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Review: Sub-Zero Bi36UFD – Sub-Zero’s French Door Refrigerator

Written by Appliance Dude | April 14th, 2012

Six years ago I sat in an auditorium at Sub-Zero headquarters in Wisconsin and asked one of their engineers a pointed question:
“Will Sub-Zero make a french door refrigerator?”

At that point the answer was a resounding “no”, but times have changed and we are now staring at the near-imminent release of Sub-Zero’s first foray into the French door style – the Bi-36UFD (there are plans for a 42″ to be released in the next year or so).

I was fortunate to spend some time with the new fridge at the recent Architectural Digest show in NYC, took some nice booty pics, so let’s get in deep now. First, a list of the feature set or as I like to call it, the “tale of the tape”

– Width: 36″
– Available in stainless, overlay and flush inset
– Annual energy usage is 571 kWh or $61
– Star-K certified
– Automatic ice maker
– Water and air filter systems
– Dual refrigerator system so freezer and fridge don’t exchange air

OK, now let’s get into the grist. The biggest issues with French door refrigerators is the way that they seal, or, their lack
of sealing! If you open a typical French door you will see an annoying “flap” in between the doors that is needed to get most of the doors to seal. The problem with this flap is that I’ve had plenty of customers complain that they break, get loose, etc.
The Sub-Zero Bi36UFD utilizes the flap as well, BUT, Sub-Zero spent 4 years working on the way the fridge seals so as to avoid the issues that most other French doors encounter.

That’s why you will pay more for a Sub-Zero – insane focus on customer usability. While most, if not all of the other premium fridge manufacturers were rolling out French Door fridges in the last 5 years, the engineers at Sub-Zero sat back and said we’ll be patient, we’re going to get this right. It seems to me that they did. The fridge doors open and close with the security and sureness that one would equate with Sub-Zero. The fit and finish is beautiful.

Enough of the words, onto the evidence…..

SubZero French Door Refrigerator

This pic shows the Bi36ufd with the classic Sub-Zero handle. It can also be purchased with a Pro-handle to match your Wolf range.

Sub-Zero Bi36ufd French Door Refrigerator

Sub-Zero Bi36ufd French Door Refrigerator

Inside the SubZero BI36UFD

Inside the SubZero BI36UFD. Ample storage space for a 36″ built-in fridge.

Sub-Zero Bi36UFD - Open Doors

Yes you can fit a platter in the Sub-Zero Bi36UFD. One of the advantages of a French door!

SubZero bi36ufd freezer pics

The freezer space is identical to that of the Bi-36 single door fridge.

Shop for the SubZero French Door Refrigerator at Curto’s Appliances.

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6 Responses

  1. Carla Pocztowski says:

    Any plans to add a water dispenser to this model?

    • Jonathan says:

      No Carla, no plans for that but dont be surprised
      To see it in the 42″ version which is about 2 years out.
      Appliance dude

  2. Marion Cohen says:

    What is the best price you can quote me for the BI36UFD model?
    I have a 25 year old side by side subzero that I need to replace.

    Any other built in’s you can recommend that would fit into my space of my current subzero.?

  3. robert says:

    I am having issue with minion bar not retracting completely when left door is opened. The only way to prevent scrapping left door is to remove two rubber bumpers behind bar. This is flush mount application with wooden door panels. Anyone having this issue and ultimate solution short of adjusting left door hinge which makes the panels not line up.

    • Mark says:

      Having same problem with that flap. Really bad design. The flap on left door slams into the right door if you open the left door slowly.

      • Fred says:

        Nothing wrong with the design Mark.
        We have the BI42 and it had the same issue. The sealing flap would catch on the right door if the left was opened slowly. After several warranty repair attempts and a door replacement it was discovered that the fridge was not leveled correctly on installation and the doors were adjusted to compensate.
        Once the adjustments were corrected the doors worked perfectly. And they have continued to do so for almost two years now. Very happy with this unit.

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