Chafing Dish Buyers Guide


Chafers are a great way to make a lasting impression on guests attending your catered event. Chafers can be an elegant way to display and hold foods, with their many different finishes and styles.


Most of the chafers KaTom carries are made with stainless steel. This material choice ensures durability. For added exterior attractiveness, many chafers feature eye pleasing finishes or accents.

Mirror Finish – Also known as a Polished Finish. This type of finish is very shiny and reflective.
Satin Finishes – This finish is smooth to the touch but isn’t as reflective as the mirror finish.
Matte Finish – This finish features a dull surface that is not particularly shiny or reflective.
Hammered Finish – This finish features a dimpled texture that looks as though it was created by hammering the surface.
Brass or Gold Accents – These are added to chafers to increase the attractiveness of the unit.

Shapes & Sizes

Here are the most common chafer shapes and sizes:

Full Size Chafing Dishes – These chafers typically feature 8 to 9 quart capacities and are mainly rectangular in shape.
Round Chafing Dishes – These chafers typically feature 4 to 7 quart capacities. They can be round or oval and shape and include Marmite styles.
Half Size Chafing Dishes – These chafers typically feature 4 to 5 quart capacities and are mainly square or rectangular but can be made in round styles as well.

Chafer Cover Types

Dome Cover – These can be lifted off of the chafer completely and feature a handle located on the top of the lid for this function.
Roll Top – These covers can literally be rolled back, most commonly 90 degrees, using a front handle.

Chafer Heat Sources

When using a chafer, you must use a heat source to keep the foods inside of them hot. These are the most common heat sources used.

Fuel – Using Sterno fuel cans and chafer fuel holders are the most commonly used method of keeping proper food temperatures.
Electric – This heats the unit efficiently and is a great choice for windy or outdoor events but requires access to an electric outlet.
Induction – One of the newer methods of heating chafers, this method most commonly utilizes a portable induction range. This method, like standard electric heating sources, calls for access to an electric outlet. Unlike other heating sources, induction heating only heats the chafer and not the area around the unit, making it a safer choice for events.

Chafer Accessories

From chafer frames to chafer pans and tote boxes, KaTom has what you need for an affordable cost! View KaTom Supply’s selection of chafer accessories to find the options best for your catering company.