Keep Your Casserole Warm On-The-Go With A Simple Towel Trick

Casserole dish with towel
Casserole dish with towel - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

A good casserole recipe is the perfect meal to bring to any large gathering or potluck dinner party. It comes together easily, bakes all in one pan, and is ready to transport right from the oven -- no need to shift the meal to another dish. But if you're traveling a bit of a distance with a casserole, you'll want to take extra steps to make sure it stays warm enough in the car. Thankfully, all you need is a set of dish towels.

Next time you're traveling with a casserole dish, don't just set it in the trunk and hope for the best. Rather, secure it with some towels, which will help keep it warm for an extended period of time. The thicker the towel, the better the casserole will retain its heat, so keep that in mind. And another big tip: Never leave perishable food out for more than a couple of hours, so this trick only works depending on your travel time.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Use Towels To Keep Your Casserole Warm

Person holding casserole with towel
Person holding casserole with towel - Africa Studio/Shutterstock

When you step out of the shower, what's the first thing you do? Wrap a towel around yourself -- it not only dries you but also instantly warms you up. That's because towels have woven fibers, which makes it hard for heat to get through them. When you wrap your casserole in dish towels, that heat stays closer to the dish because it can't easily escape. Place a few dish towels at the bottom of the bag, then put the casserole on top. To lock in the most heat possible, place towels on top of the casserole dish, too.

There is a caveat, though. Using this method will inevitably put the food in the "danger zone," meaning it might stay warm but will fall below 140 degrees Fahrenheit -- the temperature needed to prevent bacteria growth. To make sure everyone eating the casserole stays healthy, don't use this method if you'll be leaving the food unrefrigerated for more than two hours, according to the USDA.

Additional Tips For Keeping Your Casserole Warm

Casserole on a dish towel
Casserole on a dish towel - Katarzyna Hurova/Shutterstock

Aluminum foil has plenty of kitchen uses. Wrapping the dish in foil before placing it with the towels is another way to keep in as much heat as possible. Aluminum foil acts to reflect thermal energy, meaning when food is wrapped in foil, that heat reflects off the foil and back onto the food. Another option is to store the food and the dish towels in a cooler. While we associate coolers with keeping food cold, their insulation also keeps food warm. Rather than using a regular bag for the towel trick, try it in a cooler to keep even more heat in.

When you remove the casserole from the oven, let it cool for just a few minutes; less than 10 minutes is fine. Letting the surface of the food cool a little will prevent steam from creating condensation when you wrap the casserole. While that doesn't necessarily affect the temperature, it will prevent the top of the dish from getting watery, making it even more ready to serve when it arrives at its destination.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.