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temperature

 
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Frederick107
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:18 am    Post subject: temperature Reply with quote

I have a question that I can not seem to find on the internet...while making a nice dish of food...I would like my food to stay hot or warm for a long period. For example...I like to cook my food RIGHT before I eat it. Basically, I like to serve my food HOT and have it stay hot when everyone sits down to eat it. But i've noticed that the hotter i make the food, the faster it cools down by the time everyone eats it. This becomes annoying when I make a dish very hot and no one sits down to eat it immediately and then it gets cold. But i feel that if you make food not as hot, it cools down slower. My hypothesis is that hotter food evaporates faster, obviously, and the hotter food is the faster it cools down. The less hotter it is, it doesn't cool down as fast because food is not evaporating as faster (evaporating is a coolest process....just like when your hands are wet and you stick them in the wind, they get cold because they're cooling down because the water is evaporating) Anyway...my question is, Is there a certain threshold temperature at which you could serve food at to have it stay hot or warm the longest?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1618
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's psychological. Really hot food doesn't become cold faster than hot food. For example, if you heated food A to 160 degrees F and food B to 120 degrees F, it will take some time (x) for food A to cool to 120F. It will then take more time (y) for the food to cool from 120F to 80F (cold). The time it takes for food B to cool from 120F to 80F is the same (y) if ambient conditions are the same. The rate at which food A cools from 160F to 120F may be faster due to increased evaporation as you theorize, but once it reaches 120F evaporation due to temperature between food A and food B (when it was at 120F) will be the same. Food A will always take longer (x+y) to reach the same cold temperature as Food B (y).
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1618
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made the mistake of answering the question and not the actual problem. To help keep your foods warm longer - wrap your plates in a towel and place in your oven (set to the lowest temperature possible - mine is 170F) until they are warm. Serving food on the warmed plates will help keep their temperature up longer. Or, if the food can be kept warm in the low temperature oven and served just as people are ready to eat (this works very will when doing batches of fried chicken, steaks, potatoes, etc.) that works too.
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IndyRob



Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I have the same two thoughts as Micheal had - and am torn between them.

In general, I don't believe that hot foods cool faster than warm foods. There is a pervasive myth that filling an ice tray with hot water and putting it in the freezer will result in ice cubes faster than if you used cold water. This has been proven to be way wrong.

I think that what we really need to know is what you're cooking and to what temp. We all like to serve foods hot, but what's 'really hot'? A beef steak cooked to 160 degrees is going to be dry. A dry steak is might possibly cool more quickly. But it's not the final temp that is the problem. If you cook a beef steak to 160 degrees, it's already ruined regardless of the temp you serve it at.

But if you've done everything right and you're not able to get your guests to the table, then it becomes more about an entertaining approach. Enlist aid from a sister or cousin to get people to the table.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: temperature Reply with quote

Frederick107 wrote:
I have a question that I can not seem to find on the internet...while making a nice dish of food...I would like my food to stay hot or warm for a long period. For example...I like to cook my food RIGHT before I eat it. Basically, I like to serve my food HOT and have it stay hot when everyone sits down to eat it. But i've noticed that the hotter i make the food, the faster it cools down by the time everyone eats it. This becomes annoying when I make a dish very hot and no one sits down to eat it immediately and then it gets cold. But i feel that if you make food not as hot, it cools down slower. My hypothesis is that hotter food evaporates faster, obviously, and the hotter food is the faster it cools down. The less hotter it is, it doesn't cool down as fast because food is not evaporating as faster (evaporating is a coolest process....just like when your hands are wet and you stick them in the wind, they get cold because they're cooling down because the water is evaporating) Anyway...my question is, Is there a certain threshold temperature at which you could serve food at to have it stay hot or warm the longest?


Is it possible that ambient temperature might have something to do with how quickly something cools?

I've got electric tray warmers for the table to keep anything warm, along with small crock pots for sauces/gravies. I also have a portable convection oven to cook along with my range's oven so pies / casseroles can be warmed or cooked while the main meat bundle browns. Easy peasy.

Biggles
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danicamoore



Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 58
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Michael and yes its possible that ambient temperature can affect the food. Suggestion with serving the food with a warm plate would be be a great help for serving food. Thumbs up (michael)..
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