5 Best Chafing Dishes (Reviews Updated 2022)

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Chafing dishes are unlike the rest of your household dishes. It is one of the most crucial pieces of kitchenware for caterers and restaurants. We all know the struggles of keeping the food hot when serving a large crowd. Buying chafing dishes takes a lot of homework because of their intensive use.

Besides, chafers can come in various shapes, sizes, and enhancements. The plethora of options available in the market makes shopping for these more challenging. If you are looking for some help to buy chafing dishes, check out our top 5 picks. Let’s not wait for the food to get cold and jump into the reviews!

Best Chafing Dishes

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Here are our chafing dishes reviews.

1. Oster Buffet Server Warming Tray

Oster Buffet Server Warming Tray

If you demand quality and versatility from your serve ware, the Oster Buffet Server Warming Tray will impress you. This fantastic option ditches the conventional design and takes route for including three compartments.

With this tray, you’ll be able to serve three different foods at the same time. Besides, this Oster chafing dish is beneficial if you have vegetarian and non-vegetarian food on your menu.

Rest assured that this chafing dish option will never pose quality issues. This piece houses a stainless steel body for enhancing durability. After all, if you are going to use the chafing dish every other day, it can’t be flimsy.

The large heating base measures 20 x 13 inches. What’s more, this base can also second as a stand-alone tray for serving appetizers and side dishes. This chafing dish allows you to serve vegetables, dips, appetizers, curry, desserts, and lots more.

But, can this chafing dish keep the food warm? Well, with a tight-fitting dome lid that is leak-proof, we don’t think you’ll get any complaints about cold food. Besides, this chafing dish has stay-cool handles to avoid burning risks.

The best part is that the Oster Buffet chafing dish features a water bath and temperature control knob. With such customizable heating options, you can say goodbye to burnt food!

Why do we like it?

  • It consists of a temperature control knob.
  • Cool-touch handles for convenient use.
  • Three compartments for more variety
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2. Party Essential UPK-33 Party Serving Kit

Party Essential Upk 33 Party Serving Kit

The next on this best chafing dishes list is the Party essentials UPK-33 PartyServing Kit. Be ready to be overwhelmed with this 33-piece serving kit that offers more than just a chafing dish. We highly recommend this product for caterers, restaurant owners, and people who like throwing parties often!

This 33-piece set includes disposable tongs, spoons, forks, food pan, water pan, chafing racks, and gel fuel. To be precise, it has three water pans, three serving tongs, three wire racks, six food pans, and six gel fuels. As for the cutleries, you’ll receive six forks and six spoons.

Note that these chafing dish and the rest of the elements are only for one time use. On the brighter side, if you have compact storage space, disposal chafers are your best go. However, this disposable serving kit is a bit flimsy.

You can keep the food and water pans with reliable chafing racks. The gel fuels in this set contain 190g of methanol fuel. This fuel can keep burning to warm up your food for approximately two hours.

Don’t think that these disposal elements are not capable of serving a large crowd. You can host a great party with lots of people and serve food in this complete chafing kit. If you are on a budget crunch, that’s all the more reason to consider this option.

Why do we like it?

  • Robust 8 quarts capacity
  • Leak-proof and unique design
  • Aesthetics and appeal complement all surroundings.
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3. Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Buffet Servers

Cuisinart 7bsr 28 Buffet Servers

When it comes to anything related to the kitchen, it’s hard to forget Cuisinart. This chafing dish perfectly blends with the rest of your utensils and adds a great charm to the serving table. This round-shaped 11-inch chafer has many impressive features.

We love the elegant stainless steel finish on these chafing dishes. Moreover, stainless steel allows more heavy-duty use by preventing rusting. Buyers will appreciate the stainless steel interior, which avoids the use of phthalates and BPA. In short, it is a piece of safe serving equipment.

The best part about this Cuisinart Buffet Servers is that the lids and pans are dishwasher-safe. Not only cleaning but transporting this chafing dish is quite effortless. It is lightweight and has large, sturdy handles to aid portability. However, some buyers find the glass lids to be heavy.

With the aluminum encapsulated bottom, this chafing dish allows even heat distribution. This feature keeps your food from burning. Also, your guest will appreciate the warm and delicious food!

Also, the chafing dish can hold a significant quantity of food. The dimensions of this product are 7 x 13.5 x 13.25 inches. Its round shape looks aesthetical wherever you put it. Hosting parties and serving hot, lip-smacking food will be effortless with this Cuisinart chafing dish.

Why do we like it?

  • Rust-resistance with stainless steel construction
  • BPA-free and phthalates-free make
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
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4. Winware Madison Chafer

Winware Madison Chafer

Are you look for a large chafing dish? In that case, the Winware Madison Chafer should be on your cart. This chafing dish is a full-sized roll-top chafer. You can serve plenty of food in these 8 quarts capacity chafers. It also means that you have to refill food less frequently.

This Winware Madison Chafer employs a durable and scratch-free stainless steel material. The cover on this chafer has a mirrored stainless-steel finish. In terms of aesthetics and looks, the chafer scores full points.

The chafer comes with everything you’ll need to keep the food warm. It had a 2 ½ inch deep food pan, water pan, roller top dome lids, and two fuel holders. The lid opens halfway at 90-degrees. Unlike many others, this chafer has a cool-touch handle for safety.

