FOOD

Here’s What That Drawer Underneath Your Oven Is Actually For

by Giovanna Boldrini
Giovanna was born in Rome, Italy and currently resides in South Salem, New York. In her free time, she likes to cook with her children and grandchildren.

They say the second part of your life begins when you realize your kitchen has a secret drawer that’ll change the way you heat food.

OK, fine. No one in the history of the planet has ever said that, but the realization that your standard, seemingly simple kitchen actually has an additional appliance can come as a shock to a lot of amateur chefs.

What is a warming drawer, you ask? One blog describes it as “a household appliance designed to maintain a warm temperature to keep food warm up to three hours without dehydrating leftovers.” So yeah, pretty self-explanatory. But right now you’re probably asking yourself, if this existed in my house all my life, I would absolutely know about it, right? Large functional kitchen devices don’t usually play hide-and-seek — and if yours do, you need to move immediately, because your house is haunted.

So before dismissing the idea of a warming drawer out of hand, have you ever considered investigating all the features of your oven?

We know everything seems normal here...

We know everything seems normal here...

It’s just a standard stove top with oven underneath, like you’d see in any home in America. But if you will, please direct your attention to the little drawer on the bottom.

This is what most people use it for: storage. It’s where the baking sheets and those muffin trays you got from the wedding registry go, unused but for once or twice a year.

But that’s not actually what it’s for! More often than not, the drawer under your stove is actually for warming up food. Hence the name.

This information has been shocking and confusing the world for years.

This information has been shocking and confusing the world for years.

Even if you were one of the few people who knew what a warming drawer was, actually seeing someone use it correctly can be startling.

But more often than not, when neophytes learn this information, they freak out and tell the world with lots of capital letters.

Or emojis conveying sad disbelief. Either/or.

It is truly a rare bit of knowledge.

It is truly a rare bit of knowledge.

Enough so that those “in the know” are fond of bragging about it.

Again, even those who know what they’re actually supposed to be doing with the drawer seem to hardly ever take advantage of it.

Here we find someone asking the real questions. You may never use it at home, but a warming drawer mounted in the glove box would be a hit!

You know the information is shocking when it's been translated to meme form.

You know the information is shocking when it's been translated to meme form.

It even comes with instructions. How have we missed this for so long?

Not that the companies selling the products haven't been trying to teach us...

Not that the companies selling the products haven't been trying to teach us...

Instagram is littered with images of these warming drawers being used for more than storage.

To be fair, the foodie Instagram audience probably already knew this. It’s the rest of us amateurs who’ve been kept in the dark for too long.

But don't get ahead of yourself — not every drawer counts.

But don't get ahead of yourself — not every drawer counts.

It is true that not every one of these under-oven drawers is for warming; some are actually just for storage.  So don’t go putting your guests appetizers in that greasy old space without checking first.

But totally let your baby play in there anytime, because it’s adorable!