How to keep food warm in a cooler? You probably wonder about this since the word ‘cooler’ and ‘warm’ sound funny when put together. You will find this more interesting if this is the first time you decide to start smoking meats more often at home.
Believe it or not, keeping foods warm in a cooler is possible. The thing is, slow-cooking is no walk in the park. It can only be done one menu at a time instead of doing them altogether. If you do not have much time and need to serve plenty of dishes, having a cooler to store some is an option.
3 Things to Keep Food Warm in a Cooler
This method is possible. Not only it saves time and energy, but you also get to have plenty of dishes ready when you need to. In fact, there are three different things that you can do when it comes to keeping food warm in a cooler:
1. The Towel Method
As a first-timer in cooking many dishes at one time, you may freak out at first. You invite people over and then realize that you cannot have just one or two menus to serve. Plus, you have to make sure you have enough to serve them when they turn up.
Let’s say you only have five hours prior to having people over. With these steps of this method, you can make it happen:
- Place two layers of towels on the cooler’s bottom.
- Take the meat and wrap it twice in heavy-duty tin foil.
- Put the tin-foil-wrapped meat right away into the cooler, right on the top of the towels.
- If the meat is more than one chunk or block, make sure that each is not on top of each other. Each must stand side by side.
- Cover the meat with more layers of towels on top.
- Keep the cooler’s lid shut. Leave it like that until it is time to serve your guests.
The towel method works wonders if you only have either 30 minutes to five hours. You can do this with a lot of cork pot dishes and baked menus.
2. The Brick Method
How to keep food warm in the cooler with this method? The trick is to add more heat into the cooler. This works well if you have to have a picnic outdoor during cold weather. This strategy will give the cooler a decent room temperature (68 °F).
You may begin by wrapping two bricks with heavy-duty tin foil. For 15 to 20 minutes, leave the wrapped bricks in the oven with the temperature between 275—325 °F. Meanwhile, prepare a towel to line the bottom of the cooler.
Once the wrapped bricks are ready, place them on top of the towel-covered cooler’s bottom. After that, cover those bricks with another towel on top. Next, put the meat or any foods you would like to keep warm on top of the upper layer of towel. The last bit of this strategy is to place another layer of towel on top of that meat or food.
This is how you keep food warm in the cooler with the brick method, all with an extra time.
3. The Thermos Method
This method works wonders for soups and dips. You might want to reconsider using a pan or a Tupperware for keeping food warm in the cooler, though. The problem is, if the cooler tips over, the contents will spill.
A safe alternative to that would be to use a thermos. By putting your soups or dips in thermoses, no such tragedy will occur. All you have to do next is to place the thermoses in the cooler. Thermoses have tight seals, so nothing spills easily.
Another thing to consider with this method is food safety. If the food only needs between 40 to 140 degrees in cooking, keep them refrigerated before two hours. You may follow USDA’s guidelines, just to be on the safe side. If you are still unsure, you can always use a thermometer in the refrigerated to make sure it is still both edible and safe.
How to keep food warm in the cooler? With these three methods, you can make that possible. They will save you time and energy—no more panic attack when you have to serve people at the last minute.