Chafing Dishes: Find the Best One For You


When serving a large amount of guests, you need catering supplies that handle a large capacity. One piece of equipment that is a must have for any caterer is a chafing dish. Chafing dishes come in all different shapes, sizes, capacities and styles, so its important to find one that fits your needs best. One thing that is true about all chafing dishes is that they will always serve a large amount of people and keep your food warm, so they are an absolute necessity when serving a large number of guests. Here’s a detailed explanation of all of the different types and options when it comes to chafing dishes!

  • Chafing Dish Shapes – Chafing dishes come in many different shapes. The best shape for you will depend largely on what you will be using it for. Oftentimes, the type of food you will be serving will play a big part in what kind of chafing dish will work best for your application. Some chafing dishes are long but shallow, while some are shorter yet deeper. Deeper chafing dishes are often best used when serving soups, stews, and other foods with similar consistency that may be easiest to scoop out with a spoon. Shallower chafing dishes will be best for serving more solid foods, and the added length of these style chafers will allow for a larger capacity. In addition to the functionality, the shape of your chafing dish can also add to the style and presentation of your event. Some chafers come in a very standard and traditional round or square shape design. You can try adding some style to your presentation and go with an oblong or oval roll-top-chafing-dishshape, or something even more unorthodox!
  • Capacity and Size – In addition the shape of your chafing dish, you also need to be mindful of the capacity.  The more guests that you plan on serving, the larger the capacity of your chafing dish should be. If the size is too small, you run the risk of having to constantly refill the chafing dish with new food. If it is too large, you may be preparing more than you need. However, it is always better to be on the safe side and go bigger when in doubt.
  • Materials and Price – Chafing dishes come in a variety of different materials, qualities, and price points. Depending on what your needs are for your event, you can be sure to find something that will work for you in both function and price. This way, you won’t get stuck paying for something extra that you don’t need, or even worse, paying for something that is insufficient, even if the price is cheaper. You can choose from chafing dishes made from a variety of materials like stainless steel, silver-plated steel, copper, and aluminum. Oftentimes, these also come in a variety of different finishes, including gold, brass, chrome, matte, and more. With such a wide variety of materials, chafers can vary in price as well. If you are looking for an inexpensive option that takes functionality over looks, look into a simple aluminum chafer. If you are looking for something durable and equally as beautiful, consider something like a chrome finished stainless steel chafing dish with gold accents. The amount of options available make finding the perfect chafing dish for your event that much easier.
  • Type of Lid – There are a few types of lids available on most hinged-chafing-dishchafing dishes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You can choose from removable lids, hinged lids, or roll top lids. Removable lids are the simplest and allow you to keep the lids completely off and out of the way while displaying your food. Hinged lids allow you to lift the lid easier, while keeping the lid closed when on display. Many hinged lid chafers have locking mechanisms so you can keep the hinged lid open instead of closed. Roll top lids are another choice, and is similar to the hinged lid except the lid rolls from one side to the other side, instead of lifting upwards. With this design, you don’t have to hold the lid open while you access your food. With these options, you should definitely be able to find a type of lid that will work for your event.
  • Heating Source – The heating source is also a very important option to keep in mind when searching for the right chafing dish. You can choose from sterno fuel heaters, electric heaters, or induction heaters. Sterno fuel heaters are relatively cheaper and will work anywhere, but may have difficulty in windy outdoor conditions. Electric heaters and induction heaters are also other great options. These often have additional features such as temperature adjustability, but they will always require a nearby power source. The pros and cons of these different heating sources is very important when considering the right chafing dish for your event.

Now that we went over the breakdown of all of the different types of chafing dishes that are available, you can be sure to find one that suits your specific needs. With all the different options that are out there on the market today, it is easy to get quickly overwhelmed and confused. Keep this breakdown handy next time you are in the market for some new catering supplies so you can quickly identify the best type of chafing dish for your next event!

If you are in the market for chafing dish, browse the extensive selection at Caterer’s Warehouse for some of the best chafing dishes available!


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