Chafing Dishes are used to serve warm food. They keep food warm for 2-6 hours. As the purpose of this dish is extraordinary its structure and function are extraordinary too. It has two trays with one fixed lid. The outer tray holds water in it, which is kept hot by an underneath heat source. Again, the other tray is for food and the lid holds the heat inside.
Three Types Of Chafing Dishes
There are three types of chafing dishes are available in the market. Disposable aluminum, electric fueled, and stainless steel. You can say stainless steel chafing dishes are more popular among them. Because the aluminum chafing dishes are better for only one-time use. On the other hand, electric chafing dishes are smaller in size as they are made for indoor gatherings where not many people are involved.
Though the electric and aluminum chafing dishes have some pros too. Like you don’t need to clean the aluminum dish, you can just throw away it after use. Also, if you have a low budget and renting the stainless steel chafing dishes isn’t a good option, you should go for the aluminum one.
Furthermore, the electric chafing dish has a built-in heat source. The other dish’s heat sources aren’t attached to the tray and you need to activate them separately. But in the electric one, you just have to turn on the switch. The plus point is you can also increase and decrease the temperature of the dish.
A Stainless Steel Chafing Dish In Oven with Low Temperature
Any stainless steel chafing dish can go in the oven. But you have to low and slow cook in a chafing dish. This means you need to keep the temperature within 325 degrees Fahrenheit. A stainless steel chafing dish is available in different shapes and sizes. They are available in rectangular, square, and round shapes with medium, large, and largest sizes. The depth of the dish is 3-4 inches. The inner, outer tray and lid are framed together and there is a stand underneath to hold the Sterno cans.
The actual reason behind its popularity is its multipurpose uses, lightweight, and sturdy. It isn’t vulnerable like aluminum dishes, also it has no limit like electric dishes. Again, its inner tray can be used for cooking and baking in the oven. So, it’s not like you can use it only when there is a grand party, you can use the inner tray anytime you want.
Use Of Chafing Dish Inside The Oven
The chafing dish is a thin utensil, that’s why it can burn easily. Therefore if you want to cook or bake in this dish you need to do it at a low temperature. Also, you have to grease the tray with oil. You can use any type of oil of your choice. As you have to cook at a low temperature you need to cook such dishes that can be cooked at low temp.
Function Of Stainless Steel Chafing Dish
The question might have hit your mind by now how does a chafing dish function? Or how it keeps the food warm? To know the answer you need to look at its structure. It has a lid, an inner tray for food, and an outer tray for water which is joined by a stand. The stand holds heat sources under the outer tray to keep the water hot.
The steam of the hot water warms the inner tray and its food. To function properly the outer tray needs to be filled with water till when you set the inner tray in it the water doesn’t overflow. Then it needs to be heated from an outer source. The most famous source of heating a chafing dish is Sterno.
Sterno is a canned chafing fuel that has a wick. The wick needs to be lit up to start the heat. You need to place the can on the stand of your chafing dish first and then light it. One Sterno can last for 2-6 hours and you may need two or more cans for your chafing dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Heat a Chafing Dish?
You can heat the water pan of the chafing dish by using a chafer fuel or electric heating source. The heated water can keep the food warm for a long time so you may not need the source lighted up for much time. Because once the water is heated it’ll keep the food warm until it cools down.
How To Reheat Food With Sterno?
The Sterno is the best chafer fuel also it’s easy to use. You just need to place it under the dish and light it up. It’ll heat the water pan and keep the inner pan warm for a long time. If you stir the food a few times the heat will be distributed evenly.
Can I Use Chafing Dishes For Cold food?
Yes, you can use chafing dishes for cold food. Don’t be confused. You can use them to warm cold food as well as to keep the food cold. To keep the food cold, you don’t need to use any heat source. You just have to put ice and cold water in the outer tray instead of hot water.
How To Keep Sliders Warm At A Buffet?
You can keep the sliders warm by using stainless steel or aluminum or an electric chafing dish. Also, you can use foil to cover them and trap the heat and moisture at a buffet or party. If you wrap sandwiches in foil, they will remain warm for a long time.
You can only use the inner tray or pan of a stainless steel chafing dish in the oven. Because the outer tray is big and fixed with the stand. Again you need to clean the dishes before every use. You have to clean them with soapy water and a sponge or pad or brush gently. Moreover, you need to keep the heat of the oven at a low temperature while using a chafing dish.
I have a Gourmet Buffet chafing dish, circle stainless steel. Am I able to use bottom pot and then actual food pot as a regular pot if needed? Just on the stove top?
Yes, you can use a bottom pot (double boiler) and an actual food pot separately on the stovetop. The bottom pot can be used to provide gentle, indirect heat for delicate recipes that require precise temperature control, while the food pot can be used to cook the actual food. However, it’s important to ensure that both pots are compatible with your stove top and that they are used according to their intended purposes to avoid any safety hazards. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and exercise caution when using cookware on the stovetop.