Keeping foods warm while other foods get ‘done’

If you’re preparing several foods that get “done” at different times, you often can successfully hold most hot foods for about 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven set to 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit. For longer than this, check frequently with a food thermometer to assure the food is remaining at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above. If necessary, adjust the oven’s temperature to a higher setting. Keeping foods hot for extended periods — more than a couple of hours — may reduce the quality of the food.

Examples of ways to keep foods warm include:

• Place pancakes or waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet as they’re made if you want to serve them all at the same time.

• Keep hot takeout food — such as barbecued meat or Chinese food — warm by transferring it to an oven-safe baking dish while you prepare another dish to serve with it.

• If you mash potatoes in an oven-safe saucepan, place them in the oven to stay warm while you finish preparing the other foods.

• When stir-frying foods in several batches, transfer heated foods to the oven until all foods have been stir-fried.

• Chafing dishes, preheated warming trays, multicookers, slow cookers or toaster ovens may also be used to keep food warm.

Cindy Williams41 Posts

Cindy Williams is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of food and nutrition.

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