What temperature to keep food warm in the oven (UK)

 

In this brief guide we will address the question, “what temperature to keep food warm in the oven” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like what is the danger zone temperature for growth of bacteria and how long will warmed up food last. Moreover, we will also discuss how to check the temperature of your food.

What temperature to keep food warm in the oven?

Most ovens usually have a “warm” setting in them. This usually maintains the temperature between 170 to 200 F. However, if your oven does not have this setting, you can just set your oven to 200 or 250 F just to be on the safe side. 

Note that you should take care when keeping items warm in the oven. This is because there are risks of change in the texture with prolonged heating. Other than that, dishes like pancakes or waffles might get soggy, so you need to keep that in mind as well. 

You can also use an oven friendly container to heat up your dishes and then keep them warm for a good amount of time.

How long will warmed up food last?

There is generally a 2 hour rule for putting food in a warmer. This rule means that your food will be safe to consume within the next two hours depending on how it was served or what kind of warmer was used. Without any flame or heat source, your food will not be very hygienic after 2 hours. This is because the food was allowed to sit in the Danger temperature zone which promotes the maximum growth of bacteria. 

When you put food in a warmer, the surface gets cold soon. Therefore, you should also try mixing the dish every now and then to ensure evenly distributed temperature in the dish. 

Note that this 2 hour rule is for a routine warmer that does not have any heat source or flame beneath it. When those conditions are taken into consideration, your food can last even longer. 

What temperature should hot food be served at?

Hot food should be served at a temperature of above 140-degree Fahrenheit (or 60-degree Celsius). This is the temperature where the growth of most bacteria is hindered. The temperature also varies with the type of food product that you are handling. For examples, eggs and egg dishes, and other similar items need to be reheated at 165-degree Fahrenheit before they can be used again. 

How to check the heating temperature? 

It is best to check the core temperature with a food thermometer. The core temperature should be maintained for a minimum of 2 minutes before you can call it safe for consumption. 

Just putting the food in the oven and setting the temperature at 60-65°C is not a good practice. Always try using a method that will allow you to check the core temperature with a thermometer every 30 seconds. This is possible when you use open containers like pans. 

If you want to use the oven, what you can do is actually set the temperature even higher than the 65°C mark, because the oven will take time to reach that temperature and so will the core of your food item. Consider stake, for example. If you place it in a pan on high heat, it will just burn the outside and the inside can still be raw. 

That is why you need a temperature thermometer in your kitchen.

What is the danger temperature zone for food?

Bacteria grow the most between 4°C to 60°C. This is the temperature range that should be avoided at all costs. That is why the refrigerators operate at 4°C or even lower. 

Considering this range, is it safe if the core temperature of my food is 60 or above? Not quite. 

There are some bacteria that can survive above this temperature as well. This is exactly why you need to go higher than this temperature. 

60°C is not the temperature at which you would want to cook your food. This temperature range indicates the presence of the most microorganisms in your food. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide we have addressed the question, “what temperature to keep food warm in the oven?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like what is the danger zone temperature for growth of bacteria and how long will warmed up food last. Moreover, we also discussed how you should check the temperature of your food.

References

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-keep-hot-food-warm-3057587#:~:text=Some%20ovens%20actually%20will%20have,to%20200%20to%20250%20F.

https://food.unl.edu/article/keeping-foods-warm-while-other-foods-get-done

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.