You may have seen many a chafing dishes in restaurant buffets, yet you may not know enough about this handy kitchen equipment or own one. This kitchen equipment is a must for any restaurant that specializes in buffets or anyone who is in the catering industry. But anyone can own a chaffing dish, you can too. From birthday parties to other large gatherings you can use the chafing dish in serving your buffet items.
The name of chaffing dish comes from the French term chauffer which means ‘small portable stove or heater’. True to its name, the chafing dish or chafer is a portable apparatus that keeps food warm. It is not used to cook food but to present and serve warm food. It is an affordable and convenient way to keep your food warm for as long as two to six hours.
The chaffing dishes can be broken down into three major parts- the frame/stand, the pan and the lid. The chaffing fuel heats the water in the pan and indirectly warms the food in the pan without drying it out. Electric chaffing dishes do not need chaffing fuels to keep the food warm but they still need water to indirectly heat the food.You have probably noticed that not all chaffing dishes look alike; some are different in shape or size. Seeing the different types of chaffing dishes may befuddle you and you may even end up buying the one which is not best suited to your needs. We have reviewed the best chaffing dishes available in the market today so that you don’t make the mistake of buying an unsuitable chaffing dish.
The Oster Buffet Server is a versatile chafer that features three warming food pans for parties and holiday family gatherings. Another unique feature of this chafer is its temperature knob with which the level of heat can be adjusted.
If you are looking for a full sized chafer with an affordable price then the Winware Chafer is the one for you. This chafing dish with its dripless pan, tight fitting lead can keep food warm for hours and it is sturdy enough to last you a long time.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Chafing Dishes
- 1. Oster Buffet Server
- 2. Winware Stainless Steel Chafer
- 3. Party Essentials Chafing Kits
- 4. Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet Servers
- 5. Excelsteel Stainless Chafing Dish
- 6. Tiger Chef Stainless Steel Chafer
- 7. Artisan Stainless Steel Round Buffet Chafer
- 8. Winware Madison Chafer
- 9. Tiger Chef TC-20415 Half Size Chafing Dish
- 10. Tiger Chef Round Chafing Dish Set
- Things to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Chafing Dish
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Chafing Dishes
1. Oster Buffet Server
If you are looking for a chafer that can warm more than one food item at the same time then you can the Oster Buffet Server. It is a versatile chafer that features three compartments of trays that can heat three different types of food items at the same time. With this you will be able to separate meat and vegetarian food items in the same chafer.
Quality is never an issue with Oster products. The same goes for Oster Buffet server. It has a stainless steel housing which is highly durable. Its base and heating surface is large and measures to 20 by 13 inch. The base can also act as a stand-alone warming tray for side dishes and appetizers.
The 2-1/2- buffet trays included with the server is capable of warming seven quarts of food for hours. It is capable of heating dips, appetizers, vegetable and meat dishes, desserts, and more. The tight fitting dome shaped lid along with its leak-proof design entraps the heat inside the vessel and keeps food warm.
Oster Buffet Server is perfect for people with large families. Not only can it be used on special occasions and family functions but it can also be used regularly. Its durable construction makes sure that it does not damage easily even when it is used regularly. It is also user friendly due to it having cool-touch handles. These handles not only provide a firm grip but also help to prevent burns.
What makes the Oster Buffet server unique is its versatility and efficiency. Although it uses the traditional water bath it also features a knob that helps to control temperature. It also features a power indicating light that illuminates when the heating element is switched on. This chafer is also super easy to clean as all its parts- pans and lids are dish washer safe.
2. Winware Stainless Steel Chafer
People cook large quantities of food during special occasions like Thanksgiving. During such occasions you will need a dish that can hold large volumes of food. Winware Chafer is a presentable dish that will not only serve large batches of food but also keep them warm.
With its 8 quart capacity it is spacious enough to meet everyone’s needs and it is also 2.5 inches deep. The dripless water pan, tight fitting dome lid and two sterno fuel holders boasts its efficiency. It is easy to use and affordable. It is perfect for occasional use
The quality of Winware server is top-notch. You will not have to worry about the server cooling your food faster or changing its flavor due to over-heating. It is constructed with durable stainless steel. It has a sturdy design yet it is light weight and easily portable.
Winware server features built in hooks in its frame to hold the dome shaped cover properly. With its stainless steel mirror finished design it blends in with any kitchen décor or setting.
3. Party Essentials Chafing Kits
If you suddenly have the urge to throw an outdoors party but you don’t have the required equipment to serve food for a large number of people and keep the food warm at the same then you can purchase Party Essentials Chaffing kit. It comes with 33 disposable pieces including serving forks, spoons, tongs, water pan, food pan, gel fuel and chafing racks.
The chaffing kit of Party Essentials consists of three water pans, six food pans, three wire racks, six gel fuels, six serving forks, six serving forks and three serving tongs. The Aluminum buffet style pans are flimsy but along with the forks and spoons they are perfect for one time use. The forks, spoons and tongs are made rigid and durable with polystyrene.
