In many kitchens, there is a drawer under the oven and almost everyone uses it incorrectly. While most people are either unaware of the drawer or use it as storage for baking trays and pans, it actually has a completely different function.

If you’re desperately looking for a hidden drawer under your oven right now and can’t find it, you can calm down right now. Because not every oven has such a drawer. In the case of a freestanding oven, it is usually part of the standard equipment, while in the case of built-in ovens, you can decide at the time of purchase whether you want such additional equipment or not.

How a drawer under the oven works

Drawers are designed so that the heat from the oven is transferred to them directly downwards. For this reason, many drawers are also metal lined on the inside. If you have a drawer under your oven, you should first take a look at the oven’s instruction manual. Here you will find information about whether it is a warming drawer or a simple dish drawer.

In many kitchens there is another small drawer under the oven, which has unexpected possibilities

In a dish drawer you should only warm up dishes, because there is no way to adjust the temperature. How many degrees are in the drawer and what you can best use it for is also noted in the instructions. If in doubt, you can measure the temperature yourself using a thermometer. Warming drawers, on the other hand, are often included in higher-end oven models. You can often adjust the temperature yourself and keep food warm or even cook it.

Using the heat of the drawer

The drawer under the oven captures the heat that is generated during baking. By using the drawer correctly, you can save energy elsewhere. For example, warm up your plates in advance so they don’t cool the food. Reheating also works under hot water or in the microwave – but the oven drawer is designed for exactly this purpose. You can use the heat in the drawer under the oven to preheat plates.

Other functions of the drawer are:

  • Warming bowls or cutlery
  • Drying fruit or herbs
  • Defrost frozen food
  • Melt chocolate or butter
  • Let yeast dough rise
  • Keeping food warm (e.g. when several pizzas are baked at the same time)

You can also keep food warm in the drawer under the oven. For example, if you’re baking up several pizzas at once. Of course, the oven drawer only performs these functions when the oven is in use. You should definitely check the instructions beforehand to make sure that your drawer is really suitable for the desired function.

What should not be in the drawer?

It can get quite hot in the drawer. Therefore, under no circumstances should you store flammable items in it. Therefore, the following items are not suitable for storage in the oven drawer, as they could catch fire:

  • Cookbooks
  • Matches
  • Rolling pin
  • Tea towels
  • Food (e.g. food cans or pasta)

Have you been misusing that ominous drawer under the stove for years, too? Now you finally know its real function and from now on you can use it to its full potential.