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Cook Talk

Baked ziti for 40 people
Hello. I am having about 60 people at my daughters 1st bday party. We rented out a hall and I plan on using the sterno things with half pans of food. I have a restaurant bringing a variety of wraps so I was planning on making 2 half pans of baked ziti and 2 of meatballs. I'm going to cook the meatballs in crock pots and then transfer them into the warming sternos when the party starts. The baked ziti I was going to cook at home for an hour and then bring it and put it in the sternos to stay warm. Does this sound good? I've never done this before so I'm really worried. Also I wanted to know if I could put the water in another half sheet pan instead of a full one. This is because I bought a 30pk of half trays and wanted to see if It made a difference. Any help is appreciated!!!
This is perfectly safe if you do as you plan, but you do need to allow that the water pans take almost 40 minutes to heat to safe level- maybe the first person there could light them?

The water pan needs to be deeper than the food pan, because it is steam, not hot water, that keeps the food hot. If you have 2 sternos, you can use the half pans if the depths are right. If you have 1 sterno, you need the full pan for even heat distribution. Usually the water pan is 4 inches and the food pan is 2 1/2 inches.

2 half pans of ziti is only about 20-25 servings total.

I would allow 10-12 pounds of meatballs if they are small, more if they are larger.

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