View Full Version : Warming drawer - Pros & Cons?

Rita Y
10-27-2008, 03:11 PM
Does anyone out there have a warming drawer in their kitchen? Would you share some pros and cons? And brands, good or not so good?

Are all of them electric?

Is any water involved?

Size issues?

What can you fit in one drawer?


Marlene Steinberg
10-27-2008, 08:46 PM
Indoors or outdoors, they are all electric.

You put a tiny cup of water in them to keep things moist.

Great outdoors for heating up towels for when you get out of your pool!

Indoors I'd prefer to have cupboard space.

Outdoors? A foil lined cooler works fine.

Some people put food on plates in the drawers but that takes up too much space.

They can hold a good amount if used efficiently.

Ray Crick
10-28-2008, 03:34 AM

I have a regular oven and a convection oven, and frequently use one of those to keep foods warm (anywhere from 150 degrees to 225 degrees, depending on the food to be kept warm).

On rare occassion, I will wrap final product in foil and put it in an insulated cooler.


Rita Y
10-28-2008, 05:03 AM
Thanks, Marlene and Ray. Often my ovens are/were in use and the retained heat is too high to put dinner plates in there. I don't like to put hot food on cold plates and it seems like a waste of power to have to heat a big oven for just a few dinner plates.

It seems funny that people who don't have a warming drawer would like to have one and those who do have one don't think it's worth using up space. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Keep your thoughts coming, folks!

10-28-2008, 06:32 AM
Rita, maybe something like this (http://www.shop.com/Plate_Warmer-5758764-p!.shtml)

Ray Crick
10-28-2008, 08:03 AM

Have you considered heating a damp beach towel in the microwave, throwing it into a cooler, and putting the empty plates on top for a while with the lid closed? Wouldn't that work?


10-28-2008, 09:55 AM
I would think an electric heating pad and a cooler would work. You may already have both at home.

10-28-2008, 11:15 AM
Rita, my dishwasher has a plate heating feature built into it. Used it once, worked really well.

Rita Y
10-28-2008, 01:45 PM
Actually, Tim, I have had one of those for at least 30 years and it works pretty well, but I didnít want it taking up counter space. Now, if I could install an outlet in a drawer, I could put the plate warmer in it andÖVoilŠ! A warming drawer! http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Iím still trying to figure out an unobtrusive way to use that plug-in warmer.

Ray, great idea! The hot towel should work very well for a little while, but thereís no place to put a cooler in my galley kitchen (floor?) for everyday use without tripping over it. Counter space is at a premium. I need something I can use every day and there is no space to store a cooler except in our workshop/storage area downstairs.

Larry, Iíve tried using my dishwasher (no plate cycle, tho) but by the time I wanted to serve the meal on hot plates, the dishwasher would be half-full of used utensils, measuring cups, prep plates, etc. in it.

I'm still wondering about the comments from people who actually have a real warming drawer installed in their kitchen and if it's worth the expense.

Picky, picky!

j biesinger
11-17-2008, 06:29 PM
I didn't know that they can be installed independent of an oven.

My sister-in-law has one in her oven and seems to think its a total waste. I can ask her about it if you're interested to know more about hers.

Rita Y
11-17-2008, 06:50 PM
J, thanks for thinking of me. Yes, they can be separate drawers, often installed under a stack of wall ovens or as a separate drawer in a kitchen. As nice as they are, these warming drawers are more pricey and take up more space than I thought.

I do have one of those accordian-type heating pads that holds and heats several plates that does a pretty good job and I'm going to try to make do and fit that into my scheme of things.


Edwin Vickers
11-18-2008, 04:02 AM
If you want to warm towels, Please, Please, Please, make sure the unit you buy has a concealed heating element. Some have exposed heating elements. Be safe.

Dan Wicker
11-18-2008, 12:39 PM
My Kenmore range has a warming drawer in place of the standard storage drawer. We use it on Thanksgiving and it works well. I've also used it as a very low heat source to help bring a brisket up to tenderness.

