Warm Dinner Plates to Keep Food Hot?

Cathy_in_PANovember 23, 2009

Bear with me if this sounds a bit neurotic, and maybe I'm not on the right track to correct this.

Even if everything is piping hot, by the time we finish passing/choosing/talking and we actually eat, some of the food has cooled to lukewarm. Still tastes good, but would be better hot. Would warming dinner plates help? If so, is there an easy method?

Thanks so much advance.

Cathy in SWPA

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The easiest method I know for warming dinner plates is to stack them in the microwave, put a cup of water on the top of the stack, and zap for a minute or two. I would then keep them warm on a lower power setting (like 10 minutes on 10% power). This will only work if there are no metallic decorations on your plates.

If you have metallic trim, does your dishwasher have a plate warming setting?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:06AM
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beachlily z9a

OMG, I almost forgot that I now have a warming tray. Must try it on Thursday!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:15AM
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Cathy in Pa:
Be careful warming Plates in the Micro . I shattered about 5 plates ( micro wave safe ).
They were made by Gibson.
For a few, I do mine in the toaster Oven now, and rotate them.
If your oven is warm, you can put a pile in the oven.
Lou, in NE Pa.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:22AM
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When there's just the two of us or even up to four dining, I put the dishes in the sink and fill it half full of hot tap water.
Then when the food is ready to plate, I dry the dishes one at a time as I plate the food.

Otherwise I put the plates in my toaster oven with the lowest heat on for one minute, and then turn it off, leaving the dishes inside.

If I have vegetables that have finished cooking in a pot with steam, I drape a teatowel over the open pot, (gas flame is off) stack the dishes on top, and put the pot lid back on. You have to wipe the dishes dry afterward, but they are so hot I need an oven glove to remove them.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 12:52PM
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I use the plate warmer setitng on my dishwasher too, but if I didn;t have that setting I might do the short wash cycle about 45 min before serving and I would think they will still be hot.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 12:58PM
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Thanks so much for these great suggestions. I'm going to do a trial run either today or tomorrow.

I think part of the problem is that I have don't have nice delicate china, but some thick Mikasa pottery-type plates that almost cool things off. On the other hand, the backs say they're micro/oven/freezer/dishwasher safe. Hopefully, they'll retain heat.

I wish I had a plate warmer setting, bbstx and Alexa ... I have a 19-year old dishwasher that sounds like a train. But I do microwave and my dishwasher gets hot. And SharonCb, I too fill the sink for my serving dishes and that works extremely well. Lou, that sounds like you were creating quite a memory.

Thanks again for the encouragement ... I'll think of you all if those mashed potatoes are hot this year!

Cathy in SWPA

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 1:34PM
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We always warm our dinner plates (my mom used to do that but only when my grandpa came to dinner LOL but we do it for every meal. I use a platewarmer and I suppose its too late for you for this year, but I bet if you had one you'd get in the habit of using it every day like we do!

Here is a link that might be useful: Plate Warmer

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 2:03PM
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It may be too late for the bird, Woodie2, but it's on the Christmas List!!!!! That's exceptional.

You may laugh, but I actually thought of heating pads, but they're pretty deplorable and, hmmm, there may be a safety factor there too. Then I started to think about these rice-filled things I've made that you can microwave/heat, but it's too much at this point.

Since loves2cook4six save my mom a bundle on that Cooking Light deal, I'm emailing her this link!

Take care and thanks again -- Cathy

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 2:40PM
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It is important to have hot plates for an important meal.

Not a complicated thing:

Place sligthly wet napkin in between each plate, microwave.

Experiment with low power and long timer setting. Don't overdo it.

Flip the stack of plates for more even heating. You can have the whole stack of piping hot dinner plates done just before serving.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 2:44PM
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I use the warm setting on my oven...I have two ovens. We live in a cold area and if I don't warm the plates everything is cold by the time we eat.
I do this every day, morning for a hot breakfast and evenings for dinner.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 5:20PM
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We always warm plates for dinner, except in the heat of summer. Usually use the microwave, except for the plates with metal decor. I've never had one break there. One minute on full power for two. I don't add any moisture as two folk have recommended. Father-in-law once said, "Robert, I don't think those plates have enough water in them to heat," and was amazed that they came out hot anyway.
Of course, if the oven is on, we use that heat instead. If the oven is HOT, I set a one minute timer to remind me to snatch them out before they start glowing.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 7:17PM
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I use what I call my poor womans plate warmer.

I take a stock pot that is large enough for my plates to sit in, and fill with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. I have a small cooling rack that is small enough that it sits in the pot just above the water where the plates wont get soaking wet. I then stack the plates in the pot of warm water on the cooling rack and put the lid on and let them sit until I am ready to use. If I take too long and the water gets cool I just sit on the stove and bring back to a simmer and I am good to go.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:07PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

For the two of us, I just pre-heat the toaster oven for a few minutes (default bake 350) then turn it off. Put the plates in and the residual heat makes them warm in just a few more minutes. No water, no wiping. And if I get distracted I don't end up with baked/damaged plates.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2014 at 2:44PM
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I have a plate warmer similar to Woodie's...actually it may be the same company. I love it for dinner parties but I'm not pulling it out just for the two of us.

For the two of us I put the plates on top the wood burning stove for a few minutes....done and done.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2014 at 3:23PM
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The only time I warm the plates is when I've used the oven and have residual heat. I didn't think of using the microwave, or in water. These are great ideas!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2014 at 5:53PM
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When I am making pasta, I ladle boiling pasta water into the pasta plates/bowls and let them sit beside the sink until I am ready to serve the pasta. My pasta plates are shaped like shallow soup bowls with a good sized rim - I wont' serve pasta on regular flat plates.

If I have the toaster oven on, I put the plates on top of the TO, and they get plenty hot that way. There are just the two of us, and I switch the plates on top of the TO half way through, as the bottom one gets hotter. I always use the TO to keep pancakes warm when I make them, and I need hot plates for serving pancakes or else they get cold quickly. I also heat the maple syrup in a bowl of hot water or else MW the bottle for a few seconds.

Otherwise, I do not generally heat the plates. If food gets too cold, I MW the food and plate together. For me, pasta and pancakes are the two dishes that most need hot plates. I can MW a plate with pasta on it, but not if it has Parmesan cheese on it, as that will turn to rubber.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2014 at 6:15PM
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We like warm/hot plates for even simple meals. I use, like mentioned, residual heat from a turned off warm oven...the stove-top shelf under the stove vent that has way too hot halogens. Soups and chowders this time of year we like hot at the table, so i heat them however makes sense.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2014 at 7:52PM
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If you have halogen under-cabinet lights, just turn them on and put the plates in the cabinet above the lights. Until I switched to Zenon lights, my plates stayed very warm when ever those lights were on.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2014 at 11:37AM
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My Mom always warmed plates for special dinners; knowing that it takes longer to get all the food dished up, and carried into the dining room.

DH thought I was crazy when I did this. He actually prefers his food called down a few minutes. That's the way his mother cooked when he grew up in Houston, TX.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2014 at 10:52PM
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