Even the most advanced bakers use the bottom oven drawer to store pots, pans, metal baking sheets, and any other random cooking tool. But did you know that the drawer may not actually be intended for storage?
Although there are discrepancies, some bottom oven drawers are for keeping the food you’ve just made warm while preparing other dishes.
These drawers typically have humidity controls so that the food does not get dry. Not only are they good for storing freshly made food, but also warming up bread, according to Shared.com.
However, not all ovens have the warming drawer function. Snopes reports that a viral December 2016 post describing how to use the oven drawers wrongfully claimed that all bottom oven drawers could be used as warmers.
The meme shows a picture of a white oven with its bottom draw open, and stuffed with baking sheets and a muffin pan. The meme was titled: “When you realize this drawer has a real purpose.”
Below the photo is a warning high-lighted in red:
“The warming drawer is designed to keep hot foots at serving temperature. Always start with hot food. Cold or room-temperature foods cannot be heated, warmed, or cooked in the warming drawer. Bacteria will grow very rapidly in food that is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.”
The meme was later debunked by skeptics who proved that not all ovens had the heating function. While some ovens do have a warming or broiler compartment below the oven, most have a storage compartment underneath.
According to Snopes, out of all the oven models available at Home Depot, 87 had a built-in storage drawer, while only 19 had a warming drawer.
Boston-based Yale Appliance clarified in a blog post that these drawers are frequently, but not always, built-in to freestanding ovens:
“A warming drawer is also great for entertaining with multiple courses. My friends are always surprised that we can chat for 30 minutes in between courses and the main entrée is always warm yet not overcooked.
Over the last few years, warming drawers have become accessible to everyone as prices have become more affordable than they have been in the past. Many freestanding and slide-in ranges sold today feature a warming drawer instead of a storage drawer underneath the oven. Warming drawers can also be sold separately and can be built into your cabinetry.”
The best way to determine whether or not your oven has a warming drawer is to look at the manual.
Sources: Snopes, Shared.com / Photo credit: Shared.com