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How To: How to keep food at that ready-to-serve temperature.

Summer Well Between 2021

Warm and toasty.

1. No warming drawer, no problem! Some ovens come with a warming drawer which will automatically set the temperature anywhere from 170 - 200 degrees fahrenheit. If an oven doesn’t have that option you’re still in luck! Just manually set it to bake at 200 - 250 degrees fahrenheit. Pro tip: Cover the baking dish or cookie sheet with aluminum foil to assist with keeping warmth and moisture in and to prevent food from drying out.

2. Warm plates for serving. But first, always make sure your plates are oven or microwave safe. To warm plates in an oven, set the temperature to its lowest setting (roughly 150 - 200 degrees fahrenheit), stack the plates and then set them inside the oven for 15 minutes. If you’re in a time crunch you can always stack plates in a microwave instead for approximately two minutes. When using either method, don’t forget to use oven mitts!

3. Invest in a chafing dish. Choose from a single time use or one to reuse. When it comes to chafing dishes you get to choose! Regardless of what best suits you, friends and family will appreciate knowing their food is safe to consume.

4. Purchase hot packs. Keep a few of these on hand for when you travel with your insulated casserole carrier on the go. They’re super easy and pack some heat!

*The FDA suggests keeping food warm at an internal temperature of 140 degrees fahrenheit or more.

Cool as a cucumber.

1. Start with smaller portions. Just because it’s been prepped doesn’t mean it needs to be added to the table just yet. Keep the large bowl of guac and homemade salsa in the refrigerator while plating a smaller portion into another bowl first. Then, once you see that it’s running low, fill it up by grabbing from the large refrigerated bowl that is cold and ready to go!

2. Grab a cooler mat. Whether you're comfortable at home or enjoying a picnic at the park, a cooler mat is where it’s at! Simply freeze, unroll and you’re ready to go. No wet and soggy mess!

3. Make an ice tray or bowl. Keep foods like shrimp, pasta salads and sliced cheese cool by serving them on a chilled dish placed over a slightly larger tray or bowl lined with ice! If you’re looking to add color to a spread, try placing leaves of lettuce over the ice for a elegant presentation.

*The FDA suggests keeping cold foods cool at a temperature of 40 degrees fahrenheit or cooler.