Holding foods in steam table: Is it the steam or the water that heats the product

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Joined Mar 25, 2010
Thanks for your responses.

Could anyone tell me if there is a standard on holding foods on steam table and having the bottom of insert pan be required to touch the heated water? I'm in discussion with various health departments on this standard and there is (gasp) a variance between departments.

Some are ok with steam heating the food and some mandate the pan touching the water. this is difficult if pans are 4" or 6 " in depth.

thanks 
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Steam keeps the food hot. We use a 5 well steam table, the only pan that will touch the water will be the Country gravy 6" pan. The 4" and 2" pans never hit the water. Its up to the cooks to maintain the Temps over 140 degree, its up to the HD to check the temps. You could hold things as you see fit, as long as they are over 140 degrees...............Chef Bill
 
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Joined Sep 19, 2014
Steam keeps the food hot. We use a 5 well steam table, the only pan that will touch the water will be the Country gravy 6" pan. The 4" and 2" pans never hit the water. Its up to the cooks to maintain the Temps over 140 degree, its up to the HD to check the temps. You could hold things as you see fit, as long as they are over 140 degrees...............Chef Bill
I have been wondering this myself. How long can you keep food on the steam table Chef Bill? If you have a restaurant like Chinese food takeout, how often do you have to replace the food on the steam table?
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Theoretically you never have to replace as long as it is held at temp, but it comes down more to an issue of quality.
 
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Joined Sep 19, 2014
 
Theoretically you never have to replace as long as it is held at temp, but it comes down more to an issue of quality.
I have another question. I first learn about Rethermalization oven today and am wondering if anyone have experience using it. Sorry to blast this thread, but I just wanted to know how it work. Can I cook like salmon, chilled blast them and then rethermalized them the next day? Is that safe practiced?
 
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Originally Posted by SaltandPepper  

Someone told me that 2 hours is max for the FDA law.
2 hours is max by FDA law below 140 degrees (and above 40 degrees). I'm not aware of any law limiting food storage below 40 or above 140. 
 
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Joined May 10, 2014
For sufficient water to contact and hold without additional water for prolonged periods; it would seem like there's the potential for pans to float. If the pans float; air / steam is ventilated better making temperatures , and heating efficiency drop. I like to start the water at the depth of the pans to prevent burnout.
 
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