When it comes to keeping food hot from the oven to the plate, understanding the basics of heat conduction principles will help you determine which style is right for which type of dish. Although there are several different methods out there to keep food hot, we recommend our food warmers because they make the best use of basic conduction principles.
First, you must understand that there are three basic types of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation.
Conduction occurs when heat is transferred via atoms. For example, if a metal spoon is submerged in a boiling liquid, the heat will travel up the metal spoon as the atoms in the spoon vibrate faster and faster, transferring the heat energy from one to another. Conduction heating requires the heat source to make direct contact with food.
Convection transfer is understood best in liquids and gasses. If water in a pot were set on a hot burner, the atoms nearest the bottom of the pot would heat first. As they rise through the water toward the top (on their way to becoming steam), they carry heat with them, transferring heat energy through the entire pot of water. Thus convection does not require food to be in direct contact with the heat source.
Radiation is the transfer of heat energy in the form of waves. This is the way the sun warms the earth, and it’s also the principle by which electric heaters and microwave ovens work.
As you consider how best to keep your food hot while it waits to land on plates, you must consider how the heat might affect the dish. It’s important to keep the food hot without further cooking, scorching, or burning it.
That’s the genius of our food warmers, which have been designed based on an understanding of basic heat transfer properties. They will keep your food hot without harming the integrity of the finished product. If you would like to hear more about our products, please feel free to contact us.