In most kitchens, ovens have a drawer underneath them. While many people use this drawer to store kitchen appliances, the truth is it is designed for an entirely different purpose.
Read on to find out how you can make the most out of this extra space.
What Is The Drawer Under The Oven For?
To answer this question, you need first to determine what type of drawer you are dealing with. For example, ovens typically come with two different drawers underneath them: warming and storage drawers.
Just as the name suggests, a warming drawer is meant to keep food warm until it is ready for serving. It can also be used as a slow cooker.
The capabilities of warming drawers may vary depending on the type of oven. You can determine this by checking the control panel at the front. Most warming drawers have a set of buttons on the control panel, which you can use to set the temperature. Alternatively, you may find a turn knob that controls the temperature.
It is worth noting that some warming drawers have temperature controls located inside the drawer rather than the front panel. This means you will need to open the drawer to access the rules and set your desired temperature.
What Can I Use a Warming Drawer For?
Although you can use a warming drawer in various ways, it is essential to remember that this space is not designed for cooking. Instead, it would help if you used it primarily for heating food.
Warming drawers generally have a limited temperature range, making it almost impossible to cook at the right temperature. The last thing you want is to consume undercooked food, which may make you sick.
The temperature rating of warming drawers also varies according to the model. So, be sure to read your oven manual for specific details. With that said, here is a general overview of the temperature range for most warming drawers:
Low – 140 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit
Medium – 170 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit
High – 215 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
You can also use warming drawers to broil foods. However, it is not recommended to use the broiler for cooking foods from start to finish due to the temperature limitations we alluded to earlier. Instead, you can use the warming drawer to finish cooking foods that are nearly done.
If the drawer under your oven does not have any control surfaces, it is likely a storage drawer. You can use this space to store kitchen items such as pans, muffin tins, and foils. First, however, you need to make sure whatever you keep in this drawer is oven safe.
While no heat from your oven will be directed towards the storage drawer, some residual heat may still be present due to its proximity to the stove. As such, you should avoid storing plastic utensils inside this drawer.