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Article

It’s all in the drawer

Appliances that traditionally open with doors are now showing up as drawers

Fine Cooking Issue 76
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The next generation of kitchen drawers doesn’t merely help you organize your cooking supplies—these drawers actually work for you: microwaving food, chilling it, keeping it warm, even washing the dishes.

Dishwasher drawers

Anyone who’s ever run a not-quite-full dishwasher and felt guilty about wasting water and energy will appreciate these new double-drawer dishwashers. In the space of a standard 24-inch wide dishwasher, you get two independently functioning dishwasher drawers. Use just one for small loads; for large loads, use both.

Some manufacturers offer single drawer units, which can be installed creatively around the kitchen and are ideal for small households. Single drawer units start at about $740 and double units at $1,260.

Microwave drawers

At last, a truly clever answer to the decades-old question: Where to put the microwave? Sharp’s new Insight Pro Microwave Drawer—the first of its kind—installs neatly into any 30-inch-wide space beneath a counter or cooktop, placing the microwave at a convenient height and creating a sleek, integrated look.

The drawer is large enough to hold a 9×13-inch baking dish and slides open with the touch of a button. When it’s time to stir or turn the food, just open the drawer and reach in—no need to remove a dish from the oven. Available in black, white, or stainless-steel finish for about $850.

Refrigerator and freezer drawers

No doubt, these are the coolest drawers in the kitchen. They can go virtually anywhere, so you can store fresh ingredients wherever it’s most convenient for you. Manufacturers offer a variety of finishes, including models that accept custom cabinetry panels for a fully integrated look. Prices start in the $2,000 range.

Warming drawers

The hardest part about cooking a big meal is keeping everything warm until serving time. A warming drawer solves this problem more effectively than an oven on low heat or a microwave. Designed to keep food warm without cooking it further, warming drawers have precise temperature and humidity controls to ensure that moist foods stay moist, and crisp foods stay crisp.

Stand-alone drawers range from about 24 to 30 inches wide and can be placed wherever you like. They don’t come cheap—expect to spend anywhere from $600 to more than $1,000—but they’re a boon if you love to entertain or if your family rarely eats supper at the same time.

Where to find the products

Dishwasher drawers:
Fisher & Paykel offers single- and double-drawer units. Suggested retail prices start at $739 for singles and $1,259 for doubles; visit Fisherpaykel.com. KitchenAid’s new double-drawer unit retails for $1,299 to $1,699; visit Kitchenaid.com. DCS’s single- and double-drawer dishwashers range in price from about $999 to $1,699; visit dcsappliances.com.

Microwave drawer:
Sharp offers a stand-alone microwave drawer, which can be installed in any 30-inch-wide cabinet opening; the MSRP is $849. Sharp’s Insight Range also features a microwave drawer; prices range from $1,399 to $2,349. Visit Sharpusa.com.

Refrigerator and freezer drawers:
GE’s double-drawer refrigerator retails for $1,999 to $2,299; visit Geappliances.com. Suggested retail prices for KitchenAid’s 27-inch-wide double drawer refrigerator range from $2,399 to $2,499; visit Kitchenaid.com. U-Line offers three different two-drawer units starting at $2,059; visit U-line.com. SubZero offers 27-inch-wide double-drawer refrigerator, freezer, and combo units. Suggested retail prices range from $2,875 to $3,000; visit Subzero.com.

Warming drawers:
Warming drawers are available from many manufacturers, including DacorDCSElectroluxFiveStarFrigidaireGEJenn-AirKenmoreMieleThermadorViking, and Wolf. Prices range from about $400 to $1,500.

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