Best Warming Drawer?

applnutApril 25, 2013

We are replacing our double ovens and have to have some cabinet and electrical work done for whichever new one we select. (That's a whole other saga ;)

And it just so happens that when the cabinet guy was here giving us an estimate, and I mentioned I'd always wanted a warming drawer, he said he thought we had plenty of room at the bottom of our stack, in what is currently just dead space. Checked out some specs and--guess what?--we do! So, now I'm on the hunt or a warming drawer.

I want something stainless front, preferably with a chunky look "professional" handle, that works well. I don't care so much about matching to our existing brands, since all our appliances are different anyway, so I'd rather get the most reliable, or best value, over the same badged name. I currently use my Advantium as a food warmer a few times a week, so it will get used, and won't be just for looks.

I'm seeing lots of options. Is convection something I want, or don't want? Don't care about the "double as a slow cooker" thing, since I don't even really use my actual slow cooker all that often. I do want a full-extension, smooth-opening drawer.

I believe we have room for a 30" and don't think depth will be an issue. Height might, as we can't do a cutout bigger than 12", but that shouldn't be a problem, based on most of the cut-out dimensions I'm seeing.

Will probably want 120V, because it's easier to install electric for that we were told, but most I've seen are 120 anyways, right?

Now that I see it can fit, and we have to do electric and woodwork anyway, I'm excited about getting this new appliance I always wanted. Yay!

Looking forward to suggestions of what to get and what to avoid from warming drawer users.

Thanks in advance everyone!!

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It will never get used down there close to the floor and will be a waste of money.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:21PM
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Thanks for the opinion (and I don't mean that sarcastically), but it will be at basically the same height as my lower oven, and I certainly use that. The reason I didn't get a warming drawer when we first built the house was so many people saying, "You'll never use it," and yet I miss it and find myself using other makeshift methods all the time. As with anything, what works for you, or doesn't, may not work for me, or will.

Does anyone have any actual, specific product advice? They honestly all seem so similar, other than price, that I have no idea where to begin.

I should add that Kitchen-Aid and Jenn-Air are out, as I've historically had extremely bad service from Whirlpool and don't want to go down that road again.

This post was edited by applnut on Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 13:04

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:40PM
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What dbl oven are you going with and how tall are you and your family ???

Basically you don't want the control panel top of a dbl oven to be above 60-65". This puts the bottom of the lower oven approx. 14"-18" above the floor. Subtract the 4" toekick and you're at 10 -14" left for a warming drawer.

Remember the bottom or business end of the drawer is at the bottom , closer to the 4" toekick than the upper 18". Bending down to retrieve or place a plate of food or pan is a pain and just try serving a casserole from down there.

Warming drawers work best when placed just under the countertop. I'll even concede they can work below the top drawer at 28" off the floor. Even here the top of a double oven's control panel will be at 7 feet above the floor. Not workable for anyone save pro basketball players.

As to what: These are pretty simple. They all USED to be a metal box with a broiler element.

Now , those still are available, but the "new" style has convection heating. Either an element encased in a fan or simply a fan to circulate the air with the old school element. The offerings from BSH - Thermador, Gaggenau and Bosch have a heating bed (think floor tile warmers) in the bottom of their drawers and often a fan. Miele's is similar. These are also more like a shelf than a drawer as there really aren't sides to the drawer.

GE Monogram and Wolf's offerings are more like a traditional drawer (with sides) and offer fitted containers with lids.

Dacor's has sides but no containers.

Most these days have timers - which I think is critical.

The other major thing to look for would be how easily it takes a panel - which you are not interested in.

I have owned T'dor in the past - going back to the 70's. I currently have Dacor and Miele. All have been fine - there really isn't a performance difference that's worth paying for.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Great information. I am looking to buy one also.

So applnut, what did you decide?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:28AM
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I ended up going with Wolf, mostly because that's that the brand I choose for my new ovens. It might be overkill, but I decided the longer warranty and better customer service reputation was worth the premium. Frankly, I'm sick of "saving money" on a major appliance, only to have to replace it all too soon, so I thought I'd start with the top end, even for something as simple as a warming drawer.

Since the warming drawer is going below our Advantium (next to, not under, the double ovens). I was this-close to getting a Monogram warming drawer to match the Advantium. I really liked the visible "on" light on the front of the Monogram drawer, since it's too easy to forget something (out of sight, out of mind), but I couldn't pull the trigger after having so many issues with our Monogram double ovens.

FYI, once installed, the bottom of the warming drawer will actually be level with the bottom of the ovens.

This post was edited by applnut on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 15:39

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:40AM
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I didn't chime in at the time, but I think you made the right choice in matching at least one of the nearby brands. The features/performance of all of the brands are so similar, it is better to go with some sort of consistency.

One thing I do miss in my new warming drawer is a timer function. I had that in my Dacor and that feature will be missed. It is easy to forget that you left the warming drawer on. Ours was low in the stack and was used multiple times per week.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:04PM
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