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Did you know that the drawer under your stove or range is not actually designed for storing pots and pans?

That drawer, A.K.A. a warming drawer, is meant for warming up and cooking food, like bread and leftovers. Although, you can still use it to store pots and pans if you want.

Recently, legions of amateur chefs flooded social media to share this discovery. This has led families, especially those who picked up bread baking as a hobby during the pandemic, to fall in love with the warming drawer and utilize it in all sorts of meals. So, what is a warming drawer, and how can it be used?

What’s a Warming Drawer?

A warming drawer, also known as a baking or proofing drawer, typically captures residual heat from a stove or oven to keep meals hot while side dishes or other elements of dinner are being prepared.

Most people use warming drawers in these five ways:

  • Keeping food warm
  • Reheating leftovers
  • Proofing bread
  • Warming up towels
  • Slow cooking, roasting, broiling, or baking certain foods

Warming drawers can heat to 80 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, so your opportunities are almost limitless.

What are the different types of warming drawers?

Companies offer warming drawers in three ways:

  • As a standalone model
  • Attached with a stove or range
  • Attached with an oven

The most popular appliance brands offer standalone models in 24, 27, and 30 inches. Warming drawers attached to appliances generally match the width of the appliance.

Standalone models come in many different finishes to match the visual design of your kitchen, while attached models mimic the design of your stove or oven.

Most warming drawers are made with a steel exterior; however, some companies offer models with a faux wood finish. Many people go for a stainless-steel finish for a sleek and modern look. Other people match their kitchens with a wood panel exterior.

Do All Stoves Have a Warming Drawer?

Not all stoves have warming drawers, but it is becoming an increasingly popular option in new or recently remodeled homes.

Companies include warming drawers with stoves so people can get more use out of their appliances. There’s only so much space on a stove to work with, and cooking on a stove can be limited.

Families can prep sides ahead of time with an additional warming drawer while cooking the main protein on the stovetop or elsewhere. Unlike cooking directly on a stove, warming drawers make less of a mess and are specially designed to reheat or slowly cook foods.

People want variety, especially when it comes to food, so it makes sense why warming drawers have become more popular recently.

How Do I Use a Warming Drawer?

While the food in a warming drawer may cook or stay warm due to the residual heat from a stove, that isn’t the proper way to use it.

For warming drawers attached to stoves, check your control interface to see if there are settings to operate it. Ovens with warming drawers will likely be marked somewhere.

If you know your oven has a warming drawer and it is not marked such, check your owner’s manual for more information. Often a warming drawer is not explicitly marked, and you must use the broiler controls to operate it.

For standalone models, there will likely be a dial that you can use to set the heat and possibly a switch to turn it on. On larger models, the dial likely will be on the outside with the handle, and on smaller models, it may be on the inside.

Older models typically only have two temperature settings, low and high. However, newer models have three temperature settings — low, medium, and high — that you can switch gradually between while cooking. New models also have specific slow cooking, proofing, and humidity control features.

See also: Home on the Range: How to Choose the Best One for Your Home

If you are looking to purchase an appliance to complement your kitchen, visit Facets of Lafayette, the top kitchen appliance store in Lafayette, LA. We carry a wide selection of appliance brands from General Electric and Electrolux to Bertazzoni and Frigidaire.

Visit our showroom at 3155 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette, LA 70506, or make an appointment ahead of time with our showroom sales consultant by calling us at 337-981-7860 or filling in our online contact form.