If you’re in the catering business then you understand the importance of being able to keep the food you’re serving as warm as possible during the entire event. Unless you’re using chafing dishes, this can be an extremely difficult feat to accomplish. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from. But before we get to that, let’s talk about what you should be thinking about when choosing the perfect chafing dish for your company!
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Buying Guide To The Best Chafing Dishes
- Heat Source
There are a couple of different ways that a chafing dish receives its heat. One way is the use of electricity! If the event that you’re working has access to electrical outlets, then you could opt to purchase an electrically heated chafer or an induction heated chafer. On the other hand, if you’re okay having an open heat source on your table then you could go with a standard fuel chafer, which is a great option if you don’t have access to electricity.
- The Construction
Just like everything else in this world, there are different options of chafing dishes according to the money that you’re able to spend. But as a baseline, most chafing dishes are constructed out of stainless steel, making them pretty easy to clean. Economy chafers are made out of 18/8 lightweight steel, which is corrosion resistant. There are also chafers that are constructed out of 18/10 steel, and obviously, there are certain chafers that are only used for the most luxurious of events.
Chafing dishes come in a variety of different shapes, so the one you choose is entirely dependent on your own personal preference. All you need to do is think about what you’ll be using the chafing dish for, and whether or not it will look nice with your other pieces, and you should have no problem picking out the perfect one!
- Capacity and Size
This one, like the shape of the chafing dish, is entirely dependent on your personal preferences. When purchasing a chafing dish, it’s important to keep in mind how much food you’ll be wanting to serve. Chafing dishes can hold up to 9 quarts and as little as 1.75 quarts, so ultimately the choice is yours.
When choosing the right chafing dish for your catering business it’s important to think about the aesthetic that you’d like to create. Chafing dishes come in several different styles and finishes, so once again, it’s all about your preference and the type of events you’ll be catering.
If you’ve ever seen a chafing dish then you know that most of the time they’re covered with a decorative or basic top. There are several different types of covers to choose from, including roll-top covers, hinged covers, and glass covers, so make sure you do your research before settling on just one!
Top 5 Best Chafing Dishes – Selected by Experts
1. Proctor Silex 2.2 Quart Chafing Dishes
Catering events can be extremely busy, but they can also be extremely hectic, especially if you don’t have the right equipment at your disposal. The Proctor Silex 2.2 Quart Stainless Steel Chafing Dishes can hold up to three 2.2 quarts of food, making it the perfect piece of equipment for serving appetizers, side dishes, or entrees.
Because of its universal size, this chafing dish can accommodate the food pan, water pan, and chafing dish cover that come along with this chafing dish. But if you’re looking for a customized set up, the Proctor Silex Chafing Dish also allows you to use your own fractional pans instead of the full-size food pan that this piece comes with. Considering that this piece is made out of durable stainless steel, there’s no need to worry about it failing you in the middle of an event.
This chafing dish has been designed to hold the lid in an upright position while the food in the chafer pan is being served. You also don’t need to worry about it moving or tipping while you’re working because the beveled legs provide you with ultimate stability. If you’re looking for a chafing dish that is easily transported, then you’d absolutely love the stackable design of the Proctor Silex 34300 Server & Food Buffets Food Warmer for Parties. Your guests will love this chafing dish, as well, especially when theyh see the mirror finish on the lid, which provides guests with a glamourous appearance!
- Highly flexible three 2.2 Quarts
- Easy to assemble
- Maintain temperature without reheating
- Some users have reported that it isn’t very durable – less than four uses
- Users have reported that the metal is extremely thin
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2. Tiger Chef Stainless Steel Chafer, Full Size Chafer
If you’re a professional chef who tends to cater large events, then the Tiger Chef Stainless Steel Chafer is the perfect piece of equipment for you to add to your collection. Because of its foldable design, the Stainless Steel Chafer Dish from Tiger Chef is easily stored, quickly set up, and transported with ease. Even though it is foldable, the stainless steel design with a mirror satin finish is NSF Certified. If you’re looking to create an elegant aesthetic during your catering events, then this chafing set is certainly for you.
It includes a foldable frame that saves on storage space, a water pan, a lid with plastic cool-touch handles, a full-size pan, and two chafing fuel holders with lids. Not only will it hold large amounts of food in the full-size pan provided, but it can also hold two half-size pans or three third-size pans, which are sold separately.
- Professional looking
- Doesn’t rust easily
- Sharp edges on the pan
- Thin material
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3. Nova 8 Quart For Catering Buffet Warmer
If you’re looking fot a chafing dish capable of feeding an army, then you can stop looking right here. The generous 8 quart capacity of this stainless steel chafing dish holds enough food to cater big events like wedding, parties, and buffets. The design of this chafing dish allows you to serve food from the full-size chafer pan, whle the lid is held in an upright position.
