Four Surprising Ways on How to Keep Food Warm Without Electricity

Lots of people go through great lengths to keep their food warm. This is because keeping dishes warm is the best way to protect it from bacterial contamination. Also, let’s admit it—meals are more delicious when they are eaten hot or warm.

The best way to keep your food warm by using different kitchen appliances like a slow cooker, oven, and microwave. But what would you do if there was a sudden brownout a few hours before your dinner or party? Or what if you are camping in the wild and you want to keep your food warm—what options do you have?

Don’t panic just yet! There are actually plenty of ways on how to keep your food warm without electricity! Continue reading to find out!

The Different Ways on How to Keep Food Warm

Yes, you can warm food without electricity! Take a look at the non-electric food warming methods that we have compiled below:

Method #1: Hot Water Bath

If your stove runs on gas or if you have a portable butane gas stove with you, this is one option that you should definitely consider:

What You Will Need:

  • Gas stove/ portable butane stove
  • Large pan
  • Water
  • Smaller pot or pan
  • Thermometer

Step #1: Fill the large pan with water.

Only fill the pan with water halfway. In this way, the water will not overflow when you place the smaller container in the middle.

Step #2: Place the pan over the gas stove.

Set the stove to medium-low heat. After a few minutes, check the temperature of the water. If it is already around 160 degrees Fahrenheit, you can place the smaller pot or pan containing the food in the middle of the hot water bath.

Step #3: Lower the heat of the stove.

Once the food starts to boil, lower the heat. You can keep warming the food for hours using this method. But please check the water level from time to time. Refill the evaporated water with warm water to maintain

Pro Tip: Make sure to stir the food occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Method #2: Chafing Fuels in Aluminum Cater Dishes

If you are planning a party, the best thing that you can do is to invest in aluminum cater dishes—the ones that have chafing fuel containers underneath them. These fuels will warm the food until your guests arrive.

The best thing about this option is that you do not have to transfer the dishes from a different container to the serving trays because the cater dishes will already serve as your serving trays. Not only will you save time—you can save effort as well!

What You Will Need:

  • Spoon
  • Cater dishes with chafing fuels
  • Butane lighter
  • Snuffer

Step #1: Transfer all the food to your aluminum cater dishes.

Step #2: Light the chafing fuel.

Using a spoon, remove the cap of the chafing fuel. Light the fuel with a butane lighter. The fuel has an average burning time of up to 2 hours, so we recommend doing this at least 2 hours before your party.

Pro Tip: Exercise safety precautions when working with open flame. 

Step #3: Once you are done, extinguish the flame using a snuffer.

Once the party starts, it is recommended that you extinguish the flame to avoid accidents.

Method #3: Insulated Thermal Bags

If you are going to a picnic or you plan to go camping, storing your food items in insulated thermal bags is the best way to keep them warm.

These bags are similar to the pizza bags that delivery boys carry. The good news is, these bags come in a smaller square-shaped form which is perfect for carrying food around. The insulation inside these bags maintains the warmth of the food in it.

You can buy these bags in local kitchen stores or big box stores.

What You Will Need:

  • Insulated Thermal Bags
  • Aluminum foil

Step #1: Place your hot dish in an airtight container and wrap it in aluminum foil.

Make sure that the food container is tightly sealed. After that, wrap it in aluminum foil to secure its warmth.

Step #2: Place the covered dish inside the thermal bag.

Three hours before you plan in serving your dish, place the covered dish inside the thermal bag. Zip the thermal bag and you are good to go!

Method #4: DIY Cambro

A Cambro is a commercial food warmer. This is effective in keeping food warm without electricity. However, it is expensive. Fortunately, you can create a Cambro on your own. This can be done with the use of an affordable cooler.

Many people think that coolers are only designed to keep beverages and desserts cool and fresh. The truth is, coolers are thermally insulated, so it is as effective in keeping food warm as it is in keeping drinks cold.

What You Will Need:

  • Cooler
  • Hot Water
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Kitchen Towels

Step #1: Fill the cooler with hot water.

Put on the lid of the cooler for 30 minutes. Afterward, remove the hot water inside it.

This simple step helps to pre-heat the cooler (the same way you pre-heat an oven). As a result, the temperature inside the cooler is warmer, perfect for maintaining the warmth of your dishes.

Step #2: Prepare your dishes.

Place your dishes in an airtight container and wrap it in aluminum foil.

Step #3: Line the bottom of the cooler with kitchen towels.

Afterward, place the wrapped dishes on top of the kitchen towels. Place a couple more sheets on top of the covered dishes. Close the lid of the cooler. Only open it when it is time to eat!

In Summary

Almost all dishes are best served warm and hot. Unfortunately, not all of us have access to electrical kitchen warming appliances like microwave and oven at all times. Luckily, there are many ways on how you can keep food warm without electricity.

These tips and methods will undoubtedly come handy for you when the electricity goes out or if you are planning a camping or picnic trip with your family.

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