Fisher & Paykel Refrigerator Review – What You Need To Know

This Fisher & Paykel refrigerator review will share pros and cons to help you determine if it’s the best fit for your home. With a price tag just over $5,000, this refrigerator can give your kitchen a custom look for nearly half the price of many of the leading panel-ready brands. This panel-ready integrated model (RS36A72J1 N or RS36A80J1 N) also comes in a counter-depth stainless steel model (RS36A72U1 N or RS36W80RU1 N).

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Pros of Fisher & Paykel Refrigerator

Counter depth

The Fisher & Paykel refrigerator sits flush with the counter depth, about 24 inches. A standard refrigerator is 29 to 36 inches deep, leaving it sticking out much further than cabinetry. This allows for a seamless feel, and is also convenient if your refrigerator sits in a tight area. A counter depth refrigerator is especially important if you are panelling your appliances – this makes your refrigerator feel like it is part of the cabinetry. This has a direct tradeoff though – less depth means you will have less space inside the refrigerator. We talk about this more in the “Cons” section.

Zero-Clearance Hinge

A zero-clearance hinge allows the refrigerator doors to open without swinging wider than the width of the refrigerator. This prevents the door from hitting anything on either side of it. A zero-clearance hinge is especially necessary for counter-depth fridges, so that you don’t hit your adjacent cabinetry. There is also a function to lock the hinge at 90 degrees – very helpful if you have a wall next to your refrigerator.

CREDIT: Fisher & Paykel


Fisher & Paykel incorporates top-of-the-line technology into their refrigerators. Some of the most notable features are the ActiveSmart technology, which claims to keep food fresher for longer by automatically adjusting temperature, airflow, and humidity to keep the environment stable. The Fisher & Paykel refrigerator has “spill safe” secure shelves, which capture drips and leaks without them spreading and dripping on everything below it. It is also energy efficient.


The Fisher & Paykel panel ready / integrated refrigerator is under $5,000. If you plan to add custom panels to your refrigerator and have a limited budget, Fisher & Paykel is the most economical option. The best price that we have found is on Amazon. You can easily spend $8-11K for a panel-ready refrigerator with brands such as Sub-Zero, Viking, and Bosch. Our opinion is that you do not get twice the value for twice the price with these other brands.

“Bottle Chill” function

Pressing the “bottle chill” button sets a timer for 15 minutes. This allows you to place your wine or champagne in the freezer without the risk of forgetting. The timer will beep wafter 15 minutes, reminding you to get your bottle out. This is a life saver when entertaining, as it is so easy to forget and then have a big mess to clean up.

Open door alarm

The refrigerator alarm will automatically sound when the door is left open for 90 seconds; for the freezer door, it will sound after 60 seconds. This is really helpful, especially for those with children.

Overall design

The Fisher & Paykel refrigerator has a well-thought out design. We love the double doors on the refrigerator, and the drawer freezer. The freezer drawer at the bottom makes items easy to access.

Fisher & Paykel Refrigerator Review
CREDIT: Fisher & Paykel

The refrigerator doors are fairly deep, and are able to store a gallon milk jug. They are great to use for everyday storage, not just a handful of condiments. The door shelves are adjustable. There is a butter holder on both doors.

The shelves are made of safety glass, and are adjustable. The plastic door bins are also adjustable in height. This will give you the flexibility to configure the space to fit your unique needs. The bottom shelf has a pull-out drip tray to catch any spills.

In addition to the two produce drawers, there is a full-width cheese drawer.

Bottle holders

The refrigerator includes four built-in, flat-lay bottle holders. They are perfect for bottles of wine, 2-liters, etc., and prevent them from rolling around. The bottle holders clip in to the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, but can be moved to any shelf to lay freely. They slide horizontally across the whole shelf, so you can adjust based on width of bottle or depending on what else you have on the shelf. They are removable and stackable. Additional bottle holders can be purchased directly through Fisher & Paykel.

Cons of Fisher & Paykel Refrigerator

Lack of water dispenser

Panel-ready Fisher & Paykel refrigerators do not include a water dispenser. They do have an ice maker in the freezer. It is not a dispenser, but deposits the ice into a bin. There is a small scoop that attaches to the ice maker. The lack of water dispenser may be a deal breaker for some. Most stainless steel models do have a water dispenser.

Less depth means less storage

As we mention above in the “Pros”, the counter depth of the refrigerator is both a pro and a con. While it provides a seamless appearance, there is not as much room inside. This can be especially challenging for holidays, or for deep items such as pizza boxes, cartons of soda, etc. The most helpful thing that we have found for storage are these Amazon can dispensers. They fit perfectly in the Fisher & Paykel refrigerator, and each fits about 13 cans if you stack three rows.

This Fisher & Paykel 36″ wide counter depth appliance has a capacity of 16.8 cubic feet inside of the refrigerator and freezer (11.7 in the refrigerator, 5.1 in the freezer). For comparison, most full size refrigerator and freezer combos are 19-25 cubic feet.

