Best Warming Tray For Keeping Your Food Warm

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Today, we discuss a miracle appliance that prevents your food from ever becoming cold!  

Surprising? In fact, it is! 

Introducing warming trays that keep your food warm for as long as you desire without altering its flavor. 

These do not require an extremely large budget, as they are available in a variety of price ranges. To assist you in selecting one of the best warming trays on the market, we have compiled a ranked review and buyer’s guide. We discuss their benefits, drawbacks, best features, and ideal users. 

Prepared to discover? Keep reading! 

Our Top Picks 

Last updated on October 26, 2022 6:04 am

What is a warming tray? 

Are you confused about the nature of a warming tray? Most of us too! 

Reheating food tends to contaminate it. It is also cumbersome to reheat them whenever they become cold in front of guests. 

Warming trays were created to provide a perfect solution for this issue. It was placing food on a warming tray, plugging it in, and observing it remain hot for a reasonable time. Stop serving cold foods to guests! 

Warming trays are a blessing for those who dislike complicated kitchen appliances. Some only have an adjustable temperature setting, while others require nothing more than an electrical outlet. 

Best Warming Trays For Your Kitchen: Reviews And Buying Guide

Today, most households and restaurants utilize warming trays. And why would they not? Warming trays make life so much easier! We’ve ranked the best warming trays currently available for purchase, from stainless steel to aluminum and small to large. 

1. Best Overall - Elite Gourmet EWM-6171 7.5 Quart Triple Buffet Server Food Warmer

Elite Gourmet EWM-6171# 7.5 Quart Triple Buffet Server Food Warmer Temperature Control, Clear Slotted Lids, Perfect for Parties, Entertaining & Holidays, Stainless Steel

$59.99
$55.99
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 6:04 am
 

Elite Platinum’s Stainless Steel Buffet Server and Warming Tray will keep the party going day and night. The specially designed buffet server includes three 2.5-quart buffet trays made of brushed stainless steel.  

You may also use your dinnerware or aluminum foil pans directly on the 8-by-18-inch flat warming tray. You can keep food warm for hours at your social gatherings without using an open flame or heating water. Serve cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, hot gravy, and tender turkey breasts. Each 2.5-quart dish has a BPA-free clear dome lid and a serving utensils slot.  

With Low, Medium, and High-temperature settings, you can easily adjust the temperature to keep food piping hot and ready to serve or maintain a low temperature while your guests mingle. The stainless steel construction makes it simple to clean and dishwasher safe. 

Key Features: 

  • Includes Three 2.5qt Buffet Trays 
  • Stainless Steel Warming Base 
  • Adjustable Temperature Controls. 
  • Easy To Use 
  • Convenient & Portable 
PROS
  • Comes with non-stick enamel coating that makes it easy to clean
  • Features an adjustable temperature control that makes it convenient to set temperature from low to high
  • Equipped with 3 clear dome lids with cutouts that make it easy to keep spoons
CONS
  • The chafing dishes may rust with time

We cooked everything before night, placed it in trays, and refrigerated them. On the day of the party, we removed the trays from the refrigerator and reheated them without supervision for approximately thirty minutes. Perfect. It does not get warm on the underside, so that you can place it on almost any surface without worry.

2. Highly Rated - Ovente Electric Buffet Server with 2 Warming Pan

Ovente Electric Buffet Server with 2 Warming Pan, Portable Food Warmer for Catering, Party, Entertaining and Holiday, Stainless Steel Chafing Dish Set with Temperature Control, Silver FW152S

$34.99
$31.42
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 6:04 am
 

Menu planning for a potluck or buffet-style dinner is not the end of the preparation process. If you are the type of person who takes food preparation and entertaining guests seriously, you have probably encountered this difficult challenge: keeping the food hot until it is time to eat. Utilize Ovente’s Buffet Server with Warming Tray to give your carefully prepared dishes the respect they deserve. 

This modern and functional party accessory can keep the main course and side dishes hot until your guests are ready to serve themselves, without sacrificing the freshness or flavor of the food. 

We frequently host large gatherings of family and friends. Keeping food warm has been an issue, but these were ideal. Each tray could accommodate two aluminum containers. They quickly heated and kept our food hot. 

It is lightweight and transportable. This keeps food warm. Because it is stainless steel, I have taken precautions to prevent scratches. The only thing I wish for is for the light to remain on when it is in use so that people will know not to touch it. It turns off automatically once the desired temperature is reached. 

