Warming Drawers – Pros, Cons & Everything You Need To Know

Warming Drawers - Pros, Cons & Everything You Need To Know

If you’re an avid cook in search of a way to keep food and crockery warm, a warming drawer is a great option to consider.

Warming drawers give you fewer worries about keeping dishes at a desirable temperature, especially when you’re busy preparing multiple courses.

And unlike a microwave or toaster oven, a warming drawer provides your food with consistent warmth, leaving skins crisp and insides juicy.

Let’s dive into the ins and outs of warming drawers and look over a few of my hand-picked favourites.  

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What Is A Warming Drawer?

Warming drawers are small built-in kitchen appliances that come in two sizes, 14cm high and 29cm high. They are handy small appliances that have more uses than you might think.

Primarily used to keep crockery and food warm before serving, warming drawers can also be used to defrost food and are perfect for proving bread. You may have even seen them in action on the Great British Bake Off.

However, one of the most common reasons warming drawers are added to a kitchen is to balance the look of built-in oven appliances.

A 14cm high warming drawer can match with a 45cm compact oven to fit perfectly into a standard 60cm oven niche.

And a taller 29cm sized warming drawer is designed to be combined with a standard 60cm high single oven to fit neatly into a standard 90cm double oven niche.

Warming Drawer Diagram

Advantages Of Warming Drawers

  • More efficient at keeping food warm than a full oven
  • Ideal for keeping plates warm for meal prep
  • Won’t overheat or dry out food like a microwave or toaster oven
  • Perfect for letting dough rise and keeping pastries and baked rolls warm

Disadvantages Of Warming Drawers

  • May take up valuable space in small kitchens
  • Few models offer slow cooking capability
  • Could prove costly if you’re on a tight renovation budget

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Can You Cook In A Warming Drawer?

Yes, you can slow cook a variety of dishes, including beef, poultry and lamb, but only if the warming drawer comes equipped with the appropriate cooking function.

The Miele ESW7120 is the only warming drawer on my list that states it’s capable of slow-cooking meals.

Miele even provides a recipe book for meals using their warming drawer.

Best Warming Drawers

1. NEFF N50 N1AHA01N0B Built-In Warming Drawer

NEFF N50 N1AHA01N0B Built-In Warming Drawer
(Best Overall)

Dimensions: (H)14.0 x (W)56.8 x (D)55.0
Max Weight: 15 Kg
No. Functions: 4
Control Type: Rotary
Key Features: Dedicated plate warming feature / Dough proving function

There’s plenty to love about this particular warming drawer, from its uncomplicated rotary dial control to its sleek dimensions, making it perfect for smaller kitchens.

Its plate warming feature makes it easier to keep serving plates at the ready for spectacular meals. And, the dough proving function is a must-have for any avid baker.

A sleek design, some nice features and Neff’s good build quality make this a great best overall pick for any kitchen.

Check out the latest prices and availability at:
Appliance City

2. Belling UWD14 Built-In Warming Drawer (Unbranded)

Belling Unbranded UWD14 Built-In Warming Drawer
(Best Budget / Unbranded)

Dimensions: (H)14.1 x (W)59.5 x (D)56.1
Max Weight: 25 Kg
No. Functions: 2
Control Type: Touch Control
Key Features: Unbranded design / Soft-closing drawer / Indicator light

This unbranded model from Belling blends in seamlessly with your other appliances, plus it features a soft-closing drawer for safe and quiet operation. There’s even an indicator light that comes on once the warming drawer reaches your desired temperature.

Available in stainless steel or sleek black glass finish. It’s guaranteed to fit in with your new or existing appliances.

Oh, and did I mention it’s also the least expensive option on my list?

Whether you’re seeking an incognito option for your next kitchen renovation or simply want a budget-friendly option, this warming drawer is the one to choose.

Check out the latest prices and availability at:
AO.com – Stainless Steel
AO.com – Black Glass

3. AEG KDE912924M Built-In Warming Drawer

AEG KDE912924M Built-In Warming Drawer
(Best Tall)

Dimensions: (H)29.5 x (W)59.5 x (D)53.5
Max Weight: 12 Kg
No. Functions: 4
Control Type: Rotary
Key Features: Easy-to-use rotary dials / Indicator light

If a tall warming drawer is what you’re looking for, then this model from AEG should fit the bill. At 29.5 cm tall, it’s large enough to hold a stack of dinner plates and other tall dishes. It’s particularly perfect for any keen bakers as the larger capacity is ideal for helping those lovely big bread loaves rise.

The straightforward rotary dial makes it much easier to adjust temperatures as needed. This model also features an indicator light as a reminder for when it achieves your desired temperature.

It’s clean and logo free stainless steel design helps it blend in with any other kitchen appliance. Meaning there’s no need to worry about mixing and matching appliance brands.

If you’re looking for a tall, simple to use warming drawer to blend in with the rest of your kitchen, this AEG model is a perfect choice.

Check out the latest prices and availability at:
Appliance City

4. Miele ESW7120 Built-In Warming Drawer

Miele ESW7120
(Best Premium / Low Temp Cooking)

Dimensions: (H)28.9 x (W)59.5 x (D)57.0
Max Weight: 12 Kg
No. Functions: 4
Control Type: Touch Control
Key Features: Touch control / Wireless connectivity / Built to last / Slow cooking function

I’m a big fan of Miele and this warming drawer is no exception, thanks to its large capacity and multitude of features.

For starters, you’ll have four distinct functions for keeping a wide range of foods warm, from main courses to soups and coffee. The Miele even lets you adjust settings from afar with your compatible smartphone thanks to its built-in WiFi. And with the equivalent of 20 years’ worth of testing, you’ll rest easier knowing it’ll be around for quite a while.

It’s also the only warming drawer on my list that lets you slow-cook meats and other dishes. If you have a rump steak or a leg of lamb in mind, simply pop it in and the Miele will take care of the rest.

While it’s the most expensive warming drawer on my list, it’s definitely the most feature-packed, versatile and well-built appliance. Trust me, you can never go wrong with Miele!

Check out the latest prices and availability at:
Appliance City

Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Everything you need to know about warming drawers and some great options to consider buying for your new kitchen.

The NEFF N1AHA01N0B is my best overall pick because it perfectly blends great features, strong performance and a reasonable price.

If you’re on a budget then the Belling UWD14 is a fantastic choice that can match seamlessly with any other branded appliance.

However, if you don’t mind spending a bit more to get something really versatile, then the Miele ESW7120 is the one I’d pick. A stylish, feature-packed and reliable appliance. You won’t be disappointed!

Whatever your needs and budget there’s your warming drawer on this list!