To store or not to store? That is the hotly debated question.

By Hayley Sugg
Updated February 01, 2021

Tucked underneath most ovens is a spacious drawer, though it is sometimes easy to forget. While plenty of oven models have this extra space, what exactly its purpose is remains a source of contention in the cooking community. It's even so widely argued that there's a dedicated Snopes page for the issue.

So what exactly is the point of your bottom oven drawer? Well, the answer actually depends on which model of oven you own. By checking out your user's manual, you'll be able to see exactly what the manufacturer labeled the drawer as. For some it's simply extra space, but for others it's a helpful kitchen tool. Read on to learn the three common uses for your oven's bottom drawer:

The Oven Drawer Could Be for Storing

Most people utilize their oven's drawer for storage, whether or not it's meant to be used that way. Cookie sheets, cupcake pans, and more are often stuffed in there for the next time a baking urge strikes. Be warned though, this space can get fairly warm from the oven above it, so only put tools and equipment that can stand some higher temperatures. Your bamboo placemats will need to find another place to crash.

Or It Could Be for Warming

The other common purpose for it is to be a warming drawer. This is a spot to stick dishes so they stay warm while you finish cooking the rest of the meal. It's helpful when you're hosting a party, the holidays are hopping, or you just mistimed making dinner.

It Might Even Be a Broiler

Gas ovens that contain their heating unit in the bottom may save the space as a broiler drawer. This is often a very narrow space that acts as a broiler and fits baking sheets and casserole dishes. It's ideal for browning the tops of casseroles, caramelizing chicken skin, or even roasting vegetables. If you try to stuff items in this space for storage, they could be scorched the next time you light the broiler.

Bottom Line

The only way to learn the purpose of your oven's bottom drawer is to check out how it's labeled in your user manual. If you don't have this handy, often Googling the brand and type of oven can bring up a PDF version of the manual.

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