8 Best Buffet Food Warmers For Party in 2023

Best Food Warmers

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Hosting a buffet party was once a dreary idea for me. All I did was just run to and fro the kitchen to get warm food or to heat the food that has gone cold. Yup! But that was before best buffet food warmers were common. The best Buffet Food Warmer can keep food hot and fresh for a long time and are useful in most commercial or home party settings.

From restaurants to caterers, for small and large families, Food warmers are now a must-have to keep all your gravies, soups, and snacks warm for a long time. This becomes even more important, if you are planning to prepare a potlick dish or a potluck side dish.

Our team of experts and food enthusiasts have tested the best buffet food warmers available online. For this purpose, we looked into the features of time and temperature adjustment, ease of cleaning, food holding capacity, the shape of the warmer, and others. Based on our careful testing procedure, we will help you make a right decision based on your preferences.

The Best Food Warmers At a Glance

  1. Best Overall: Elite Gourmet EWM-6171
    View at AmazonRead Review
  2. Best Runner up: Betty Crocker Buffet Server
    View at AmazonRead Review
  3. Best Professional: Valgus 8QT Food Warmer
    View at AmazonRead Review
  4. Best Versatile: MegaChef Buffet Server
    View at AmazonRead Review
  5. Best Portable: NutriChef 3 Buffet Server
    View at AmazonRead Review
  6. Best For Luxury Parties: Baoblaze Buffet Warmer
    View at AmazonRead Review
  7. Best Looking: Nova 8 Qt Buffet Catering
    View at AmazonRead Review
  8. Best Disposable: Maxygift’s Chafing Dish Buffet Set
    View at AmazonRead Review

(Recommended: 11 Best Wood Pellets for Smoking)

Buying Tips For The Best Food Warmers:

A warming tray only has one purpose, and you want to make sure it’s convenient, safe, and simple to use.

  • Capacity: We recommend purchasing a buffet server with a capacity of 2 quarts or above. If you have a popular dish that you serve all day, a massive food warmer for that dish is ideal. If you’re only serving a dish for dinner, a smaller food warmer will suffice. Among our top picks, The NutriChef Food Warmer has the highest capacity of 3.5 quarts per serving tray.
  • Electric Or Non-Electric: We have included both types in this list. Both come with their setbacks. While non-electric servers may cause a fire hazard, electric buffet servers can have socket problems. However, both have their advantages as well. Non-Electric Servers like Valgus Food Warmer, come with fuel burners that can warm up the food in minutes, whereas, Electric Servers like Mega Chef Buffet Server can change temperature readings as well.
  • Heat Control: Make sure the buffet server has temperature knobs. This will prevent the food from overheating. For instance, With the Betty Crocker Food Warmer, you can select the desired temperature as per the food’s requirement.
  • Cleaning: Preferable material for easy cleaning is Stainless Steel as it is dishwasher-safe. Accessibility also matters for example you can disassemble Nova Chafing Buffet Server to access every corner while cleaning.

Best Food Warmers You Can Buy in 2023

Elite Gourmet EWM-6171

Elite Gourmet EWM-6171


  • Brushed Stainless Steel finish to allow easy cleaning
  • Spoon cutouts on lids for support
  • The warming tray can be used separately
  • View at Walmart

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • User-friendly

What We Don’t Like

  • Not Sturdy
  • Takes time to heat up

With Elite Gourmet Buffet Server, throwing a perfect party is a piece of cake. This is a server as well as a food warmer for the buffet. It is a fantastic appliance capable of preserving the temperature of your food as well as the flavor for a considerable long time relative to other products.

The unit includes three serving containers, with a 2.5 quarts capacity each. It also includes a heated warming tray and removable tray frame. Elite Gourmet Buffet Server comes with a stainless steel build, and is lightweight to carry at only 9.8 pounds.

The best thing is that you can change it into a buffet server or a warming tray whenever you desire. The construction of the Elite Gourmet Buffet Server is of high-quality brushed stainless steel making it perfect for restaurants, parties, and catering.

I found the design of this Warmer to be super user-friendly. It has a power indicator light that allows you to check or adjust the temperature which makes keeping foods at an ideal serving temperature a lot easier.

For each of the lids over the containers of Elite Gourmet servers, there are special slots allocated for utensils. The top knobs of these lids are large enough to ensure effortless placement and removal.

