Updated: Aug 17
The future of chafing dishes
In the catering world, we all rely on chafing dishes to keep our food hot and safe for consumption during buffets. In fact, at one point in history, in ancient Egypt, the concept of "chafing dishes" were used to cook food (foodservicenews.net). But it's safe to say, none of us would want to use them to actually cook our food today!
Caterers like us use chafing dishes as a form of indirect heat to keep the food hot throughout the event. There are 4 main parts of a chafing dish:
Chafing dishes need a fuel source, often in the form of a methanol gel, to heat the water that is underneath the food. Methanol gel is safe for indoor use, and typically does have a 2.5 hour window for heating capacity. BUT, they can be dangerous to use, if not properly monitored.
Methanol gel cannisters have a litany of dos and don'ts when it comes to using them. To start with, they should never be placed directly onto the table during use - hence the chafing stand. The stand is meant to protect the table surface from the extreme heat that the cannisters produce. The stand is also meant to prevent any nearby materials from igniting. That being said, they are considered highly flammable. As a caterer, we want to ensure the cannister is away from flammable items - this can be tricky when linens are involved. The methanol gel can also give off toxic fumes and vapors if directly inhaled. Not to mention, if the gel gets directly onto your skin, it can cause skin irritation (Safety Data Sheet)
What about the environment?
Methanol gel cannisters are a single use product. Once the gel has been used they are no longer viable after the 2.5 hour window. The cans are not environmentally friendly and cannot be recycled. Additionally, the water pan, if disposable, can get damaged during use and typically isn't reusable.
So...What are some other options to keep our food hot during a catering event?
Introducing . . .
Lunch Wired's Flameless Chafing Dish Solution!
Our Flameless Disposable Chafing Dishes use the technology of self heating pads to keep your food hot and safe for consumption. The h°eats warming pads do not require a flame, methanol gel, or electricity! Instead the food warming pads are water activated - doesn't get much easier than that! They only require room temperature water and a few seconds to allow the lava gel to activate. The warming pads will instantly get hot and keep your food hot for service.
How does it work?
The concept of self-heating technology has been around for a while, just think of the warming pads used in your ski boots or gloves during the winter. The flameless warming pads uses a heat releasing chemical reaction upon contact with warm water which allows the pads to instantly keep the food hot for 1.5 to 2 hours long just like a methanol gel cannister will - only safer! We recommend 90 minutes as a rule of thumb for how long your food will remain hot.
There are 4 main parts to the Flameless Disposable Chafing Dish:
The branded box with food label and perforated slots for serving utensils
The base pan holding water and the water activated food warming pad
The food pan
The lid with handle for easy use
The food warming pad and water are placed together in the base pan, similar to the water pan. The base pan easily sits inside of the labeled, branded box. The box features 4 easy to access slots which will hold all of your serving utensils while not in use. Then the pan containing your meal will go directly on top of the base pan and will be covered by the lid to help maintain the heat of your food and prevent drying.
Our delivery driving team will set up each Flameless Disposable Chafing Dish for you just like we would normally do for our traditional chafing pans! No need to worry about setting up your own chafing pans - we got this covered!
*Food warming pads are a single use item
What are some of the other benefits of the Flameless Disposable Chafing Dishes?
The water-activated food warming pad is lightweight, easy to use and sustainable
The food warming pads are earth friendly and can be recycled. The lava gel inside the pad is made from natural resources and does not negatively impact the environment once used like the methanol gel cannisters can.
The food quality is better while food stays hot in chafing dish because of the elimination of boiling water in the water pan. The warming pads provide moisture to prevent the food from drying out and over cooking.
The food warming pads maintain a consistent temperature the entire time the food is being held for service for safe eating
No need for the wire racks or methanol gel fuel cans
The box and aluminum pan can be used up to 2 times, which cuts down on your disposable waste and overall catering costs
Both the box and the aluminum pans are recyclable
They are safe to use! Avoiding flames in office settings is a great way to ensure a safe and enjoyable catering event
The chafing pans are much easier to set up than traditional chafing dishes
What are my cost savings?
We sell our Flameless Disposable Chafing pans for $20 each, and our food warming pads separately for $8 each. Since the box and the aluminum pans can be used again for your next catering event, you could potentially save $12 on each chafing dish you will need for your next catering order if you purchase the food warming pad refills!
What does this mean...in real life? If you have a catering event that requires 4 chaffing pans, and you already have purchased the Flameless Disposable Chafing pans from a previous orders, you only need to order the refills from us. That means your saving almost $50.00 on your next order, which is ultimately better for your budget and the environment!
It Gets Better!
For a limited time only we are offering a 10% discount on our Flameless Disposable Chafing Dishes. That's a $2 savings on each pan you need for the entire month of March!
What a better way of trying out something new that you could use twice?
We know you will love our new packaging solution for your hot buffet catering events. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 303-835-7988 ext. 2!