Food warmer

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A chafing dish, one of many kinds of food warmers

A food warmer is typically a table-top device used to maintain the serving temperature of prepared food. It is used both in homes and restaurants.

Home use[edit]

When used domestically, such as with fondue, a food warmer may simply be a small vessel containing food upon a trivet which contains a heat source such as a flame or electric element.

Some food cookers can then, in essence, become food warmers as they use a reduced heat to maintain a serving temperature.[1] Electric rice cookers do this automatically. A multicooker is an electric kitchen appliance for automated cooking using a timer. In addition to cooking programs, a multicooker may have functions to keep food warm.[1]

Some electric-powered personal-sized food coolers have a setting that serves to warm food inside of the cooler.[2] These are typically marketed as cooler/warmers.[2]

Commercial use[edit]

A steam table

Commercial food warmers are used in restaurants as well as outdoor food carts.

In restaurants and hotels they may operate the same way, but on a larger scale. Buffets commonly use large, stainless steel containers with a sterno fuel source. Restaurants also use steam tables to keep multiple vessels warm at once. These have a large, shallow body of water that is kept at a certain temperature with pans of food placed on top, typically rectangle stainless steel.[3] East Asia in particular uses steam tables in restaurants, and notably, portable ones to keep bamboo steamers containing dim sum dishes hot.

A flameless ration heater is a flameless chemical heater used to heat some types of Meal, Ready-to-Eat entrees.

List of food warmers[edit]

This is a list of food warmers. Some may also serve as cookers.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kitchen, A.S.T. (2015). Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution. America's Test Kitchen. p. PT 41. ISBN 978-1-940352-21-3.
  2. ^ a b Melanson, Don (November 14, 2017). "The Road Trip Gadget Guide – 8 Gadgets For Hitting the Road". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Lynch, F.T. (2007). The Book of Yields: Accuracy in Food Costing and Purchasing. John Wiley & Sons. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-471-74590-7. Retrieved April 16, 2018.

External links[edit]