Another good thing about the lids of this server is that they have a dome shape, which allows you to fill the containers beyond their 2.5 quarts capacity. The lids are also transparent and dishwasher-safe.

One feature that I likeed the most about Elite Gourmet Food Warmer is the fuse-safety feature. Coupled with an adjustable temperature nob, the fuse protection prevents the electric tray from overheating or becoming dangerous to users’ safety. Besides, the handles are also cool to touch, and you can carry the tray even if there is hot food inside it.

The downside of Elite Gourmet Buffet Server is that it is relatively difficult to transport due to its large size. While It is good at keeping food warm, this buffet server is not sturdy enough to be portable. You will have to move food between rooms in a Tupperware container and then transfer it to Elite Gourmet Server.

Another downside is that it takes time to heat up. Therefore, with this buffet server, you will have to be prepared with food before serving it so you can turn it on and allow it to warm up. The heating process can be sped up by adding hot water to the bottom tray.

Other than these aspects, Elite Gourmet Buffet Server provides excellent value for money and performs up to expectations.

Betty Crocker Buffet Server – BC 1586CY

Betty Crocker Buffet Server Warming Tray BC-1586CY


  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Product Dimensions: 27 x 5.24 x 16.34
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Server capacity: 3 x 2.5 quart
  • Total server capacity: 7.5 quarts
  • View at WayFair

What We Like

  • Can keep food warm for up to 3 hours
  • Comes with lids
  • Adjustable temperature settings
  • Cool-to-touch side handles
  • Has a separate spoon notch to hold spoons

What We Don’t Like

  • Sharp edges
  • Short power Cord

Betty Crocker’s food server is the best choice for anyone who holds buffet parties. With its a stylish design hsving 3 distinct servers this buffet warmer is sure to keep food warm and fresh for up to 3 hours. Each unit of this server can hold 2.5 quartz of food.

The stainless steel os this food warmer is not only durable but also retains heat. The rectangular design makes it look stylish and sleek. Serve it at any party and get the compliments flowing out for this executive-style food server.

What I loved about this server was its automatic temperature controls. To prevent burning, the entire unit shuts-off after 3 hours. Its stand out security features are an indicator light to let you know if it is On/Off, and the cool-to-touch handles to help you lift the food server without using a mitten.

Talking about the weight of this food server unit, it is merely 11.35 pounds so that you can easily carry it around when you plan to host the outdoor party in the backyard. The see-through lid enables you to check the quantity of food without lifting the lid and releasing the heat. A side notch allows you to place some serving spoons with the server that makes it truly a fantastic buffet server for all your parties.

However, during personal use, I observed that the power cord is very short, so you will have to place this server near an electric socket.

Note: You’ll need an extension wire to solve this issue.

What i found while testing this unit was that the server unit has sharp edges that may hurt a person while handling. That’s why extra care is required while you unbox the unit and also during regular use.

I must say that the Betty Crocker Buffer server is an excellent choice for those who want to host parties at their homes or offices. The sturdy body is the stand out feature to keep the food hot for many hours.

Valgus 8QT Food Warmer

Valgus 8QT Chafing Dish


  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Pan Capacity: 2 x 9.5 qt
  • Product dimensions: 23 x 14.2 x 12.6 inches
  • Heating method: Fuel

What We Like

  • Comes with a full accessory set
  • It has a foldable design for space saving
  • Long-lasting structure does not develop rust
  • Best for home as well as commercial use
  • Does not require electric power

What We Don’t Like

  • Food serving trays can stick together
  • Assembling the unit is difficult

If you are looking for an economical and user-friendly server unit, our next recommendation of Valgus 8QT Food Warmer is just the right choice.

Our team shortlisted this unit because Valgus is a high-end brand, which manufactures all kinds of cooking utensils, kitchen equipment, serving items, and cutlery for home and commercial use. The brand also offers satisfactory after-sales customer service.

Valgus buffet party tray is an excellent choice for any party. Whether you are at home, at the office, hosting a breakfast buffet or dinner, This food server not only keeps the food warm and fresh but also saves you from unnecessary hassle.

