The key to keeping hot food piping hot while serving and throughout the meal is preheating serving dishes and plates. A few minutes in a 200°F oven will do it, says zamorski, who also offers some tips for serving plated courses: Plate the food quickly. If you are serving more than six, or if your plating is at all elaborate, have someone help you. Plate the things that cool fastest, or for which serving temperature is most crucial, last. Vegetables cool more quickly than denser proteins.

For larger, longer meals, such as Thanksgiving dinner, Will Owen likes to use a Salton warming tray, which is an electrically heated surface you can park your serving dishes or pans on. He prefers vintage models bought at garage sales or antique malls to new versions, but the new ones will still do the trick.

Board Link: Best way to keep food warm on the table

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