Food is often the highlight of even the best parties. Because of its importance to the success of the party, great care should be taken in choosing and preparing the food. When you choose to serve warm food, take care to make sure it is kept warm throughout the evening. You have several options for keeping your food warm at your next party. Plan ahead and it will taste perfect all night long.
Appetizers are the first food items you will offer to your guests. While they can be made ahead of time, plan to heat them just minutes before your party begins. They will stay warm for a while, but, if the appetizers are served throughout the party, you will need to keep them warm. Aluminum warming trays, heated by small candles, can be set up anywhere because they don't need electricity. These heat evenly and will keep your appetizers at just the right temperature.
Crock pots are great for keeping foods warm during a party. Simply place it in a location where the cord will not be a problem and add your food to it. This is a great way to keep soups, side dishes and hot cheese sauces tasting great.
Warming plates can also be used to keep you party food warm. Simply place the heated dish on the pan and the warming plate will keep it heated. Because warming plates allow you to adjust the temperature setting, you can match the heat with the dish.
Metal chafing dishes are versatile and can keep your food warm for two to three hours. Like warming dishes, chafing dishes do not need to be near an electrical source. They are heated with an ethanol gel in a Sterno can. Add about two inches of hot water to the tray. You can put two aluminum trays inside of the metal dish instead of one and double the food-types that they hold and it also allows you to replace one tray while guests still use the second tray.
Insulated drink coolers can be used to keep foods hot. Simply wrap the food in aluminum foil, place it in the cooler and leave the top on until everyone is serving themselves.
Keeping your drink warm is as easy as using a coffee urn. Capable of serving hot coffee, tea or apple cider, a coffee urn will keep your drink warm throughout your party. A non-electrical sources for warm drinks are insulated carafes.