Kegerator and have done some research, you’ll probably already know that buying a brand new Kegerator can cost you a lot of money.
The average Kegerator starts at $800, which is a significant amount of cash to part with for the privilege of enjoying refrigerated beer on tap.
Building your own Kegerator using a mini-fridge and some other tools and supplies can often work out much cheaper than buying a fully converted Kegerator.
With Kegerator-convertible mini-fridges on the market starting at roughly $150 and standard-size kegs retailing from approximately $25, you stand to save a considerable amount by approaching this DIY project yourself.
Plus, when you convert your own Kegerator, you have more freedom in terms of your preferred build.
In today’s article, we’re going to be revealing the top 5 mini-fridges for Kegerator conversion.
We’ll also be explaining what a Kegerator is and how it works before moving onto the most important features you need to consider before making your purchase.
What is a Kegerator and What Does it Do?
A Kegerator is a refrigerator for kegs. A Kegerator consists of a keg inside a refrigerator (typically a mini-fridge). This combination will allow you to keep your beer or other beverage of choice properly pressurized and refrigerated simultaneously.
What differentiates a Kegerator from a mini-fridge with a keg inside it is the fact that a Kegerator will typically feature a tap in the top of the fridge so that beverages can be poured directly from the appliance.
Installing a tap into the top of your mini-fridge is a relatively simple process, even if you don’t have much or any experience in DIY fridge conversion.
All you’ll usually need is a high-quality drill and something to take measurements with.
Our Top Choice
If you’re in a hurry to buy your new Kegerator mini-fridge and get started on the conversion project, you’re probably itching to find out which fridge we have selected as our top pick.
On balance, having weighed out the costs, builds, functionality, and additional features of all the Kegerator-convertible mini-fridges on the market, we have chosen the Magic Chef MCBR240S1 2.4 cu ft Compact Single Door Refrigerator as our top pick.
The Magic Chef Compact Single Door Refrigerator is modestly sized and modestly priced.
It may not be big enough for the largest kegs, but if you’re looking to build a Kegerator for personal use that won’t take up too much space in your home or garage, it’s a solid option.
Plus, the Magic Chef mini-fridge has a reversible door and an adjustable thermostat for maximum versatility.
OUR TOP PICK
The Magic Chef Compact Single Door Refrigerator is an excellent mini-fridge for Kegerator conversion.
This mini-fridge is compact enough to fit into most spaces where you might want to install a Kegerator, but it’s still large enough to hold sizeable kegs, including quarter-barrel sizes.
The dimensions of the Magic Chef mini-fridge are 24 inches x 17 inches x 20 inches.
We also like the fact that this mini-fridge features a reversible door.
A reversible door is one that can be opened either from the left or right, which is really useful if you’re working with limited space.
The reversible fridge door means that you won’t be restricted in your placement of the mini-fridge.
Everybody knows that cold beer is better than warm, but different people have different preferences in terms of how cold we like our drinks.
Luckily, with the Magic Chef mini-fridge, you can use the adjustable, built-in thermostat to set the temperature to your personal preference.
Another advantage of the Magic Chef mini-fridge for use as a Kegerator is the quality of the materials used in its construction.
This fridge is primarily made of stainless steel, which is a durable and corrosion-resistant material.
Stainless steel can stand up to a lot of wear and tear, so drilling the hole for tap installation is unlikely to warp or otherwise damage the rest of the structure.
The one thing to bear in mind if you’re considering purchasing this mini fridge is the fact that it needs to be leveled properly in order to run quietly.
If the bottom of the fridge is tilted due to uneven flooring, it is likely to make some noise.
- Stainless steel construction - Very durable
- Adjustable thermostat - Control over temperature
- Reversible door - Allows for versatile positioning
- 24 x 17 x 20 inches - Large enough for kegs
- Compact build - Fits in most spaces
- Potential for noisy operation - Must be leveled correctly
The Ultra Low Temp Stainless Steel Refrigerator from EdgeStar is also an ideal mini-fridge for use as a Kegerator.
Like our best overall pick, this mini-fridge is made of stainless steel. This is an advantage for two reasons.
Firstly, a stainless steel construction indicates that the fridge will last you for many years to come due to its durability.
Secondly, this structure of the fridge will withstand extensive drilling with the correct tools, so you won’t have to worry about damaging your new mini-fridge during the conversion process.
Measuring 25.69 x 35.06 x 20.19 inches, the Edge-Star mini-fridge is large enough to accommodate full-size kegs.
This is, of course, a major advantage if you’re planning on using your Kegerator for larger gatherings. However, the obvious downside to a larger mini-fridge is that you’ll need a large enough area to store it.
Luckily, the EdgeStar BR2001SS features a reversible door, so even if you’re in a relatively tight spot in terms of storage space, finding a convenient placement will be easier.
This mini-fridge also features an adjustable temperature dial so that you can set your Kegerator to the perfect temperature, according to your own tastes.
