What is the drawer under the oven for?

What is the drawer under the oven for?

A stove oven unit on a designed background with the drawer enlarged

A stove oven unit on a designed background with the drawer enlarged

Adobe Stock / BlureArt

In many kitchens, the stove and the oven can be found together in one crucial appliance. And while the function of the stove and oven is quite self-explanatory, there may be one part of the appliance that makes you scratch your head: the drawer under the oven. Read on to learn about this bonus space – plus how to best use it.

What is the drawer under the oven for?

Before you can answer this question, first find out what kind of drawer you have. There are two types of drawers under an oven: a heat drawer and and storage drawers. Read on to learn about the differences between the two and how to determine which one your oven has.

Related: 5 things you should never put in your oven

Heat drawer

A heating drawer is exactly as it sounds, a drawer that keeps food warm. Depending on the oven model, there are two different ways to check the capacity of your drawer. First, find your oven control panel. Often there will be a separate section of buttons in the panel where you can control the temperature in the oven drawer. Or there may also be a button that controls the temperature.

If you do not see any check there, the next place is to check the drawer yourself. Some heating drawers have temperature control inside the drawer, which is only visible when the drawer is open. If you have one of these options, then your oven has a heat drawer!

What can you use the heating drawer for?

If your oven has a heating drawer, there are a number of uses for it. However, you should not think of it as an additional source of cooking. Instead, heating drawers should only be used to keep food heated. This is because the temperature in the heating drawer is limited, so it is difficult to prepare food to reach the required internal temperature (and you will not risk getting sick).

The temperatures in a heating drawer vary according to the oven model, so be sure to see your oven’s manual for specific details. For a rough guideline, GE has some temperature ranges:

Some heat drawers may also have the option of frying food. We do not recommend using broilers to cook from start to finish due to temperature issues, but you can use it to complete a dish as if you would like a cheesy crust on baked mac and cheese.

Related: 5 things you should never put under the broiler

The heat drawer is perfect for keeping a pretty warm one while you finish cooking the rest of the meal (ideal for busy cooking days like Thanksgiving!). It can also be used to rise bread dough, the stage where the dough rises until doubled. No matter how you use the heating drawer, it is a convenient place in any kitchen.

Storage drawer

If there is no temperature control, then your oven has a storage drawer! This storage drawer is the perfect place to store kitchen utensils such as baking sheets, muffin tins or even pots and pans. Whatever you choose to store in the drawer, just make sure it is oven safe. Although no direct heat will be conducted into the area, it is still located under your oven, so some of the residual heat is likely to be transferred. Avoid storing items such as plastic wrap, food storage containers and any item that may become skewed over time due to heat.

Related: 11 mistakes you make that can ruin your oven

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