This dish is perfect for keeping food warm for several hours. It can accommodate two large baking pans or several smaller ones. It is also lightweight, making it transportable. This tray is ideal for entertaining because its controls are straightforward to clean. 

Despite having a thermostat dial that can rotate nearly 360 degrees, the temperature range is limited. The lowest temperature was 235 degrees Fahrenheit, and the highest was 253 degrees Fahrenheit. The appliance will not turn on until the knob is turned approximately one-third. 235 degrees Fahrenheit is above the boiling point, so attempting to keep food warm will still cook it. I have acquired two trays that are identical in size. 

Key Features
  • Two 1 Quart Warming-Pan
  • Standalone Warming Tray
  • Stainless Steel Frame
  • Adjustable Temperature Dial
  • LED Indicator Light
  • Cool-Touch Handles 
PROS
  • The product is powered by a 200W heating element and is made of stainless steel, ceramic, or heat-resistant glass.
  • The product is compact but spacious because it can accommodate any dish you are serving.
  • The product comes with a temperature control knob that lets you choose your desired heat setting.
  • The product has a one-year warranty.
CONS
  • The product is not waterproof.

It served its function admirably. This was purchased for potlucks and parties. Recently, I prepared chicken satay and peanut sauce for a party. While it was sufficiently deep, the pans could have been longer. I do enjoy it, however. If you don’t need to keep large quantities warm, this is an excellent appliance to have. 

3. Most Visually Appealing: Chefman Electric Warming Tray

Chefman Electric Warming Tray/Trivet with Adjustable Temperature Control, Perfect for Restaurants, Parties, Events and Home Dinners, Glass Top Surface Keeps Food Hot, Large – 25″ x 18″

$79.99
$75.13
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 6:04 am
 

The Chefman Electric Warming Tray is the best option if you require a stylish appliance in addition to its efficiency. At first glance, you cannot help but stare at the sleek black glass surface atop the silver base. But it’s not all about appearances! 

The adjustable temperature settings allow you to adjust the temperature from low to high and maintain it throughout the day. 

Chefman thoughtfully installed a fuse button that prevents the tray from overheating and catching fire. Therefore, you can safely leave your food warm on the warming tray for 10 minutes or 5 hours. However, keep in mind that its maximum duration is 72 hours. 

The best part is that it can be used with heat-resistant bowls and pots. From glass to aluminum, this baby has you covered. We may have referred to it as a baby, but its sizeable 21-by-16-inch surface indicates otherwise. When you need to keep a lot of hot food together at a large party, it is the ideal companion. It looks great on your table, so keep that in mind! 

Remember to read the temperature-controlling instructions, as they can be complicated. The temperature occasionally reaches a boiling point, which is undesirable! Once you have mastered the manual, you should be ready to proceed. 

Speaking of manuals, Chefman states that it should not be used on concrete surfaces, but we had to test this. To our surprise, there were no issues with any surface when medium heat was applied to the concrete. It could be different for the high temperature, and we would not recommend doing so. 

Key Features:  

  • Adjustable Temperature Control
  • Large Surface Area
  • Lasting Durability convenience
  • Glass Top Surface Keeps Food Hot
PROS
  • Adjustable temperature makes it convenient to keep any food hot.
  • The fuse button keeps the tray from overheating and damaging surfaces.
  • It can be used for all types of heat proof bowls.
  • Easy to clean because of glass.
  • Will not scratch counters and other surfaces.
CONS
  • Temperature controls are challenging to handle at first.
  • Cannot be used on concrete countertops when set at high temperature.

The Chefman Electric Warming Tray is an indispensable household item. It is worth every penny due to its high temperature, easy-to-clean glass surface, and compatibility with all types of bowls. Due to its diminutive size will not take up much space on your table or in your cabinets. Your dinner guests will also enjoy the presentation! 

4. Deluxe Glass Buffet Warming Tray

Deluxe Glass Buffet Warming Tray Full size 24″ x 20 ” by Classic Kitchen

$168.95
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 6:04 am
 

The Classic Kitchen Deluxe Warming Tray is the best option if you’re looking for an efficient and attractive tray. With a size of 24 x 20 inches and a power of 300 watts, it is undoubtedly among the best! 

Are you not wanting the temperature to be boiling? Turn the dial and adjust it to your specifications! It warms up slowly, preventing food from burning regardless of how long you leave it on. 

Additionally, it prevents food from having too much or too little heat due to the glass surface. 

