What’s a party without the food? As the host, deciding on what food to serve is one of the most important decisions you will have to make. If you are going to have a buffet or plated dinner, know that it can take a lot of preparation. On the other hand, you can save a lot of cooking and preparation time serving either hot or cold finger foods at your party instead.
Why Don’t You Just Serve Hot or Cold Finger Foods Platters Instead?
Just think of what you can do with the all the time you save. You can spend more time preparing the decor and planning the event. And that’s not to mention that you don’t have to worry if the next course is going to come out fine. Your guests are also not tied down to a particular spot at the dinner table. They are free to walk around and mingle with each other.
Deciding Between Hot & Cold Finger Platters
Cold finger food platters are very easy to prepare and serve. You just have to place them on your buffet line or serving table with some ice. You can leave them there the whole night and just replace the ice when it starts to melt.
If you decide to serve hot finger foods at your party, note that they will probably take up more space on your line. This is because you will need to place them on warming trays to keep them at the correct (i.e. safe) temperature throughout the night. The good thing about hot finger foods though is that it usually serves as a substitute for the main meal. Your guests can get their stomachs filled while mingling and snacking on these hot treats.
Tips on Serving Finger Foods at Your Party
Hopefully, you are convinced by now. If you are (or even if you are not), here are some tips on how you can serve finger foods at your party.
1. Provide Variety
Try to provide the guests at your party with a good mix of finger foods so everyone can find something that they will like. A good mix of hot and cold finger foods would do. And don’t forget to also serve vegetarian finger foods for those vegans in your party. If possible, also inquire beforehand if any of your guests have special dietary needs (allergies, religious purposes etc) so you can prepare food for them as well.
2. Watch the Temperature
Obviously, you are going to have to keep your hot finger foods hot and your cold finger food cold. You can use warming trays and slow cookers to keep your hot finger foods warm throughout the night. You can serve the cold finger foods over a bed of ice to keep them at the right temperature. This ensures that your food both tastes delicious during the event and that it also keeps them safe to eat. According to the Food Standards Association of Australia, hot finger foods should be kept and served at 140°F (60°C) or above and cold finger foods at 40°F (4°C) or below. If you are reheating leftovers, you should reheat it to at least 170° F.
3. Feed Your Guests Properly
By this, we mean that you should feed your guests with food that is feeling. You don’t want them to leave hungry, do you? Include finger foods that are starchy or with meat. Mini finger sandwiches or baguettes or potato wedges are also great options.
4. Make It Smaller
An easy tip is to turn any of your favourite foods into finger foods. Think of mini hot dogs, mini hamburger, mini sandwiches and everything else that you can make smaller. If you love them when they are at a full portion, it is still going to be just as delicious when it is turned into finger food.
5. Don’t Forget to Give Them Utensils
Don’t get fooled by the name. It might be called ‘finger foods‘ but your guests will probably want to use more than just their fingers to eat your tasty spread. Serve your food on disposable forks, skewers, and toothpicks to make it easy to eat. The plates you provide should also be able to hold at least 4 or 5 pieces of food. Your guest can then go to the buffet line, pick the food they want and mingle around the room. If not, they are just going to be hanging around the food table.
6. Easy to Dispose
Ensure your guests have places to get rid of the utensils, plates, and toothpicks so they don’t have to walk around the room holding them. You do not necessarily need to pepper your tastefully decorated room with ugly trash bags though. You can use decorative cans or bowls and place them in strategic locations in the room. Of course, if you are using a professional catering company, then you can get the servers to help get those plates off your guests’ hands.
7. Strategically Place Food
Try not to place all the food in just one room or location at your party venue. Instead, get your caterers to place them strategically around your venue so that your guests can simply grab a tasty snack and mingle with each other.
8. Don’t Forget to Serve Desserts
Serving desserts is a great way to end a savoury meal, so don’t forget to cater to your guests sweet tooth. You can decide to serve them at the same time with the rest of the food or you can decide to bring them out at the end when everything else is finished – the choice is yours.
Save Even More Time & Get a Professional Finger Food Caterer
What if you can’t decide if you want hot or cold finger food for your party? Why not just have both? Just give our finger food catering team a call and we can get you started on your menu!