What temperature should I set my Samsung refrigerator to?

Refrigerator and Freezer temperature display with fridge temp highlighted

When your leftovers seem to go bad after one day, or ice cream is only good the first time you open the carton, it's a clear indication that the refrigerator and freezer temperature needs to be adjusted. Keep food fresh longer by making sure you have the right temperature settings applied. This will ensure your late night ice cream craving is met with maximum flavor and texture. No more freezer burnt, rock-solid blocks of chocolate chunk.

Adjust the temperatures

On Family Hub fridges, the temperature can be adjusted using the Fridge Manager app. On other models with a touch screen, change the temperature in the menu.

To adjust the temperature on a model without a touch screen, touch Fridge or Freezer repeatedly until you reach the desired setting. On most models this will adjust the temperature down one degree (or temperature bar) each time. After it reaches the lowest setting it will cycle around to the highest.

Top freezer and upright freezer models can also adjust the entire compartment from freezer to fridge. Top freezer models can also turn off either compartment to reduce energy usage. (It will still operate slightly but not cold enough to store food.) To toggle the compartment setting, touch and hold the temperature adjustment button for that compartment.

Note: A few seconds after setting the temperature, the displayed temperature will return to the current interior temperature. It can take up to 4 hours for the display to change to the temperature you have set and up to 28 hours for the refrigerator to actually achieve that temperature, if the doors are not opened.

If you have trouble adjusting the temperature, see our guide for a fridge panel that is not working correctly.

Recommended temperatures

The USDA Food Safety Information guide states that refrigerated food should be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and frozen food below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The only reason to set temperatures higher is to save energy when you're not storing food in the refrigerator.

On most models, the ideal temperature setting for the refrigerator is 38 degrees Fahrenheit. For the freezer, the ideal temperature is -2 degrees Fahrenheit. Some models may have different recommendations in the user manual or on the control panel. As long as the fridge is under 40 and the freezer is at 0 or less, you will keep food fresh.

Note: Some models display the temperature using bars. On these models, three lit bars is the recommended setting for both compartments.

Checking the temperature with a thermometer

Checking the temperature of your refrigerator with a thermometer can be tricky. The temperature display on your refrigerator is an average of the ambient temperature of the entire compartment. After making a change to the temperature, it can take up to 4 hours for the display to change to the temperature you have set and up to 28 hours for the refrigerator to actually achieve that temperature, if the doors are not opened.

You might think checking the temperature is as simple as just throwing a thermometer inside, but it isn't. The temperature of the compartment can vary a little. It will always be colder at the back than the front, and colder at the bottom than the top. Also, warm air will rush past the items near the door every time it's opened.

The best way to check the temperature of the refrigerator compartment is to put the thermometer in a glass of water and place it as close to the middle of the compartment as you can. (To check the temperature of the freezer compartment, place the thermometer between frozen food packages.) It can take up to 8 hours to get an accurate reading, if the doors are not opened.

If your refrigerator is warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit or your freezer is warmer than 0 degrees Fahrenheit, adjust your temperatures lower and wait 28 hours to check the temperature again. If you still experience an issue with the cooling in your refrigerator, see our troubleshooting guide for refrigerator cooling issues.

Ice cream is too soft or too hard

The freezing point of ice cream varies based on its fat and sugar content. If you want harder ice cream, adjust the freezer to a cooler temperature. Likewise, if you want it a little softer, don't go below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are 2 simple tricks you can use to keep your ice cream fresh and creamy. First, do not store ice cream near the door where warm air will hit it every time you open the freezer. When ice cream melts and refreezes, it loses its creamy texture and does not taste as good. And second, put plastic wrap over the opening of the container before putting on the lid. This seals the container and prevents freezer burn.

Chocolate ice cream being scooped

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