The Classic Kitchen Buffet Warming Tray is straightforward to clean regarding the glass surface. Using a damp cloth, wipe down the item after use. You can always use a small amount of detergent or glass cleaner to eliminate grease stains. 

However, the fun does not end here! 

There is a simple on/off switch for those uncomfortable with manual operation or instant plug-in. However, the button is located on the back instead of the front, which is a minor inconvenience for an otherwise useful feature. 

Key Features:   

  • Sturdy aluminum sides carry handles
  • 300 watts power for quick warming
  • On-off switch
  • Red pilot indicator light for safety
  • Variable temperature control dial with removable knob-minimum 110°F, maximum 230°F
PROS
  • Temperature can be adjusted.
  • Comes with a red signal light.
  • Easy to clean because of the glass surface.
  • Large enough for a good amount of food.
  • On/off switch gives you better control over temperature and timing.
CONS
  • Heating up is quite slow.
  • It can be cumbersome for some people to move the tray.

This Deluxe Aluminum Warming Tray from Classic Kitchen is essential for aesthetically pleasing serving. Its sizable glass surface and temperature-adjustable settings justify the hefty price tag. Whether you are planning a large family meal or a community gathering, this tray will always be helpful. 

5.Best Warming Tray for Commercial Use - Nova Microdermabrasion Rectangular Chafing Dish Full Size

Rectangular Chafing Dish Full Size Chafer Dish Set 6 Pack of 8 Quart Stainless Steel Frame Chafers

$233.99
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 6:04 am
 

Are you always looking for opportunities to invite a large group of friends and family to your home? Or do you operate a small catering business? 

Then the Chafing Dish from Nova Microdermabrasion will help keep all that food warm. Not only are the dishes themselves large, but there are also six of them to assist you! 

There are two burners beneath each plate, which help keep food warm for a longer time. These provide almost direct heat to the food, evenly warming and maintaining their temperature. 

To provide the highest comfort level to its users, the lid stands upright without support while you and your guests consume food from the plate. In addition, the ergonomic handles and sturdy feet ensure safety and stability. 

You must believe that it will be challenging to move six dishes at once? It is time to put that notion to rest, as these six warming trays can be stacked without difficulty. 

Made of stainless steel, the Nova Chafing dish is simple to clean. Pour a small dishwashing liquid, agitate, scrub, and rinse with water. And there you have it: pristine, like-new beauty! 

The only issue that some users have is the setup. Since this is not an ordinary food warming tray, the initial assembly can be challenging. It is futile to explain it in words, so please click here to view a tutorial. 

Key Features:  

  • Considerable design
  • Maintains Temperature
  • Mirror Finish
  • Stackable for easy transport
  • Cool-to-the-touch plastic handle
PROS
  • Two burners allow heating up without burning the food inside.
  • The lid does not need support to stay upright.
  • Sturdy feet keep it stable.
  • It can be stacked, making storage and moving easy.
  • Easy cleanup because of the stainless-steel surface.
CONS
  • Assembling can be complicated.
  • Prone to rusting after a few uses.

These stainless-steel Food Warming Chafing Dishes are priced significantly below their value. It is unquestionably one of the best party warming trays on the market due to its capacity to hold warm food for many people, its portability, and its ability to keep food warm for a long time. 

6. Best Budget Warming Tray - Nutrichef Portable Electric Hot Plate Tray Dish Warmer

Nutrichef Portable Electric Hot Plate Tray Dish Warmer w/Black Glass Top-Keep Food Warm for Buffet Serving, Restaurant, Parties, Table or Countertop Use

$72.69
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 6:04 am
 

f you are looking for something durable, then the Nutrichef Electric Dish Warmer is your product! This item’s high-quality stainless-steel construction guarantees its durability. 

The Nutrichef Portable Warming Tray can heat food to 203 degrees Fahrenheit and be used by both professionals and amateurs. Additionally, it keeps food warm for a very long time! 

It may appear sophisticated, but it is simple to use. Press the power button, and the indicator light will illuminate. That’s right; this is the signal to begin warming the food. 

You must have deduced from the name that this is portable. Being only 14.5 x 8.6 inches and 4.1 pounds, it is near as light as a feather to transport! The cool-touch handles are also included for added support. 

In contrast to most other warming trays, the Nutrichef Hot Plate Dish Warmer consumes little energy. Utilizing only 130 watts of power, it offers an efficient heating experience! 

You may miss the temperature controls in this model, but we can assure you that the intended temperature is reached. Before placing dishes, allow the oven to preheat for at least 5 minutes for the best results. 

