Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Heating food for the reception

We are having our reception at a hall with the use of their large kitchen. We're having hot fried and grilled chicken as the main part. How do you suggest we keep that hot? Keeping it in the aluminum pans in the ovens at a low temp? Those sterno things? And one side will be canned sweet corn, which will be put into metal/aluminum pans. How should we heat that up? In the oven? What temp? Thanks for any advice!

Re: Heating food for the reception

  • jacques27 said:

    The deli or restaurant should be providing you guidance.

    My honest, sincere advice is that if you don't know this information, you shouldn't be self-catering.  Either hire a student from a cooking school (and if you don't have any specific cooking schools nearby, most technical schools have some sort of cooking program) or spend the money to invest in a food safety class.  Your state department of health should have information about these classes.  In my state it's $75.  $75 is a small price to pay to ensure you aren't giving your guests food poisoning.

    Can I get an AMEN?!??!!?!?!

    A friend had a group of us on this task for her wedding at their family farm - it was HORRIBLE!!!  (While I love my friend dearly and beyond words - and would do this again for her if asked - I would say "WTF are you thinking" to anyone considering DIY any aspect of their wedding food - especially if you aren't in the food industry to know these answers intuitively.  In case you didn't know, pot lucks and church meals are the #1 sources of food borne illness'...)...  IMO - hire one person from the place providing the chicken, etc. to you to come in and ensure safe serving procedures are followed - $200-300 is a SMALL price to pay compared to time off work, clinic tests, and hospital bills from someone getting sick because of food being at improper temperatures!!! (not to mention the event liability if insurance wants to be a PITA!).  Also, I'd use a nesco (since someone in the family likely has one or more that you can set an exact holding temperature for) to keep things at temperature/hot while serving plus it heats more evenly.  Or heck, just get a couple large nesco's of your own then a smaller crock pot size one for the corn..  Many places will be putting them on sale or clearance in the next few weeks so you may be able to pick them up reasonably...

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  • And consider an "XP" in subject since you posted this multiple places.  The other one has a lot more sage advice.
  • If you are getting this from a resturant, ask them. If you are picking it up early in the day or even a day early due to scheduling, they can give you the best advice on how to reheat the dishes & how to keep them warm. The sterno options are great for keeping foods warm, but I don't think you can use those for heating up food as they don't provide an even heat. When my sister hosted parties at home for graduations and confirmations, she got food from a local resturant and they gave her great instructions on how to store & reheat the food.
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