Having a separate beverage and/or wine fridge can greatly help with space utilization. It is surprising how much space these things can take!

CREDIT: Fisher & Paykel

The decreased storage is especially noticeable in the freezer. When opened, the front to back depth of the freezer is only 11-12 inches (depending on the drawer). There are three freezer drawers. The top drawer is 5.5 inches deep. The ice maker takes up about 1/4 of the top shelf, but is removable for those that prefer to use this space for storage.

The middle shelf is only about 1.75 inches deep. It is useful for things like ice packs, smoothie ingredients, frozen meat, or unboxed frozen pizzas.

The bottom bin is the deepest, at 9.5 inches, and works well for ice cream, boxes of popsicles, frozen bread, or other bulky items.

Weight capacity of large shelf

The large shelf in the refrigerator bows when loaded with heavy things. We were not able to find a stated weight capacity from Fisher & Paykel, but the bending is only an issue when storing lots of beverages or casserole dishes. The shelf is made of safety glass, which gives us peace of mind if it were to break. However, it would still be inconvenient and not ideal.

Ice maker is slow

The Fisher & Paykel “Product Help” page states that the ice maker produces 8 ice cubes every 3-4 hours. Based on our experience, it leans towards the slower side of that range. For a high-end refrigerator, this seems a little slow. If you fully empty your ice maker, it can take a couple of days to fill up again (even when using the “Ice Boost” function). This is especially an issue if you are hosting a party. We would recommend buying a bag of ice rather than relying on it to replenish itself.


The Fisher & Paykel panel ready refrigerator can be a little more challenging to install than a regular refrigerator. Not all contractors are familiar with panel ready appliances. We encourage homeowners to read the full installation manual to ensure that everything is done properly. We found that an inset electrical outlet allows the refrigerator to sit as close to the wall as possible.

What is the difference between the 72″ and 80″ Fisher & Paykel panel ready refrigerators?

You might notice that Fisher & Paykel offers a 72 inch and an 80 inch of the panel ready refrigerator (models RS36A72J1 N (72″) and RS36A80J1 N (80″)). The initial assumption would be that the 80 inch refrigerator is taller, thus is has more storage space. This is not the case! The appliances are actually exactly the same, and both have a capacity of 16.8 cubic feet. The only difference is that the freezer panel covers the vents on the 80 inch. This allows you to put a cabinet toe kick on the refrigerator, giving it a more integrated look. The 72 inch model has the vent at the base, therefore it cannot be covered.

The price difference between the 72 inch and 80 inch models is about $1,500. Having a taller refrigerator also reduces the size of any storage cabinet that you have above the appliance. While it is nice to be able to hide the vent, we do not think that the price and storage tradeoff is worth it.

72″ Model
CREDIT: Fisher & Paykel installation sheet
80″ Model
CREDIT: Fisher & Paykel installation sheet

Water Filter Information

Fisher & Paykel sells water filters specifically for this model, but we generally purchase this Aqua Crest water filter from Amazon. Prices fluctuate, but the Amazon Aqua Crest filter is on average about $30 less than the Fisher & Paykel one. We haven’t noticed any difference in the quality of the two filters.

It is recommended that you replace your water filter every six months, or every 300 gallons (whichever comes first). We can always tell a huge improvement in our ice after replacing the filter. Luckily, the filter is very easy to swap out and does not leak water.


Overall, we love the Fisher & Paykel refrigerator. As with all products, it does have some trade-offs. It may not be the best fit for you if you have a large family or enjoy entertaining and do not have room for a separate beverage and/or wine refrigerator. It is a great product for those who want panelled appliances with a finite budget.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions below!

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  • Vicki
    March 25, 2024 at 6:35 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!! We’ve been looking for weeks trying to understand the difference between the 2 models and could not get any answers!! Even calling fisher and pykel CS and they didnt even know the answer! THANK YOU!!!!

  • Lisa Newton
    November 8, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Great review! I agree 100%. I have the FP Fridge, Range and 2 drawer dishwasher. I purchased the 72″ fridge and love it. I also purchased the 24″ tall fridge with bottom freezer for our bar area and this takes a lot of the overflow on beverages. There is a fridge freezer in the garage as well. It is just me and my husband at home now so we have plenty of food storage for entertaining. The thing I love the most is seeing all of our food and it not getting lost in the back. We have a counter depth at our cabin and I cannot find a thing it is so packed. : )

  • Anne Brener
    November 7, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Should the refrigerator door close with the slight push I have always given a refrigerator door or does it stay open about 8″ and must be closed by pushing all the way closed?

    • House Refined
      November 8, 2022 at 8:44 pm

      The left door closes with a push for me. The more weight that I have stored in the door, the harder I have to push (for example, if I have a gallon of milk in the door). The right door takes a little more of a push because it has the sealing flap that folds in when opened, and folds out when closed.


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