Are you planning on bringing your favorite casserole to the next big family event? Or maybe you decided to get an early start on dinner and your family won't be home for another hour after it's done. How can you make sure it's still warm and toasty after travel? We scoured the web for you to find the best methods to keep your dish warm and ready to enjoy.
Here are the best methods to keep your casserole dish warm:
- Appropriate bakeware
- Insulated carrier
- Towels and a box
- Food warmer
- Leave it in the oven
There are many great options for keeping your dinner warm at home or on the road. One important factor to note is that food that reaches temperatures below 140° F must be reheated before consumption, as this temperature allows for bacterial growth. There's nothing worse than a cold meal, so don't let it happen to you. Keep reading to learn the best ways to employ each method to ensure perfection at the dinner table.
How To Keep A Casserole Dish Warm
Let's dig right into the best methods for ensuring a warm meal is at the table!
1. The Right Bakeware
Metal and aluminum pans are thin and don't work very well to retain heat. Ceramic, cast iron, and stoneware are excellent at retaining heat and can help to keep your food warm for much longer periods of time. Many casserole dishes are made using ceramic, and they're not difficult to find. For an added bonus, find a dish with a lid. Having a lid will also help your food retain heat.
CorningWare Casserole Dish
This casserole dish is made of ceramic and includes a lid to help keep food warm longer.
2. Insulated Carrier
An insulated carrier can help keep your food warm on long trips or at home. They come in a variety of sizes. This allows them to fit a wide range of bakeware and offer heat and cold retention, making it a useful item to have to transport all kinds of recipes. Insulated carriers can help to keep your food warm for hours, making them great for transport.
Poruary Insulated Casserole Carrier
This large insulated carrier can fit even the largest dishes and includes some great features that will help to keep your meals hot during travel.
An old, yet effective, method of transporting hot dishes, the newspaper trick has been helping family chefs for decades. This method is good if you don't have an insulated carrier and need to keep your food hot for a short amount of travel. It's also great for prolonging food warmth at home.
You will need about a half-inch thick stack of newspaper for the best insulation factor. Just take the newspaper and wrap it around your casserole dish, being sure the top of the dish is well covered.
4. Towels And A Box
Grab a box large enough for the bakeware you're using and some thick, plush towels to make your own insulated carrier. First, fold two towels in half lengthwise. Put the first one down vertically, allowing the center portion to rest inside the box's cavity and the remainder to hang over the sides of the box. Place the second folded towel into the box in the same manner, however, this one will lay horizontally.
Now, put your casserole dish into the box and cover the top of the dish with the excess towel drooped over the sides of the box. Fold another towel to fit on top for extra insulation, and you're done.
5. Food Warmer
A food warmer is great for keeping meals hot at home, but can't be used for travel. Food warmers can be found in electric versions. Some are made that can be heated solely by tealight candles, which can also provide a beautiful holiday aesthetic. A food warmer has the potential to keep your food warm for two to four hours before it begins to dry out.
One of the benefits of food warmers is that it can be used for just about any meal and is not limited to casseroles, proving to be a useful tool in the kitchen.
Ovente Electric Food Warmer
This electric food warmer is great for large dishes and allows you to choose at what temperature you would like to keep your food.
Coolers can be quite effective at keeping food warm as well as cold. You can use hard or soft coolers, depending on the size you need. For larger coolers, it helps to add some towels or an old blanket to prevent the food from spilling during travel and help improve the insulation value.
A good cooler like this one can keep your food warm during travel. This model is large enough to fit most bakeware.
7. Leave It In The Oven
One of the best and most simple ways to keep your food warm at home is to leave it in the oven. Many ovens have a "warm" feature that is made for exactly this purpose. If your oven doesn't have this feature, you can turn the oven off and leave the food in, but don't open the door as this will allow heat to escape. This can keep your food warm for about an hour.
At What Temperature Do You Keep A Casserole Warm?
Your food should maintain a temperature of 140°F to stay warm and prevent bacterial growth. If your oven doesn't have a "warm" feature, you can achieve the same result by setting the oven to 200°F-250°F. Make sure to check the food with a thermometer approximately every half hour to ensure a safe temperature is maintained.
How Long Can You Keep A Casserole Warm In The Oven?
You can keep a casserole warm in the oven for two to four hours before it will begin to dry out. To prevent this from happening, it may be best to remove the food from the oven after two hours and transfer it to an insulated carrier or wrap it in towels to prolong the warmth any longer.
How Can You Prevent Food From Drying Out In The Oven?
Using aluminum foil can help prevent your food from drying out if it is being kept warm in the oven. You also want to be sure that the oven does not exceed a temperature of 250°F, and that the internal temperature of the food remains below 165°F. Transferring it to an insulated carrier can also help prolong high temperatures without compromising moisture.
What Is The Best Container For Keeping Food Hot?
The casserole carrier is a favorite for many, while a lot of others claim that the towel method works just as well, if not better. The convenience of the casserole carrier is a huge bonus for the average household, requiring less time, less cleanup, and excellent portability. The food carrier's ease of use, and its ability to effectively keep food nice and toasty, make it the best container to keep your food hot.
This food carrier has some incredible reviews, comes in a variety of different colors, and is large enough to fit most casserole dishes.
Enjoy A Hot Meal
There are many effective ways to keep food warm at home, or on the go. With all of these options, you won't have any problems keeping your food hot for hours. Make sure to be safe when handling hot bakeware and appliances. Enjoy your piping hot meal!
Now that you know the best methods to keep your casserole hot, you might be interested in our post, Does A Casserole Dish Need A Lid? [Here's The Rule Of Thumb].
You may also be interested in our post, Can A Casserole Dish Be Used For Serving?