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Thread: Keeping buffet food warm?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Keeping buffet food warm?

    The family's gathering at my house this Christmas and I'm trying to plan my menu, buffet-style. The question is: how do I keep the food warm?? I'm sure to make use of a crockpot, but I was wondering if anyone has any other tricks or suggestions to keeping things warm but not dried out? The one and only time I've used sterno, we ended with an wonderful black mess on the bottom of the pan! Of course, just maybe we should have tried to regulate the flame.....

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    I only have one, besides using a crockpot and chafing dish, I used my fondue pot for T-day to keep the gravy warm on the buffet table, instead of sterno I put a tea light candle under it, kept it the perfect temp, not to hot, not to cold. The first time I did it, I also used the sterno, we had that same black mess.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    I'm not going to be much help on this one, but I'd try to balance the menu with items that are good at a variety of temperatures, or served cold.

    If you want add'l hot selections, you might also consider some type of Fondue. My MIL has an electric hot tray (I'm sure there's a more technical term) that works well. You might see if anyone you know has one. The Pyrex travel systems work well too. I find that the hot packs do a pretty decent job.
    Julie

  4. #4
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    My waffle iron can flatten out to serve as an electric griddle. I haven't used it that way -- but you might have some things that will serve a double purpose.

    Another trick I have used is to heat up my pizza stone and use it as a warming tray. You will need to keep in mind that it will be hot all over, so it will need to be set on something that can be hot and either completely covered with what you put on it or covered so no one burns themselves on it. To be honest, I have used this more often to transport something to another house and to keep a fritatta hot on a breakfast outing in the park. Works great.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Great suggestions!

    Of course, I don't happen to have a fondue pot, but it is now on my Christmas list! (Great idea about the tealight, as well. Gotta keep that in mind! Thanks, Tizzylish )

    And I was wondering about those warming trays, jabelt - do they really keep things warm without cooking the food to leather or mush? I'll have to see what sizes they come in, too - might I be able to fit a big platter on one? That would be great!

    Pizza stone! Beth, that's brilliant! We don't actually use a big pizza stone - we use individual tiles that line one entire oven rack (and we never take them out). I could just warm them up and take out as many as I need for the serving dishes/bowls. I'll definitely use this idea! Thank you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    if you put your own pan inside a disposable aluminum pan you can do the sterno thing and get the black mess on the throwaway.
    What one understands is only half true. What one does not understand is the full truth. ~ Zen saying

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    NJ
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    Originally posted by crackers
    Great suggestions!

    And I was wondering about those warming trays, jabelt - do they really keep things warm without cooking the food to leather or mush? I'll have to see what sizes they come in, too - might I be able to fit a big platter on one? That would be great!

    I haven't used the warming tray often, but when I have it hasn't had a noticeable impact on the quality of the food. The one I use, has 2 settings - low temp & high. I always keep it on low.
    Julie

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