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Keeping Food Warm

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I recently had friends over for dinner and I created a taco bar. I made three types of meat, chicken, pulled pork and skirt steak with all the different additions, such as cheese, tomatoe, onions, cilantro, salsa, sour cream, etc. Everything turned out well, however the meats cooled quickly after taking out of the oven and cutting into bite size pieces for the tacos. Any suggestions for the future in a method to keeping these warm the next time I prepare them?

My first thought was to warm the serving plates, place them on a heating pad, and maybe covering with aluminum foil. Anyone have other ideas?

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  1. Personally for catering, chafing dish.

    For home .. and for me. I use a aluminum tin just a 1 large one or 3 small ones. Put one of those heat bad you buy for your back neck arm etc from the drug store and put in on the bottom on the tin. Put a decorative napkin on top and then set the dish of meat on top. Now cover with a piece of foil taped to the bottom of a napkin. No one will ever know it is just foil. It looks decorative, pretty and keeps the food twice as hot for a long time. I do this all the time. The secrete is use a shallow aluminum tin so it is covered easily and know one will know even a small pan is fine too. Also use a larger not deep pan for the meat. Deeper stays warmer but cools at the top quicker and doesn't stay warm. I like a shallower dish. Cheap way to keep things warm. You can also get the packs you warm up in the micro. They also last about 1 hr. Cheaper in the long run and not expensive by any means.

    Small crock pots too. Also there are some nice casserole and clay pots that stay warm, but the above is so much easier and no one would know. I use it not just for meat but for many dishes, dips, to keep pies or deserts warm. It doesn't keep them hot but warm.

    1. A warming tray is really convenient. Makes a good holiday gift too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JudiAU

        Yep works well too, many options. I was trying to offer something without anything permanent, but if you have the room by all means go for it.

      2. Put them in a heated crockpot, covered cast iron cookware that has been preheated in the oven; or whatever other heavy, heat-retentive cookware you have at your disposal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          I mentioned good clay or pots that retain heat. Small crocks but sometimes even in cooler weather that doesn't hold up. But agreed. I have some small cast irons I use for dips. They look like old fashioned mini pots. Fun to serve dips in and they last forever. I wish I could find them again. Not the same quality however. I love them.

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