Ovens come with many features and specs to suit your cooking behaviour. Almost all ovens come with a drawer at the bottom. What does this drawer do exactly? Well, many things; some are made for storage and some are made for warming purposes.
First thing you should do with a new oven is to check the oven’s instructions manual which tells you exactly how to use your oven. If you lost the oven’s instructions, there’s always a copy online on the manufacturer’s website.
As a rule of thumb, if your oven doesn’t have settings for the bottom drawer, then it’s a storage drawer for your pots, pans and oven trays.
Bottom drawers can also be for warming. Many ovens come with temperature settings for warming drawers. Typically, you’d find three settings: Low, medium and high. Meats of different kinds should be kept at medium or high.
A warming drawer is also great for when you’re cooking multiple things at once. You can put one dish in the drawer while another cooks in the oven. If that’s how you’re using it, keep the temperature at low.
Keep in mind that warming drawers don’t warm up your food. Warming drawers help already warm food stay warm. You cannot heat up cold foods in the warming drawer.
Some oven drawers also come with a humidity controller. You can use this option to help food stay moist and juicy.
It’s important to note, if your drawer is made for warming, make sure not to use it for storage because stored items could accidentally cause damage to the heating element. Also, make sure not to use plastic wrap (or saran wrap) inside or near the drawer.
Now that you know more about your oven’s bottom drawer, you can be the great chef you’ve always wanted to be!