Valgus buffet server does not require electric power to keep the food warmer. It comes with 2 fuel cans which you can load with hot water, burning coal, or a candle to help keep the food warm. The lids of the united ensure that the heat remains inside and keeps the food warm. The unit also includes two water trays, which you can fill with ice or cold water to keep cold foods such as ice cream or custard cold. Other accessories include a set of tongs and a spoon for convenient food service.

The unit has foldable legs and pans can be stacked into each other while storing. This will occupy less storage space, hence it is ideal for a compact kitchen. It also means that you can carry the unit around easily. The structure is constructed out of stainless steel which is a durable material. It does not form rust, and any stains are easy to clean.

However, in my personal experience, I noticed that while stacking the pans for storage, the pans stick to each other and it gets difficult to separate them. I poured a bit of hot water into the lower pan to separate the two.

Another thing which can be troublesome for the new users is that its assembling is somehow difficult. But once done, it is a multipurpose server unit. After all, it is a certified, best food server for home and commercial use.

MegaChef Buffet Server

Megachef 93090024M Buffet Server


  • Features 4 Serving trays instead of standard 3
  • Adjustable temperature knob for more heat control
  • Compact shape and lightweight for easy transportable

What We Like

  • High-quality Build
  • 4 serving trays
  • Compact Shape

What We Don’t Like

  • Small Capacity
  • Lid Wobbles

MegaChef food warmer is an ultimate party sidekick that will give your guests the impression that they are being served a delectable hot meal at the most exclusive banquet.

This unit includes four serving containers, two are large sizes of 1.5 quarts, and the other two are much smaller with 0.75 quarts capacity. It also includes a heated warming tray and removable tray frame. The MegaChef Buffet Server comes with a stainless steel build and dimensions of 25 inches x 13.5 inches x 3.5 inches.

Thanks to the high-quality stainless steel construction, you won’t have to be concerned about leaving these containers in the sink overnight. As for its weight, it is light at about only 7 pounds. Since it is also compact enough, this buffet server is convenient to carry around and safe to use on kitchen counters and serving tables.

We found that transporting the MegaChef buffet server was much easier than any other food warmer on the list. It also has hard-mounted side handles which ensure that the buffet server can easily be moved without any safety concerns.

In addition to that, the four serving trays are detachable and can be stacked together to save space on your kitchen cabinet. The unit also features four legs at the bottom which provides ample space between the kitchen or serving surface and the buffet. This adds protection by avoiding damage to the counter.

Since the four trays are detachable, you can easily access the base warming tray for heating plates or simply serving sauces or warm appetizers. Furthermore, with the adjustable temperature knob, you can alter heat settings as per the requirement of the food. The MegaChef Buffet server has got you covered from morning till the very end of your party.

The first downside that we noticed was that the capacity is too small for large parties, 1.5 quarts of food disappear in gatherings before you even know it. Furthermore, like the previous product, the MegaChef Buffet Server also has dangerous sharp edges. Use of gloves and towels is recommended.

Lastly, the lids appear to be somewhat small for the containers, and as a result, they wobble slightly. There’s a 1/4 inch gap between the edges of the container and the corners of the lid.

Other than that, the versatility and user-friendliness offered by the MegaChef Buffet Server are commendable.

NutriChef 3 Buffet Server

NutriChef 3 Buffet Warmer


  • Maximum size of 3.5 quarts
  • Long cord for easy socket access
  • Dome-shaped Lids to increase capacity

What We Like

  • Good for warming as well as storing
  • Greater Capacity
  • Heats up to 175°F

What We Don’t Like

  • Weak Lids
  • Dangerous as front side heats up

If you are on the hunt for a compact warming tray that is also easily portable with a lightweight design then you will be interested in the NutriChef Buffet Server.

This unit includes three serving containers that can have 3.5 quarts of food. This is a greater quantity than both of the buffet servers we have mentioned above. The Nutrichef Buffet Server comes with high-quality stainless steel construction and dimensions of 25.6 inches x 15 inches x 6 inches which is comparatively smaller in size.

While it functions as a buffet warmer, you can also use it as a container to simply store your food and keep them warm. This 2-in-1 deal is ideal for all events such as weddings, birthday celebrations, or even large business parties; your guests would never know when the food was cooked because it will always taste fresh.

