We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Holding and warming food properly is one of the most crucial tasks that any commercial kitchen should never forget. With the right warming equipment, you can keep the foods delicious and always ready-to-serve.

Designed to either bring pre-cooked foods to a safe warming temperature or even put the finishing touch on the “just cooked” foods, the best commercial food warmer will bring the food to a safe warming temperature and maintain that temperature for hours.


Top 8 Best Commercial Food Warmers


Adcraft FW-1200W Full-Size Countertop Food Warmer

This full-size countertop food warmer from Adcraft is constructed from heavy-duty, premium stainless steel for durability and reliability. It is designed with the steel element support, which stabilizes the heating element and provides even heat distribution without hot spots.

The food warmer can maintain temperatures over 140 degrees Fahrenheit which meets the requirements for food safety. Lightweight and easy to clean, this food warmer is completely portable and convenient. It comes with an adjustable thermostat knob that can reach up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, suitable for defrosting as well as slow cooking meats.

Pros:

  • Large size
  • Premium stainless steel construction
  • Even heat distribution
  • Meets the suitable temperature for food safety
  • Adjustable thermostat knob
  • Lightweight and easy to clean

Cons:

  • Some user reports leaking
  • Heating element burns out quickly

 

Proctor Silex 34300 Buffet Food Warming Tray

The Proctor-Silex 34300 is a food warming tray and buffet server in one, so you get to serve food to all your customers at the perfect temperature. The equipment includes three removable 2.2-quart stainless steel chafing dish that holds the cooked food, complete with transparent lids from viewing and a slot to fit serving spoons.

Besides, this 13 x 21 inches food warming tray can hold your heat-safe disposable pans and dishes for versatility. OR you can also use the warming tray to serve small desserts and bites and put them directly on the warming tray. The warming tray offers adjustable and consistent heat that cycle on and off to maintain the specified temperature automatically.

Pros:

  • Includes three removable stainless steel pans
  • Food-safe warming tray
  • Adjustable and consistent heat
  • Versatile
  • Portable
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Strong odor out of the box

 

Nemco 6055A Countertop Food Warmer

Available in Full Size or 4/3 size, it features a high-quality, premium stainless steel construction for durability.

The commercial food warmer has a wet operation that requires water to steam and heat food. It does not have any issues fitting and can fit ordinary full-size steam pans as well as deep pans. It features an adjustable thermostat from low, medium to high heat and boasts a pilot light indicator.

Pros:

  • Quick heating
  • Stainless steel construction for durability
  • Fits ordinary full-size steam pans and deep pans
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Pilot light indicator

Cons:

  • It can get really hot to the touch

 

Vevor Commercial Food Warmer

This commercial food warmer from Vevor features a large-capacity pan with a dimension of 280L x 23W x 11H in size. It is available in a different number of pans from the 2-pan warmer to 6-pan servers, complete with lid.

Also, it is built with 304 food-grade stainless steel that is extremely durable and super easy to clean with its food pans and covers completely dishwasher-safe. It features a one-control temperature knob that allows you to adjust the heat level from high to low with temperature ranging from 86 – 230 degree Fahrenheit

The warmer features three-dimension heating for high-temperature circulation and fast heating transfer. It also features a faucet that makes drain for simple and smooth operation.

Pros:

  • Convenient cleaning
  • Fast and even heating
  • Several numbers of compartments available
  • Premium construction
  • Adjustable temperature knob

Cons:

  • Instructions are not very helpful

 

SUNCOO Commercial Food Warmer Display

SUNCOO offers a merchandising countertop food warmer display made of tempered glass for more excellent safety and strength and better viewing. The double sliding door allows for easy access to food so customers can help themselves to the food items. For long-lasting use, this food warmer features a stainless steel body that is durable and sturdy with a sleek black design that is professional looking and fits any restaurant decors.

The warmer display features three stainless steel racks that offer a super large space to use and are easy to remove for easy cleaning. It has homogenous thermostatic controls that allow you to choose the suitable temperature for the food kind you wish to display with a sink that keeps the food warm and in perfect condition.

Meanwhile, a switch allows you to control the lights separately from the temperature with a warm yellow light that makes your food look more attractive and delicious.

Pros:

  • Double sliding, tempered glass doors
  • Visual thermometer
  • High-quality stainless steel tank
  • Fast heating
  • Warm LED light

Cons:

  • Customer service is not good

 

Atosa Commercial Food Warmer Table

Made for dry use, this foo warmer table is suitable for buffet-style and self-service kinds of restaurants. It is constructed with 18 gauge heavy-duty stainless steel with 20 inches stainless steel tubular legs and adjustable feet, ensuring reliability and durability when catering.

The commercial steam table is available in 3, 4, or 5 buffet pans that are 8 inches deep that can keep several dishes warm and reducing the amount of storage needed. It also has 7 inches deep cutting board that provides you a little extra workspace for changing out food pans.

