Hot-Holding food

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by mikey k, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. mikey k

    mikey k

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    I cook for a middle school outside of Chicago, so I'm used to doing quantity food preparation in institutional settings.  However, over the summers I cook for a Boy Scout Camp in in northern WI. My staff here does not have the experience I do.  Our enrollment is so far up this year that they are unable to fit everyone into the dinning hall for one meal.  I know the best quality comes right from the oven, but there are times it just can't be done.  Thus, we just purchased a warmer for the kitchen to use.  I have been trying to teach the guys the best way to hold the food we make (i.e. using moist heat on the french toast sticks and dry on the breaded chicken sandwiches). 

    I looked around and was unable to find any one resource on holding a variety of foods.  I came upon Cheftalk.com through a Google search and thought it was a good place to ask.  What tips do you have on holding the foods you make?

    I guess I'll start:

    Under cook vegetables if they must be held for service.  They will continue to cook while holding.  If using a steam table, place them in shallow pans.  Being above the water, they will still stay warm, but not cook as much from the direct heat.  Generally, batch cooking is the bast option for vegetables.
     
  2. gourmetm

    gourmetm

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    How long do you need to hold the food?
     
  3. thetincook

    thetincook

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    The one Cub Scout camp I worked, everything pretty much had to be batch cooked ASAP. We just didn't have the cooking and hold capacity. The only exception was the beef roasts.
     
  4. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Hi and welcome Cheftalk, I have a 5 well steam table that I hold Pancakes, French toast, Bacon, Scrambled eggs, omelets, country gravy, hash browns, and sausage every day. The secret is using buffers between the food, It's all about timing things right, The only veggies that can be held easy is bulk corn, carrots, things like that. when your dealing with fresh sauteed veggies, you need to hold with very little heat so they are not over cooked. ...............have fun...................ChefBillyB
     
  5. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    If I'm not misinformed, the minimum hot holding temperature is now 135° F (57° C), which is an improvement.