What Exactly are Chafing Dishes?
If you have ever been to a buffet, you have already seen chafing dishes on display. These are the large covered pans, sometimes referred to as steam pans, that hold the food and keep all the items contained within at the correct serving temperature.
Chafing dishes are equally useful for both hot and cold foods, and since they come in a multitude of different sizes, they can hold just about any type of food that you want to serve at your event.
While chafing dishes come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, they all work under the same principle. The set is usually made up of a food pan with a cover, a wire rack to hold said pan, and a water pan. The water that is used can be heated to help keep the food inside warm, or left cold when the food in the covered pan is best served cool. The chafing dishes are easy to set up, and are, for the most part, relatively inexpensive.
What Type of Chafing Dishes Should I Use for My Event?
There really is no simple answer to this question, as it is all dependent on the number of people in attendance, the amount of food being served, and how often you plan on using the steam pans.
If you own a business that hosts events, or are someone who regularly throws parties with a lot of food involved, you may consider investing in a set of stainless steel chafing pans. While they are a little more expensive, they are incredibly durable, and will last you for years when properly maintained.
If you are simply hosting a one-off event, you may want to consider going with disposable chafing dishes, which are usually made of aluminum. They work really well, and can simply be tossed out once your event is over. These also come in a variety of different sizes, and can usually be picked up for just a few bucks per piece. It’s an affordable option when hosting a single event.
Using Your Chafing Dishes
We need to finish this piece up by making you aware that chafing dishes are not designed to heat or cool your food, and are in fact designed to keep things at the correct temperature. What this means is that your food needs to be added to the chafing dishes at the correct temperature from the start. The dishes will then keep the food temp exactly where it needs to be, helping make your party a roaring success.