Another helpful feature of the EdgeStar fridge is the presence of wheels on the bottom for easier maneuverability.
- Stainless steel build - Wear-resistant
- Reversing door - Freedom of placement
- 25.69 x 35.06 x 20.19 inches - Suitable for full-sized kegs
- Temperature-adjustable - Can be tailored to individual preferences
- Features wheels - Easy to maneuver
- Not as compact as other models - Requires a larger space
Being on a budget is one of the main reasons why you might choose to build your own Kegerator rather than buying one ready-made. If this is the case for you, we recommend the RCA RFR321 Mini Refrigerator.
Thanks to its adjustable thermostat, this fridge allows for temperature adjustment, meaning you can easily select the level of cold that you want for your drinks.
The capacity inside the RCA Mini Refrigerator is 3.2 cubic feet. That’s more than enough space for a half-barrel keg, which is the largest keg size typically sold outside of commercial venues.
Plus, this mini-fridge makes conversion easy because of its detachable shelves, which can quickly and easily be removed for maximum storage space.
The door to the RCA mini-fridge can open either way for versatility in terms of positioning.
Plus, the adjustable feet underneath the fridge allow for consistent leveling even on uneven surfaces. These features, together, make this mini-fridge a practical and versatile purchase for Kegerator conversion.
Unfortunately, there have been several reports of this fridge model arriving with dents and other impact-related damages, suggesting that the packaging used for shipping is inadequate.
- Adjustable thermostat - Select the perfect temperature
- Door reversibility - Minimal placement limitations
- Adjustable feet - Ideal for leveling
- Detachable shelves - Easy to convert
- 3.2 cubic feet - Large capacity for half-barrel kegs
- Insufficient packaging - Some reports of dents on arrival
The Dandy Designer Mini Fridge is one of the most popular choices in terms of Kegerator conversion because of its premium-quality features.
It might not be the most budget-friendly option on the market, but if you’re looking for durability, quality, and ease of conversion, it’s an excellent choice.
Danby’s Designer Mini Fridge is made of scratch-resistant steel, so you can count on it to hold its own against everyday wear and tear.
Plus, you won’t need to panic about scratching the surface of your fridge accidentally during conversion.
The capacity of this fridge is 4.4 cubic feet, which provides plenty of space for large, half-barrel kegs.
Plus, the adjustable shelving inside the mini-fridge allows you to make the most of the space you have for an almost effortless Kegerator conversion.
There’s a lot of potential for adjustability with the Danby mini-fridge. For one thing, the door is fixed onto reversible hinges, so you won’t be restricted in terms of where you put your new Kegerator.
Plus, the mechanical thermostat allows for adjustability in terms of temperature as well as positioning.
However, much like our previous pick, this mini-fridge has occasionally been reported to arrive with dents and imperfections due to insufficient packaging.
- Scratch-resistant material - Durable
- 4.4 cubic feet - Extensive storage space
- Reversible hinges - Flexible positioning
- Adjustable shelving - Increases capacity
- Mechanical thermostat - Temperature-adjustable
- Some issues with shipping - Damage reported on arrival
Finally, we have another mini-fridge from EdgeStar to recommend as a potential Kegerator.
This model is specifically designed for Kegerator conversion, so you’ll have no issues using the BR1000SS EdgeStar Refrigerator for this purpose.
The EdgeStar BR1000SS Refrigerator is made of stainless steel for an extremely durable and corrosion-resistant build.
You don’t need to drill the tap installation hole yourself because the unit is pre-designed for Kegerator conversion.
Inside the fridge is a capacity of 3.2 cubic feet, meaning that you can comfortably store a half-barrel keg in the mini-fridge.
Once you’ve installed your chosen keg, you can adjust the internal temperature of the mini-fridge using the digital thermostat.
The door is reversible, so you can put your new Kegerator almost anywhere without needing to consider the direction in which the door opens.
The main issue with this fridge is that it is very expensive and will be outside of many buyers’ budgets. This is especially true for those who are undertaking a Kegerator conversion as a way of saving money.
- Stainless steel build - Highly durable
- Designed for conversion - No drilling required
- 3.2 cubic feet - Fits half-barrel kegs
- Digital thermostat - Easily adjustable
- Reversible door - Versatile
- Very expensive - Not budget-friendly
Before we introduce you to the top mini-fridges for Kegerators, it’s important for you to know which features make a mini-fridge suitable for use as a Kegerator.
In the following buyer’s guide, we’re going to be discussing the key features you should be prioritizing and evaluating when searching for a mini-fridge for this purpose.
The first factor you will need to consider before adding a new mini-fridge to your cart is its size, also expressed as capacity.
This factor is so important because you need to make sure that the mini-fridge you’re buying is large enough internally to hold a keg.
Now, of course, kegs come in different sizes, so this will also be dependent on how much beer you want to have in your Kegerator at one time.
The largest keg size commonly available on the market is the half-barrel. The half-barrel keg has a volume of 2.07 cubic feet. Luckily, it’s easy to find mini-fridges that surpass this capacity.
