Updated: June 8, 2015

Chafing Dish Reviews:

When the holidays come around each year families gather in homes and people hold Christmas parties, host Thanksgiving dinner, or get the neighborhood together for a year end celebration. If you are planning on having a lot of people over and feeding them, you may want to consider a chafing dish to help keep your food warm and ready to eat. A chafing dish is a cooking utensil that functions as a warming tray. A heating device like a gel stove or candle sit below a pan that rests on a platform and heats the pan. Chafing dishes work great on buffet tables or actually on your dining table as a way to keep foor warm prior to the meal. A chafing dish can be round, oval, or rectangular in shape and vary in size from 3 to 8 quarts. For everyday use you will find them made of pottery or stainless steel and the more formal ones are made of silver or silver-plated materials. Your fuel source below the chafing dish should be one that warms food, not cooks it.
chafing dish


Buying Guide - The simpler chafing dishes are one main compartment for a single dish which is great, but the more expensive ones include 2 or 3 separate chafing dishes with lids for multiple meals being warmed at the same time. You often see these chafing dishes in buffet lines at restaurants or hotels in their meal rooms with eggs, bacons, pancakes, etc. all staying warm while the customers browse the food selection. Roll top chafing dishes are also another high end variety available for home users as well as commercial. If you like to large parties with a huge variety of food, then consider the larger buffet servers with multiple heating pans. The top brands for chafing dishes include Tramontina, BroilKing, Trudeau, Maxam, Wallace, All Clad, and Circulon. Prices range from $30 to $300. We read reviews and product descriptions on Amazon.com, Potracksources.com, and Cooking.com to find out which chafers do the best and perform up to the highest standards. We looked at chafing dishes in all price categories and shapes and sizes and compared all features. Below, we have listed our findings and hope that you find it useful when shopping online or in stores for a new chafing dish. You can browse the top selling chafing dishes online here.

Best Chafing Dish:

If you go on family outings (picnics, church socials), then having a larger chafing dish is critical to keeping meals warm beforehand. Amazon lists a 18/8 Stainless Steel Continental Chafer: Full size (8 Quart Capacity) for $57. It includes a 4 1/8" deep water pan, 2 1/2" dome cover, food pan and two 8 oz. fuel holders. The stainless steel construction goes well in any modern kitchen. Perfect for large family parties or buffet dinners. The adjustable lid on the burners down below let you control the heat to your desired level with no problems. The chafing dish also comes as a folding chafing dish for $94 or a rolltop chafer for $192. If you want a luxury chafing dish that can handle large parties, then consider the Maximillian Rectangular Chafing Dish - 9 Qt. ($212). Similar in looks and features to the one listed below (small chafer) but gives you 9 quart size. RECOMMENDED - Go with the Winware 8 Qt Stainless Steel Chafer, Full Size Chafer - owners say it does the job and keeps food warm for events like parties.

Warming Tray:

When it comes to multiple chafing dishes in one (buffet servers), BroilKing is the brand that most go with. They offer a nice double or triple buffet server for less than $200. The BroilKing TBS-2S Double Buffet Server sells for $180 and features a 400-watt warming surface and buffet server, with two 4.3 quart chafing dishes and lids. You can also use the 20 1/2 inch by 14-inch stainless base as a stand alone warming tray. Owners like the adjustable thermostat and cool touch handles. The BroilKing TBS-3S Triple Buffet Server ($199) is also offered with clear polycarbonate lids for a little less money. The three 2.6 quart chafing dishes with lids are great for use during outdoor barbeques or indoor parties. The adjustable thermostat lets you control temperatures between 155 degrees to 205 degrees F. Both BroilKing models come with a 2-year warranty. These multiple chafing dish buffet servers are great for keeping side dishes warm while working on the entree. No more having to re-heat food. Read more reviews on Cooking.com (all positive we must say). RECOMMENDED - Waring Pro has been a well respected name in the industry as well and they offer the Waring Pro BFS50B Professional Buffet Server and Warming Tray for much less ($80). The heat adjusts from 150 to 200 degrees fahrenheit and the brushed stainless steel base can also be used as a warming tray by itself. The side handles stay cool so you can move the server around without burning your hands.


Small Chafing Dish:

Not all people want a large 8 quart chafing dish so we decided to see how the smaller ones do in testing. The Gourmet Stainless Steel Chafing Dish (3-qt.) ($30) found on Amazon received excellent reviews and does an amazing job with smaller dishes like appetizers, sauces and light entrees. The food will stay warm while the party goes on around it. It's made of 18/10 stainless steel and has a separate steam pan to keep the food from burning which customers say is crucial to a good chafer. The product comes with a tempered glass lid and a groove locked fuel compartment. You can use liquid or solid fuel and the chafing dish is dishwasher safe. Owners say the 3 quart chafing dish is great for serving hors d'oeuvers. Consumers say chafing dishes without a steam pan tend to burn the contents inside and don't the food evenly, that's why this one is rated so high since it has a steam pan. The Maximillian Half-Size Chafing Dish - 4.1 Qt. ($150) is considered an excellent purchase by experts. It's quality construction of heavy-duty 18/10 stainless steel and mirror finish along with gold accents make it a beautiful addition to any kitchen. Features a lift-off dome cover, built-in cover holder, and it's durable and easy to clean. You can find the Maximillian collection on Potracksource.com along with countless other chafing dishes.