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While it's easiest to put out a lot of food at once, you can save a lot of waste and possibly prevent some food poisoning by putting food out in smaller batches and replacing it as it runs out. This keeps food from sitting out all day (or all night) so any food that is leftover is still edible. If food needs to be left out for long periods of time, make sure it is properly cooled or kept warm using either ice or warming trays.
Make sure when entertaining to use your crockpot to heat up side dishes such as canned veggies, or use it to keep mashed potatoes or a soup warm.
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Here are questions related to Keeping Food Warm at Parties.
How do you keep buns warm in a crockpot? Do you have to warm them first? Or do they warm well in the crockpot? And how long should you give them to heat up? Should you line the crockpot with a towel and dampen it? This is for a potluck where I need to heat them first at home and keep them warm, hopefully.
I like the idea of warming buns in a crock pot. Another idea is to use one of those casserole dishes that comes with the warming pad. You know, the kind that looks like a brief case and zips up.