Waiting for every one of your guests to arrive can take forever. Well, most of them may not have a problem with keeping time, but many variables can make them run a little late. Maybe the traffic was dragging to a standstill, or the car broke down halfway through.
Regardless, keeping food warm for hours is essential, and it is an art in hospitality. People appreciate hot food, and they feel welcome, and that is the primary goal.
Best practices dictate that you should prepare food early enough so that your guests don’t have to buy time waiting for the pork in the grill to get ready. Patience is golden, but it can sometimes be boring. Don’t make your guests wait for the food to get ready.
But which are the ways that you keep food warm for hours?
It is not easy to keep the meat warm for hours
And while there are a few methods that you can use to keep food warm, not all of them are quite efficient. Some of them negatively affect the quality of the meat, and it becomes hardened or loses texture. It is not often as easy as it may seem.
However, nothing is impossible, especially in the culinary world. There are a few useful methods that you can use to keep the meat warm for up to 6 hours. I am not kidding you, it’s possible!
Serving it hot
What do you do if all the gang from your office decide to spend the weekend at your place? Do you serve them cold meat, after it was done a few hours ago? Of course not!
The simplest method is usually to serve the limbs straight from the grill. Before the gang arrives, make sure that everything is ready, including the meat. Prepare the salad and refrigerate it. Only start the stove or the grill when the first batch of guests starts to arrive.
The grill should be hot and ready for the task at hand by the time the compliments and pleasantries die down. When the guests start taking their seats, the first limb should be ready for serving.
If there are still other guests on the way, you can put away a few limbs or meat pieces, and grill then when they arrive also,
The advantage of this technique is that the guests enjoy the meat while it is still hot and dripping of all the grilling sweetness. Plus, they get to enjoy the show, as you toss and turn the meat on the grill.
Unfortunately, this method is only for fast cooking meats such as steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers, and chops. Also, you may be too busy to enjoy the conversation and the party.
Using the Oven
This method may not be ideal, but you can still use it if you don’t have any other alternative. Preheat the oven and set it between 200°F and 250°F. If you want your food to stay hot for an extended period, keep checking it, and make sure the temperatures maintain at 140°F.
If you worry that the oven is getting too hot, turn it off for some time and the residual heat will keep the food warm. The method is most appropriate for such foods as pulled pork.
The benefit of using the oven to keep the meat warm is that it is cheap and easy to use. Most of us have ovens in our homes, and this method is a great alternative.
Unfortunately, the method may not be appropriate for such foods as chicken, briskets, and steak. The food may continue cooking, and it may overcook by the time all the guests arrive. Brisket, in particular, may dry out and become tough.
Commercial food warmers
Hotels and outside catering business need dedicated methods of keeping the food warm for longer. The food may be cooked in one place, transported, and served in another place. In such a case, commercial food warmers would be the most appropriate and hassle-free.
There are electric and non-electric models on the market, and they are entirely appropriate for businesses. For home use, commercial food warmers may be impractical and expensive.
Using the chafing dishes for slow cookers
For stews, mashed potatoes, hot vegetables, and sauces among others, you can use the chafing dishes or slow cookers to keep them warm for longer.
Keep the chafing dishes and the slow cookers at a low setting, and it will keep the food warm. The downside is that you may notice a change in texture and flavor of the food.
The ceramic warming plates are excellent in retaining heat, and you should invest in a few of them if you often entertain guests at your place. All you need to do is put them in the oven and set it at around 200 degrees F. The toaster oven, and warming drawer is other options that you can use with warming plates.
You will need to keep a thermometer at hand to make sure that the food temperatures do not go below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is the danger zone at which bacteria would grow and multiply.
It is also essential to inform the guests that the plate is hot to prevent burns and other accidents. Make sure not to shock the plate by placing it on a cold surface, or you may need to shop another one sooner than later.
Keeping the food warm can be as simple as grilling the hotdogs, chops, and steaks as your guests arrive. Other methods such as the oven, and the warming plate are ideal for certain types of foods, and they are cheap to use. On the other hand, commercial food warmer is more appropriate for events with many people, such as a company outing. The chafing dish and slow cookers are for the hot vegetables and mashed potatoes, among others.
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About Joseph Jr.
Hi, I am Joseph from California. I am a shop owner and blogger. Blogging is my hobby actually. I usually love to do camping at different places. In this blog, I will write about some kitchen appliances.