Key Features:  

  • High-Powered Heating Element
  • Stain-Resistant & Easy-to-Clean
  • Ultra Thin & Sleek Space-Saving Design
  • Safe for Placement on Any Tabletop / Counter
  • Energy Efficient: Low Power Consumption
  • Convenient Cool-Touch Carry Handles
  •  
PROS
  • Keeps food warm for an extended period without overheating.
  • Has light indicators to show you what’s happening.
  • Easy to store because of the small size.
  • Lightweight nature makes it a breeze to move.
  • Consumes very little electricity and is energy efficient.
CONS
  • The on/off switch is at the back and difficult to reach.
  • No temperature control, so you have less control over the warming process.

The Nutrichef Portable Electric Warming Tray will win your heart if cost-effectiveness and performance are your top priorities. It will impress you with its incredibly high heat, compact size, and energy efficiency! 

7. Best Compact - Chefman Compact Glasstop Warming Tray

Chefman Compact Glasstop Warming Tray with Adjustable Temperature Control Perfect for Buffets, Restaurants, Parties, Events, Home Dinners and Travel, Mini 15×12 Inch Surface, Keeps Food Hot, Black

$77.50
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 6:04 am
 

The Chefman Warming Tray’s small size may not initially appeal to you, but it outperforms many larger warming trays despite its size. This slight warming tray has adjustable temperature controls that heat your food well and keep it warm for an extended period! 

To rapidly heat food, set the temperature to high; to keep food warm throughout the day, set the temperature to its lowest setting. There is no concern about anything catching fire, thanks to the fuse safety feature. However, if you wish to avoid trouble, do not leave it on for more than 72 hours! 

This small tray has a glass top of the highest quality and can accommodate a variety of heat-safe bowls, plates, and pans. 

Do not become impatient if the water does not heat up immediately. Since this is designed to keep food warm for an extended period, you must give it at least 10 minutes. Start it approximately 10 to 15 minutes before you need to serve the meal. 

Key Features
  • Compact 15.5″ x 12″ warming area
  • Temperature Control
  • Fuse Safety
  • SLEEK GLASS TOP
  • cETL approved with advanced safety technology
PROS
  • Perfect for small dinner parties.
  • Keeps food warm for a long time.
  • Fuse safety features keep food from burning.
  • Fits all types of ovenproof bowls.
CONS
  • No mark on the dial to indicate what temperature you are turning to.
  • A short cord means you may need an adapter or multiplug.

The Chefman Compact Warming Tray is the best choice if you need a small but effective warming tray. From the adjustable heat settings to the safety features, there is nothing about this that you will not adore. This will be the ideal brunch companion for those with a small apartment. 

8. Best Convenient - BETTY CROCKER RA39978 Stainless Steel Buffet Server with Warming Tray

BETTY CROCKER RA39978 Stainless Steel Buffet Server with Warming Tray, Multicolor

$50.51
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 6:04 am
 

Check out the Betty Crocker Warming Tray/Buffet Server if you aren’t looking for a product with many frills but one that works exceptionally well. You can use it as either a buffet server or as a warming tray by removing the dishes! 

Betty Crocker included temperature settings that can be adjusted to consider the need to keep various types of food warm. Whether you’re heating soup or meat, this has you covered! 

To make it flexible, the company made it relatively light. And to top it all off, there are cool-touch handles! For added convenience, there is a place to store your used spoon on the top, keeping your table clean. The fact that it is made of stainless steel only adds to the convenience of the subsequent cleanup. 

Key Features
  • 2 Serving vessels are 2.5 quarts each.
  • Durable stainless steel construction.
  • Cool touch handles.
  • Adjustable temperature control.
  • 3 removable see-through lids
PROS
  • Keep food warm without drying them out.
  • Adjustable heat settings add control and convenience.
  • Cool touch handles and lightweight makes it easy to carry around.
  • Budget-friendly and affordable.
CONS
  • The large pan can feel flimsy.

This is a testament to how great a warming tray/buffet server it is, as there are virtually no drawbacks! The two-in-one feature is the icing on the cake for its remarkable healing and user-friendly features. It may be a bit flimsy, but you will have a sturdy warming tray for the long haul with proper care. 

Best Warming Tray For Your Needs – A Comprehensive Buying Guide

The best warming tray reviews can be a great starting point for your search for the best food warming tray, but you also need some general guidelines. 

Here are four factors to consider before purchasing your warming tray: 

Size 

Whether you intend to serve a large quantity of food, or a small amount will determine the size of the warming tray required. However, there are warming trays for all sizes of meals! 

