Could you be planning to start or spice up your restaurant or catering services? Then, cheers up as you are at the right site. Purchasing one or more high-quality chafing dishes could see your home or business rise to heights you never imagined.
We are here to lead your way through the entire chafing dish selection process. Before diving into the reviews of the top ten best chafing dishes in 2017, it’s, as always, a healthy practice to introduce all readers to the world of chafing dishes. Be keen!
So, what exactly are chafing dishes?
A chafing dish also referred to as a chafer, is a well-heated serving appliance engineered to maintain food at certain temperatures before, during and after serving. They find use in restaurants or mobile catering companies. With several chafing dishes, preparing buffet lines becomes very easy.
Various manufacturers have come up with a broad variety of chafing dishes that suit different needs or occasions including casual picnics, corporate events, weddings, graduation parties, among others.
Most chafing dishes are designed to sit in a pan of hot water. Frames from several heat sources continuously heat the water.
One can decide to purchase a whole set of chafers or separate pieces which can be custom configured to form a buffet serving line.
What are the various types of chafing dishes available today?
Today, many chafing dish designs continue to emerge. On the market, you will find chafing dishes made to aid in serving coffee, soup, meat, vegetables, among other delicacies.
Rectangular Chafing dishes are the most popular. They come in full dimension (8-9 quarts) or half dimension (4-5 quarts).
Circular chafing dishes differ in depth. The shallow ones are ideal for holding sauces or side dishes while the deep ones are perfect for holding soup.
Griddles are designed to maintain dry foods at the ideal serving temperatures. They work directly with the heat source independent of a water bath.
Urns are ideal for holding and serving hot drinks like coffee and tea.
Various finishes featured in chafers
Worth noting is that chafing dishes differ in the finish. Different manufacturers apply different finishes to their chafing dishes. Each chafing dish finish suits a distinct function. Some of the finishes implemented in chafing dishes include
Again, some chafers also feature gold or brass accents which add a bright decorative look.
Various heat sources used with chafing dishes:
Despite the fact that chafing dishes serve a universal purpose-keeping food warm, the heat source varies from one model to the other.
Solid Fuel/Canned Heat/Sterno
This is a traditional way of heating chafing dishes. It utilizes gel or liquid fuel The manufacturer rates the fuel according to its average burning time. The gel fuel burns directly while the liquid fuel uses one or more wicks. All solid fuels produce a hot open flame and demand utmost caution.
What’s interesting, they don’t require electricity. Therefore, they are ideal for outdoor operations. However, they are highly affected by extreme wind conditions. When using canned heat, a fuel holder will help you control the intensity of the flame reaching the dish, thereby controlling the heating effect. Also, a flame holder allows for easy flame extinguishing.
Electric Heat Source
Countertop Induction warmers find use with the induction compatible chafing dishes. Again, electric heaters can be used to warm the chafing dish. Another option is using water pans built with heaters under their pans. All these options are electricity dependent. Fortunately, they can never be affected by the wind and have no time limits.
Various types of chafing dish lids:
The lids fitted in different chafing dishes differ in the various ways:
- Build Material: Some materials used in making the covers include stainless steel, copper, or silver-plated.
- Glass Window: Some lids feature a glass window at the top. The windows allow customers to see what is inside without having to open the lid.
- Opening Style: Some lids are designed to roll open, swing up on some hinges, or lift off completely to allow for access to the delicacies in different chafing dishes.
10. Old Dutch 838 Round Antique Copper Chafing Dish 9
Whenever you yearn for a trend setting serve, the Old Dutch 838 Round Antique Copper Chafing Dish should suit your prospects right. It’s a chafer designed to help you set the finest table look. It comes with black iron stand and a hand-hammered copper finish to elevate the gourmet fare in any occasion to a whole new level.
