How Do You Use a Warming Drawer?

A warming drawer can be used to keep meals warm and moist, to proof rising bread dough and as a slow cooker. With humidity controls, warming drawers can also be used to keep pizza and other dry foods crispy and hot.

Warming drawers use a quarter of the energy of a conventional oven, so they save electricity. Warmers generally have high, medium and low settings and can be equipped with a lower bread dough proof setting. Set the temperature to medium or high to keep meats, seafood and poultry warm. If more than one food is stored in the drawer, place the item with the lowest temperature on the rack and place the higher-temperature food below.

Many warming drawers come with humidity controllers or slides that vent the sides of the drawer, allowing steam and moisture to escape to keep food crispy. To keep foods moist, cover them, and close the vents, trapping the steam inside.

Some warming drawers are equipped with a slow-cook function. This feature should have two settings, high and low, just as in a counter-top slow cooker. Use oven-safe cookware or pans, and plan four to five hours for the high setting and eight to 10 hours for the low setting. Place the dish in the bottom of the warmer, not on the rack.