It’s no wonder catering is considered to be one of the most important and popular food ventures today. Lots of events go down practically every day from birthday parties, weddings and fundraising galas and food catering companies are responsible for supplying food and drink to to attendees. If you want to get a head start on the catering biz, you need to have quality equipment for it. The chafing dish is an investment that every beginner caterer needs to have to get the business going.
- How does a chafing dish operate?
Answer: The chafing dish is not an ordinary serving dish—it basically serves as an ancillary heating stove. To keep the food in it warm and fresh throughout the event, the dish makes use of a chafing fuel to heat it. Chafing dishes are composed of two primary components—the food and water pans plus a stand wherein the pans are added. The fuel furnace of the dish is positioned underneath the dish. Once it burns, this heat is then brought to the water pan in order to heat the food without dehydrating it.
- How do you clean chafing dishes?
Answer: Majority of chafing dishes are made from quality stainless steel so they can be cleaned by hand or through a dishwasher. However, keep in mind not to leave stainless steel units wet or soaking in water for an extended period of time because it will damage its quality. The food pan must not be cleaned or used with harsh cleaning agents or chemicals that are not kitchen-safe. If you want to maintain the appearance of your chafing dishes, make use of a kitchen-safe stainless steel cleaner and a clean microfiber cloth. As for the heating element of the dish, clean it with a moderately damp cloth. Do soak this heating element in water. Always read and follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean the chafing dish.
- What factors should I consider when choosing chafing dishes?
Answer: The capacity and number of chafing dishes you must purchase will be based on the event you are covering or typically cover. Bigger events will require full-sized chafing dishes. You should also consider the shape of the chafing dish—lots of chafing dishes come in different shapes like round, rectangular, oval and square. The lid or cover of the dish must also be considered—base this factor on what your guests or clients usually approve of. You can choose from lift or roll-top lid covers. Lift covers make for great aesthetics while roll-top lids make for simple access and practicality. Do not forget the heat source of the unit—choose between fuel or electric heat chafing dishes.
Our Top Picks
ZENY Pack of 4 Chafing Dish
- Large 8-quart capacity
- Made with food-grade stainless steel
- Excellent heat retention
The ZENY Pack of 4 Chafing Dish is composed of four 8-quart chafing dish sets; every set comes with a full-size food pan, full-size water pan, a cover, a frame stand and two fuel holders with matching covers. Very easy to clean since they are truly dishwasher-friendly. High-quality food-grade stainless steel and the best heat retention makes this set very durable and will last plenty of events.
Nova Microdermabrasion Stainless Steel 2 Round Chafing Dish
- High-quality stainless steel
- Includes beveled legs for stability
- Corrosion and rust-proof
- Sizable capacity
The Nova Microdermabrasion Stainless Steel 2 Round Chafing Dish has a design that allows you to serve delicious food in style. This is a round chafing dish with a contemporary appearance, made from quality rust and corrosion-proof stainless steel. The dish also includes a bottom tray that accommodates 2 reliable, safe food burners built to heat food consistently for an extended period of time. The dishes feature a stackable design as well so storage is a breeze for this set.
Winware Madison Full-size Chafer (8-Quart)
- 2.5 inches deep
- Has 2 fuel holders
- Includes dome-shaped lid
- Features 2 built-in hooks
The Winware Madison Full-size Chafer has plenty of room, or rather food, to share. The chafing dish is 2.5 inches deep and has a full 8-quart capacity so it can serve a good number of individuals for parties at home. It is crafted with high-quality stainless steel that’s on the sturdy yet lightweight side. The server is also designed with integrated hooks so it can hold the cover securely.
Nucu Artisan Stainless Steel Round Buffet Chafer with Glass Lid
- Made with quality stainless steel
- 13 inches diameter
- 10.25 inches tall
The Nucu Artisan Stainless Steel Round Buffet Chafer with Glass Lid will keep your food warm until the event is over by way of its reliable heating system. This is a heavy-duty, durable stainless steel chafer that’s designed for excellent heat retention and corrosion resistance. The chafing dish also includes a glass lid with steam-release vent. Set already comes with a cover, food pan, water pan, the fuel holder and a welded rack.
Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet Servers
- Stainless steel interiors and exteriors
- Aluminum bottom for better heat retention
- Has wide stainless steel handles
- Includes glass lid
The Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet Servers is made with the best stainless steel and glass materials completely free harmful elements like phthalates and BPA. The built of the pans are mostly stainless steel but its bottom is covered with aluminum which makes for the best heat retention and distribution. Moving the pans from kitchen to the serving table is also made easier thanks to its handy, wide stainless steel handles.
Oster Buffet Server Warming Tray
- Set includes 3 trays
- 2.5 quart capacity
- Electric chafing dish type
- Includes safe-touch handles
The Oster Buffet Server Warming Tray makes sure handling hot, cooked food is made safer by way of its safe-touch handles. The fuel source for this model is the electric type and it features a sizable heating surface to better distribute heat evenly for tasty, filling dishes. Its secure dome lid also guarantees heat will be kept inside—for the food only. Its size is enough for bigger families and it makes for a nice chafing dish for special events in your abode.
Get the right chafing dish for your needs—whether you’re a beginner in the catering biz or need several pieces for at-home events, our list will take you to the best brands.