OK To Use a Crockpot to Keep Burgers, Hot Dogs Warm?

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I plan to grill beef burgers and hot dogs 2 or 3 hours before they will need to be served. Would a crockpot at the "Keep Warm" setting be suitable for keeping them at a proper temperature for food safety and also warm enough for serving. If so, would I need to add anything to the crockpot to keep the burgers and hot dogs from drying out? And if there is a better way to accomplish this, please pass any ideas along. Thanks.
 
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Yeah, you can do that but, why would you want to? The dogs would be ok. But, holding burgers that long in anything will turn them into dried out hockey pucks.

Burgers should be cooked to order and served hot from the grill. In a perfect world, so should the hot dogs. Is there a logistical problem that requires you cook the burgers and dogs that far in advance?

A little more information about what's behind the decision to cook the burgers in advance would be helpful.
 
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I suppose you could set the timer and boil the dogs so they will be just done when you are ready to serve them. But if you throw grilled dogs in a crockpot they will be shriveled up prunes.
 
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it is a family and friends gathering where there is no set meal time. I will be doing the grilling, and would like to have that done ahead of time so I am not anchored to a grill. This gathering will be in a park, so I would be bringing my own grill along with a lot of other gear. Preparing food at home ahead of time would be one less thing Ihave to do on-site., and one less thing to transport.

is the issue with the idea of using a crockpot? I am looking at making the food 2 to 3 hours ahead of time, if that helps.
 
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it is a family and friends gathering where there is no set meal time. I will be doing the grilling, and would like to have that done ahead of time so I am not anchored to a grill. This gathering will be in a park, so I would be bringing my own grill along with a lot of other gear. Preparing food at home ahead of time would be one less thing Ihave to do on-site., and one less thing to transport.

is the issue with the idea of using a crockpot? I am looking at making the food 2 to 3 hours ahead of time, if that helps.

That's the problem with being voluntold to man the grill: you don't get to join in any reindeer games. But, you do get prime real estate next to the beer cooler. :)

Here's a better idea. The hot dogs are not the problem. They cook quickly which means you can cook up a bunch and set them aside on some tin foil on the cool side of the grill, if there's room or just reheat them as needed. After all, 10,000 NYC hot dog vendors can't all be wrong. That solves your issues with the dogs.

As for the burgers, that's a different issue. If quality is not a concern, cook them ahead of time and put them in the crock pot. But, if you don't want to serve dried out meat pucks, you can partially cook the burgers in the oven the day before, store in the fridge and pop em on the hot grill as needed. The cook time will be much less and you won't be serving burger pucks or need to lug a crock pot - not to mention finding an outlet for the crock pot at the park.

Good luck.
 
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I’d just offer hotdogs in that situation. I doubt that any trick in the book will result in a decent 3-hour old hamburger.

But the gas stations seem to do that so maybe I’m just being unnecessarily negative.

Maybe if you cook some, take a break and enjoy yourself, later cook some more when folks start swarming around the food table again...
 
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Hi kc27,

Since it's a family thing, would Sloppy Joe's, Taco Joe's, or some sort of BBQ Ground Beef thing suffice?

Good luck!
 
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We will have AC power (rented a shelter) that has power and plumbing. It sounds like on-site grilling is the only way to make burgers work. I guess I will be hauling a grill or revising the menu. Thanks everyone.
 
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We will have AC power (rented a shelter) that has power and plumbing. It sounds like on-site grilling is the only way to make burgers work. I guess I will be hauling a grill or revising the menu. Thanks everyone.
Cheers! Hope everything turns out well! Let us know how it went.
 
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I can't believe no one has told you that you can do this with beef stock. I've been in this same situation where people would be showing up at different times and I wanted to be able to give them a "fresh" burger quickly. I don't use a crock pot but there's no reason you can't. Just par cook them.. about medium and then have the crock filled with beef stock (I really like the "better than bullion" roasted beef and it keeps forever) .. ideally you would have the grill running on low and just put the burger on for a minute to finish it and maybe melt some cheese. When I do this I just leave one burner on the grill on low and set a hotel pan on the other side.. the indirect heat will keep them warm and the grill is ready to throw them on to finish. Would work fine with hotdogs too.. the stock is the key to keeping them from drying out.
 
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Back in my high school fast food days we called those "broth burgers" and though we were forced to serve them, none of us would knowingly eat them. IMO if you're not cooking them to order you're compromising quality for efficiency, unavoidably.
 
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I can't believe no one has told you that you can do this with beef stock. I've been in this same situation where people would be showing up at different times and I wanted to be able to give them a "fresh" burger quickly. I don't use a crock pot but there's no reason you can't. Just par cook them.. about medium and then have the crock filled with beef stock (I really like the "better than bullion" roasted beef and it keeps forever) .. ideally you would have the grill running on low and just put the burger on for a minute to finish it and maybe melt some cheese. When I do this I just leave one burner on the grill on low and set a hotel pan on the other side.. the indirect heat will keep them warm and the grill is ready to throw them on to finish. Would work fine with hotdogs too.. the stock is the key to keeping them from drying out.
So, you're suggesting that he place half raw ground beef in a warm bath of beef flavored water for several hours at a park on a warm, summer day?
 
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The only time I’ve seen that done they were fully cooked... not that the amount of done-ness really changes much.
 
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I appreciate all the ideas - thanks everyone. One of my cookbooks, has a recipe for "All-Day Crock Dogs in Smoky Beer Broth". which involves grilling the hot dogs first, then submerging them in a beer - bottled smoke - onion - bay leaf solution in a crockpot. The authors say this method will keep the hot dogs in good shape for an afternoon. I am going to do a trial run to see how it tastes.

And thanks for the suggestion about the burgers in beef broth. I've had them at catered functions before. They never looked very appetizing coming out of a pan of juice, but once I got done loading them up with condiments, the taste was OK. Not great, but OK. Hot off the grill is probably the only way to get appetizing results with burgers. But now, with the weather forecast predicting sun, 87 degrees, and high humidity for conditions that will feel like 94 degrees, I am going to drop the idea of serving burgers. A former co-worker, who had a side business of making and selling food at summer festivals, said once temperatures went much past the low 80's, people's appetites shut down. This is not a profit making event, but I would like to offer people something they will feel like eating in hot humid weather. That's why I am thinking pulled chicken sandwiches which would be lighter than burgers, and hot dogs or sloppy joes for those who want red meat. And there will be a full sheet cake from a grocery store bakery trying to survive in this heat, too. Fortunately, the food will be under cover and shaded. Should be fun!
 
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Are you suggesting that if it is held at a safe temperature there is a problem with that? Jesus.. you're a retired chef?
Please go back and re-read my comment. Yes, holding half cooked ground beef in a warm bath of beef stock for several hours is not safe. Nothing was said about "safe temperatures."

If you can't comment constructively and professionally, then, I will remind you this is a forum for professionals, not amateurs who "just like food." Be civil or be gone.
 
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If you can't comment constructively and professionally, then, I will remind you this is a forum for professionals, not amateurs who "just like food." Be civil or be gone.

This forum is open to anyone who wants to discuss "Food and Cooking" and is not limited to professional chefs. You don't get to make the call on who stays or goes. I don't know why you think that...
 
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