Warming drawer or no?

cookncarpenterDecember 4, 2012

Now empty nesters, re-doing the kitchen one last time(?) Thought I had my game plan set, but still tossing a few options around.
Have had a Thermador warming drawer for 26 years, and used it more often in the begining, when family was young. Now, maybe 3-4 times a year, if that. Relatively small kitchen, in which every cubic inch is valuable, I have calculated some of the losses and gains: Switching from cooktop/downdraft, to range/hood (which could be a whole seperate thread) = loss 5.5 cu.ft. under cooktop. Three new deep drawers where wall oven is now = gain 10 cu.ft.! ...sounds like a win right? Nope, new refer height requires loosing half the cabinet above existing = loss 4.7 cu.ft. which isn't replaced anywhere, and puts me at about a .2 cu.ft. loss overall in storage, which I'm sure could live without. Besides, deep drawers low, are much more useful than that high shelf above the fridge. However, if I don't replace the W-D, I can gain another .33 cu.ft. drawer in it's place, (not to mention save $1300 or so) So to warming drawer or not. Will I miss it? Yes, on those few occaisions when I would use it. Would I appreciate another deep drawer in it's place? Of course! Or is now the time to purge and clean out some of the stuff we haven't used in years, and accept a bit less storage, and enjoy having the W-D there when I need it... decisions, decisions

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I don't use mine very often either. It's just like you said, at Thanksgiving or big gatherings. Other than that it just sits there waiting for attention. I would be tempted to forego the warming drawer.

I am also going to clean out the STUFF (JUNK) I don't use that often. for ex: Do I really need 6 cookie sheets? I admit I am a pack rat and have a difficult time parting with my things :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:00PM
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One advice from gardenweb forum is that the actual location of the warming really matters. Something that is immediately next to the cooktop (ex: top right drawer next to cooktop) is more likely to be used in a regular basis. My neighbors who are senior citizens use their warming drawer every day.. Make meals, keep it warm until they are ready to eat. She will often make a casserole for dinner and they will go for a long walk and come back to sit down to a warm meal. I don't know if you bake or make yogurt at home but a warming drawer is excellent for that as well. If you will kids visiting, it is nice to be able to make a bunch of pancakes and eggs keep it warm until everyon assembles to eat brunch. More and more I find that families do not all eat at the same time. This is often frustrating for the cook who has put in the effort to cook something nice but family members are not ready to eat or eat hours later when it is cold or needs to be microwaved. I am hoping the warming drawer will let plate it and keep it warm and moist until they want to eat.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Debbi Branka

We just got ours about 6 months ago. It serves as a slow cooker too. I don't use it daily or even weekly (I don't cook often), but I use it as my slow cooker now, and it was awesome for Thanksgiving. I'm really glad I chose it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Aren't there ranges that have a warming drawer in them? If you are switching to a range, you could shop for one with a warming drawer. Then you can convert current W-D to storage.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:22PM
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My GE induction range has a WD. We do use it a few times a month, most often when we are frying things in batches, like homemade French fries of chicken strips. Ours cannot be used as a slow cooker though, that is pretty neat!

I am nearing the end of the design phase for our May remodel. A few weeks ago DH and I went through all the drawers and cabinets and cleaned them out. That was very helpful for a few reasons: it allowed us to see how much we really need to plan for in the new kitchen, it allowed us to clear out things that were no longer wanted or needed, and it made it a little easier to survive in the train wreck we have now while we are waiting.

If you haven't done that, then start there. You may be pleasantly surprised, and might not really miss the space the WD will take up.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:30PM
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I toyed with the idea of a WD, but settled on a speed oven that had a warming feature. I got a GE Advantium. I don't use the warming feature often, but when I have, it's worked very well. The first time I used it was with fish and my most recent was last weekend when I got up early and made breakfast. I kept sausage, bacon and hash browns warm until everyone was ready. A speed oven or convection MW might be worth considering as a multifunctional alternative.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:47PM
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I had a WD in my previous home and really missed it when we moved. I use mine several times a week and was really happy to be able to put one in my new kitchen. I've also known a lot of people who've had them and never used them. I think it is one of those things you'd miss if you make use of it.

I love that mine takes the guess work out of timing everything to finish at the same time. I love being able to take things off the grill and pop them onto a warm plate. When we do take out, I keep it in the WD until we're ready to eat. We're having pizza tomorrow night as part of a fundraiser for my daughter's school and the pizza will go straight into the WD so the second slice is as hot as the first. I use it to give dough a nice warm place to rise. It also is used to keep dinner warm for hubby when he works late. Last night for dinner we had meat loaf, roasted potatoes, roasted asparagus and rolls. The meat loaf and roasted potatoes were done in my double ovens and went to the WD while my rolls and asparagus took over the ovens.

Really think about how you'd use it. If you really would only make use of it about four times a year, I'd pass and take the extra storage if you need it. I use my WD more than anyone I know whose had one and I'd really miss it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Thanks for the valuable input! Your comments have made me re think and decide to replace the WD. I know if I get rid of it, I will kick myself every time I go to use it and it's gone. What I will do though, since the wall oven will no longer be above it, is place the new WD higher up and not way down at the very bottom where it is now. Being easier to access might even make us more inclined to use it more often.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:28AM
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I originally was planning on one- but decided against it - I used my GE Advantium as a warming oven today - so for the few times that I need it, I have options.
I went for the storage!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:55PM
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In my remodel of my kitchen, I gave up the WD. I had one in the bottom of my Bosch range and almost never used it even though it was conveniently placed. I ended up storing baking pans in it. I can use my speed oven at a really low heat for the same purpose. If we needed to heat things for a very long time, then that might not work but we don't. I went for the storage and I am glad I did. I feel that the WD is one of those things that is too "monofunctional" for the amount of space it takes up.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Debbi Branka

I forgot to mention that my WD is waist height. I didn't want it at the floor. Just kind of grossed me out putting mashed potatoes in a drawer on the floor. :) Also, I could use my oven on the "warm" setting to keep things warm, but then I couldn't be using my oven to bake things at the same time. This Thanksgiving, I had my potatoes, stuffing, cassarole and rolls in the warming drawer while the turkey was still roasting in the oven. It's my first large gathering that I didn't have to use my second oven in the basement.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:35AM
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