You can generally get two depths of warming drawer: 140mm and 290mm depth. The former is great for general tasks such as warming plates, and the latter (also known as a Sous Chef warming drawer) can be used in the same way as the shallow one, but also to heat larger pieces of crockery such as casserole dishes.
Consider the kinds of things you want your warming drawer to do. If it is just keeping crockery warm, then a small one will likely be sufficient and save you some money. Anything more, such as cooking or proving dough, and a taller model could be worth the investment.
Just as with other drawer types, warming drawers can only hold a certain weight. Breaking this could mean a warped drawer or long-term damage.
Shallow drawers are usually best at holding heavier weights as there is less pressure on the unit as a whole, so try to find the perfect balance between depth and weight by thinking about the dishes and the items you’re most likely to ty and keep warm.
Bear in mind that, while warming drawers usually aren’t automatically included in kitchens, there are usually plenty of places which can accommodate them, such as space under your oven area or where a sliding drawer would often go. But this will often be the shallower sizes.
So, if you live in a rental property or don’t want to make too many changes to your kitchen, a shallower drawer will often be easier to fit. But larger ones are great if you have the space, or if you are installing a new kitchen. Generally, most warming drawers are now released with installing under built-in eye-level ovens in mind.
Always consider the convenience of removing dishes from the drawer when you fit. You don’t want to have to reach awkwardly while carrying hot plates, as this could cause injury or damage.
Also, when thinking about installation, check how the product is presented. Some will need to be hard wired by an expert electrician, but others can come with a plug, meaning you can do the work yourself if no changes need to be made to the layout.
All drawers usually come with power lights to alert you when the unit is switched on. Other things to look out for are:
- Temperature Selection – Some have a range of choice, from lower heat that will warm cutlery without risking cracking it to higher which can even slow cook food. This will boost safety because everything will be the ideal temperature
- Full Extension – Ensure the drawer will extend fully out when open to make it easier to access the contents. You may have to reconsider where you are installing it to make this happen – don’t place near open doors or tight corners etc
- Automatic shut off – After the unit has not been in use for a while, it is good to know that even if you forget to turn it off manually, it will do so automatically