The gel fuel cans that come with the set contain 190g methanol fuel. They can burn and warm food for around two hours. The included wire chafing racks hold the water and food pans over the fuel cans.
4. Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet Servers
A chaffing dish that will not only blend in easily with other utensils but also add an elegant charm to your buffet is Cuisinart Buffet Server. This 11inches round shaped server has many admirable features that may interest you and suit your needs. The beautiful stainless steel exterior of the server will prevent it from rusting. The interior of the server is also made of stainless steel which lacks chemicals like BPA and phthalates and thus allows better cooking results.
One of the main purposes of a chafing dish is to keep the food warm and Cuisinart does just that efficiently. Because of its aluminum encapsulated base this chaffing dish is able to quickly and evenly distribute heat. Although the glass lid of the server is slightly heavy it is still light enough to be easily portable. Especially the wide stainless handles help to easily transport it from oven or stove to table.
Not only is this dish easily portable but also easy to clean. The stainless steel pan, even the glass lid is completely dishwasher safe.
5. Excelsteel Stainless Chafing Dish
When it comes to purchasing a product, most of us prefer one that is sturdy and will last us a long time. Amongst chafing dishes, Excelsteel Chafing Dishes is one of those heavy duty products that can attract the interest of both professionals and individuals.
Excelsteel Chafing dish includes a 4 or 8 quarts sized food tray, tempered glass lid, water pan. If you plan on using the server for special occasions at home then you can opt for the 4 quarts sized one. And the 8 quarts sized one is more suitable for professional use. But whichever size you choose this dish will provide you efficient functionality.
You will not have to worry about your warm food cooling down using this chafing dish because of its stainless steel construction. Also the tempered glass lid seals the dish tightly and keeps the warmth from escaping. It also helps you monitor the food condition. The stainless steel makes the dish durable. So you will not have to worry about the dish rusting or corroding any time soon.
The stay cool handles of the dish prevents burns and makes it easily portable. It also features a heavy duty stand that can support a lot of weight and provide stability. The stand is connected with a glass lid holder, handle and convertible burner with lid. This chafing dish can become a nice addition to your kitchen utensils with all its features.
6. Tiger Chef Stainless Steel Chafer
To enhance your catering events or any other large event you should go for the Tigerchef Chafer. With its functionality and versatility serving warm food at your gathering will be a breeze. Its complete chafer set is suitable for professional use, but you can also use this for large events at home to get a professional experience.
The complete chafer set will not only help you keep your food warm but also help you serve food elegantly. It includes a full size pan (8 quarts), a water pan, a foldable frame, a lid with stay cool handle, two fuel holders with lids, six fuel gels and three stainless steel spoons for serving. The versatility of this chafer is that its full size pan can serve one whole item and at the same time it is spacious enough to accommodate two half sized pans or three one-third sized pans. It also works well with disposable aluminum pans. Although it is foldable the chafer is made of high quality stainless steel sporting a mirror sating finish, which is also NSF certified.
The foldable frame of this chafer is its unique feature. Because of its collapsible legs it saves storage space and is easy to set up. It is also easy to clean. The dome shaped lead, food pan, water pan all are dishwasher safe, the other parts of it can easily be cleaned using water and soap.
Easy to store, easy to clean this versatile server Tigerchef Chafer with its functionality is one of a kind. If you choose to purchase this chafer it will be a useful addition to your kitchen tools.
7. Artisan Stainless Steel Round Buffet Chafer
Serve any meal with style by using the Artisan Buffet Chafer. Constructed with stainless steel this round shaped chafer has an elegant look to it. Its design, versatility and efficiency in keeping food warm make it suitable to be used in both formal and informal occasions.
At buffets, potlucks and other events this chafer can serve warm food perfectly. The fuel holder accommodates the source which heats the lower pan. The water in the lower pan evenly distributes heat amongst the food in the upper pan. The chafer includes a food pan, water pan, welded rack, transparent cover, fuel holders that measure up to 13 inches diameter and 10.25 inches height. Constructed with stainless steel the pan is durable enough for everyday use. The quality stainless steel helps to maintain the temperature of food and also prevent corrosion.
You can use this buffet chafer in both formal and informal events as it comes in different sizes and designs. The 4 quarts sized chafer in round in shape and the 8 quarts sized chafer which is rectangular in shape. It is also easily portable and blends in with any setting.
Food remains fresh inside this chafer due to it having a steam release vent in the lid. This vent prevents condensation in the food tray. The welded rack conveniently holds the lid when it is opened. You can also monitor the food condition because of the transparent lid.
You can easily clean this chafer using hand wash with warm soapy water; no strong or harsh cleanser is needed. Instead they should be avoided unless you want to ruin the polished stainless steel finish of the chafer.
8. Winware Madison Chafer
Winware Madison Chafer is a full sized steel roll top chafer. If you are looking for a chafer that has high capacity then you can opt for this one. Sized 8 quarts it can easily accommodate a large batch of food and keep it warm. Constructed with quality stainless steel it is durable and scratch resistant. The roll top cover of this chafer has a stainless steel mirror finish, giving it an elegant look. Its elegant design makes it suitable for both parties and professional use.
