Should I ditch my already purchased warming drawer? (inset cabs)

kaysdJanuary 25, 2013

I never planned to buy a warming drawer, but I happened upon a Jenn-Air WD that had been a display model on sale for $100. It came with a curved front panel that does not match any of my other appliances, but I figured I could put a wood front on it so it would blend in with the cabinets. That apparently is a problem because I have inset cabinets (vertical stiles that are flush with drawer fronts, but no horizontal rails between drawers). My cabinet maker sent me the following email this week:

"I talked with the Jenn-Air install tech and he said that these should not be installed in a inset application for 2 reasons: 1 there is no adjustment for the front after install and 2 the warming drawer has steam vents in the unit to release the steam so the steam has nowhere to go but out the front or back? The steam will cause damage to finished cabinetry after time."

Now I'm not sure what to do. Should I just cut my losses and ditch the WD? The WD itself I can give to Restore, but I am out the cost of the electrical line I had run for it. Like I said, I never planned on buying a WD and would not have paid full price for one, but I had gotten attached to the idea of having a place to keep waffles warm since I have to make them 1 at a time, keeping some items warm when not everything finishes cooking at once, etc. Our Advantium has a keep warm function that goes down to 140 degrees, but I am not sure if that replaces a warming drawer.

DH says just to inset it because he figures we will use it so infrequently the steam should not cause a big problem. Installing it not inset would just look terrible. I have to make a decsion fast so our cabinets don't get held up any more.


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If your husband is right and you will never use it I would eat the cost of the electrical work and install a usable cabinetry drawer to have storage space.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I have a KA WD. The moist/dry option vents flow down through the bottom of the unit at the front, which for me isn't a problem because mine is just above the floor on the bottom of my oven stack with full overlay cabs.

I have definetly read here that inset cabs and WDs are an issue together. I think there was one brand (Dacor maybe?) that was shallow enough front to back to be mounted flush with inset cabs.


Where were you planning to install the WD?
Are you extra positive where the vents flow?
Your cabs are wood, correct?

I guess all that really doesn't matter because I don't think you'll be able to use the WD. On the other hand, I've never noticed steam coming from my unit. Heat when I open it, yes. Not steam. And if you don't use it often and don't mind losing the storage, you might go for it.

I'm no help. :) Just steam of consciousness post.

This post was edited by breezygirl on Fri, Jan 25, 13 at 14:50

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Dacor has an indoor/outdoor one, possibly only in the 24" width (not sure) that is 21" deep. I have 21" deep cabinets on one side of my island and it was my only option. My micro has a keep warm function and my oven heats up faster -- I could have lived without it. You may find another option for that power and may come to be grateful you have it. Not familiar with your layout or placement, but I would chalk it up as not yet realized potential rather than wasted money.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Post your cab drawings. There are ways to fake inset.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 3:51PM
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    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 4:01PM
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I have a Dacor that we beautifully integrated into my inset cabinets 7 yrs ago. It was tricky and if not carefully planned would not have worked.

Are you positive that the brand you have can be integrated and inset into your cabinetry? A lot of people have been disappointed.

With all of that being said, I would not do it again. My Dacor does not have a crisper function and things get soggy.

Those waffles, you want to keep warm--they will stay warm, but they will be soggy.

If I had it to do over (and I will soon, in a new home) I would skip form over function and find a nice big warming drawer that's not meant to be integrated with a good venting function.

You should use the warming drawer you purchased and not integrate it, so that you can use the crisper function. Truly, what is the difference (appearance wise) between the wd and the advantium if they are both SS. They are both ovens in a sense.

I really do not think it will look terrible and a warming drawer is worth having.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 4:22PM
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I faced a similar dilemma (did not buy the drawer, but had a KA I could buy at a great price). I ended up with a regular warming drawer with a regular panel. I put it by the fridge so the handle and extra stainless will be overshadowed, instead of inset into the island. Perhaps you can order a regular SS panel to fit the drawer? Besides JA, there are some custom companies that do appliance panels as well as appliance companies that sell handles and doors that match their other products. You might be able to attach these to your JA WD.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 4:57PM
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The warming drawer is supposed to go in an oven stack with a Gaggenau Combi-steam on top, then a GE Monogram Advantium 240 (pro style), then a 5" high real drawer, then the warming drawer with a 10.5" high wood panel, and then a 10.5" high real drawer on the bottom.