Particularly relevant, Its stainless steel food pan stands above a temperature controlling water pan heated by a variable gel-fuel holder to maintain your food at the right serving temperature. Indirect heating ensures the food doesn’t dry out. Its 1.75-quart capacity makes it ideal for side dishes and small gatherings. The food pan is dishwasher and oven-safe. Cleaning all the other components is just through a simple wipe.
- Its construction entails the use of high-grade materials like stainless steel
- Elegant and exclusive
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Indirectly heats food-prevents drying out and burning of food
- Easily portable
- Limited capacity
- Quite pricey
9. Excelsteel 4-Quart Heavy Duty Professional Stainless Chafing Dish 90
This is just another high-grade chafer that ranks among the best products in this category. It comes to provide you with a clear path to lead you out of the common kitchen and straight into the highest-level cooking spotlight. It’s a durable chafing dish made of stainless steel.
It maintains food at the best serving temperature. Furthermore, the divided food tray holds various delicacies through the featured divider attached at the bottom. Whether you want your food cold or warm, this chafer will serve your needs appropriately.
Its tempered glass lid lets you monitor the stored food without having to open the lid. Also, its heavy duty stand provides maximum stability thus preventing the chafing dish from falling. The stand includes a glass lid holder, handles, and a convertible burner with a quality cover. The Stay Cool handles and knob allow for easy and safe handling.
What’s in this set:
- Tempered glass lid
- 4-quart food pan
- Exterior ice/water tray
- 4-quart capacity: enough to serve food to a large number of people before refill
- Reasonable price: in fact, this chafer delivers way beyond its cost
- Durable: a stainless steel build guarantees its long life.
- Food divider: allows for placement of different foods in the dish concurrently
- Tempered glass lid: you don’t have to open the cover to view the remaining food in the dish- Ensures optimum cleanliness
- Stay cool handles: Ensure safe operations
- Quite bulky
- Non-detachable divider: stubborn when one needs to place just one type of food in the dish
8. Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet Servers 67
Meet the Cuisinart’s new stainless steel buffet server, a highly appreciated product by users across the globe. It comes to let you entertain your friends and family with elegance and ease by making the serving of food easy as pie. It’s designed and engineered to suit special occasions and holidays. It features an exceptional ability to maintain the various party dishes at the right serving temperature during outdoor or indoor events.
You will love the elegance built into this chafing dish. It features a reflective stainless steel exterior which makes it appealing even from a long distance. Also, a stainless steel interior provides for the achievement of the best cooking results.
Even heat distribution is possible as this buffet server features an aluminum encapsulated bottom. Furthermore, its convenient size allows for serving right from the stovetop or oven. Especially relevant, the featured extensive and sturdy stainless steel handles facilitate its safe and secure transport.
What’s more, the featured glass lid and buffet pan are dishwasher-safe.
- Stainless steel build: maximum durability
- Dishwasher safe glass lid and buffet pan: easy cleaning and maintenance
- Extreme elegance
- Safe to handle: durable handles included
- Lightweight and a convenient size: ease storage and transport
- Limited capacity: a 2-quart capacity makes it unsuitable for large gathering
- Lacks a built-in lid holder rack
7. Artisan Stainless Steel Round Buffet Chafer 37
Regardless of the occasion, this 4-quart chafing dish will always solve your serving issues in the best way. Your friends, customers, or family will never complain about cold food again. What’s interesting, it will help you maintain any event in an active mode for a self-service cuisine. Its construction involves the use of stainless steel. Therefore, this chafing dish withstands every day wear and tear throughout its lifespan.
You can choose to place some ice in the bottom pan and utilize it to store pasta salads, cold appetizers, among other delicacies. Even more, this buffet server features a glass lid, thus, allows anyone to view what’s available without opening the lid. The cover integrates with a holder for safe withdrawal while you serve.
The featured steam vent ensures no moisture condensation occurs on the cover. Furthermore, the vent helps to regulate the internal temperatures thus maintaining the food fresh and tasty at all times. The elegant, polished mirror finish enhances the look of this chafing dish further.