This full sized chafer includes everything needed to keep your food warm, water pan, food pan which is 2-1/2 inches deep, two fuel holders with lead and a roller top dome shaped cover. The cover opens in a 90 degree angle instead of a 180 degree angle and a cool-touch handle is attached to it.
The dripless water pan makes sure that heat is distributed evenly amongst the food without drying it out. The cover is also tight fitting to the pan and makes sure heat does not escape from inside the chafer. As this chafer is quite bulky it is not easily portable. But with its efficiency, capacity and elegant look the Winware Madison Chafer will be a pleasant addition to your collection if you choose to purchase it.
9. Tiger Chef TC-20415 Half Size Chafing Dish
If you are looking for a half sized chafer with a sophisticated design you can consider purchasing the Tigerchef TC-20415. Its polished stainless steel exterior along with its gold accents on the handles and stand gives the chafer an elegant design. Its design makes it easy to clean and suitable for use in special occasions.
Unlike the full sized Tigerchef chafer, the TigerChef TC-20415 is a half sized chafer more suitable to be used at small gatherings. This 4 quart chafer set is more suitable for serving small portions of food or appetizers at family events than larger events.
Similar to the full sized TigerChef chafer the half sized one includes all the materials needed to keep the food warm like the a 4 quart food pan, dripless water pan, chafer rack, fuel plate, fuel holder , lid with cool with handle and fuel gels. You will not have to worry about accidently burning your hand as the handles are cool to touch.
The half-sized chafer is also good at keeping the food warm without changing the flavor of the food. The dripless water pan evenly distributes heat. Moreover, the included fuel holder placed in the center distributes heat properly. The lid has a hook that attaches it to the chafer so that it can stay out of the way during serving.
10. Tiger Chef Round Chafing Dish Set
If you want to purchase a set of chafing dishes you can consider the Tiger Chef Round Chafing Dish Set that includes three 4 quart sized round chafing dishes. The whole set also includes three dome covers, three chafer stands, three fuel holders with cover, three free fuel gels and three plastic serving tong. It is also available as a single unit.
Durability is a feature of this chafing dish. It is made of high quality stainless steel that is NSF certified. The legs are quite sturdy and the handle on the lid provides a secured grip for safety and stability. The stainless steel mirror finish along with the gold accents on handles and legs gives the round chafer an elegant look. Because of its sophisticated design it is suitable for using in large events like graduations, weddings and such.
This chafer proves its versatility by serving both warm and cold food. If you put ice in the fuel holder you can serve cold food and by using fuel gel you can serve warm food. Along with durability and versatility what makes this dish convenient is how easy it is to clean. The food pan, water pan and lid are dishwasher safe and the other parts can easily be washed with soap and water.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Chafing Dish
With a plethora of chafing dishes available in the market it can become difficult to choose the right chafing dish. You might just end up purchasing a chafing dish based on its look or brand and that can turn out to be a terrible decision. Because although all chafing dishes serve the same purpose of keeping food warm not all of them are of the same quality or have the same features. That is why you should think over various things before making your purchase,
Depending on the type of even and the number of guests coming to the even you should choose your chaffing dish. Usually for larger events you will need more than one chafing dish and it is better to get a full sized chafing dish (8 quart).
For smaller parties or informal events at home you can opt for a half sized chafing dish or a dish that has more than one warming tray. For formal events you should also choose a chaffing dish that has an elegant design.
Before purchasing a chafing dish you must check out the material used to construct it. If you want a chafing dish that you want to use regularly or for a long time then it is better to get one that is constructed with high quality stainless steel.
If you want to get a chafing dish or buffet servers for one time use then it is better to get a disposable dish like the Pasty Essentials Chafing Kit. But regular use or one time use either way safety is an important issue. So, make sure that the product you are getting uses no harmful chemical, is properly constructed with no sharp edges and features a stay-cool handle.
Shape and Size
Chafers of different sizes and shapes serve different purposes. Full sized chafers are usually used in event with a large number of guests and to serve the main dish. Half sized chafing dishes are usually used together with other half sized chafers serving side dishes or used at informal parties.
Rectangular and oval chafers are usually used to serve main entrees. But oval chafers have a more stylish look than the standard rectangular chafing dish. The round shaped chafing is usually used to serve side dishes or desserts. Square shaped chafers are slightly less common but still used by caterers for serving appetizers and side dishes.
There is nothing that ruins a party more than food that is served cold. Chafing dishes are brilliant apparatus which keeps food warm for hours without keeping it on the stove. With this dish we are able to serve warm, large batches of mouth-watering food items at parties.
So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself the best chaffing dish available in the market today to throw successful parties and conveniently serve warm food there. We hope that with our review on different chaffing dishes you will be able to make an informed decision and purchase a chaffing dish that meets all your requirements.