What's the best way to keep food warm and moist for a party?
May 2, 2007 8:41 AM   Subscribe

I'm making some chicken chipotle and Mexican rice for a party this Saturday. I'd like to prepare the food about an hour before people arrive, and I'm looking for the best way to keep everything warm without drying it out. (I don't have a proper chafing dish -- just a buffet set with uncovered aluminum pans and sternos underneath.)
posted by zembla3 to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Cover it with foil and keep it in a 200-degree oven
posted by briank at 8:51 AM on May 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

Or cover it with clear wrap so that the steam is visible, a little bit safer for the first person popping it open.
posted by Freedomboy at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2007

Do you have a crock pot? It should be fine on warm, but you can always put it in a dish inside the crock pot (and put some water in the bottom of the crock pot to keep the humidity up) if you'd rather. You can also do this with a rice cooker if yours is big enough and has a "keep warm" setting.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:07 AM on May 2, 2007

Keep the food in a warm oven. Place a damp paper towel over the top of the food, then cover with aluminum foil. You can also place a oven safe bowl of hot water in the oven with the food.
posted by echolex at 10:26 AM on May 2, 2007

freedomboy: plastic wrap in the oven???
posted by Kellydamnit at 11:40 AM on May 2, 2007

re: kellydamnit

word. i would not put saran wrap in a 200-degree oven.

tin foil's gonna be fine.
posted by wreckingball at 12:30 PM on May 2, 2007

Use the foil.

Methods I've used:
* crockpot
* rice cooker
* big shallow pan of hot water in a warm oven
* prewarming a "cooler" with hot water, dumping it out, and then putting the prepared food inside
* making a steam table out of my range, by setting large pans on simmer and then stacking smaller pans inside. You can put the smaller pans one on top of the other even.
* wrapping steaming hot towels around the outside of serving dishes

In general, ceramics and glass will hold their heat better than metal pans, so if you need to stash things in their serving dishes, try not to use the metal ones.

Enjoy your party!
posted by nita at 7:30 AM on May 3, 2007

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