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How do you "keep meat warm"?

I've been trying to cook more lately, and I keep coming across recipes that want me to "keep the meat warm" while I finish the rest. What's the best way to do this without further cooking the meat?

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  1. Usually, I'll tent it with foil if it's only going to be a few moments, or turn the oven on a very low temp ("keep warm"). I also happen to have a warming drawer on my oven, but for the life of me I never seem to remember it exists!

    1. You can preheat your oven on low (200-225), put the meat in a Pyrex 9 x13 pan, cover it with foil, and continue on with your recipe. Sometimes I will keep the meat on the top of the stove and not bother with that, if it won't be too long til I need to add the meat back in or plate it. There is often enough heat on top of the stove to keep it fairly warm. You just have to be careful to watch the time, as you don't want it to cool and generate bacteria, particularily if the meat is not fully cooked.

      1. This probably not what you're looking for but it was a very cool idea given to me by chowhounders.

        I was doing a huge BBQ, about 50 Baby Back Ribs, and needed to precook them. I cooked them off without the final sauce and stored them with some tinfoil and towels in a picnic cooler. Finished them with the sauce on BBQ. Worked perfectly.

        1. a tiny little meat sweater....or a 200 degree warming oven with a pan of water in the bottom for moisture..

          1. It depends how long you're talking about, and what kind of meat you're keeping warm.

            A small chicken won't stay warm for long. 10 minutes, 20 minutes tops.

            A large roast for a party, like a rib roast, will stay warm for over half an hour.

            a 150-200 degree oven or a tent of aluminum foil works well, as others have suggested.

            But remember, meat will cook another 5 degrees after you take it out of the oven, and a 5-10 resting time is almost always necessary, so keep that in mind when you're waiting for your meat thermometer to register the "done" temperature.

            1. I'm also a tenter, there's a fine line between keeping warm and partially steaming, and myself, I'd rather eat slightly cooler than ideal meat than a very slightly crisp roast surface or bird skin that's softened up from steam from being tightly covered up.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MikeG

                I have to agree about that. With chicken, I never tent.

              2. I try not to hold over meat for more than 10 minutes - usually the maximum time for it to rest. I do the math and get all the sides started in time for the meat to be pulled off the grill and tented while I finish up the sides.
                Ususally it works out, but if it doesn't the stovetop is usually warm enough to park the meat for a few without drying it out or further cooking it. I tent (unless it's supposed to have a crispy skin, like chicken).

                1. If you need to keep something warm for an extended period, and want to be sure the food stays safe to eat, keep the oven temperature at 140F or above. 140F is the "magic temperature" that kills most dangerous bacteria. I use a digital thermometer, with a remote probe inside the oven, to help me tweak the temp, and keep it at 140F.

                  1. Tent tightly with foil and drape a towel. Leave in the oven on low, 200° or cut the heat after its reached that temperature.