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

Have you been using it wrong?
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  • 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.

    Drawer under oven

    Image credit: 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.

    Drawer under oven

    Image credit: 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.’

    Drawer under oven

    Image credit: 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?

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