- A large capacity: enough to serve quite some people
- Elegant: features a polished mirror finish
- Glass lid: ensures maximum food cleanliness; no opening to see what is available
- Durable: high-grade stainless steel is the material utilized throughout its entire construction
- Versatile: can hold various delicacies including appetizers, main dishes, pasta salads, among others
- Steam vent: expels moisture and excess heat
- Quite heavy
6. TigerChef TC-20415 Half Size Chafing Dish
Count yourself lucky for coming across this widely-sort chafing dish by the Tiger Chef manufacturing. The manufacturer utilizes polished stainless steel throughout its construction. Therefore, this product is durable, elegant and easy to clean. It’s a half-size chafer that features a 4-quart capacity.
It’s ideal for holding food portions or appetizers for small gatherings or families. The handles come with gold accents which elevate the look of this chafing dish considerably. This product includes a 4-quart food holding pan, lid with a sturdy handle, chafer rack, half-size water pan, fuel plate, fuel holder, as well as fuel gels.
Its elegance will enhance your kitchen’s décor by a significant degree. It suits caterings, buffets, parties, social functions, cruises, and home gatherings.
- Durable: stainless steel construction
- Easy to clean: made of polished stainless steel which eliminates sticking of food
- Convenient 4-quart capacity
- A Trusted Brand
- A bit pricey
5. TigerChef Full Size Stainless Steel Chafer
The TigerChef Full Size Stainless Steel Chafer comes to let you enhance your next catering service in the best way. It presents you with an elegant way to serve food to large events, buffets, gatherings, as well as self-serving settings.
Its foldable frame allows for easy portability and storage as the chafing dish reduces to a convenient size when out of use. In addition to being foldable, this chafer features a high-grade build. Especially relevant, premium quality stainless steel is the material used throughout its entire construction. Moreover, a mirror satin finish makes it ultra-elegant.
This chafer is the ultimate way to present food elegantly and maintain it warm at your preferred serving temperature. Included in this package, is a water pan, a lid with a cool-touch plastic handle, 2 chafing fuel holders with their lids, a full-size pan, and 2 free chafing fuel gels and a slotted spoon.
- 8 quart: sufficient capacity: more than you require
- Favorable price
- NSF certified
- Foldable-frame: simplifies storage and transport
- Dishwasher safe lid and pan: simplifies cleaning and maintenance practices
- Lots of components in one set: water pan, full-size pan, lid, 2 fuel holders with lids, stainless steel slotted spoon, 2 chafing fuel gels
- Sharp edges- require care to avoid injuries. The edges can be filed to prevent accidents.
4. Winware Stainless Steel Roll Top Chafer
Looking for a heavy duty chafer, engineered to withstand wear and tear? Then, bless your luck instincts for coming across this fantastic product by the trusted Winware manufacturing. Built of high-grade stainless steel, this chafer comes ready for the beating. It’s ideal for commercial purposes.
It brings you an 8-quart capacity, enough to serve food to large gatherings. What’s interesting, its lid features a rolling design for effortless withdrawal while you serve your friends, customers, or family.
The elegance of this chafer makes it a priceless additive to any modern kitchen. It will improve the appearance of your entire business or home to greater heights. Other features include a 2.5-inch deep, dripless water pan, two fuel holders, and a sturdy frame.
- Superior stainless steel build: guarantees its durability
- Dripless water pan: shields the serving table and counters from water drips
- Extreme elegance
- Roll-over lid: allows for easy serving of the food
- Easy to clean
3. Oster CKSTBSTW00 Buffet Server
Designed and engineered for the modern kitchen, the Oster Buffet Server is an incredible addition to homes or catering services. It brings you three, well-separated 2.5-quart buffet dishes. The food pans allow for storing and maintaining up to three different dishes at safe serving temperatures. Even more, the dishes can hold almost anything including sausage links, eggs, mashed potatoes, eggs, among other foods.