Furthermore, it’s impressive that you can heat different dishes at different heat with the help of the temperature adjusting nob. The maximum temperature that Nutrichef Food Warmer can tolerate is 175 degrees F. We like how it can keep the food warm for about 4 hours.

We found its stainless steel build to be scratch-resistant and easy to clean. It is also easy to use as you have to simply plug it in a 120 V socket that is easily available and it is ready to go. The NutriChef Buffet Server offers quiet operations so that you can serve the food without any hassle in a noise-free environment.

The feature that impresses us the most is the chord. Unlike most of the food warmers on this list, NutriChef Buffet Server has a 3-foot long cord that allows you to set it up in any serving area without the need for an extension cable.

However, although, this food warmer has been advertised by NutriChef as having a 3.5 quarts capacity, our results proved otherwise. Each tray can carry a maximum of 3 quarts by overfilling it til the dome of the lid. Even though, the capacity is still more than other food warmers we found it important to point it out.

Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that the front of the warming tray of NutriChef Buffet Server gets warm and can be dangerous if you were to accidentally touch it.

Also, since the lids are made out of plastic they cannot tolerate the temperature of the containers. This makes them prone to cracking. Moreover, if the cracks do appear and you wish to replace the lids, you will have a hard time finding replacements.

Other than these few downsides, the NutriChef Buffet Server is a convenient solution for warming your food at parties. It is fit for several occasions and its popularity further adds to its reliability.

Baoblaze Buffet Warmer

Baoblaze Buffet Warmer
Baoblaze Buffet Warmer


  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 11.02 inch x 10.63 inch x 2.17inch
  • Color: Aureate
  • Usage: Non-electrical

What We Like

  • Suitable for outdoor parties, camping, hotel use, etc
  • Durable and heat-resistant structure
  • Portable size, convenient handling
  • You can use it as a hot pot, soup pot, or wok

What We Don’t Like

  • It has only one serving unit

When it is something about food being served to the masses, we all need to be extra careful! Lots of considerations, facts and figures to be kept in mind. So when I tell you, Baoblaze is a really good brand of kitchen utensils, you may go buy it immediately because I am saying this after my personal experience with it. The utensil itself speaks volumes about its craftsmanship and solid materials. This is why, Baoblaze’s Food warmer is one of the best food warmers for parties.

For the start, its construction is based on stainless steel, which is stain and scratch resistant. It makes the food warmer durable and longer lasting. This material also ensures that the heat spreads throughout the food warmer, keeping the food evenly warm. With this kind of material and construction, you can use this utensil as a hot pot, soup pot, or wok to cook noodles, etc. Once I tried frying steak in it and it turned out exceptionally well! Stainless steel is well known for not developing any rust and corrosion.

The fuel cup is large enough to hold a substantial quantity of coal or oil. This means you do not need to refill it frequently. It is a power-saving unit because it requires no electricity. You can easily use it anywhere without worrying about the presence of electric sockets. Another thing which I like about the warmer is that it is compact. It fits anywhere, and you can carry it anywhere. It is a versatile food-holding unit for outdoor parties, camping, family gatherings, hotel use, etc.

When you need to store it, it offers even more convenience, because every single piece is detachable. It separates into the covering lid, the food bowl, the fuel cup, the fuel stove, and the bottom stand. Keep all the individual units together so they are easy to arrange later.

However, since it is a single-unit food warmer, it is not meant for a very large gathering. It does not have any additional units, so it can only cater to a gathering of 25 to 50 people at max. Moreover, you need to buy 2 or 3 of these to hold different menu items at your buffet table.

Nova 8 Qt Buffet Catering

Nova 8 Qt Buffet Catering


  • Stackable components for easy storage
  • Total of 8 Quarts Capacity for massive gatherings
  • 2 Fuel Burners to keep food warm for a longer time

What We Like

  • High-Capacity
  • Rust-proof
  • Safe to be carried around

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy
  • Lids not transparent

If you are looking for something more advanced with a higher capacity, Nova Buffet Catering is a good option.

This is a pack of four rectangular chafing dishes with a total of 8 Quarts Capacity making it ideal for buffets, wedding banquets, hotel breakfast or brunches areas, or even self-service environments.

It has dimensions of 16 inches in length, 13.2 inches in width, and 11 inches in height. Therefore, in terms of size, it is portable. With regards to design, it has a sophisticated professional look.

