Avoid a Catastrophe When Transporting Food: 3 Tips

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It’s happened to all of us: You bake a beautiful cake to take to a party – only to have the frosting smoosh in transit and ruin it. Whether you’re going to a family reunion, dinner party, or holiday celebration, you probably have to transport food in your car several times a year. So to help you avoid a travel catastrophe, I wanted to share three top tips for making travel-friendly dishes:

Invest in Sturdy, Travel-Friendly Tupperware

I got a nice set of cupcake carriers from a specialty kitchen store as a gift 10 years ago, and I use them constantly! These carriers consist of a standard cupcake pan, a stackable plastic tray that sits on top of the pan, and a large plastic lid that snaps shut over it. This allows the cupcakes to stay securely tucked in the trays, with plenty of space between them and the lid so that nothing gets smashed. I have similar carriers for cakes, which is perfect for birthday parties. Nowadays, you can pick up a simple carrier at Dollar Tree, and it’s very helpful for avoiding the sadness of a smeared cake!

Stacking cupcake trays

Go With Non-Perishable Options

Transporting food doesn’t just pose an aesthetic concern – it can also be a health hazard. Driving around with perishable items can be a recipe for spoiled food, so you need to carefully map out what items you’re taking, how far you’re going, and what you’re going to carry them in to keep them fresh, if it’s an item that needs to stay a certain temperature. When at all possible, non-perishable items are a much easier and safer way to go. Jai and I self-catered our DIY wedding back in August, and since we had a large guest list and limited facilities, we designed our menu to focus on mostly shelf stable items. Since we were having a morning ceremony, this created a perfect opportunity to serve breakfast favorites like bagels, toast, fruit, pastries – we even had a doughnut wall! Our guests had a ton of fun, and we made smart use of the limited fridge space we had available at the venue.

Secure Your Food to Avoid Accidents

How to secure a casserole dish

Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

Smashing a cupcake is sad – but having a piping hot dish spill into someone’s lap is a painful injury. For those instances where you do have to transport a dish that has to stay hot en route, make sure you secure it properly. You might not immediately think of Cars.com when it comes to food tips, but this site is so much more than just data points about automobiles – they also have a blog that covers every aspect of using your car in daily life, including how to travel safely with food. They have a helpful post about traveling with Thanksgiving dishes that has lots of clever tips, including this one about using a laundry basket to secure a casserole dish. Smart!

Do you have any life hacks for traveling with food?

Beeb Ashcroft

Owner & editor
As a food blogger, I love to make delicious recipes - but real life doesn't always look like Pinterest! From the triumphs to the tragedies, this blog is dedicated to the funny side of cooking.

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