Thanksgiving Day Heating and Cooling Tips

slow-cookerYour kitchen only has so many appliances for keeping hot food hot, and cold food cold. When company is coming, your kitchen will be stretched to the limits! Whether you cook or ordered prepared food from a caterer, check out these tips.

Slow Cooker

A standard slow cooker is perfect for keeping food hot. Guests can scoop directly from this small appliance. You can also set up slow cookers in the kitchen. Make sure the serving area has an electrical outlet. Ask around for additional slow cookers if needed. You can pre-heat the food on the stove or in the oven, then pour it into the cooker. After the food is warm, turn to low. Stir hourly. Add moisture if it starts to dry out or burn. Perfect for mashed potatoes, squash, soup, and much more!
Mini slow cookers are helpful for keeping small amounts of gravy or melted chocolate warm. They might not have a heat setting. They can get hot enough to burn chocolate or cheese sauce. To cool them, unplug them for 15 minutes, then plug back in.

Ice Chest

As an insulated box, ice chests can be used for cooling or warming.

For cooling, add ice and store in the garage or basement. You will get maximum cooling if the food is already cold when you put it in the ice chest. Ideas:

  • When preparing for a crowd, dig rarely-used condiments out of the fridge. Store in ice chest and put away. This makes space in the fridge for the special meal.
  • Pack drinks and ice in the ice chest to free up fridge space.

Don’t have enough space for warming? Properly insulated with towels, the ice chest can keep food warm. Line the ice chest with aluminum foil and thickly folded towels. Remove food from oven and place immediately in the ice chest. Place aluminum foil and folded towels on top, and close the lid. If you do not insulate thoroughly, you may melt the ice chest.


Don’t overlook vacuum flasks. You likely have several large thermoses in your cupboard. Store liquids such as cold beverages, hot broth, and gravy. Pour into pitchers or serving dishes just before mealtime.

At Gersky’s Catering, we offer a complete Thanksgiving meal for pick up the day before in Mahopac NY. The food includes complete reheating instructions. Timing the meal is much easier. Call the Gersky’s Turkey Day Hotline for details at 845-621-0696.

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Posted in Entertaining Tips, Special Occasions.