This is the best image I have of my kitchen layout on Photobucket:

The cabinet style looks similar to this display kitchen, but in walnut veneer, and with an Advantium below the Combi-steam.

I am already a bit panicked that I went a little too far with "function over form" when I purchased the Combi-steam and Advantium to go together. Adding a third, very different style appliance to the stack just seems like way too much. The SS front on the WD bows out, in addition to adding a third handle style. The WD is discontinued, so I can't order the flat SS front (which would look better, but still not great). We are way over budget thanks to some electrical and plumbing problems, so buying a different WD, like the Dacor, is not an option.

DH thinks we will never use the WD. I think I might, but it's hard to tell since we have never had one.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:53PM
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Given that this is already an appliance stack, I would suggest trying to make your existing drawer work as some people have done or else get a SS face. Have you looked on ebay? I am planning a GE warming drawer as well and I like it as it had the dry/ moist function.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 6:24PM
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I agree with your husband. You'll never use it---in that location. Warming drawers receive the most use when they are under or adjacent to cooktops, or they are in a buffet area in a dining space. 5" off the floor means it will be difficult to use, and thus won't be.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 6:58PM
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LWO, it will be 14.5" off the floor, but I get your point. The other cabinets have already been built, so there is nowhere else to put it.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:18PM
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LWO--Kay's WD will not be 5" off the floor. She has a 10.5" drawer below the WD. So 10.5" plus 4-5" toe kick = 14.5-15.5" off the floor. The handle will be even higher than that.

I DO use my warming drawer under my double oven stack. It's just above the floor in the no-no spot. I use it because I have a need. We do use it for waffles like you propose and for many other items. My waffles are crisp because mine has a "moist/dry" slider function. Once you get used to it, I think you'll be glad you have it.

Yours won't even be at the floor like mine is so it'll be easier to get in and out of.

Can you have your cab maker fabricate a panel front for it? I was surprised how little my cab maker charged me for my WD panel. I agree about watching eBay for a panel. You never now what will show up.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:28PM
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I think you're panicking too soon..

You already have the warming drawer. The wiring is done. Correct?

Is this the warming drawer you have?

If so, I think it will look nice with the rest of that stack especially with a drawer in between.

In time, you will be glad you took advantage of your $100. warming drawer instead of ditching it.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:15PM
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OK I see that your drawer is under the wd. Even better.

I would still use the wd with the SS. I think it will look good and I think you will use it.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Go ahead with it as is. If you end up not liking it, you could slide it out and slide a drawer into that space. Let your cabinet maker know that is a possibility. He could go ahead & make the drawer now ?

Or ... depending on where you live maybe you want to sell it to me ? : )

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:42PM
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My WD is on the bottom of the double oven stack so is "on the floor". I use it all the time. It isn't the most convenient place, but it isn't something that I'm in and out of constantly. I've known a lot of people who have WD's that never use them and then people like me who use them constantly. I don't think location is as important as getting in the habit of using one. My WD has a dry and moist setting so waffles don't get soggy.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 9:54PM
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So you have the WD. You have the wiring. You believe you'd use it. Install it. What's the worst that could happen? Sounds to me like the worst thing you anticipate happening is looking over and finding it doesn't coordinate with the other appliances. And the problem with that is? Over time appliances end up not matching, even if they all started out exactly the same -- they'll all have different life spans, and you'll replace them with things that aren't exactly the same. So, this is to say, I would not let a little asymmetry keep me from installing an appliance I already own and would be likely to enjoy. I say go for it.

I'm suddenly craving waffles.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 5:39AM
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Can you switch the Advantium to a monogram. The handles might be closer in style?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Can't the ventilation be directed another way?

I think, though, you should keep the drawer. If it's on the bottom of the stack, it'll look planned even if it's different.

Also, it'll look perfect if you send me your address, I'll come and personally remove all your inset cabinets and take them away for you, so you can buy new ones to go with your WD.

Two solutions.
I prefer the latter.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Hi Kay. Did you decide what to do with your WD?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 3:17AM
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Hi Breezy. I spent a few days scouring the internet and making calls to see if I could buy a different front panel for the WD -- the one with the straight front and straight handle -- but it was a no-go since that model was discontinued over a year ago. I decided I could not live with the curved front panel, as everything else is very squared off and modern. This was one decision where I felt form had to trump function, since it is not an essential item.

I bought the WD on a whim because it was cheap, so I decided to just let it go. It is in my garage waiting for me to find the time to sell it on Craigslist or just donate it to Habitat.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:41PM
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