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How to Safely Transport Hot Food This Holiday

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Traveling with hot food in your vehicle can be challenging, especially on long road trips during the holidays. If you find yourself freaking out every time you bring a warm dish with you to a gathering, it might be time to apply these smart strategies.


If your pie has a fluted crust, package it by placing the pie on a baking sheet. Use double-sided tape to secure the bowl to the pan, then turn a bowl upside down to cover the pie. Tape the bowl down to fasten it to the sheet.

If your pie has a crumb crust, invert a pie plate and place it on top of the pie. Use tin foil to wrap up both the pie and its cover. You can also use tape for additional reinforcement.


Whether you’re securing your green bean casserole or sweet potato casserole, simply place the covered dish in a cardboard box and pad the sides and top with folded or rolled towels. This packaging method will keep the dish warm and prevent it from turning over; it will also help contain any small spills that might occur along the way.

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Photo: Gerry

Turkey or Ham

One word of advice for anyone bringing a turkey or ham: don’t bring it hot. Hot meat must be kept at a constant temperature above 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacteria from growing (a difficult feat on long drives). Instead, cook it the day before your scheduled journey, slice it and store it in small containers. Right before you embark on your trip, pack the turkey or ham in an insulated cooler with ice or frozen packs to keep it cool. Once you get to your destination, reheat the meat to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving it.

Extra Tips for Keeping Your Food Warm

Storing your food in glass dishes will help them to retain heat better than in plastic containers. Wrapping food such as breads or meats in foil is another great way to maintain the temperature. You can also purchase an insulated portable food warmer; some are even rigged with a power cord so you can plug it into your vehicle’s lighter.

With these practical suggestions, you can enjoy peace of mind this season, knowing that your delicious concoctions will make it to their destination in one piece.

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News Sources: Real Simple, The Times-Tribune, USA Today