Large-sized warming trays are ideal for reducing the number of trips from the kitchen to the dining area, but they come at a cost. Before purchasing a large warming tray, you should also consider the size of your table. If your dinner table is not very large, the décor will appear crowded and unattractive. 

Material 

This characteristic is a must for warming trays, as it is the characteristic most of us look for when purchasing any item. Typically, they are available in stainless steel and aluminum, and the choice is yours. 

Stainless steel warming trays are the most prevalent because they are rust-resistant and durable. However, we cannot guarantee that stainless steel warming trays are superior to aluminum warming trays. 

To determine whether a material will last for a long time or not, you should examine it yourself. After all, stainless steel objects can also feel fragile! 

Adjusted Temperature  

Some warming trays offer Low, Medium, and High-temperature settings, while others only provide Low and High. These are convenient when you have a specific temperature for your food. 

In contrast, there are warming trays that lack any adjustability features whatsoever. Plug them in, flip the switch on (or off), and let them do their thing! Most of the time, these food warmers reach the ideal temperature to keep your food safe, so there is no cause for concern. 

Ease to use 

You have your warming tray, but you are unsure how to use it. A complete waste of funds! 

It is advisable to grab a warming tray that you can use easily to avoid this thought. If you’re not a fan of switches, you could opt for a device that starts when plugged in. The Salton Electric Warming Tray is among the best options for no-switch functionality. 

However, if you prefer switches, the Deluxe Glass Buffet Warming Tray is equipped with a reliable on/off switch on the back. You only need to turn it on and wait for the heat to activate. 

Also, we recommend that first-time users purchase a food warming tray with indicator light. This makes it simple to determine when the appliance is turned on and finished, keeping the food at the ideal temperature. 

Small Extra to Consider: This is not a crucial feature, but it is prudent to have a warming tray with a cool-touch handle. Since warming trays transport food from the kitchen to the table, it is practical to have cool handles to prevent burns. 

However, if your preferred warming tray does not have a handle with a cool-touch surface, you can always use heat-resistant gloves. 

Best Warming Tray For Keeping Your Food Warm – FAQs

We have answered the most frequently asked questions by warming tray users. 

Most individuals hold the widespread misconception that warming trays can substitute for ovens. However, warming trays only serve to keep food that is already hot warm. 

You must use a warming tray when serving guests because your oven does not have a direct-serve option. Using the adjustable heat settings, keeping food warm for an extended period is possible. 

Typically, an hour is the shortest time that a warming tray can keep food warm. However, some trays take it to the next level by keeping your delectable food warm for three hours! 

The wattage of the heating element is considered rather than the temperature itself. It is essential to remember that some warming trays take a long time to heat up initially, but this can be a positive sign because the food will remain warm for longer. 

We do not recommend its use under any circumstances! 

Warming trays accommodate only plates and bowls, not food wrapped in aluminum foil. This can compromise the tray’s structural integrity and diminish the flavor of the food. 

Now, who would want to waste their money?! 

Warming trays are used to keep food that has already been prepared warm and ready to consume. When serving food at events, most catering companies use warming trays to keep the food warm. 

The typical maximum temperature of a warming drawer is 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is sufficient to keep any dish warm between meetings and after-school activities. 

Warming trays are portable, flat surfaces designed to keep food piping hot while it is left out. They plug into the wall like electric griddles and, after approximately 10 minutes of preheating, can be topped with fully cooked food either directly on the tray or in a serving dish. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Loosen food tray lids, but do not remove them. Place food on the center oven racks. Heat for 45-60 minutes while stirring every 15 minutes for even heating. 

Even though the griddle is a versatile cooking surface, it should not be used as a warming tray. Consider adding a warming tray to your kitchen for reheating foods while serving. 

You can set out food in covered dishes (or aluminum foil-covered dishes), warming trays, or chafing dishes to keep it warm until service. Be sure to place food in disposable or other chafing dishes while still piping hot. Chafing dishes preserve the temperature of food. 

We hope that this article has been helpful and that you now feel confident using your warming tray ! Thanks for reading and happy foaming! 

Conclusion

The best warming tray must be simple to operate, have a cord of sufficient length, and be durable. In addition, it must fulfill the purpose for which you are purchasing it! 

You’ve heard the expression, “There’s never enough comfort in your own home!” And to make your lives a little simpler and less hectic, you must have one of the best warming trays. Need more help in deciding? Please leave a comment below, and we will do our best to assist you. 

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