5 reasons your kitchen could use a warming drawer!

But first … what is a warming drawer, anyway?

A warming drawer (also sometimes called a baking drawer or proofing drawer), is a kitchen appliance that, appropriately enough, takes the shape of a drawer. The main purpose of the warming drawer is just as its name suggests, to keep food warm while other dishes are being prepared. It does this by maintaining a steady low temperature, generally offering a range between 80-200 degrees fahrenheit, and working on the same principles as your oven. Warming drawers can also be a feature in your kitchen range, where the storage drawer you typically expect to find beneath your oven is replaced by a functioning warming drawer. However, most are available as a stand-alone appliance to be designed and built into your kitchen cabinet layout.

The larger your family, the more practical and essential a warming drawer becomes to your kitchen. With sleek designs and compact, concealable sizes, warming drawers can be a welcome and strategically designed element of your next kitchen. Here are five reasons (and one bonus suggestion!) that you should consider when deciding whether a warming drawer would be right for your kitchen.

The kids are at practice. You need a warming drawer!

In any house with a few kids, scarcely a day goes by without someone needing to go someplace, get dropped off somewhere, or picked up from somewhere else. The average week is non-stop sports, music, after school activities and more. Even without kids, we have all come home to food that has been sitting on the countertop for hours, steadily getting more mediocre as it cools to lukewarm. Or even worse, a dish that has been chilled to a nasty lump in the refrigerator, waiting for you to heat it up unevenly into a too-hot-on-the-outside, too-cold-on-the-inside multi-temperature mess in the microwave.

Adding a warming drawer would keep those meals warm, fresh and ready, no matter what time you get home. Simply pop the dish in, set the temperature, and forget about it till your stomach starts to grumble. What a comfort!

Warming drawer heats up kitchen appliance options

The whole family is coming for dinner. You need a warming drawer!

Be it for the holidays or just because we can not get enough of each other, we love it when the whole family gets together! While the company is second to none, getting everything to the table hot and ready is a real challenge.

Whether you just want to keep food warm while you pull everything together, or you want to warm up plates to keep the food on your plate hot for longer, a warming drawer can help with both. It will turn that frenzied rush to get everything on the table while it is still hot into a leisurely stroll, with plenty of spare time to chat with your guests. Turn on the warming drawer, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the process and the company, free from the dreaded race against a rapidly cooling casserole.

You overslept (our favorite!). You need a warming drawer.

Whether you turned off the alarm and missed your favorite Sunday breakfast prepared by your loved ones or your quick afternoon power nap turned into a full on extended cat nap, whatever meal you missed can be waiting for you in all its glorious warmth in your warming drawer. I mean, who really wants to reheat an omelet?

The occasional hot towel? You want a warming drawer!

If we are being completely honest with ourselves, who does not love a warm towel? Whether it is a clean dish towel for drying, a strategically placed warm towel to welcome in a backyard pool swimmer or snowman builder, a crisp, warm towel is one of those life is good moments that is easy to go without, but hard to give up once you have felt the warmth.

The proof is in…the warming drawer!

Not only do warming drawers provide an easy way to keep meals warm without reheating, many current models have additional features to make them a more practical appliance option for the kitchen and in some cases, an alternative to your time-tested crock pot.

Got into making your own bread during COVID like so many of us? Certain models, like by KitchenAid, offer options to proof bread. In love with your air fryer? A warming drawer with a “crisp” option can provide similar functionality, all while taking up much less counter space. Other settings, such as “slow cooker” which makes it easy to cook roasts, stews and other dishes, make a warming drawer a daily go to kitchen appliance. What more proof do you need?

So what now?

Alright, so you are convinced. But what now? What options will serve you best in the wide and welcoming world of warming drawers?

Well, the first thing to consider is whether or not you are in the market for a new range. If you are, be sure to ask a kitchen designer about warming drawer options; many of the higher end ranges will offer warming drawers built into the unit. If not, then do not fear, a warming drawer can be installed almost anywhere: in or under an island, alongside your cabinets, in the pantry or dining room, or nearly anywhere else you might want a drawer that warms your food. You can find warming drawers in a stainless steel finish, as well as in almost any color you would prefer. Many warming drawers also accommodate paneling, so the drawer can be seamlessly hidden alongside your other cabinetry.

Once you have nailed the style and location, it is time to consider size. Warming drawers come in a variety of sizes; larger ones can have extra half racks or even full racks that allow for easy stacking. Others have stainless steel food pans that allow for easy dividing of dishes and efficient space usage.

Finally, it is time to think about your features. As we have said above, warming drawers can remain simply limited to making sure your dishes stay toasty, but many offer higher temperatures that can be used to slow cook foods, lower temperatures needed to proof breads, and even customizable moisture levels that can be set to insure that your food stays moist or crispy as wanted. Even outside of cooking, warming drawers with dish-drying options can make it so your countertop is never again cluttered with clean but dripping dishes. If you are pinched on storage space, a warming drawer's warming capabilities can momentarily play second fiddle to its drawer function, giving you more room to organize your house.

You will want to make sure your warming drawer has an automatic shut-off to prevent any accidents. Most come with this feature, but be sure to double check with the experts!

And that sixth (and bonus!) reason you need to warm up your kitchen? Well, it does not actually involve a warming drawer at all. Rather, because you like warmth, we suggest warming up another way… with a heated floor. Seriously, who does not love kicking off their shoes at the end of a busy work day and feeling what is beneath your feet. No more brisk fall or chilly spring mornings. Your heated floor lets you enjoy being barefoot in the kitchen year round.

Your warm future awaits.

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