How to Keep Food Warm at a Party

Written by amy brantley
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How to Keep Food Warm at a Party
Keep appetizers in the oven on a warm setting and pull them out as needed. (canapes image by Pierrette Guertin from

A party with good food can turn into a great evening. Unfortunately, the evening can be spoiled if foods that are supposed to be warm get cold. Learn to use kitchen and household items to keep food warm at your party.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Slow cooker
  • Heating pads
  • Electric roaster

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  1. 1

    Cook appetizers in the oven the moment guests arrive. Prepare the appetizers early in the day, or even the night before, then bake them at the last minute. When guests arrive, start them off with a cool drink and a snack mix or nuts, until the real appetizers are ready.

  2. 2

    Use a slow cooker to keep hot dips warm. Set your slow cooker to low or warm.

  3. 3

    Place heating pads under metal trays to keep appetizers warm. Heating pads provide heat at a wide variety of temperatures, allowing you to keep different appetizers at different temperatures. Hide the heating pads under decorative trays so no one notices them.

  4. 4

    Keep extra appetizers in an oven set to warm. Even when hosting a large party, it's best not to put all the appetizers out at once. This ensures that the appetizers stay as fresh as possible.

  5. 5

    Set an electric roaster to warm for meaty appetizers like meatballs, chicken wings and cocktail weenies. Consider cooking these items in the electric roaster before moving them to a buffet table. Use an electric roaster to keep chilli and soups warm as well.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the lid on the slow cooker to keep dips from drying out.
  • Set appliances towards the back of the room and surround them with decorative items.
  • Always place pot holders under appliances and heating pads to protect your furniture.

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