While there's no question that warming drawers add value to any outdoor kitchen, it may not be so easy to be certain about which warming drawer is best for your space. There are many different manufacturers and many different models. Choosing a warming drawer based on the following factors will help guarantee the right choice.
Stainless steel is the predominant material used for warming drawers, but you'll want to make sure your drawer is made with high-quality 304 stainless steel for maximum durability. You can also find outdoor kitchen warming drawers in a variety of colors and trims to work with the style of your outdoor kitchen. Aside from the stainless steel option, you can choose an integrated drawer front which will allow for a custom wood panel and handle hardware to blend in with your kitchen cabinetry.
2. TEMPERATURE SETTINGS
The warming drawers on the market can be set to maintain a wide range of temperatures, depending on the model. Typically, they operate in a range of 50 to 250 degrees, with some models giving you more precise control than others. Aside from the range, one other thing worth considering is the feel of the unit's controls. Additionally, some models have a "proof," or low-temperature setting, that allows for the rising of the dough. The higher temperatures offer you the flexibility of keeping prepared foods warm or soups piping hot.
3. INTERIOR CAPACITY
High-quality models offer a generous 1.6 cubic foot capacity, which translates into the capacity for up to 6 standard dinner plates.
Typical electrical requirements of modern warming drawers are in the range of 120 Volt, 60 Hz, AC only 15 or 20 Amp. With a power supply plug with a 3-prong ground plug, your unit should be grounded to avoid any risk of fire or injury. Also, make sure that you follow the instructions in the user manual for proper installation.
4. ADDITIONAL FEATURES
As for additional features, it's up to the owner to decide how fancy they want to get. Today's market offers lots of really cool features, such as adjustable moisture vents, which allow for humidity control, letting you keep foods dry and crispy or moist and tender. You can also find units with a flush panel face - perfect for seamless integration in your outdoor BBQ kitchen island. Other units offer cooking assists, such as a red light that turns on when the control knob is set and cycles “on” and “off” with the heating element as the temperature is maintained.