As August trundles on and Autumn creeps ever nearer, there is one huge consolation on the horizon in the form of the much-anticipated annual spectacle that is The Great British Bake Off. The immensely successful show has firmly established itself in our national calendar of events and it has propelled its hosts, judges and contestants like Nadiya Hussain to national treasure status. For the many fans, it means dusting off the baking tins, stocking up the larder with lovely baking goodies and immersing ourselves in all things bake-off for the next ten weeks. The start date for Series 7 is August 24th.
Our new-found love of baking has even changed the way we use and design our kitchens as many of us at home try to replicate the gorgeous tent kitchen with its pastel-coloured appliances and country style.
The bake-off effect
The bake-off effect has had a huge impact on the high street with kitchen and food retailers reporting massive sales of equipment and must-have ingredients featured during the series. One kitchen appliance which was virtually unheard before GBBO, except in professional kitchens and bakeries, is the warming drawer which the contestants use with varying success in the challenging ‘Bread Week’ as Paul and Mary put them through their paces. Now, many of us are rushing to have a warming drawer in our own kitchens with retailers reporting a brisk rise in sales during the series but how do we choose such a new appliance?
What exactly is a warming drawer?
On the Great British Bake Off, the warming drawer or proving drawer as it is often referred to, is primarily used for bread making, where dough is helped to rise in a warm, controlled environment. If you are a keen bread maker or are thinking about taking up bread making, a drawer will be a great addition to the kitchen but it does have uses beyond baking that owners are now finding invaluable.
For the busy cook and especially those that like to entertain, a warming drawer is great for keeping dishes warm until guests arrive and it can help enormously with tricky timings when cooking meals like roast dinners where separate dishes can be kept warm until everything comes together.
Some warming drawers can even be used to defrost food from the freezer and to melt chocolate, which is a great bonus if you’re planning to make lots of bake-off inspired cakes and puddings.
Having warm plates for entertaining is now regarded by many keen cooks as essential and having a warming drawer ensures that this can be done safely and conveniently with different drawers providing different capacities so if you have a large family or do lots of entertaining make sure you get the larger style drawer.
What to look for
As with any kitchen purchase, it’s essential to do your research, speak to friends who have one or seek the advice of your kitchen designer who can incorporate equipment into a new design if you’re starting your kitchen from scratch. Leading kitchen appliance manufacturers all have integrated warming drawers in their ranges to give your appliances the streamlined look and popular brands to look for are Neff, Miele, Samsung and Bosch. Most drawers can be added to existing ovens and are designed to be fitted to give you a flush finish.
The popular Neff range has drawers available in 14cm depth which hold 12 plates or 29cm depth which hold 40 plates so think carefully about how you are going to use yours and what space you have to work with.
Expect to pay between £300 and £400 for a drawer with a variety of settings and functions including cookware and utensil warming functions.
Like most people who now own one, you’ll probably wonder how you ever managed without this exciting new appliance.
Contact us for more information on warming drawers.