What is used to heat chafing dishes?
You can heat chafing dishes a couple of ways. The first way is to use chafing fuel as outlined at the beginning of this guide. Chafing fuel is the quickest, most inexpensive option and is usually used for catered and outdoor events.
An alternative to using chafing fuel is to use induction chafers
with induction warmers
. Induction warmers are great because they heat up the food within the induction chafer, but stay cool to the touch on their flatop surfaces. This reduces accidental burns and injuries all while promoting a sleek, upscale appearance.
Another option is to use electric chafing warmers
. Electric warmers heat up to warm food, but do so without an exposed flame. They're ideal for areas where open flames are restricted. If you're looking to turn your traditional chafer into an electric unit without sacrificing an upscale appearance, Vollrath electric chafer heaters may be the solution for you. They're small and fit perfectly into standard fuel cup openings.
Alternatives to Chafing Fuel
Cost Per Hour & Annual Savings Calculator
Although our Choice brand 2 hour gel fuel offers 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. This makes Choice fuel great for any event, whether short or long!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of fuel do you use in a chafing dish?
The type of fuel you use to heat your chafing dish is completely up to preference and desired burn time. If you're looking to heat food for a short period of time, we suggest using 45 minute
or 2 hour
chafing fuel. If you have an extended event, we offer 4
, and 6 hour
hour fuel options.
There are gel fuel
and wick fuel
options available, both of which have benefits that are outlined at the beginning of this guide. You may also choose your fuel type by its specific composition.
- Diethylene glycol fuel has a high flash point and won't combust if spilled.
- Propylene glycol fuel is designed with the enviornment in mind and is biodegegradable, ensuring it won't release harmful chemicals or toxins into the atmosphere.
- Ethanol fuel burns hotter and longer than other fuel types for superior performance.
- Methanol fuel is a cost-effective, budget-friendly alternative to ethanol. However, it is unlawful to use in some states.
If you're looking for a specific brand, we feature Choice
and Sterno Products
chafing fuel. Choice chafer fuel offers superior burning power at an economical price that won't break your budget, and Sterno Products provides brand-name fuel products that customers know and love.
What is the difference between twist-off metal caps and stem wicks with plastic caps?
Once lit, chafer fuel cells with twist-off metal caps provide a quick, safe, and easy way to extinguish the flame at the end of events. The cap can simply be placed over the flame to snuff it out. Chafer fuel cells with stem wicks and plastic caps require a separate snuffer paddle, regulator, or saucer to extinguish the flame.
Because an additional tool is required to safely snuff out the flame when using a stem wick chafer with a plastic cap, chafer fuels with twist-off metal caps may be the better option for on-the-go catering companies. However, both styles of caps allow the cans to be resealed, providing you with a way to easily store and reuse leftover fuel.