The Best Charger Plates: A Chef's Professional Review
Charger plates, also known as service plates, under plates, and chop plates, are large decorative plates that you'll use as bases for your table setting, and you'll place other pieces of dinnerware on top of them to improve your presentation. Chargers are perfect additions to any fine dining restaurant, and they're fantastic for formal occasions like weddings and upscale parties where multiple course meals are served.
There are many creative ways to use charger plates, but their basic purposes are to add elegance to your dinner table, especially when they're combined with matching tablecloths, silverware, and other dinner party decor. Chargers also provide a convenient way for servers to place and remove dishes during the course of the meal. A charger plate generally isn't meant to come into direct contact with food. Instead, soup bowls, salad plates, and main dishes for entrees are placed on top of the charger, and guests will eat their pieces of food from a food-safe dish or bowl placed on the decorative charger plate. Servers generally remove charger dishes before the dessert course. In some cases, appetizers or desserts may be served on chargers, but a linen napkin or tray needs to be placed on any charger plate that isn't food-safe.
Charger plates serve practical purposes beyond providing ambiance and enhancing your table decor. They also protect your table and tablecloths from spills and other messes, and they can keep your tablecloth in place and save it from wrinkles. They help retain heat in your other dinnerware. This way, the food stays warm during banquets and other special events, and you also protect your surfaces from heat damage. These beautiful decorative plates can also be used to create a firmer foundation for floral centerpieces, candles, or any other kind of centerpiece.
Chargers are typically large plates so they can fit a variety of food-safe dishes and bowls, and they're available in a variety of materials. Some common examples include glass, melamine, acrylic, porcelain, and rattan. Choosing the right material, color, and style for your charger plates will be an important part of any formal dinner occasion. Fortunately, we'll be going over the best charger plates available today, so you'll know how to choose the right charger plate for your event, whether you're a professional restauranteur, caterer, or you're planning your own formal parties and events at home.
Gold charger plates are ideal for fancy holiday parties, weddings, or formal events where you want your tabletop to look as elegant as possible. If you're looking for competitively priced charger plates with rich gold color and a little something extra in the construction, these are among the best gold large chargers you'll find. The gorgeous beaded rim gives these plates modern appeal, and the deep gold color of these elegant chargers is the perfect way to compliment your other tableware in formal settings.
Thanks to their melamine construction, these gold chargers are lightweight, yet they're still sturdy and resistant to breaking. Like most charger plates, they're not food safe, so you'll need to use them as platters or as alternatives to placemats to hold your food-safe dishes to enhance your presentation in an elegant way. They're available for bulk purchase and arrive quickly, and you can check out some of our additional customer reviews to see the experiences of other customers who used these chargers for formal Thanksgiving dinners, weddings, and more.
The Jay Companies 1900051 Round Divine Gold Glass Charger Plate 13"--Best Premium Gold Charger
Dimensions: 13" top-diameter
Weight: 1.6 lb
If your budget is no concern and you're really looking to set the perfect mood to impress your guests, you'll love a set of these unique gold glass charger plates. The gorgeous artistic design will make any dining table look absolutely incredible, especially if you're matching this perfect charger plate with napkins with similar gold designs.
This lavish charger is ideal for professional use, and it's even stunning enough to use as a centerpiece for an entire meal. It even features a gold metallic finish, so it shines brighter than practically any other charger plate and certainly earns its divine namesake. The ornate edges even give it an antique look that's great for any place setting. Its glass food-safe design means that it's even okay if it comes into direct contact with food, although with a design this great, you'll likely want to show it off as much as possible.
Adding a splash of silver to your dining table is always a stylish look, and it can even be easier to work with than gold since you'll likely have a much easier time matching silver chargers with your silverware and other dinnerware. If you're looking to save money on some great charger plates as well, these silver service plates are sold for less than $2.00 each and are fantastic choices for high-end parties, wedding receptions, and similar special occasions.
Silver is a great choice for monochromatic color schemes, and it's perfect to match any silver-rimmed dinnerware you may have. In addition to being one of your best possible budget picks, these service plates are also great if you're a first-time user. With no complex patterns or edging, they can match virtually anything. Best of all, these plates come highly recommended by customers with comments like "They look amazing, so sturdy, and fancy without costing all the money."