The beveled legs also ensure that the chafing dish is stable at all times, allowing you to do your job without the risk of the chafing dish tipping over. The bottom tray was designed to hold two fuel burners at a time, which is absolutely perfect for an event that requires the food to be warm for extended periods of time.
Thanks to the mirror finish on this stainless steel chafing dish, you don’t need to worry about it rusting or corroding in a short amount of time. Not to mention, the food pan is actually NSF certified to ensure that it is safe for the publice. And since catering involves transporting the food around in a vechicle, the stackable design allows you to store and move this chafing dish with ease.
- Each set comes with: 1 stainless steel frame, 1 water pan, full-size pan, 2 fuel holders
- Dishwasher safe
- Sturdy enough for many uses
- Sterno cans sold separately
- Few users have reported that their frames were bent when they received them
- Stains easily
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4. SUPER DEAL 4 Pack Full Size Chafer Dish
There’s nothing like getting a deal on an essential piece of catering equipment, and this chafing dish set sure is a steal. Capable of holding up to 8 quarts of food, this chafing dish set is perfect for large catering events, as well as smaller family events. The universal design of this chafing dish set allows you to use your own fractional pans instead of using the full-size food pan that this set comes with.
The stainless steel design ensures that this chafing dish is durable enough to last your catering business quite some time. Not to mention, the beveled legs of this design will allow you to work without the fear of the chafing dish spilling over or moving.
Catering can be fun, but the clean up can also be a strenuous task, especially when it comes to cleaning the chafing dishes after using them for several hours. Luckily, the rounded corners of this food pan ensures that clean up is simple and you won’t be wasting any food, as well.
- Comes with two fuel burners
- Will not rust, corrode or tarnish
- Lid comes with cool touch handles
- Some users have reported that it was made out of thin material
- Only fits full-sized pan
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5. TigerChef 8 Quart Full Size Stainless Steel Chafer with Folding Frame
If you’re the chef responsible for catering elegant events, then you should definitely check out the TigerChef 8 Quart Full Size Stainless Steel Chafer with Folding Frame. Not only does this set allow you to display your spread in an elegant manner, but it will allow you to keep all of the food warm for long periods of time. This chafing dish set includes a foldable frame that allows you to save storage space, as well as transport it without the anxiety of everything falling over.
Included in this set are a water pan, a full size pan, a lid with a plastic cool-touch handle, two chafing fuel holders with lids, and six chafing fuel gels with three stainless steel serving spoons! The full size pan provided with the set hold an incredible amount of food! It can also accomodate two half size pans or three third size pans, which are sold separately.
- Comes with one canister of fuel
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to clean
- Sharp edges
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Top 5 Best Chafing Dishes Comparison Table
Proctor Silex 2.2 Quart Chafing Dishes
15.71 x 25.16 x 5.71 inches
Tiger Chef Stainless Steel Chafer
23.5 x 14.25 x 13.5 inches
Nova 8 Quart For Catering Buffet Warmer
24 x 14 x 12.5 inches
SUPER DEAL 4 Pack Full Size Chafer Dish
25.25 x 25.25 x 25.25 inches
TigerChef 8 Quart Full Size Stainless Steel Chafer with Folding Frame
25.5 x 16.2 x 15.5 inches
Benefits of Chafing Dish
Now that you have some great options to choose from, let’s talk about the undeniable benefits of using a chafing dish during your parties or catering events.
It goes without saying that hygiene is one of the most important things to keep in mind while you’re serving food to other people. With a chafing dish, everything is kept organized, fresh, and your guests are able to serve themselves.
Keeping Things Warm
Most people use chafing dishes because they’re serving food to large groups of people, which obviously means that the food needs to be kept warm during the entire event. Chafing dishes allow caterers to keep the food warm and fresh for the entire length of the function.
Step Up Your Game
As a caterer, you have to worry about all of the competition out there just waiting to take jobs from you. When you have a classy looking set-up you’re more likely to get the bigger catering jobs working with the classiest of guests.
One of the hardest parts of being a caterer is making sure that your equipment lasts throughout the years. If you’re constantly having to replace your equipment, then your not really saving too much money for more important expenses.
How to Use Chafing Dish
Since we’ve talked about the benefits of using a chafing dish, it’s important that you actually understand how a chafing dish works! So before you spend your hard earned money on buying a chafing dish, let’s make sure you know how to use it first using this step-by-step guide!
1. Place the base in the position that you would like to use it in.
2. Place the chafing fuel inside of the holder and remove the lid. Attach the dampening lid on the holder and place on the stand.
3. Place the empty water pan in the stand and make sure that it’s secure.
4. Fill the water pan with approximately one inch of boiling water.
5. Carefully light the fuel with a stick lighter.
6. Place the hot food pan on top of the water and close the lid.
You see, there’s nothing to it at all! Chafing dishes have the ability to make things go a lot smoother for those in the catering profession. As long as you know what you’re buying, and you know how to use it, then you shouldn’t have any problem expanding your business and the number of people you can cater to!