The mirror finish and a sturdy, matte stainless steel surface make it worth every penny you may invest. Our results show that Nova Buffet Chafing Dish does not corrode, tarnish or rust in the long run.

Furthermore, Nova Food Warmer is NSF certified which means it complies with all safety standards. There are two handles on the sides of each chafing dish which make it safe to be carried around with no chances of your hand getting scalded.

It is also convenient to use. These stainless steel chafers can hold the lids upright with support while the food is being served so you don’t have to do it yourself. It also features long beveled legs that ensure further stability so that the risks of the server toppling over are minimized.

It has a bottom tray that can support two adjustable fuel burners, making it ideal for banquet serving and also other scenarios where you need to keep food warm for long periods while trying to minimize flame exposure to ensure the safety of your guests and staff.

Lastly, the Nova Chafing Buffet Server is easily stackable which saves 50% of space while you are storing it. It also makes it much easier to be transported. Washing this Buffet Server is also easy as you have access to every corner internally as well as externally. The Stainless Steel build of Nova Chafing Server also makes it dishwasher safe.

However, there are some downsides to purchasing Nova Chafing Buffet Server. First of all, it is immensely heavy with a weight of 36 pounds. While from the size it may seem as if it is portable, the weight says otherwise.

Another characteristic that we found to be inconvenient is that the lids are of stainless steel. Transparent lids are important so that guests that are passing by know what food is being served; it also looks good to present the food on display. However, this is not possible with this buffet server due to the lids being opaque.

Overall, it is an attractive alternative food warmer that is perfect for putting food on display.

Maxygift’s Disposable Chafing Dish Buffet Set

Maxygift's Disposable Chafing Dish Buffet Set

Features & Specs:

  • A complete set with pans, trays, and lids for buffet service.
  • Includes disposable food warmers
  • The set includes spoons and utensils too
  • Heavy-duty aluminum-based construction

What We Like

  • Easy setup
  • Versatile pans for serving cakes, biscuits, BBQ etc.
  • Keeps food warm for long hours
  • Suitable for all types of outdoor buffet parties

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires frequent refueling

When it’s a birthday party or an anniversary celebration and you have invited a lot of guests, buffet service is ideal and most useful. Maxygift’s complete disposable buffet set is a complete solution to all your catering needs.

The set includes everything you need for the setup. It includes 3 Chafing dish wire racks, 3 aluminum water pans, 6 half-size food pans, 6 foil lids, 6 fuel cans, and 9 different serving utensils.

With the fuel cans, you can keep your food warm for a long time. The pans are shaped so that they can hold a variety of items such as BBQ, roast, cakes, biscuits, rice, pasta, etc. The buffet dishes are large enough to hold a good quantity of all items.

I especially like this because, with MegaChef Buffet Server and its small-sized serving trays, I had to frequently refill. The set of utensils allows you to place a spoon with each item so that the guests can help themselves. 

This complete set makes the serving hassle-free for you so that you can spend more time with your friends and family. The buffet set is stackable, and I find this useful because it occupies less storage space in my kitchen.

The chafing dishes are disposable so that you have less hassle of washing the dishes. However, one thing that I felt was missing in this set was the automated temperature controls.

Since it is manual, I had to refuel the fuel cans more than once. At this time, I honestly missed the Betty Crocker Buffet Server, which had automatic temperature controls. Otherwise, this complete disposable set is a perfect solution to host a buffet party on a minimal budget, with less hassle.

Our Verdict:

If you are tight on budget, we recommend Elite Gourmet Buffet Server. The NutriChef Server is best for those who wish to have a lightweight, compact food warmer that is most portable. While MegaChef food server offers the best versatility, Betty Crocker Food Server checks all of the above qualities.

How We Tested?

After researching and compiling a list of the best macaron pans, our analysts put them to the test. The Buffet Servers were then classified according to their durability, portability, temperature control system, and safety features.

Why Trust TheLadyChef?

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the data you receive has been carefully reviewed by kitchen professionals and is as up-to-date as possible. Our expert team of analysts ensures that the top-rated products on the internet are thoroughly examined. After the entire process, the information is proofread for accuracy.

Hi there! This is Fakhra. I treasure the art of cooking and learning delicious recipes and sharing them with others on daily-basis because nothing brings people together like good food.