Alternatively, you might want to use smaller kegs, for example, a quarter-barrel keg. This keg size is shorter than the half-barrel by 10 inches, and can usually fit in most mini-fridges suitable for Kegerator conversion.
Ideally, you should prioritize Kegerator mini-fridges that are made of stainless steel or another similarly durable and corrosion-resistant material. Scratch-resistant stainless steel is a particularly good choice.
The reason why corrosion resistance and durability are such key features in a Kegerator mini-fridge is that your Kegerator is likely to see a lot of use and, in most cases, some spillage.
Therefore, you need your Kegerator to be able to hold its own against wear and tear as well as rust.
Many people opt to build their own Kegerators instead of buying them pre-built because it typically costs less. For this reason, it’s important to consider the price of your Kegerator mini-fridge before purchase.
Mini-fridges that are suitable for Kegerator conversion typically cost between $150 and $500.
The higher-end units might provide you with more structural quality and some additional features (more on this below), but it’s definitely possible to build a good-quality Kegerator with one of the less expensive mini-fridges.
If you buy a mini-fridge with a set, non adjustable temperature, you may find that your beer ends up colder or less cold than you would like.
The solution to this problem is to invest in a mini-fridge with an adjustable thermostat. This could be either digital or analog.
If you want a clearer temperature display, the digital option is probably better for you. However, an analog rotary temperature dial may feel more intuitive for some people.
There are several additional features that may be incorporated into the construction of a Kegerator mini-fridge. These features can help to make your life easier when it comes to positioning and maneuvering your fridge.
For example, one common additional feature found on mini-fridges is the inclusion of casters or wheels.
Wheels will enable you to easily move your mini-fridge to its designated location and reposition it as needed without having to lift the unit.
Another very useful feature to have on your Kegerator mini-fridge is a door with reversible hinges.
The direction in which a fridge door opens can put constraints on where you place the fridge due to other obstacles and obstructions.
With a reversible door, this problem is lessened by the fact that you can open the door both left and right, giving you greater flexibility.
Building a Kegerator: Step By Step
If you’ve read this far and still aren’t sure how the process of building a Kegerator should go, don’t worry.
We’re going to outline each step here so that you can be fully prepared for the task by the time your mini-fridge arrives.
Step 1: Purchase your Mini-Fridge
The good news is, you’re part way through the first step of the process already! First and foremost, you will need to buy your new mini-fridge.
Simply select your favorite mini-fridge from our list of reviewed products and order it to your home, and you’ll have the first component of your new Kegerator!
Step 2: Buy your Conversion Kit
The next thing you’ll need to build your Kegerator is a Kegerator Conversion Kit. You can find kits like these easily through online retailers.
We recommend the Kegco BF STCK-5T Standard Tower Kegerator Conversion Kit. It comes with a tank, faucet, coupler, and instruction manual for installation.
Step 3: Prepare your Tools
Before you start the conversion and installation process, it’s important to make sure that you have the right tools for the job.
Using the wrong tools during your Kegerator conversion could cause damage to your mini-fridge and conversion kit, or even just make your life more difficult.
For the conversion, you will need a drill and some drill bits. Ideally, these should be 1 inch drill bits.
You will also need screwdrivers and saw bits. You’re likely to need Phillips head screwdrivers as well as flat head screwdrivers. Make sure you have saw bits in both 1 and 3 inch sizes.
Step 4: Make Modifications
Once you have all your components and tools ready, take some time to make the necessary modifications to your mini-fridge.
For example, if there are shelves inside the fridge that aren’t detachable, you will need to remove these to make space for your keg.
Likewise, if your mini-fridge has a lot of protruding plastic inside the door that takes up room, you should remove this as well.
Step 5: Complete the Conversion
Using the instruction manual that comes with your Kegerator conversion kit, you are now ready to complete the conversion.
Make sure to read through the instructions carefully before you begin to avoid confusion during the process.
Please make sure that you know where the cooling lines inside your new mini-fridge are before you start drilling.
Drilling through a cooling line will cause a leak which is likely to be expensive to repair, negating the purpose of building your own Kegerator in the first place.
There are several good reasons to build your own Kegerator at home rather than buying a pre-assembled unit.
Building your own Kegerator often works out considerably cheaper, so it’s a great project to undertake if you’re a beer-lover on a budget.
Additionally, converting your own Kegerator gives you much more freedom in terms of functionality and construction.
Choosing a mini-fridge as the main component for your DIY Kegerator is a big decision, but hopefully, this article has provided you with a good starting point.
Remember to evaluate the sizes, prices, and additional features of any mini-fridges you consider using for your Kegerator.
Comparing these features will help you to decide which unit fits best within your budget, your designated Kegerator space, and your other personal preferences and requirements.
Don’t forget to order your Kegerator conversion kit and all the appropriate tools at the same time as your mini-fridge so that you’re ready to start the conversion and build yourself a Kegerator as soon as possible!