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Aug 13, 2008 04:59 PM

warming shelf vs. warming drawer?

hello hounds. i was wondering if anyone could weigh in on warming shelf vs. warming drawer. the ventilation hood i'm thinking of for my kitchen (viking chimney wall mount vcwh3648) includes a warming shelf with heat lamps. do people who have this hood use and enjoy this feature? i had been considering getting a warming drawer, as i entertain often, but maybe i shouldn't bother if i have a warming shelf.

additionally, i know there are several threads recommending vent-a-hoods and zephyrs - how do people find their viking hoods? it's top rated on consumer reports.

any advice would be much appreciated!

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  1. Shirlotta, I have a Viking hood, warming shelf and warming drawer so I'll try to answer your questions..

    First, the warming shelf and warming drawer do not accomplish the exact same function. I use the shelf for short-term warming and the drawer for long term.
    EX: when I'm scrambling eggs and everyone is not yet at table, I put the pan under the heatlamp on the shelf for a couple of minutes. That's also where I put completed plates waiting to be served. For large groups, platters and bowls of food are kept in the warming drawer until serving time. I heat a dozen plates in there, warm bread, use it for cheesemaking and rising doughs. The temperature can vary from approx 90 - 175 degrees, another huge bonus, as is the dry-damp vent feature. I got the biggest WD I could find, 36", and am very glad that I did. When it's full, I remember to thank the Gods for this decision.

    I lowered my cooktop 3" from the standard height and had to have some revisions done to accomodate the shelf. Since it is attached to the cooktop, it would have been too low for use. We found a fabricator to make a large SS backsplash and drilled through this to hang the shelf. Potfill is right next to it. I love love love just having a shelf above the cooktop and use it all the time. This is a very handy feature and something I would sorely miss if I ever had to leave this house. I would give up the luxury of the heatlamps before I'd part with this shelf. Truth be told, there are a lot of things I'd give up before I'd let go of the shelf ...............

    The hood has been a joy. It works well, is easy to clean and does everything I expect it to do. Nightly, I turn on the fan when I enter the kitchen for dinner prep, I don't use the heat lamps every day but when I do, I love having them. The dimmer feature on both fan and lights is a big "plus".

    NB: I live in the Phoenix AZ area and do not use the heat lamps much during the summer heat because what they do well, I do not need -- heat the kitchen!

    I wish that I'd put a warming drawer in the bathroom for hot towels, but that's another post.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Sherri

      wow, sherri, thank you for the thorough reply. i really appreciate the information. do you find that the warming drawer does what an oven cannot? i will have double wall ovens, so i'm thinking that one or the other of them could serve to warm food if need be.

      1. re: shirlotta

        Ditto on the double wall ovens. Yes, for some things an unused (key word here, unused) oven can double as a warming spot. Notice I said *unused* oven. For the times I need the drawer the most, parties & holidays, both ovens are generally cranking so it isn't an option.

        Another luxe feature of a warming drawer is the ability to hold a certain temperature. I can set this one on 1 and know that it will hold 90 degrees? Yep. Can I futz with hot water, preheating the wall oven, turning it off and keep checking that it's close to 90 degrees? Certainly. That's exactly what I did for all the years I didn't own this baby.

        For small dinner parties, even kitchen parties, we use the warming drawer to hold some cooked dishes while we settle for a glass of wine before dinner. We're lucky enough to have stunning sunsets and going outdoors to "ooh" and "aah" is a treat, knowing our meal awaits, with hot plates and hot food.

        1. re: Sherri

          i have to say, sherri, you're really selling me on the warming drawer. not that we have access to stunning sunsets from where we are located in brooklyn, but getting to relax for a bit before serving dinner sounds wonderful.

          1. re: shirlotta

            Thanks Sherri! Great info for the rest of us too...

      2. re: Sherri

        what is the exact distance between your heat lamps and shelf?