How to Keep Meat Warm: 8 Easy and Safe Ways


Prevent your grilled beef, pork and chicken from getting cold. From slow cookers to outdoor grills, here are eight quick and easy ways to keep meat warm.

how to keep meat warm

Keeping food warm while you prepare the rest of the meal or during a party can be a hassle. Luckily, there are tons of ways to keep the chill out of your party before it’s time to eat.

From the hot meal catering trick to those handy cooking containers you may already have everyday in your kitchen & YOU’ll never worry about lukewarm meals ever again.

Seriously, it’s important to keep food warm to prevent bacterial growth. Sickness and loss of maximum flavor are a problem on all fronts. To ensure safety, keep a food thermometer nearby and check the internal temperature of what you’re serving. 

Pork kept warm and reheated in the oven



One immediate option for keeping food at a comfortable, warm temperature is the oven, as most homes have one.

It’s great for reheating ribs style=”vertical-align: inherit;”>, briskets, reheating pulled pork, and also works wonders for hot meats fresh from the smoker or grill.

Set the oven to 170°F-200°F or hatchwarm and simply transfer your food to a baking sheet, ovenproof casserole dish or baking dish and cover with foil. This may take an hour or two, but will ultimately change the texture and flavor of the food.

If your oven has a button called “Warm Drawer” you can also use the drawer at the bottom of the oven, which most people think of as storage and warming! 

Slow Cooker


Slow cookers are an excellent and anticipated option for preventing food from going cold too quickly. You can keep food warm for one to four hours after cooking on the lowest setting or, if your slow cooker has the option, on the warm setting.

Make sure food stays above 60°C(140°F). Remember that eating for a long time, eg in the oven, can change the taste and texture of your dinner.

Chafing Dish


If you’re looking for an ideal way to keep food warm for your next party, look no further. A frying pan on a stand placed over a small flame is sufficient as a chafing dish. It’s a great investment if you throw a lot of parties because it’s stress-free. You can get all of your dishes out ahead of time for this as they are said to keep food warm for two to six hours. Not only does it keep hot food warm, it also easily keeps cold food YOU put in it. 

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Insulated Cooler Bag


Hard shell or soft sided coolers style=”vertical-align: inherit;”> are a fantastic, simple and inexpensive alternative. Place anything you want to keep warm in a covered bowl or aluminum foil and set aside. Be sure to check the temperature from time to time to make sure it doesn’t drop below 140°F.

You can also make your own insulated container for little money. Line the inside of a bag or cooler with aluminum foil and place the food inside. A handy hot pack at home is to take unused socks, fill them with rice and then microwave them for 2-3 minutes. Fill large gaps in your container with the heat packs. If there are other gaps, take towels and fill them.

Place hot water bottles on top for an extra layer of warmth, then tie the container tightly to trap all the heat. Make sure you eat your food within 2 hours. 


Probably the easiest way to keep food warm before serving is aluminum foil. It keeps it warm for about 30 minutes, and when YOU brush the meat with it, it not only stays warm but helps distribute the juices more evenly. However, when wrapping, be careful not to wrap it too tightly or the meat will lose all the moisture.

Another easy way to use aluminum foil when searching for hot food is to wrap it and pop it in the microwave. This is a favorite in my house. The foil keeps all the heat locked in while the microwave acts as an extra barrier against any kind of cold. 



An outdoor grill can be a great tool for extending the shelf life of high-temperature foods, even if you didn’t cook them on the grill! All you have to do is turn the burners to the lowest setting until you’re ready to eat. The food to be grilled should be removed from the grill within a few hours, otherwise the quality may deteriorate. When you’re done grilling, simply move them directly over the coals to the side of the cooking grate. 

Rice Cooker

Just like a slow cooker, rice cookers are also great kitchen tools for keeping food at the right temperature until YOU are ready to eat it. It’s a warm-only setting to keep food at an edible temperature for many hours. The optimal time to keep your food in a rice cooker before eating is five hours, but you need to release the steam regularly to make sure nothing overcooks. 

Double Boiler

Double boilers are the best choice for keeping soups, sauces, and mashed potatoes warm because of their slow, gentle heat. A good alternative to buying is to use your own stainless steel container that fits nicely on the rim of a pot. Be sure to keep the heat low, as too much steam can ruin the dish you’re trying to preserve. 

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