12-05-2008, 12:08 PM

I might be a little late to this post but here is a thought. You mentioned that you already have the plate wrap and you would just like to be able to use it in a drawer. Just call an electrician and have them place a socket in a drawer, this would be much cheaper than having to go through the process of installing the full warming drawer. The electrician might give you a funny look when you tell him what you want but it will give you the warm plates and counter space you are looking for.

Rita Y
12-05-2008, 06:41 PM
Kevin, thanks for replying. Actually, that's exactly what I was thinking of. At issue might be the effect of say, an hour's worth of low heat per day on the wood on the bottom of the drawer. I do set the plate wrap on a cookie cooling rack but wondered if I should also use some sort of liner in the bottom of the drawer.

I'm trying to avoid having to take it out of the drawer for every hot meal and taking up about 12" of counter space, which is always at a premium.


12-06-2008, 08:02 AM
Depends on who you cook for. My parents have one in their bathroom for towels and one in the kitchen for food. On Thanksgiving, when there is a smoked breast, rotisserie breast and fried turkey, along with a ham and about 10 different sides to keep warm so that they can all be served at the same time, both of the warming drawers get filled up. There's no way to get all of the sides finished off at the same time.

12-07-2008, 10:35 AM

I am sure the you can find a thin insulating material that you can keep under the cooling rack. Maybe someone on the site would have an idea. Good luck with this project.

Rita Y
12-07-2008, 01:15 PM
Kevin, that's a good idea. I'll look into it.


01-13-2010, 07:26 PM
Hey Rita, I am planning on doing a dinner this weekend and I remembered this post because I am probably going to steal your warming pad idea. But that lead me to wondering "if or what" you decided to do.

Rita Y
01-14-2010, 01:17 PM
Hi Kevin,
The warming drawers that I looked at were all larger than I had space for, so I decided against one. But many times since, I have wished for one. I have one of THESE (http://www.platewarmer.com/platewarmer_main_us.html) to warm plates, but it does take up a square foot of counter space when I do use it.

Up-thread, a cooler and heating pad setup was suggested. You could also use a lightbulb. I set up a proofing box for my sourdough starters and breads in cold weather using a cooler and extension cord with a lightbulb socket on the end. We put a rheostat in the line so I could adjust the heat level to keep the little guys comfy. I use one of my remote thermometers to monitor the temperature inside the cooler. It works very well for starters but haven't tried it for keeping food warm for serving. I'd probably need a larger wattage bulb.

Another thing that might keep food warm longer is the insulated pouch that will hold 4 shallow or two to three 3 deeper chafer pans. I've been pleasantly surprised at how long things stay hot in them and ready to serve - a good 2 hours, maybe a bit longer. These are available at restaurant supply stores.

At least these are some options, maybe too late for your dinner this weekend.


Steve Petrone
01-14-2010, 01:56 PM
Is there a compact heat lamp option? Under a cab ?

Rita Y
01-14-2010, 05:43 PM
Steve, that's an interesting idea. Are you referring to a single unit that incorporates a heat lamp and a shelf to hold the food or plates? Is there a name for that?

Is there such a thing that might be enclosed, in order to keep the heat contained?


Jane Cherry
01-29-2010, 06:25 PM
My Kitchenaid range blew the Friday before Thanksgiving. I knew I couldn't get it fixed in time, so I went the next day and bought a new Electrolux (http://www.electroluxappliances.com/kitchen-appliances/ranges/ew30gf65gs) that I could get delivered immediately. It has a warming drawer, but it also functions as a second oven to 450 degrees. I've had two ranges with warming drawers and I have never used that function. This second oven I have used and it is a nice feature.

I would probably spare a warmer if I remodeled my kitchen again. I have a tendency to serve the food immediately, and my dishwasher also has a plate warming feature which I've also never used.

Steve Petrone
01-30-2010, 04:55 AM
Rita, I was just brainstorming...

Why not a food warmer speed on a microwave? Most are compact and would help retain moisture. Takes up no additional space. Anybody heard of such. I have never used the lowest speed on a micro.