How to Transport Food to a Potluck + Best Potluck Recipes

How to Transport Food to a Potluck + Best Potluck Recipes

Grappling with how to transport food to a potluck? We've got your back!

How to Transport Food to a Potluck

Have you ever spent hours in your kitchen working on a potluck dish, imagining everyone's happy faces when they eat it, only for it to all go south? Maybe the food is lukewarm and congealed by the time you arrive, or it's gone limp and brown. There's nothing worse than seeing all your hard work go to waste. You realize that it's a more difficult task to learn how to transport food to a potluck than you thought.

Luckily, this simple Q&A will teach you everything you need to know about transporting hot food containers, transporting cold food, and the transportation of food products in general. Once you know how to transport food to a potluck, you can show up to the potluck as the gourmet you know you are.

Lastly, we'll share a couple of our best potluck recipes for you to test your newfound skills. Your friends at the potluck will thank you!

How to Transport Food for a Potluck

Whether you're transporting hot food, cold food, or you're just looking for some tips and tricks to keep your cargo safe, these food transportation hacks will save you a lot of grief!

Tips and Tricks for How to Transport Food

  1. Invest in some disposable foil pans.

    First of all, foil pans reduce the amount of clean-up, which is always nice. Also, you don't have to worry about your precious dishes to go missing at the party. Foil pans are incredibly inexpensive, so head over to your nearest supermarket and buy some -- they will make things much easier, trust us.
  2. While you're at it, clamp foil pans closed with binder clips.

    Foil pans are some of the best ways to transport food! However, they can often put you in jeopardy of letting your food slosh out. Instead of risking it, put another foil pan on top and clamp them together with binder clips.
  3. Transport cupcakes using a deep muffin tin and a baking pan.

    Put the cupcakes into a muffin tin that is deeper than the cupcakes are tall. This will keep them from sliding around. Then, turn the baking pan upside down and place it on top -- this will keep the frosting safe!
  4. Ladle soup into mason jars.

    First of all, mason jars are SOUP-er trendy. Second of all, everyone will have their own individual portion, which is always fun. But third of all and most importantly, this way the soup won't spill, since mason jars have their own lids.
  5. Cover up salad bowls with shower caps. (Also, don't dress the salad until you arrive.)

    Goodbye flies, goodbye wilting, and goodbye spillage!
  6. Place deviled eggs in an egg carton.

    It's perfectly shaped to keep them safe with minimal mess!
  7. If you're going to the potluck with someone else...

    ...have them sit in the back seat with the dishes to keep them from rattling.
  8. If you're putting the dishes in the trunk...

    ...pack them tightly together with towels in between to reduce rattling.

How to Transport Hot Food

How to Transport Hot Food

There are lots of tips on how to transport hot food, like Tesco's suggestions for how to do it, but you don't have to do it only one way. All of these food transportation hacks are helpful to keep in mind!

  1. If you're planning on leaving when the food is hot...

    ...remember that your dish will keep cooking from the residual heat! It may be a better choice to cook the meal at home, refrigerate it so that it's cooked perfectly, and then quickly reheat it in your host's oven.
  2. Use ceramic cookware.

    Scientifically, it will keep hot longer than thin-walled metal dishes!
  3. Wrap your dishes in towels or woolly blankets.

    It's a simple trick, but it works! Remember: if it'll keep you warm in the winter, it'll keep your food warm too.
  4. Buy some hot pads and pack them in between the dishes.

    These are lifesavers, trust us.
  5. Invest in an insulated food tote.

    They're not too expensive, and you'll get a lot of use out of them, trust us!

How to Transport Cold Food

How to Transport Cold Food

It can be difficult to figure out how to transport cold food without active (mechanical) refrigeration, but certainly not impossible!

  1. Wrap every bit of the containers tightly in newspapers.

    Newspaper is an incredibly inexpensive insulator, so take advantage of it!
  2. Place the dishes in coolers.

    There's just no beating a good cooler when it comes to keeping food insulated.
  3. When you put the dishes in your car, put it on the seat, not the floor.

    This keeps the heat from the road and the engine from transferring into your food.
  4. Don't let cold items touch each other without insulation in between.

    That includes ice packs! As they say, "cold eats cold." When one item begins to melt, it will pull the cold from the item next to it as an effort to avoid thawing. That's no good!
  5. If all else fails, invest in an insulated food tote.

    Just like with hot food, an insulated food tote will work wonders for your cold food, too.

Our Best Potluck Recipes

What are your hard-won potluck secrets? Let us know in the comments!

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