Sorry, but who wants a foreign object in the middle of the guacamole? And what’s wrong with the chilling solutions that already exist?
Whether it’s for an extensive buffet or simply a bowl of dip next to the chips on the coffee table, here are some tried and true options to keep party food chilled.
1. KEEP THE FOOD IN THE FRIDGE UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO SERVE IT. Resist setting out perishables in advance of the first guests.
2. USE SMALLER BOWLS OR TRAYS. Instead of one large bowl of dip, for example, use a smaller bowl and refill from the fridge container as necessary (or keep a backup bowl in the fridge, ready to switch out). Do the same with platters/trays. Ideally, use stainless steel bowls which retain the cold longer, and keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to fill them and set them out.
3. USE ICE-NESTED BOWLS OR TRAYS. An easy chilling solution is to nest the bowl or tray with the food in a larger bowl or tray, filled with an inch or two of ice. When the ice melts, replace it. Crushed ice melts more quickly but makes nesting easier than ice cubes. To contain the melted water on a try, you can put the ice in Ziploc-type bags. Or, instead of loose ice or a bag of ice, you can use ice cube trays (filled with ice cubes, of course), and replace them when melted with backup ice cube trays from the freezer.