Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Turn your cooler into a warmer
Here is an old catering trick. Warmers are very expensive, but you can create one very easily from a cooler, garden bricks and tea towels. Here's how it works. Go to Lowes, Home Depot or other garden supply store. Buy 6 unglazed garden bricks for about $.35 cents a piece. Wrap them in aluminum foil, and place them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, take your large cooler, and line the bottom with wet tea towels. Place the hot bricks on top, and them another layer of wet tea towels. At this point, you can add whatever you want to the cooler to keep warm. I used this technique last year at Thanksgiving to give myself more oven space. I baked off a couple of my side dishes early, and just put them in the warmer. Believe it or not, this works like a thermos, and will keep whatever is inside warm for about 6 hours (if you don't open it too often.) This is a great thing for tailgating as well. For catering parties I like to use this warmer to keep dishes warm for plating, and keep sauces inside to clear the stovetop.