Chafing Fuels

Buying Guide

Do you ever wonder what is chafing fuel, or which type of chafing fuel you should be using? The right chafing fuel can increase profits and lower accidents caused by improper use. From the diverse types of fuels to the diverse types of applications, this chafing fuel guide will help you to determine which fuel is best for your specific food service application.

Types of Fuel

Wick Fuel

Wick Fuel

  • Available in one of two types – traditional or stem
  • Both traditional and stem use clean-burning diethylene glycol (DEG)
  • 2, 4, or 6 hour burn times
  • Safer than gel since spilled DEG does not combust without a wick
  • Some wick type fuels offer resealable lids so fuel can be reused if fuel is not totally used after your function



Gel Fuel

Gel Fuel

  • Available in one of two types – ethanol (pink) or methanol (blue)
  • 45 minute, or 2, 4, or 6 hour burn times
  • Strong heating performance
  • Use if the water pan is too close to fuel cell holder for a wick fuel

NOTE: Methanol fuel is unlawful in the state of Pennsylvania.

Uses

Chafing Dishes

Chafing Dishes

  1. Start with 2, 4, or 6 hour fuel
  2. Open the can; keeping it away from any open flame
  3. Carefully place it in the receptacle
  4. Place the water pan in the frame and fill with about 1" of HOT water
    - Using cold water will add to the pre-heating time
  5. Light the chafing fuel using a long reach match or butane lighter
    - Always light the can when in place
  6. Cover the water pan until it begins to steam (approximately 20 minutes)
  7. Once steaming, place the food pan with hot, fully cooked foods into position and cover
  8. After your event, extinguish the chafing fuel with the correct tool and dispose of the can properly



Beverage Urns

Beverage Urns

  1. 2 hour chafing fuel is recommended
  2. Open the can; keeping it away from any open flame
  3. Carefully place it in the receptacle
  4. Light the chafing fuel using a long reach match or butane lighter
    - Always light the can when in place
  5. After your event, extinguish the chafing fuel with the correct tool and dispose of the can properly



Banquet Carts

Banquet Carts

- Always follow the Manufacturer’s instructions
- Pre-heat the cart to the proper temperature before placing hot, fully-cooked foods inside
- Use only the number of cans recommended by the cart Manufacturer

  1. Open the can; keeping it away from any open flame
  2. Carefully place it in the receptacle
  3. Light the chafing fuel using a long reach match or butane lighter
    - Always light the can when in place
  4. After the cart has reached the proper holding temperature, place hot, fully-cooked foods inside and close door. Transport with care
  5. After your event, extinguish the chafing fuel with the correct tool and dispose of the can properly

Cost Per Hour & Annual Savings Calculator

Although our Choice brand 2 hour gel fuel offers to the lowest cost per can, the best value in terms of burn time is our Choice brand 6 hour wick fuel. Our Choice brand wick fuel offers a convenient screw on lid so you can easily reuse the fuel to get the full 6 hours of usage. Making it great for shorter or longer events!

Cost Per Hour Calculator

Product Hours per can Cans per case Cost per case Cost per can Cost per hour
Choice 2 hr Chafer Gel FuelChoice 2 hr Chafer Gel Fuel 2 72 $36.99 $0.51 $0.26
Choice 4 hr Chafer Wick FuelChoice 4 hr Chafer Wick Fuel 4 24 $25.49 $1.06 $0.27
Choice 6 hr Chafer Wick FuelChoice 6 hr Chafer Wick Fuel 6 24 $26.99 $1.12 $0.19

Calculator

Product Hours per can Cans per case Cost per case Cost per can Cost per hour
2 Hour Chafing Fuel Choice 2 Hour Chafer Gel Fuel 2 72 $36.99 $0.51 $0.26
4 Hour Chafing Fuel Choice 4 Hour Chafer Wick Fuel 4 24 $25.49 $1.06 $0.27
6 Hour Chafing Fuel Choice 6 Hour Chafer Wick Fuel 6 24 $26.99 $1.12 $0.19
   Enter your current fuel to compare - -

Annual Savings Calculator (Comparing your fuel to our Choice 6 Hour Wick Fuel)

Cans used per each chafer: How many hours per week?
Your Chafer Fuel Our Choice Chafer 6 Hour Wick Fuel
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  Cost Per Chafer Per Hour -  
  Cost Per Chafer Per Hour -  
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Safety Tips

  • Always select fuel with a burn time long enough to last the length of engagement so it will not be necessary to change fuels during the event
  • Always ensure water is hot and steaming and foods are at a minimum serving temperature of 140°F before putting food pan in place
  • Chafing fuels are not designed to cook; only maintain proper temperature for serving
  • Keep canned chafing fuel away from flammable table decorations or nearby items (i.e., curtains)
  • Always light fuels in place; use a long reach match or butane lighter; do not use other lighted cans or rolled up paper
  • Avoid touching gel-type cans — as they become superheated overtime as the flame burns into the can
  • Always extinguish chafing fuel at the end of the event, using the proper tool
  • Dispose of spent fuel cans properly
  • Check with your local code official before using open flame. If open flame is not allowed, then check out our Vollrath 46060 universal electric chafer heater, 14" x 22" x 6" electric chafer warmer, or one of Vollrath's induction-style chafers
  • Always have back up fuel! It's cheaper by the case anyway

Guides & Videos

For information on the right type of chafing dish for your restaurant business, check out our Chafing Dish Guide.

Check out some of these helpful videos:

How To Use a Chafer

Chafer Accessories Review

Universal Electric Chafer Heater