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Chafing Dishes

Restaurant and catering chafing dishes are indispensable to your professional kitchen. At TigerChef, we bring you a wide range of chafing dishes, lids, and chafer accessories from top brands including Vollrath, Eastern Tabletop, Buffet Enhancements, Thunder Group, Winco, and many more. Our huge selection includes chafer boxes, chafer griddles, induction chafers, electric chafing dishes, and Sterno fuel chafing dishes.

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Our chafers also come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including rectangular chafing dishes, oval, square, and round chafing dishes. We have roll-top cover and lift-off cover chafers as well, with dome covers and rectangular covers. All of these are made of stainless steel in every style and configuration imaginable, at unbeatable prices. Many of our products sport a mirror finish as well, and we have full-size chafers, half-size chafers, and virtually any quart (qt) capacity you need.

Serve food like casseroles and buffet catering options hot and fresh at your restaurant or during celebrations at home with quality chafing dishes from TigerChef. You can also get creative with chafers and use them as fondue pots, for serving sauces, or you can even fill them with ice like a mini freezer to keep chilled salads and desserts cool. When you choose chafers with accents, they even act as great dining decor and can be part of a kitchen makeover.

What are chafing dishes?

The term "chafing dish" is derived from the French word ""chauffer," which means "to make warm." As such, a chafing dish is a type of food serving vessel that keeps hot food warm for longer than steam table food pans or hotel pans. A chafing dish uses indirect heat to keep its contents warm. The heat source may be from fuel, electricity, or induction, which is used to heat water to produce steam. The steam heats the chafing dish, keeping the food it contains warm. Our fuel-operated chafing dishes come with fuel holders, and many of our food warmer dish sets come with additional fuel canisters when you add them to your cart.

Chafing dishes are a crucial addition to most foodservice businesses. Not only do chafing dishes act as vessels to keep food hot, but they also ensure food safety by preventing food from spoiling. They are mostly used on buffet tables in restaurants, catering services, and hotels, but as they're growing in popularity, they can also be found in private homes and may be used for dinner or holiday parties. Like most cookware, chafing dishes also come in various sizes and shapes. There are traditional chafing dishes with a wide but shallow pan and a cover, and coffee chafer urns to keep beverages hot. Chafer griddles, on the other hand, keep dry, grilled food, like pancakes or grilled meat, warm.

The bottom line is that chafing dishes are the perfect way to keep appetizers, entrees, and desserts at their optimal temperatures without the hassle of having to reheat them in the oven or use a full steam table. In addition to our stainless steel chafer models, we also have disposable chafing dishes in case you're hosting a large outdoor party or just need temporary food displays and heating for a one-time event.

Basic Elements of a Chafing Dish Buffet Set

  • Chafing Food Pans: The main part of a chafing dish, the chafing food pan holds the food above the water pan, keeping it warm. We have full-size and half-size food pan options for holding large main entrees or separating different food types with various styles.
  • Chafing Water Pan The water pan is also extremely important, as it holds the hot water that creates the steam, which keeps food warm and moist in the food pan.
  • Chafing Pan Lid or Chafer Covers: The lid seals in moisture, heat, and flavor while also keeping out dust and other airborne contaminants. We have opaque pans and covers, as well as glass top covers that feature elegant design options and allow you to check food without removing the lid and releasing heat.
  • Chafing Wire Racks/Frames: Chafing racks or frames are made from heavy gauge steel wire, stainless steel construction, or other similar materials, designed to elevate the chafer on the table. We have chafing racks and frames with stay-cool wood handles, as well as frames and racks with gold accents and brass accents for fancy, formal events.
  • Chafing Fuel: The fuel is the odorless, smokeless substance that keeps the food inside chafing dishes hot enough to maintain optimal serving temperatures.
  • Serving Utensils: From spatulas to serving spoons, the serving utensils make it easy to transfer food from food pans to plates and bowls.

    Get these chafer parts and accessories and more from TigerChef.

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FAQ's


The ideal time is two to six hours, although you can extend this time if you continue to add water and fuel.

The biggest thing to consider is what capacity you need. A four to six quart (also called a half-size pan) will suit your needs for smaller, intimate events. If you're running a buffet or planning a home event with loads of guests, you'll want full-size chafers with eight to nine qt. capacities.


It's also important to consider the heating source. Traditional chafers that require gel fuel or a full fuel container are ideal for restaurants, but for home use, you may want an induction chafer or an electric chafer to avoid potential fire hazards.

Cleanup is typically simple, especially if you choose one of our stainless steel chafing dishes that's easy to clean. Most of our stainless steel food warmer options are dishwasher safe, or at least their parts are, so cleanup is simple once larger frames are taken apart. A chafer dish with accents may require you to hand wash certain parts, however.