In large gatherings or just simple meals at home, it’s as essential to keep the food tasty and also WARM before serving.
Warm food connotes such ultimate freshness delight into the foodUnless it’s a dessert, you always wanted the food being served warm.
However, we are still at a loss when trying to keep the food warm before serving, especially when making big food batches. It’s also a challenge if you have guests coming in late, and keeping the food waiting is such a bad idea. Here’s what you can do to keep the food warm in the oven.
Keeping the Food Warm in the Oven
Just follow the easy steps down below to ensure that you always serve fresh and warm food.
Step 1: Check your oven if it has a warm setting
These days, most modern ovens have improved their technology by adding a “warm” setting once your baked food has been cooked. This keeps the food warm without burning it on the outside. Revisit the Owner’s Manual and look up how you can use the setting.
Step 2: Do it manually
If your oven doesn’t have the warm setting option, you can still do it manually. You need to set your oven after cooking the food at a temperature of 200-250 F depending on how much food you need to warm. It’s ok to preheat the oven beforehand or just simply place the food inside once you turn it on.
Step 3: Prepare the food to warm
Once your oven is set, it’s time to prepare the food that needs to be warmed up before serving. Just prepare a baking sheet or oven pans and have the food moved in there. Cove the baking pans with aluminum foil and let it sit for at least an hour before serving.
If you are trying to warm deep-fried foods such as fried chicken and crispy french fries, place those on a cooling rack covered with aluminum foil. Make sure the aluminum foil is not covering it too tight. This will prevent your fried foods from getting soggy and less crispy. Ensure the skin or external part of the fried food won’t be exposed to the heat so it won’t burn.
Step 4: Constantly check the temperature
Check the temperature as often as possible to prevent your food from burning. You can have a thermometer to check and ensure that the temperature stays on the desired level. Don’t let the food stay in the oven to warm for more than an hour. The food will taste too rubbery or dry when left in the oven for too long to warm. If it’s a stew, the sauce will dry out and get burned. It will be different in terms of quality, and it will no longer taste fresh.
Other Warming Options You Can Try
1. Rice Cooker with a Steam
Rice cookers these days are pretty smart as well. It also has a warm setting option to keep the rice warm and sticky. After cooking the rice, the rice cooker will automatically set it to “warm” mode to stop the rice from further cooking. This will give you more time to warm the rice while waiting for your guests.
You can also use this option for your steamed foods, such as dumplings, buns, etc. Note that when steaming foods using a rice cooker, it will not automatically turn off, unlike when cooking rice. You will do this manually after you finish steaming the food.
2. Simply use an Aluminum Foil.
By far, the simplest and easiest method to do. Once you have finished cooking your food, transfer those into a deep serving bowl, and cover it with aluminum foil. Aluminum foils are excellent in keeping the food warm for at least 30-40 minutes. Just make sure you won’t cover it all too tight so the steam won’t stay up top.
Consider as well the kind of food that you’re wrapping with aluminum foil. Each of those has a different time frame to retain its warmth. For example, a roasted turkey for Thanksgiving can only stay warm when covered with aluminum foil for about 20-25 minutes.
3. Use a Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
Soups, especially, can’t be served cold. So it’s always a challenge to keep it warm while waiting to complete the guests. A slow cooker or crockpot can do the trick for keeping any type of soup to stay warm and fresh. The slow cooker does not extract too much heat that could burn or dry up the food.
That’s the reason why it’s perfect for soups to have it served warm. Still, be careful and don’t let the soup or any food sit in the slow cooker for more than an hour. The texture and taste will still change due to the slow cooking process.
4. Serve the food with warm plates.
Did you ever notice some restaurants are doing this? Other than warming the plates to sterilize it from any possible contamination, it also serves its purpose for keeping the food warm even if the customer has started eating already.
Sometimes when you order, some foods are being served fast, and we’ll have to wait before we eat. Warming the plates does the trick. You can apply the same method at home, especially during winter, where it’s hard to keep any food warm.