Why You Should Be Serving Hot Food On Warm Plates

When dining out at a nice restaurant, you'll often be told to watch out for the hot plate as your server places your piping hot dish down in front of you. That sizzling plate didn't just heat up from the meal. The staff likely warmed the plate prior to help keep your fare nice and hot on its journey from the kitchen to your table. There's nothing worse than taking a bite of your dinner only to find that it's about 10 degrees colder than expected. When you're anticipating a warming comfort meal, especially in the chillier months, it sure is a letdown. Aside from the possibility of your food cooling off quickly, there is something special about enjoying pasta out of a heated bowl.

Warming your plates takes your dining experience to the next level, and cooking experts agree. There are a few different ways to bring some warmth to your platters, such as popping your plate in the microwave for a few minutes or the oven. Turn the oven to a low 200°F and toss your plates right on the rack for about five minutes, shares Blue Apron, who also recommends giving the same attention to your cold dishes. When serving salad or a cold dessert, let your small plates cool off in the freezer for a bit or in the fridge for around 20 minutes. Similar to how a frosted glass elevates a brisk beer, a frigid plate helps a cold recipe shine and remain fresh until the plate is clean.

Heated plates mean diners can take their time without fear of an ice-cold dinner

If tossing nice dishware into the oven causes some uneasiness, there is another option — hot water. Take a large bowl, fill it with very hot water, and then place all of your plates into the nearly boiling water for five minutes or so. Once the plates are hot to touch, dry them off and carefully begin plating your warm meal onto the vessel. And just as at that favorite restaurant, be sure to caution your guests about the warmth of the dishes as you serve the meal.

Another easy trick is to stack your plates right on top of the oven if you've already got the heat cranking and a tasty meal cooking in there. You can position the plates right between the burners on top of the stove. As long as you continue to check on the plates and swap the order of the stack, they should all warm evenly.