Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Dec 6, 2012 12:26 PM

Sterno rack food warming advice needed

We are throwing a holiday luncheon in my office this year - the idea is that those of the staff that care to will cook at home and bring in a dish. I know that according to food safety guidelines, one should not try to heat cold food over sterno. All we have for heating purposes is a small microwave oven. Any suggestions? Many people are telling me that regardless of the food guidelines, I should just heat the dishes over the sterno (which will apparently take a couple of hours).

This is how this came about - one of our other offices does this every year but they have access to an oven to heat the food first. Then they are able to keep the food safely warm over the sterno.

I don't want to cancel this - does anyone have any genius ideas for how I can safely heat this food? Note: 90% of us will be taking public transportation to the office.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try to encourage the use of crockpots for items that must be kept hot, sterno's barely keep food warm nevermind heat food to desireable levels (all the while putting everyone at risk of high levels of bacteria). Otherwise suggest dishes that will be good at room temperature or cold.

    1 Reply
    1. re: joe777cool

      Thanks Joe - I've decided to bring in a two burner hot plate to heat the pans first and then keep warm on sterno - it will be a pain, but I think it will work without putting everyone at risk. Crockpot - good idea too, if anyone has one and wants to carry it on the subway, I'll encourage that.