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jsmeeker

Warming Plates: How do you do this?

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In restaurant, it's pretty normal for hot food to be served on a hot or warm plate. But how many people do this at home? Do you warm plates or other serving pieces prior to putting foor on them? I do this someimes. Maybe not as often as I should, but I think it can really make a difference at home, too. It seems especially helpful with thin or small pieces of food. A cold (room temp) plate can really suck heat out of the food.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Our house is kept pretty cool in the winter (62-66F), so a cold plate can really cool down the food quickly. I'll at least try to warm them a little on the toaster oven (if it's on) or in the microwave. Usually not to the point that it's "hot," but more to the point that when you pick it up it doesn't feel cold.

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Our house is kept pretty cool in the winter (62-66F), so a cold plate can really cool down the food quickly. I'll at least try to warm them a little on the toaster oven (if it's on) or in the microwave. Usually not to the point that it's "hot," but more to the point that when you pick it up it doesn't feel cold.

Yup. It's certainly more of a problem in the winter for me too. The only way I have to warm a plate is the oven. If I have the oven on for cooking, then it's easy to heat a plate. But sometimes, I fire up the oven to low just to heat a plate for my scrambled eggs. Eggs can cool down really quick, and a cold plate makes it worse.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Yeap..

Nothing worse for me is a cold/cool soup bowl, salad plates get chilled, dinner plates.. kind a depends.


Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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. But sometimes, I fire up the oven to low just to heat a plate for my scrambled eggs. Eggs can cool down really quick, and a cold plate makes it worse.

I do that too. Sometimes I'll just hold a plate over a burner for a minute (not too close, of course!).


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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You can easily have a lot of hot plates for a dinner party.

I have a lot of small shop towels whcih I got from Home Depot. I just wet them and place them in between each plate and stack the plates. I put the stack of plates inside the microwave.

Soon I will have hot plates for everyone to enjoy their food.

dcarch

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You can easily have a lot of hot plates for a dinner party.

I have a lot of small shop towels whcih I got from Home Depot. I just wet them and place them in between each plate and stack the plates. I put the stack of plates inside the microwave.

Soon I will have hot plates for everyone to enjoy their food.

dcarch

That is a good point on the wet towels as I have hear it not wise to put the empty plates in the MW - plus the moisture perhaps carries the heat more evenly?

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Gotta warm the plates. Like you, jsmeeker, I'll put the oven on (to 110C) just for a plate / plates. If I ever forget, or I'm cooking a very quick dish, running it/them under a very hot tap is a quick fix. That's what I did for this morning's omelette. The first of the season's chives :smile:


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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I do as Kim does - on top of my toaster oven if I'm using it; inside for 2 minutes if it hasn't been on and I need to warm it up. There are 4 of us, so I just keep rearranging the 4 plates so they all warm at the same time. I love my toaster oven.

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I do warm the plates and as some of my vintage and antique china is not microwave suitable, I use one of my old Salton hot trays to keep plates, soup bowls and cups warm, especially when I serve buffets.

I have seen heating pads used to keep plates warm, also microwaveable heat packs, which work nicely when there is no electric outlet available.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I stack plates on a sheet pan and put 'em in a 300 degree oven, only for a few minutes before service. They warm up quickly.

I don't bother with warm plates except for certain dishes that benefit from it, like pasta, especially pasta with a creamy sauce. A semi-coagulated cream sauce is unpleasant to serve and to eat. Beef stew also comes to mind--again, it's that coagulated fat issue.

OTOH, I wouldn't put a fresh-baked pizza on a warmed plate. That thing is so hot when it comes out of the oven, I cool it on a rack until I can barely touch it, then I serve the slices on room temperature plates.

I chill dishes for frozen desserts like ice cream or sorbet. Otherwise I don't bother (or I forget).

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yup


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Yes I do. I hate cold plates.

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Hot food, hot plates! I usually do warm them, especially if I've put any effort into cooking something nice. It is endearing to me that my not-that-into-cooking boyfriend has picked up on this and will put plates in the oven for me if we are cooking together.

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This is a practice I need to begin following. As much sous vide as I do each week, one of the weaknesses is that the food temperature starts out at the end temp. If the plate is ccol, it further cools the sous vide entree. When you do a steak on a grill conventionally, the exterior temps are much higher and so the first bites give that 'hot food' sensation. We are probably engrained that hot food translates to good food-even if it is raw in the center or dried out. Warmed or hot plates would probably help mitigate the issue for sous vide presentations.


"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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I always warm my plates using a Solis plate warmer. The microwave trick is very smart, but my plates have gold rims and would spark in the microwave and get ugly black spots. Meat and fish cooked sous vide are not very hot, so a hot plate is mandatory.


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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Yes, and used to have a warming drawer in my old kitchen. Now I use the oven.

I still miss my old Garland that I bid goodbye thirty years ago. It had a shelf above the back part of the cooktop which was perfect for warming plates, keeping bread and rolls warm and keeping butter and other fats in a liquid form. Snif! Sigh...


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Yes, and used to have a warming drawer in my old kitchen. Now I use the oven.

I still miss my old Garland that I bid goodbye thirty years ago. It had a shelf above the back part of the cooktop which was perfect for warming plates, keeping bread and rolls warm and keeping butter and other fats in a liquid form. Snif! Sigh...

We have a big old Vulcan with a shelf like that. I love it. The pilot lights keep the ovens warm enough to warm plates too. It wastes lots of propane with the pilots burning all the time but I love the thing.

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I find myself warming plates 3 or 4 times a week. Always for pasta, and as needed for some of the other temperature-sensitive items that have been mentioned here.


 

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We always warm plates if we have guests, although we don't always bother if it's just the 2 of us for dinner. If we're using the oven/grill to cook we'll warm them there, if not I'll probably run them under hot water for a few minutes and dry just before we're ready to serve. Obviously that approach isn't great if there are more than 2 plates needed.

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... Obviously that approach isn't great if there are more than 2 plates needed.

Most plates, you stack 'em right ('interleaved') and you can run hot water through a pile of them, hands-free.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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As a quasi environmentalist (though not as a sacrifice to flavor) I have to mention that some of the recipes that most reply upon temperature of the mixing vessel such as Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, or Alfredo rely on warming the serving/mixing contianer, which I warm by draining the pasta over the serving/mixing bowl. It will warm the bowl and if it is necessary to reserve any "pasta water' as it often is for cacio e pepe, you can pour the water off to use as necessary.

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I warm plates as often as I get around to it, but have to be careful not to get them too hot, as we have a glass-topped dining table. I often resort to placing cheap, cork mats from Ikea under the dishes before placing them on the table. Not a good look.

Incidentally, my husband finds it very amusing that I bother to warm dishes at all. He says, "Who does that?", outside of a restaurant setting. I can now say, I know a whole bunch of people who do. :smile:

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