A party is a perfect time to introduce your friends and family to new dishes, but it can be hard to keep everything at the right temperature.
All it takes is some strategic planning ahead of time to keep your hot dishes warm for the whole evening. The key is in controlling temperature so that it never rises above 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).
Whether you’re hosting a small dinner for two or an extravagant holiday celebration with dozens of guests, here are some simple tips for keeping food warm that will help make your event go smoothly.
Using an insulated pot holder
It can be difficult to keep food warm during a party, especially if the cooking is done outside. The best way to make sure that your guests are well-fed and comfortable is by using an insulated potholder.
This will allow you to serve your guests’ food straight from the dish without having it cool down too quickly or burn on the stovetop.
It will save time and frustration while keeping the dish hot without overcooking it.
Using a slow cooker
Sometimes making food ahead of time and keeping it warm is the simplest solution for keeping your food at the right temperature. One way to do this is by using a slow cooker.
By cooking the dish in advance and storing it in a low setting, you can keep your party running smoothly without needing to rush around the kitchen
This is especially helpful if you have young children or guests who need to eat earlier than the rest of your meal will be done.
Keeping food warm in a second stovetop
Another option is to place another stovetop near the party area so that you can keep your food warm without it taking up space on the original stove.
This method is especially effective if you’re having a large gathering and need to use the stove for other purposes, such as cooking side dishes or reducing sauces.
Using aluminum foil balls on top of the casserole dish or bowl
Another good way to keep your food warm is by using aluminum foil balls a top of the dish with a candle underneath it. That way, as long as you don’t blow out the candle or let it run out of fuel, then your dish will stay nice and hot for hours on end.
This method works great because it uses convection heating which helps retain heat in the oven while also helping to cook the food directly on top of the aluminum foil ball (since they act like mini little pans). Plus, this method is really easy to do since the only tools you’ll need are aluminum foil balls, a baking tray for the candle, and a lighter.
Using an electric hob outside of the oven
Electric burners are portable so they don’t take up much space when not in use. And they’re pretty inexpensive too.
This is one solution to help solve your outdoor cooking dilemma. For this method, you simply plug in the burner and place a pot with your food onto it to simmer.
If you have to keep your food warm for an hour or two before everyone’s ready for dinner, then simply turn on the heat as high as it can go
Remember though, whatever you do, don’t let the temperature rise abovev140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).
Once the food is hot enough, turn it off until you’re ready to serve
Having a backyard grill station
Another great way to keep your food warm for your party is by having a separate station on your backyard grill. If you have an outdoor built-in grill then that might be your best bet. If not, then simply bring in an electric grill during the party and turn it on when needed to keep your food warm.
The benefit here is that you can cook the meat earlier in the day and leave it until just before serving time. This way, all you have to do is light up the grill, put on the meat, and turn it on.
Keeping food warm in an oven
Finally, consider placing your dish in an oven instead of on the stovetop. This will allow you to keep it at a low temperature without having to monitor it constantly
All you need to do is set the oven temperature to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit (95 degrees Celsius) or lower and keep your food in there until you’re ready to serve it.
This technique can be especially helpful if you have a large amount of food that needs to be kept warm, as this will allow you to use only one stovetop while keeping the food warmer for longer.
There are other methods that you can but they are not options that can keep food for as long as the methods listed above. These include –
- Use oven mitts when handling hot pots and pans so you don’t burn yourself.
- Choose one large pot to cook all the meat in instead of using individual pots on the stovetop. This way it will stay nice and hot until everyone’s ready to eat.
- When serving soup as a first course, use a heated pitcher instead of pouring from a bowl so it stays niceand warm and doesn’t cool down too quickly.
And lastly, when you’re in a pinch and want to reheat your food quickly, use the microwave. This is an option that should only be used for smaller quantities since it might make the food dry or rubbery.