It’s time to host a dinner party, but you’re not looking forward to bringing out hot food to everyone. If you have to keep running between the kitchen and the dining table, it’s not the most delightful evening, is it?
So, by using the best food warmers, you can cook the food and place it on all of the servers that are kept at a constant low temperature, ensuring that the food remains hot throughout the party. Anyone can eat at any time. People would not have to eat food that has gone bad by sitting out in the open for too long.
So in today’s article, we have gathered a list of 6 Best Food Warmers for buffets and parties that will keep your food warm for a longer time and lessen your workload to make your party a little more enjoyable. So without any further ado, let’s dive in!
(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.
Tested & Approved: Our Number 1 choice is The Betty Crocker Buffet server because it is an all-rounder. With adjustable temperature controls, Multi-Purpose warming tray, and a user-friendly and high-quality design, this buffet server deserves the top spot. Even in terms of durability and safety features, The Betty Crocker Buffet surpasses all.
Our Top Picks for Best Food Warmers
- Betty Crocker Buffet Server (Best Overall)
- MegaChef Buffet Server (Best Versatile)
- NutriChef Buffet Server (Best Portable)
- Elite Gourmet (Best Budget)
- Nova Buffet Catering (Best Looking)
- Valgus Chafing Server (Best Professional)
1) Betty Crocker Buffet Server – BC 1586CY
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
The Betty Crocker’s buffet server is a must-have. This food warmer has a distinct design that can be your savior during any party while it keeps your food fresh, brand new, and warm.
This unit includes three serving containers that can have 2.5 quarts of food. This is a decent enough quantity to feed several people. The Buffet Server comes with a stainless steel frame and dimensions of 27 inches x 5.24 inches x 16.34 inches.
Starting with the design of the server which is essential as it will be presented in front of guests. Betty Crocker Buffet Server impressed us with its contemporary sleek design. By getting this server, you will not be compromising on style for convenience.
Along with providing a professional and classy appearance that you will want to have in your dining room or party area, Betty Crocker Buffet Server also executes excellent performance. We were able to keep the food warm for about 3 hours on this server, which is more than enough for get-togethers, parties, and gatherings.
As for its weight, 11.35 pounds is not necessarily heavy. Therefore, it is relatively easy to carry around. The user-friendly aspects of this buffer server include its power indicator light and a timer that automatically shuts it down after 3 hours.
We like how Betty Crocker has emphasized user safety through the features embedded in this server. For instance, the side handles are cool to touch which allows safe and burn-free contact and enables you to move food from one room to another. Having this buffet server at your family function will let you have peace of mind in terms of safety.
Furthermore, the temperature gauge is adjustable. It is appreciable that Betty Crocker Buffet Server allows the user a range of temperatures to choose from so they can serve the food at perfect heat every time.
The server also features a see-through cover which enables the users to see how much food is left and determine when they should refill the server. The lid also has an integrated notch that ensures the serving spoons rest conveniently while the lid is in place.
What’s interesting is that you can even remove the three buffet servers to access the warming tray. Let’s say your guest does not wish to warm the entire dish but only one plate. The guest can simply place their plate on the warming tray and turn it on to desired heat.
The downside of purchasing a Betty Crocker Server is the frame of the warming tray. We found it quite dangerous to handle the tray as it has sharp edges. A user might receive a cut while even opening the box after purchasing. Make sure you are extra careful and use thick gloves or a towel while handling if you purchase this product.
Another downside is that the electric cord is very short. It will be a problem if you do not have an electric outlet near the serving area. Therefore, with Betty Crocker Server, keeping an extension is a must.
Other than that, if you wish to have a sophisticated alternative to spending all day moving between the kitchen and serving area, Betty Crockery Buffet Server is a good candidate for it.
Watch This Video: How to Set up Chafing Dish for buffet Service
2) MegaChef Buffet Server 93090024M
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
This 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.
3) NutriChef 3 Buffet Server
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
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.
4) Elite Gourmet EWM-6171
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
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.
This 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 dimensions of 25.5 inches x 14.75 inches x 7.2 inches. It is lightweight to carry at only 9.8 pounds.
It is helpful 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.
We found the design of Elite Gourmet Food 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 which is another bonus point.
One feature that we specifically like 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. The handles of Elite Gourmet Server are also cool to touch.
The downside of purchasing Elite Gourmet Buffet Server would be 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 important negative factor is that it takes time to heat up. Therefore, with this buffet server, you will have to be prepared with food sometime 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 few aspects, Elite Gourmet Buffet Server provides excellent value for money and performs up to expectations.
5) Nova 8 Qt Buffet Catering
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
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.
6) Valgus 8QT Food Warmer
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Best suited for professional party set-ups, Valgus Chafing Food Warmer Set brings food-grade stainless steel quality with exemplary performance.
This unit is a 2-piece set with a total of 8 Quarts capacity which can hold different sorts of appetizers, desserts, or even fruits. With commercial quality stainless steel construction, Valgus Food Warmer is rust-proof and does not corrode or tarnish easily.
Our results showed that it is heat and cold resistant with elevated durability which makes it perfect for long-term use. Valgus Chafing Server comes with a complete accessory set that you have to assemble yourself: safety handles, lids, fuel burners, and a foldable frame.
The fact that it has foldable stands makes it even more convenient and unique. While most of the other products on the list are stackable, Valgus Chafing Server is foldable making storage, packaging, and transporting even easier.
Furthermore, the bottom tray supports 2 fuel holders which allow you to control and maintain the temperature of the food. If in case, you overheat the food, you also have the option to add ice to the water pan which helps in cooling. This truly is one versatile Buffet Server.
On the other hand, there are some setbacks to purchasing this food warmer. Starting with the fact that the assembling process can be difficult and will require expert assistance otherwise you might accidentally cut yourself.
Moreover, the two bottom pans tend to stick together, and pulling them apart is difficult. You will have to submerge them in soapy water for them to come apart.
Other than that, Valgus Food Warmer is excellent for home use as well as professional catering.
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.