Author Topic: Keeping burgers warm?  (Read 7582 times)

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Layla Miller

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Keeping burgers warm?
« on: July 26, 2013, 09:18:48 PM »
DD's birthday is next month, and DH and I are planning to host some family and friends for a party (4 - 6 PM).  We're going to serve hamburgers (among other things) and we're trying to figure out how we can cook them in the afternoon before the party and keep them warm until 5.  The best idea we've come up with is to put them in those aluminum foil trays, cover them with foil, and put them in the oven to keep warm.

Do any of you hosting pros have better tricks up your sleeves?  I'd love to hear them!
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chicajojobe

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 10:55:04 PM »
Some questions...
- Exactly how long will there be between cooking and serving?
- Where is the party? Is it at your house where you have access to an oven?

No matter what I'd advise 2 hours as the absolute maximum time without refrigeration.
If it's at your house I'd put the oven on a low temperature (above 150), and put the burgers in the oven in a covered tray (foil should work) to keep in the juices in so they don't dry out. That'll keep them at a temperature above the food "danger zone", and they shouldn't burn as long as they aren't in there too long.

Yes, by some people's standards I tend to be overly cautious about this, but I worked in food services previously so it's been drilled into me.

Layla Miller

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 11:00:47 PM »
The party will be at the church fellowship hall, and we'll have access to an oven.  The two hour limit should be fine--we can cook them about an hour before the party and serve them at around 5.  Thanks!  :)
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kudeebee

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2013, 01:27:10 AM »
If you are going to do this, grill them until they are just done.  Don't overgrill them or they will not be as tasty, possibly even hard by the time you serve them.

Is there a reason you must do burgers rather than another meat that would be easier to serve fresh?  Is there a reason you couldn't make them there--pan fry or indoor grill so they would be fresh? (I know dh wants to socialize, too, but the guys would probably hang out in the kitchen with him while he is making them.)

mime

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2013, 09:41:54 AM »
I was at a large outdoor catered picnic with burgers that were served from large foil pans that were filled with a very dark liquid. It looked strange to me so I asked the caterer about it. He told me that after all kinds of experimenting with keeping burgers warm for big picnics, he had the most success with keeping them in a heater (or low oven/warming drawer/over a burner) in foil pans filled with Coke. He said that they didn't pick up any funny flavors (which was true) and they didn't dry out or get soggy (also true).

I've used the same trick myself and was happy with the results.


Layla Miller

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2013, 11:32:50 AM »
Burgers were partly because a bunch of sales aligned that made it fairly inexpensive to buy supplies for a largish group of people.  DH isn't as much about socializing with guys as not wanting to miss half of his daughter's first birthday party.  Depending on how many people will be there, we'll see how early he needs to start cooking them.  We're going to have other stuff like hot dogs (kept warm in a crock pot), so this won't be the only meat there.

The Coke idea sounds interesting.  I'll see what DH thinks about it.

Thanks again!
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jpcher

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2013, 02:30:27 PM »
I was going to suggest a beef broth in the pan to keep them from drying out. I think the broth adds a little something to the burgers.

Coke? That's rather interesting! Maybe I'll try that next time.

Also, like kudeebee suggested . . . cook until just before done. The burgers will continue to cook during the warming.

Thipu1

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2013, 08:56:38 PM »
I haven't heard about cola but, in the museum cafe, partially cooked burgers were kept in a container of beef broth at the back of the grill until they were ordered.  The burgers were then grilled under a dome.  The final cooking was very quick.  The burgs were always juicy and delicious. 

YummyMummy66

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 08:09:05 PM »
I have a big crockpot, oval type shape, that has a low, high and warm setting. 

We have made hot dogs earlier for parties and then put them in this crockpot on the warm setting.

If you have something like this, this is what I would do for the burgers. 

Bobbie

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 05:20:55 PM »
I volunteer in concession stands a lot and we keep the burgers in a crockpot filled with water and au jus.  It keeps the burgers moist and gives them a good flavor.  You can also used the heavy duty foil pans with the water and au jus on your BBQ set on low.  As long as the temp stay above 160 degrees F it should be ok.

Arila

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 05:40:21 PM »
We usually put the onion soup mix IN the burgers, but I wonder if it wouldn't be a good substitute for the beef juice AROUND the burgers while waiting to be served? :D

jpcher

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 07:31:56 PM »
We usually put the onion soup mix IN the burgers, but I wonder if it wouldn't be a good substitute for the beef juice AROUND the burgers while waiting to be served? :D

Putting the mix IN the burgers incorporates the flavor throughout the meat.

Just adding it to some water? AROUND the burgers? will only coat the outsides. The onion flavor will not penetrate to the center of an already cooked burger.

The idea of the juice is to keep the burgers from drying out, not to flavor the meat. Using au jus, broth, even coke does add to the topical flavor soooo much better than keeping your burgers warm in plain water.

I love onion-soup mix burgers. Please keep adding the mix to the meat before cooking.

Adding a pack of the mix to whatever juice you decide to keep the burgers warm in, it will enhance, incorporate and bring out the flavor of the burger.

cicero

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2013, 02:46:13 AM »
Burgers were partly because a bunch of sales aligned that made it fairly inexpensive to buy supplies for a largish group of people.  DH isn't as much about socializing with guys as not wanting to miss half of his daughter's first birthday party.  Depending on how many people will be there, we'll see how early he needs to start cooking them.  We're going to have other stuff like hot dogs (kept warm in a crock pot), so this won't be the only meat there.

The Coke idea sounds interesting.  I'll see what DH thinks about it.

Thanks again!
if that's the only reason, how about somethign else that uses chopped meat like sloppy joes, spagehetti and meatballs, bolognaise - all things that do fine with longer cooking/warming.

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Layla Miller

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Re: Keeping burgers warm?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2013, 12:23:04 PM »
Thanks for all the ideas, everyone!  I realized I should update this since the party was a month ago.  We went with putting them on a metal rack in a 9 x 13 pan with the broth underneath them, then covered it with foil before putting them in the oven.  They tasted just fine, and only had to sit in the oven for about half an hour.  Thanks again!  :D
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