Getting/keeping plates warm

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Head Chef
Jul 11, 2013
I hate putting hot food onto cold plates. In the winter, the food gets cold really quickly anyway without making things worse by putting it onto a cold plate. I am usually only cooking for 2 people and can often put a couple of dinner plates in the top (small) oven if I am using the bottom (large) oven (or vice versa). That works well, but I become unstuck if I am making dinner for 4 and in particular, doing a roasted joint - usually both ovens are in use so nowhere to put the plates to warm!

I have tried putting the plates into the microwave, but it really doesn't work - they only get warm if there is food on them first.

Amazon has loads of plate warmers - but they seem to be geared for much larger gatherings - 10 or 12 plates!

Ideally a 4 - 6 plate warmer device is what I need. Has anyone come across anything (electric/micro/other) that can do this? (Space is also an issue, so I can't get an old style "hostess" trolley - though I would if I could - they seem like an excellent idea for serving warm food on warm plates!)
My oven had a drawer on the bottom. Most people put pots or cookie sheets in it and so did I, unless needed to keep things warm (then the pots/sheets went into the basement for the duration).
If you are doing a roast joint in big oven, once out and resting, turn off oven and place plates in single layer. There should be enough room for 4 plates at least, maybe two more on another shelf? Oven should be hot enough to at least take the chill off of them while carving? or carrying other stuff to the table, just bring the plates in last.
But I did once use the micro - had to put wet (paper) towels between the plates. Only trouble with that is they needed to then be dried.
Only other suggestion (I have not done these but have thought about them)...
1. Heat them up early, wrap in towel(s) and place a heating pad under them.
2. Same as with heating pad but perhaps you have one of those heating gel pads for sore backs?
3. Same as above but place wrapped plates in a cooler that you take on picnics. They work both ways you know :LOL: cold and hot - just not at the same time!

just thought also, heat up a cast iron pan and you plates, wrap in towels (separately).
Ah yes, my old gas cooker had one of those drawers at the bottom. Not overly convenient for a bad back, and my electric cooker doesn't have one anyway.

What I really want is a set of microwavable discs that you put in between each plate and whack in the microwave to warm them up so that the cooker is not needed. My cooker is a "slim" one because of the space available in the kitchen so when I am doing a roast, I also want to put side dishes to keep warm too (stuffing for instance), and the serving dishes for vegetables, and I usually put the joint in the smaller oven - with the door open - for it to rest. So nowhere to put the plates. Precious little worktop space either.

There is no heating in my kitchen and despite the oven being on, plates and dishes remain stone cold. It's very annoying! (Obviously, this is not a problem in the summer.) I also fully accept it is a "first world" problem. I just find food that is supposed to be hot, going cold within minutes, is pretty unpleasant and when you have pored over recipes and done your best to create something tasty for your guests, it is rather disappointing. (Nobody has ever complained I should add - it's just a bugbear of mine.)
How about an electric blanket for plates?

You could probably do the same thing with a heating pad or hot water bottle and a fluffy bath towel. 😉

Just what I need - and some of them are really pretty! I could plug them in at the dining table and not have to worry about space in the oven/kitchen at all. I have emailed to ask if they can supply to the UK.
I run hot water on the plates in the sink and let them sit there until ready. After warming them with hot water, you could heat up a wet towel in the microwave and wrap the plates. You can get a wet towel really hot in the microwave. You could even heat the plates in the warm towel in the microwave just before serving.
Thanks for some ingenious ideas here - but all involve extra time and space - when all I want to do is serve up some food on warm plates with minimal extra effort! I only have a single kitchen sink and no dishwasher, so my sink is usually piled with cooking stuff by the time I have cooked a meal. The plug in plate warmer seems like the ideal solution - just need a UK supplier I think!
keep in mind - things like 'heating pads for plates' may also heat the surface upon which they sit . . . 'warming up' your dining table may or may not be a good thing.
I have an ancient range with a pilot light in one of the ovens, that serves this purpose for me, if I want it - about 180-120° f. I use it more for melting butter and/or chocolate. I've never been one that has had to have my food steaming hot, when I eat it - my Dad was one of those. He even started reheating things in the microwave, when he got their first one!

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