Keeping food warm in oven?

beth4December 19, 2009

I'm cross-posting from the Cooking forum.

I don't have a warming drawer, but I do have a Wolf range and it has 170 degrees as its lowest setting. It also has a "proof" setting of 85 degrees, but I think that's too low for keeping food safe.... But I freely admit I know nothing about keeping food warm for significant periods of time.

I'm providing the entree for tomorrow's neighborhood progressive dinner -- seafood bisque & rice. Cocktails, appetizers, soup & salad courses will be at other houses, then neighbors will come here for the entree.

I plan to bake the bisque and prepare rice, then place them in my oven, with temp set at 170 degrees --- for the 1.5 hours of the preceeding courses.

Do you think that will work for keeping the food in good, serving condition? I do plan to cover thoroughly with tin foil to ensure bisque doesn't dry out.

I'm wondering if I should add a large pan of water, so that moisture can be circulated in oven at the 170 degrees, to simulate a warming drawer.

Your advice and suggestions will be MUCH appreciated.

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You are right that the 85 degree proofing temperature is inappropriate for keeping food warm. After all, that is the temperature which is ideal for the yeast to grow!

The 170 degree setting is likely fine. The ideal temperature for cooking a hard boiled egg is 165 degrees. Your water pan sounds like an excellent idea.

What time do we stop by?? ;-)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2009 at 12:24PM
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85 degrees .....hmmm.........think, setting your food out on a hot summer day. Nope! But then, you knew that deep down!

Merry, Merry!!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2009 at 7:25PM
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A report back. I hosted my progressive sit-down dinner for 12, and was away from my home for 1.5 hours (attending the appetiziers, soup and salad courses) before the entree was served. I baked the seafood bisque for 30 minutes before I left home, cooked the rice on stove top, cooled the oven down to 170 degrees, put everything in oven, along with a pan of water, set oven to 170 degrees, and went to the neighbors for the hors douerves course, the soup and salad, and then everyone returned here for the entree of the seafood bisque and rice, served with a marvelous chardonnay, and everything coming out of my 170 degree oven tasting fresh, moist and perfectly cooked. I was ecstatic, and the compliments came from all around the table.
So....there is a life for those of us who don't have the luxury of having a warming drawer to keep everything at the appropriate temp! :)

Thanks Mr. Timewise, for your encouraging comments. I recommend this approach to a work-around for those kitchens which don't have the luxury of a warming drawer!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 1:22AM
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I deliberately didn't install a warming drawer in the kitchen, because we chose a 36" all gas range, Gaggenau 27" combi-steam oven over Gaggenau 27" convection oven, and an Advantium speed cook/microwave oven. We use all of the ovens but usually not at the same time, and I figured that we'd have enough oven capacity to not miss a warming drawer. We had a warming drawer in our previous home and many times it was just too small. We don't have that problem with ovens.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 6:30PM
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Beth- thanks for the tip about the water pan. I opted for a double wall oven rather than a single with a warming drawer and I've used one of them to keep food warm, but never for more than 1/2 hour. Now all I have to do is remember your hint.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 6:44PM
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