What the drawer under the oven is actually for – and it's not extra storage

Have you been using it wrong?

Kitchens are a sea of storage solutions. Drawers and cupboards specially designed to fit in an endless supply of pots and pans. You might even have a drawer under the oven...

Related: B&M marble kettle, toaster and microwave set giving kitchens a fashionable refresh

However, it turns out that this is one drawer in the kitchen you shouldn't be stuffing full of cooking implements. That's right, if you've been using the slim drawer under your oven for storing baking tins and trays, you've been using it all wrong.

kitchen slim drawer under oven

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brett Charles)

It turns out that its real purpose is as a warming drawer. Keeping food toasty until you're ready to serve it.

So rather than cramming it with baking sheets and muffin tins, the drawer should be acting as your secret hostessing weapon. Gently warming bowls of just-cooked roast veg, or mashed potato until dinner's ready.

Don't believe us? If your oven has a built-in drawer, why not take a look at the manual if you still have it lying around.

kitchen with white tiles on wall and chimney and grey cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC/Claire Lloyd Davies)

According to travel + leisure, the manual should say something along the lines of: 'The warming drawer is designed to keep hot foods 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 Farenheit.'

kitchen with white wall and drawer under oven

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter)

Who knew that the key to throwing a dinner party, worthy of Come Dine With Me, was sat just underneath your oven? But do heed the manual instructions and only put hot food in the drawer. You want to send your friends home raving about the meal they've just enjoyed, rather than give them food poisoning.

However, if you can't bare to give up your handy baking sheet drawer don't worry. Unless your manual specifically says not to, you can store what ever kitchen accoutrements you wish in there.

Related: Discover the oven that's a genius at multi-tasking

Have you been using the drawer under your oven properly?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.