Have you ever found yourself wondering what the difference is between a warming drawer and a proving drawer?
Us too. Some bakers vow there is a difference, others… not so much
So, we thought we’d delve a bit deeper into this mystery and find out if a warming drawer is the same thing as a proving drawer and settle the argument once and for all.
The short answer is: there is absolutely no known difference between the two. Both types of drawers essentially work in exactly the same way, and it is down to the manufacturer’s discretion to decide which name to go with. So why the two different names?
What Is a Warming Drawer?
You may know it as a “baking drawer”, predominantly because the warming drawer is the baker’s best friend.
A warming drawer can be used to help your dough rise, as well as keeping your dishes warm until it’s time to serve them, and can even be used as a slow cooker (depending on the particular make/model).
You can purchase your warming drawer as a standalone appliance that can be built into an area of your kitchen, or it can come as a kitchen-range feature.
Warming drawers are loved by amateur and professional culinary enthusiasts because they help make your cooking life easier. You can use them to prove your baked goods, such as bread and rolls.
However, their most popular function is perhaps that they ensure your dishes stay warm until you’re ready to serve. After all, no one likes a hot meal served on a cold plate!
Your drawer will provide a gentle heat, enabling you to keep plates (and food) warm without potentially burning your hands by using the age-old bottom-of-the-oven storage technique!
Various modern warming drawers come with a slow cook function, thus saving your counter/prep space by not having a separate slow cooker.
What Is a Proving Drawer?
As we mentioned earlier, a proving drawer essentially works the same way as a warming drawer. It does this by providing you with a limited temperature range that is ideal for proving your dough (making it rise properly.)
Most keen bakers understand the importance of the process of letting dough rise before it is baked, so this is where a proving or warming drawer comes in handy.
Some proving/warming drawers come with a proving function because it provides the consistent gentle heat and draft-free area needed for the perfect dough rise.
Is it Worth Investing in a Warming/Proving Drawer?
It’s really up to you and whether you think it’ll get used. It’s a versatile piece of equipment but it really is designed for people who entertain regularly at home, or conversely, make a lot of their own foods from scratch.
If cooking is just a chore for you and serves only the basic function of providing you with nourishment, then a warming/proving drawer is probably a wasted investment.
However, if, like us, you virtually live in your kitchen and can’t wait to whip up a new recipe for your family or dazzle a date with your homemade sourdough, then a warming drawer will serve you well.
Check out our roundup of the best warming drawers in the UK if you’ve decided your kitchen needs one!
Clara is a freelance writer and former chef. Though she may have hung up her apron, her love of food and cooking is still going strong! When she’s not whipping up a verbal storm, she’ll be in her kitchen sipping wine and whipping up a culinary storm.