You may have noticed that most ovens have a drawer underneath the actual oven section. Many of you may have stored pots and pans or baking pans in that drawer. Or, maybe that drawer is empty and has been collecting dust for years, just because you didn’t know what else to do with it.
Today, we’ll show you what that seemingly unassuming oven drawer is actually used for. That drawer is not for miscellaneous bakeware and utensils. In fact, it is designed as a warming drawer. That drawer can’t cook food, but it can maintain the core temperature of the food until it’s ready to be served.
For example, let’s say you are cooking several hot dishes at the same time at a dinner party. If there are other dishes that need to be cooked, you can store the heated dishes in the oven drawer in the meantime. The warming drawer is also useful when you have late guests. Simply keep the food in the warming drawer until everyone arrives.
Isn’t it surprising that these seemingly innocuous drawers are actually a very useful kitchen feature? After reading this article, I’m sure you too will put away the pots and pans in your warming drawer and prepare them for their intended use.
Warming drawers, as the name implies, are used to keep food warm. Depending on the oven model, there are two ways to check the drawer’s function. First, look for the oven’s control panel. Usually, there is a separate button section on the panel that adjusts the temperature of the oven drawer. Alternatively, there may be a knob to control the temperature.
If you don’t find any controls there, the next thing to check is the drawer itself. Some warming ovens have temperature controls in the drawer that are only visible when the drawer is open. If you have one of these options, your oven has a warming drawer.
What can I use the warming drawer for?
If your oven has a warming drawer, it can be used in a variety of ways. However, you should not think of the drawer as a cooking appliance. Instead, the warming drawer should only be used to keep your food warm. This is because the temperature in the warming drawer is limited, and it can be tricky to cook food to the desired internal temperature (and avoid the risk of getting sick).
The temperature of the warming drawer depends on the oven model, so be sure to refer to the oven manual for specific details. As a rough guide, GE offers several temperature ranges.
Some warming drawers have the ability to bake food. However, they can be used to finish cooking, for example, if you want your baked macaroni/cheese to have a cheesy flavor.
The warming drawer is ideal for keeping food warm while you prepare other foods (perfect for busy cooking days like Thanksgiving!) . . It can also be used to “proof” bread dough to double its volume. No matter what you use it for, it’s a handy addition to your kitchen.