The included dome-shaped and transparent lids provide for excellent moisture and heat trapping. Therefore, the foods’ temperature and humidity level remain as needed. What’s more, the covers feature an easy-grip indentation for effortless removal.
Also, for improved versatility, the stainless steel base, which includes a 20*13-inch heating surface, could also serve as a warming tray (stand-alone) for side dishes, appetizers, or other delicacies.
Also featured is a power indicator light that provides convenient illumination. Temperature adjustment is through the simple temperature control knob. Particularly pertinent, the lids and pans are dishwasher-safe, thus easy to clean.
Furthermore, the featured black stay-cool side handles allow for easy and safe operations. The manufacturer also provides a one-year limited warranty on this product.
- Excellent build: the body is constructed using high-grade stainless steel and includes handles for easy and safe operations
- Sufficient capacity: 3-2.5 quart buffet pans allow for serving large amounts of up to three different foods concurrently
- Transparent lids: allow for easy monitoring of the remaining food in the buffet pans without opening
- Power indicator light: facilitate the use of this product in low light conditions
- One-year limited warranty
- Plastic lids: appear flimsy. One needs to be careful with them to avoid breakage
2. Winware 8 Qt Stainless Steel Chafer
Among the best chafers on the market so far, is this product by WinWare. It brings you a convenient 8-quart capacity dish. With this product, you can now take your food-serving process to a whole new level. It comes with valuable embellishments to make the entire food-serving process simple, accurate and professional.
Stainless steel is the material used throughout its entire construction. Its heavy-duty cover features a mirror finish which makes it elegant. Even more, the cover comes with two inbuilt hooks to hold it in place for excellent food coverage. Also, featured in this chafing dish is a 2.5-inch dripless water pan designed to hold the water for heating the food. This product also includes a water pan.
- Lightweight: easily portable
- Reasonably priced
- Superior build: stainless steel construction promotes the durability of this chafer
- Sufficient capacity: the 8-quart food holding dish stores a significant amount of food for a large group
- Elegant: the reflective mirror finish applied on the cover makes this chafer elegant.
- Dripless water pan
Very sharp edges: demand utmost care when in use
1. M.V. Trading Chafer 4 Pack Premier Chafers 7
The M.V. Trading Company is proud to present catering companies, restaurants and even individuals with this set of 4 chafing dishes. The collection brings you an exquisite and dependable way of serving large gatherings at buffets or catering events.
With a sufficient capacity of 8 quarts, each of the featured chafing dishes will let you serve the favorite meals at the recommended temperatures. Build of stainless steel, the chafers are made to last long. Their sleek finish allows them to provide an elegant presentation, a sure bet in elevating your business restaurant, home, or hotel décor.
This set includes 4 4-inch deep water pans, 4 full-size folding chafer frames, 4 2.5-inch high lids fitted with black handles, 4 2.5-inch deep food pans, 4 fuel holder trays, and 8 fuel holders. Each chafer’s system is designed to evenly distribute heat thus maintains food hot and ready to serve.
- Durable: the stainless steel construction allows the chafers to last long
- Large capacity: the featured 8-quart chafers allows for serving large gatherings effortlessly
- Affordable: the quality and convenience built into this set surpasses its cost
- Dripless water pan: protects counters and serving tables from water drips
- Foldable: allows for quick clean up as well as convenient transport and storage
- Require large serving tables or counters
This post includes all you need to purchase the best quality chafing dish. We have done all that’s in our power to ensure that you don’t fall for an inferior-quality chafer. What’s left is for you to select your preferred chafing dish through this comprehensive guide.
The list of the top ten best chafing dishes in 2017 includes products designed to meet different purposes. There are those which suit commercial use while others are ideal for personal utilization. Your choice will depend on your intended use.
It’s our hope that this guidepost will be of utmost help to you. All the best in selecting a chafing dishes!