When cold and wet weather sweeps across the country, people reach for piping hot food to stave off the chill. Here's six quick tips to make sure your food is kept hot, hygienic and delicious.
1. Use the right equipment
2. Preheat it first
Its important to remember that any hot holding appliances take a short while to heat up. Allowing the equipment to reach a safe temperature before adding the food will prevent harmful bacteria from growing.
3. 63°C is the magic number
4. Reheat or chill?
It's fine to reheat food once if required, making sure that the food is piping hot throughout. However, if demand is low, you may prefer to chill it down ready for your next service. The quickest, safest and most effective method for chilling is by using a blast chiller. These powerful machines can either chill or freeze foods, reducing the likelihood of food poisoning from harmful bacteria. For even better results, divide the food down into smaller portions so that they cool even quicker.
5. Use lids
Whether it's an all-day carvery station or a busy takeaway, large quantities of food are prepped ahead of time, ready to serve at a moments notice. Using lids on your gastronorm pans or casserole dishes will help retain the temperature and also help you reduce your running costs.
6. Cook and hold
Some high-end appliances are designed specifically to cook food and then hold it safely at the correct temperature for hours without the loss of food quality. Especially useful when cooking large joints of meat, Alto-Shaam cook and hold ovens are the pinnacle of hot food holding.
We have other similar blog posts in our "6 Top Tips" section, including What You Can (and Can't) Dehdrate and How to Keep a Fridge Cold.
Check out or huge range of hot food display and servery machines at www.nisbets.co.uk.
By David Evans