How To Serve All Of Your Thanksgiving Food Hot

Serving All Of Your Thanksgiving Feast Hot

One of the questions often put to food blogs during the holidays revolves around how to serve all of your food hot when the turkey takes up most of the oven space.

Here are some tricks and tips to help. You probably have enough room in your oven to heat 1 or 2 items while the turkey is in the oven, either on the rack below the turkey or next to it. Pull out the different dishes one week before Thanksgiving, along with your turkey roaster, and test arrangements in the oven. This will allow you to make sure your oven shelves are in the optimal position for warming side dishes before you even put the turkey in the oven! For the best heating results, use the hints below to keep these side dishes warm, and then use the 40 minutes that the turkey is resting in foil to heat and bake the rest of your menu.

Advance planning is key

When you take the turkey out of the oven, it must sit in foil for at least 20-40 minutes before you cut into it. This means you have up to 40 minutes to reheat side items and bake your rolls while the oven is empty.
  • Carefully plan these 40 minutes ahead of time.
  • Have your rolls laid out on the baking sheet and know exactly how long they need to bake.
  • Pull any side dishes you cooked the day before out of fridge an hour before the turkey is ready to come out of the oven so they are at room temperature and will heat much faster. Have them ready to pop in the oven.

Use a Homemade Bain Marie To Keep Thanksgiving Side Dishes Hot

Hot boiling water on the stovetop is your best friend. Most chefs always have water boiling in a stock pot during the dinner rush for emergencies. It can be used for last-minute cooking, last-minute gravy, and more.

Making a homemade bain marie using boiling water is easy. Place a foil roaster on top of a saucepan of boiling water. Carefully place one of your cooked casseroles inside the foil roaster so that is is balanced atop the sauce pan and will not tip over. Now, carefully and slowly pour hot water into the roast pan halfway up the side of your casserole dish. You now have a homemade “bain marie” keeping your side dish warm.

If you have potatoes cooking on one burner, and gravy cooking on another, this leaves you two more burners you can use as a hot water bath to keep side dishes warm.

Use Your Built-In Warming Drawer In Your Electric Range

That big drawer under your electric oven where you store roasters, pots, and pans? That is actually a warmer drawer. Of course, using it means cleaning it out and degreasing it before Thanksgiving, but that is the real function of that drawer, as opposed to storage.

Insulated Styrofoam coolers are also an option. These are great at keeping food hot, and there are many tricks for keeping food extra hot if the situation requires it. One of the most effective ways is to heat bricks on your outside gas grill. Get them really hot, wrap them in foil, and place in your Styrofoam cooler beneath your side dish. Cover with insulating material such as newspaper.

Commercial Hot Food Storage box that is Stackable from CambroAnother possibility is to invest in a Cambro Stack & Serve Commercial Hot Food Storage Carrier. These are the boxes that professional caterers use to keep cooked food hot during transport. Cambro's reputation for food storage, and in particular for keeping food hot in their containers, is legend in the foodservice industry. If you entertain often, or if you frequently take dishes to a pot luck, these stackable insulated containers will keep your hot food hot.

Invest in Buffet Chafing Dishes To Assure You Serve Your Food Hot On Thanksgiving

Commercial Chafers at Rapids Wholesale Mirror Finish with Gold Accents.You will need some room if you want to use chafing dishes, but what a great investment in entertaining, as you can use them over and over again. Rapids has some clearance chafers that have a beautiful mirror finish and gold accents. Set them up on your dining buffet or kitchen bar, or set up a table specifically for the chafing dishes. This is the elegant way to keep your food hot. Friends and family will be impressed.

Invest in a Roaster Oven to Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey

This seem obvious. Take all concerns away and cook your turkey in a roaster oven, leaving your kitchen oven available for cooking your side dishes. Roasters come with removable racks, making it easy to remove the turkey from a roaster and make gravy in the dripping left behind. That means you also free up a burner on your stove top!

There is an App for Serving All of Your Thanksgiving Feast Hot

Of course there is an app for that! We actually have two we heartily recommend. Both are for Apple products.

The first is the KitchenPad Timer, an app which is perfect for cooking multiple dishes that have different cook times simultaneously! You can even customize the app to use a different ringtone alarm for each dish. For iPhone, click here.

The second app is only available for an iPad download. Thanksgiving Menu Maker has a schedule tab that helps you plan out your cooking times. This app also has amazing gourmet Thanksgiving recipes! Our favorite feature, however, is the shopping list planner that adds ingredients to a shopping list as you choose your recipes!

*Rapids Holiday Shipping Schedule

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