Holding Meats at Temperature

Quite often you will be holding foods waiting for the last guest to arrive of for the wife to get off the phone, something like that!

There are some rules to follow to ensure the food you serve is safe.

Keeping food hot

If you need to keep food hot before service, ensure that the food remains hot at 60 °C (140°F) or hotter.

Most Ovens can be set to 50°C as a minimum, so find the sweet spot where the oven will sit between 60 and 65°C (140 to 149°F).  Set your oven to temperature, place a bowl of water inside and come back to check the temperature of the water with as temperature probe in a couple of hours. This will tell you how accurate your oven thermostat is.

It takes more than 4 hours for bacteria to multiply to dangerous levels, so there is some leeway.

Cooling foods

If you are cooling leftovers, make sure they drop to 5°C (41°F) within 6 hours.

Transporting or Holding Cooked Meats

Cook the meat till it is finished, let it steam off on the bench uncovered for a few minutes until the Internal Temperature just begins to drop. If you do not do this the meat will continue to cook as the hot outer layers punch heat into the centre.

Once the heat has waned, wrap in foil, then stuff into a cooler packed with towels.

The meat can hold like this for hours, it’ll be warm and moist when you finally open the cooler. If you are concerned, heat up a brick and pack that in with the towels!

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