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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Old 01-12-2019, 10:59 AM   #1
SmoothBoarBBQ
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Default Retaining creaminess in chafing dishes / hot hold

Hey All,

I've noticed that when I do hot sides for my lunch service they tend to dry out a bit in the chafing dish. Specifically Mac and Cheese, and Potato Surprise (creamy mashed potato dish). They are perfectly cream when I put them in the chafing dish, but after ~30 minutes of lunch service they start to dry out pretty quickly.

I've started making these dishes extra creamy to help the problem, but it seems like they still dry out pretty quickly. Outside of adding milk during service is there anything else I could do to help with the issue?
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:36 PM   #2
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For the mac & cheese we just started making smaller amounts. I boil the same amount of mac noodles but only make a 1/4 batch. When it gets below half I start heating the cream and melting the cheese for another 1/4 batch. It also cuts down on waste.

**Edit**

That's on the food trailer of course. For catering we just make it extra creamy and only use one sterno heater instead of two.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:40 PM   #3
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I would first suggest you turn your steam table down. Remember, you only have to hold at 135...and if you use a time chart/label, you don't even have to hold at 135.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:45 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, much appreciated. It's always just habit that I use (2) sternos per chafing dish, but I'll try just using one and see how well that works. I will also give the smaller batches a shot...make sense.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:30 AM   #5
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Chafing dish?
Time for a steam well.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:46 PM   #6
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I add milk into the Mac when it stiffens up and it's always worked great for me
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldog316 View Post
I add milk into the Mac when it stiffens up and it's always worked great for me
This, and butter. Same with scalloped potatoes. For Beans, you can just add more water to them. Most all sides I cut the previous days leftovers with the fresh batch, and have had good results.

Are you wrapping the pans with plastic and or foil? It helps to wrap them and peel it back as needed as the pan gets empty from service.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:32 PM   #8
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Small batches and not over heating are both great ideas. You can keep them covered until its time to change out the dish. You could try adding a couple Tablespoons of mayonnaise too when you make it. I do this when I make mac and cheese and it doesn't affect the flavor at all.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:32 PM   #9
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Use a water pan with your chaffing dish setup and drying out won't be a problem.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:55 PM   #10
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We started using the plastic liners for chafing pans. Wether we are using steel pans of disposable pans. Everything retains more moisture. Use them for everything except beans.
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