10 Strawberry Street LARD-12SQ Lacquer Square Red Charger Plate 12"--Best Festive Charger Plate
Dimensions: 12" diameter and length
Weight: 1.12 lb
There are some special occasions like fall dinner parties, formal Thanksgiving meals, and formal holiday events when you'll want to use plates and table settings with a variety of colors, and these beautiful red charger plates are some of the best you'll find for festive occasions. The red color pairs beautifully with green plates and bowls for Christmas celebrations or to celebrate New Year's.
These are also some of the best square charger plates you'll find for the price, and square shapes are easy to work with since they fit well on any table. You may even find that a square charger looks better paired with round platters and bowls compared to round charger plates. You can even find these plates sold in sets as large as 24, so they're perfect for seasonal presentation in your restaurant or for events where you're planning to have lots of guests.
The Jay Companies 1330052 Square Glass Mirror Charger Plate--Best Clear Charger Plate
Dimensions: 13" x 13"
Weight: 3.3 lb
If you're looking for a charger plate that can bring additional light and shine to your dinner table, this mirror-finish beveled edge charger dish is a great pick for restaurants, hotels, and big events. With the deco pattern rim, this clear charger plate can even serve as a gorgeous centerpiece for the whole table. It pairs well with virtually any kind of cover, and you can even combine it with clear dome covers for chafing dishes if you want to show off your meals without needing to constantly remove the cover.
Glass construction means that these chargers are heavier than other options on the list, but that shouldn't be an issue for displaying your main entree. With its large 13" x 13" dimensions, this charger dish is ideal for place settings and catching small crumbs as well. It's also safe for it to come in direct contact with food, making it an elegant way to serve desserts when the other chargers are cleared from the table.
Since it isn't your average dinner plate, it's common for a charger plate to be hand washed only, but there are a few materials out there that are safe to run through the dishwasher. If you're running a busy restaurant, or the convenience of being able to place your chargers in your own dishwasher is important to you, you'll love a set of these beautiful platinum chargers.
These white porcelain charger dishes feature intricate two-tone platinum patterned rims that have a modern appeal and go with virtually any table setting. It's an excellent choice to pair with fine china for formal banquets, and since you can use them in the dishwasher, cleanup is as easy as possible.
How to Find the Best Charger Plates for Your Needs
Now that you know more about what charger plates are used for and you've seen some of the best ones available, you may be wondering how to choose the best ones for your needs, especially if this is your first experience with them. Fortunately, there are just a few basic characteristics you can keep track of and use to narrow down your choices. Here are a few of the biggest things to consider when choosing your charger plates.
h4>Charger Plate Shapes
We covered round and square charger plates in this list since they're the most commonly used, but charger dishes can come in a variety of shapes and sizes with different kinds of trims. Round decorative plates may come with antique trims, for example, which can slightly alter the shape of the plates. You'll need to consider what kinds of tables you're using, and think about what shapes would look best for them.
Charger Plate Safety
Naturally, you'll want to make sure that you're being safe when you care for and use your charger plates. We've covered some food-safe and dishwasher-safe chargers on this list, so you'll have a better idea of which materials suit your purposes the best. Just remember that charger plates are mainly just for decoration and heat retention and not for heating food in the first place. Wash these with warm water and dish soap, and keep them out of the oven and microwave.
Charger Plates and Other Dinnerware
In addition to matching your table, you'll probably want your charger dishes to match the rest of your table setting as well. That's why it's important to think about the time of year and what kind of gathering you're throwing, so you can ensure you have appropriate decoration. Neutral colored chargers and silver charger plates are easy to match with almost anything, and gold charger plates pair great with see-through dome covers.
While charger plates are designed to act as bases for both your food and dining decor, you can use them in combination with placemats as well. In these cases, you'll need to think about how your charge plates, your tablecloths, and your placemats can all work together to create a more visually pleasing dining experience. Whether you're experienced at setting tables or still need to learn how to set a formal table, your charger plates will go a long way toward making the right impression on customers and guests. Have fun experimenting with different designs.