It has a convenient under shelf for storing extra serving utensils, lids, or food pans to keep all the tools you need close at hand. For optimum heating versatility, each compartments is independently controlled with control knobs.

Pros:

  • Independent control
  • Includes deep cutting board
  • Convenient under shelf
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Dry holding
  • Space saver

Cons:

  • Few reviews

 

NutriChef 3 Buffet Warmer Server

The NutriChef 3 Tray Food Warmer is perfect for restaurants and catering services. It is a warmer and server in one and includes three removable food containers complete with a lid to serve up to 3 dishes at a time. You can also change out the trays for versatility.

Not only that, but it is also a great hot plate perfect for making dinner such as steak, burgers, chicken cutlets as well as sautéing veggies. Compact and lightweight, this model is highly portable and easy to transport. It features a rotary control temperature setting and can reach a maximum temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros:

  • Food warmer and server in one
  • Includes three removable food containers with lid
  • Also works as a hot plate
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Rotary control temperature settings

Cons:

  • Customer service is not good
  • Pan covers are flimsy

 

Tiger Chef Food Warmer

This electric food warmer from Tiger Chef is a space-saving must-have to your food establishment or restaurant. With the food warmer can easily and quickly keep dishes warm and keep it safe from contaminants with the included lid.

It features a stainless steel adapter plate that is designed to accommodate around inserts. It is perfect for holding 2 round inset pans designed to fit snugly on the standard steam table and provide a tight seal to keep food at the right temperature. Also, it also includes a soup ladle for a mess-free serving.

The warmer features an easy-to-operate dial temperature control and can heat from 140 – 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Dial temperature control
  • 4 and 7 quarts round insets with cover and ladle

Cons:

  • Not that durable

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a food warmer used for?

A: Food warmer is as simple as it is. It is a device used to maintain the serving temperature of cooked foods. It can be used both in homes and restaurants.

Q: How long can food be kept warm?

A: Once food has been thoroughly cooked, you can safely hold it in a food warmer, low-temperature oven, chafing dish, or slow cooker for several hours. However, foods that stay in a food warmer for more than 2 – 4 hours start to lose their freshness and start to dry out.

Q:  Can I leave food warmers by itself?

A: Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of fires, and leaving your food warmers unattended can be quite dangerous. It is crucial that you watch the warmers at all times, and follow the same precautions that you would use with grills, stoves, and other cooking appliances.

Q: What is the general temperature needed for warming food?

A: Certain problems can result if the temperature of the food warmer drops too low. Food safety is crucial when using food warmers to keep foods ready for customers.

The temperature of meats and other foods that are meant to be served piping hot should not drop below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If hot foods are kept at a low temperature, harmful bacteria can cause food poisoning and other issues.

 

Important Factors To Consider

Type

Commercial food warmers are available in various kinds. These include:

BUFFET WARMERS: These are great to use. You have a buffet-style restaurant. It holds the food in buffet lines or a temporary serving line. They have top lights that release a fair amount of heat in addition to the heated base.

DROP-IN FOOD WELLS: This kind of commercial food warmers is designed for installation in wood or metal countertops. They are designed to accommodate standard size steamable pans and are heated by a tubular heating element for even heating.

COUNTERTOP WARMERS: 

These come in various sizes and shapes, usually rectangular or round. Chili and soup are the most common foods for round food warmers, while rectangular ones need an insert food pan. Countertop food warmers need a small amount of water in addition to the food pan on top of it to keep food warm and moist.

STEAM TABLES: Also called hot food tables, this kind of food warmer keeps foods hot and available for self-service in schools, hospitals, buffet restaurants, or mobile catering services.

HEATED MERCHANDISERS: This kind of commercial food warmers are a great way to keep food warm and visible to customers ready to make the purchase. These are used to hold French fries, pizzas, sandwiches, and other self-service items and are ideal for buffets, gas stations, and other convenience areas.

HEATED SHELVES: Also called warming trays, these are usually made in aluminum, stone or stainless steel. It’s heating elements are perfect for catering or concessions where you can display the food and keep it warm. Heated shelves are either drop-in or portable units.

Size

The dimensions are crucial since it will give you an idea of how many dishes you can warm on it at the same time. The bigger the size, then the more meals you can heat simultaneously.

Moist or Dry Heat

Commercial food warmers come in different types of heat applications that work best in particular menu items. Warmers which rely on moist heat use water to create steam that prevents the food from drying out or burned. Moist heat uses more energy but heats faster.

Dry heat, on the other hand, takes longer to get to the desired temperature but uses less energy. These are better for dried and crispy food items, which can become soggy.

Manual or Thermostatic Controls

Manual controls allow you to set the heat level to high, medium, or low heat, so you get complete control over the temperature. Meanwhile, thermostatic controls work like ovens, where you only set a specific temperature, and the warmer will automatically add less or more heat to achieve and maintain that temperature.