Also, the water pan is leak-proof and consists of an even heat distributing design. Even heat distribution is crucial to prevent the food from drying or burning. The chafer traps heat with its tight-fitting structure.

A significant drawback of this chafer is that it is quite bulky. Portability seems to not agree with this chafing dish. However, there is no other department in which this Winware chafing dish compromises. On the whole, it’ll be a pleasant addition to your serveware collection.

Why do we like it?

  • Unique roll-top cover
  • Stay-cool handles to prevent burns.
  • It consists of a leak-proof water pan.
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5. Excelsteel Professional Chafing Dish

Excelsteel Professional Chafing Dish

When it comes to buying any serveware, most of us prefer something durable and long-lasting. Amongst the wide range of chafing dishes, this Excelsteel happens to be one of the sturdiest. This heavy-duty product can attract both casual users and professionals.

This chafing dish includes 8 or 4 quarts sized food compartments, a water pan, and tempered glass lids. If you are planning to use this chafer for house parties, a 4-quart size is enough. As for the professionals, the 8-quarts size is more beneficial and feasible.

This dish uses stainless steel material, which can retain the heat for a relatively long time. Excelsteel also makes use of tempered glass lids for a more tight-fitting.

Both these materials are exceptionally durable. Additionally, the chafing dish is not prone to corrosion or rusting. Also, the transparent tempered glass lid means you don’t have to keep opening it to check the food.

The cool-touch handles make portability easy by preventing the risk of burning. Moreover, the heavy-duty stand extends excellent support and stability to the chafer. This stand connects to a convertible burner, handle, and a glass lid holder.

All these features make it great for gatherings, banquets, and parties!

Why do we like it?

  • The tempered glass lid allows monitoring.
  • Features heavy-duty standards and stay-cool handles
  • Rust- and corrosion-free material
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Chafing Dishes Buyer’s Guide

The more the variety, the greater the confusion. Because of the type in shapes, sizes, price, and so many other factors, buyers face a tremendous amount of confusion. You have to consider all sorts of things about this kitchenware. Besides, not all chafing dishes in the market can excel at all the features. Moreover, some chafers might even end up burning the food. It would help if you chose a chafing dish that strikes a balance between quality, features, and price. To solve your dilemma between two or more options, here’s a buying guide.


You should not compromise the quality when it comes to chafing dishes. You should invest in a chafing dish that will not ask for a replacement for a long time. To ensure the quality, you should always look into the material of the chafing dish.

The best chafing dish will use stainless steel material. Why? It is because stainless steel can withstand damages and rough use. Also, this material is resistant to corrosion and rust. However, if you are looking for one-time use, there’s nothing wrong with disposable materials.

Along with quality, you should also consider the safety of the chafer. The chafer should not use any harmful chemicals for its construction. Either way, quality is an indispensable feature of chafing dishes.

Shape & Size

You’ll be amazed to see the variety of shapes and sizes of a chafing dish. You must know that each shape and size has a different purpose. For example, the full-sized ones are usually suitable for large events and main-course items.

On the other hand, the half-sized chafing dishes are apt for side dishes and more informal events. The oval and rectangular chafers are an excellent option for servings the entrees. However, the oval chafers tend to look more aesthetical than the rectangular ones.

The round chafing dishes go well for serving lip-smacking desserts and even side dishes. The square-shaped chafer is rare, but many caterers use them for side dishes and appetizers.

Cover Type

The cover type is one of the most significant considerations in a chafing dish. The cover can make or break the whole ease factor of the chafer. You also have to think whether the guests will be serving themselves or there will be servers behind the chafer.

If you are employing staff for serving, you can use the lift-off cover style. Most of the time, the lift-off covers are frustrating for the guests because they are heavy. If it is a self-serve buffet, your safest option is the toll-top. These lids are easy to operate and requires minimal effort for opening.

The last type of cover is hinged.

This type of cover is a blend between the lift-off and roll-top. The hinge type chafer lids operate on hydraulics too.

Heating Style

There are mainly three types of heating style – fuel, electric, and induction. The fuel heating style uses small cans with flammable gel.

You can use the electric one for both indoor and outdoor buffets. Besides, the fuel type heating style offers consistent and excellent heat.

The electric ones are only feasible when you have an electric outlet nearby. Since the electric ones have no open flames, they are safer than the fuel ones. Electric chafers are great for outdoor use, primarily when the wind can extinguish the flame.  However, placing the cords and cables for these is a bit challenging.

Nowadays, many fine dining eateries use induction style chafers. These chafers require an induction plate as well as a power outlet. The induction style chafers are most common in indoor venues. Besides, induction chafers allow even heating and prevents cold spots.


It is impossible to avoid the decorative style of the serveware. The finish of the chafing dish can amp up the look and feel of the chafer. The most common time of finish is the mirror, which is shiny and reflective. The satin finish chafers may is smooth but not polished.

The hammered copper ones have a rustic charm that blends with only a handful of décor. However, these are very elegant and sophisticated. It can easily upscale the look of the serving table.

The last type of surface is the matter finish. The matte finish has a dull look.  It would be best if you bought a Finnish that gels well with your serveware and utensils. Besides, it should complement the décor of the event or restaurant.