Sterno Chafing Dish Tips


Buffet style meals are handy for special events with large numbers of people, from receptions to holiday gatherings to business luncheons. One of the very best ways to keep buffet foods warm is with Sterno and chafing dishes, freeing up the host or hostess so they can spend more time with their guests.

Using the Sterno and Chafing Dish Properly

  • Chafing dishes come in oval, round, square and rectangular shapes, and can be either stainless steel or disposable aluminum. They come with a water pan and wire or chrome rack. The water pan is first placed on the rack then filled with hot water, with the chafing dish placed above the water pan. Sterno cans are then placed under the pan and lighted. Sterno can be purchased from hardware stores and party supply stores.

    For safety, never light the Sterno before putting liquid into the water pan and never use the chafing dish and Sterno without the water pan. A low flame will be sufficient to maintain proper heat. Do not put the chafing dish or Sterno on a hot stove or an open flame. Remember to use an underlying tray with Sterno burners to protect linens and the serving surface.

    Stir the food in the dishes occasionally to make sure the bottom doesn't burn, and the food remains evenly heated. The lid should stay on the chafing dish while the food isn't being served. If your chafing dishes are outside, wrap aluminum around at least three of the sides to block any wind from blowing out the Sterno flame.

    One can of Sterno should last from 60 to 90 minutes. If you need to add more Sterno, the old units may be hot, so use tongs when taking them out to avoid burns. If you think the food is getting too hot, use only one Sterno can.

Preparing Foods Used in Chafing Dishes

  • To prevent food poisoning, thoroughly wash your hands before and after handling food, and make sure the chafing dishes and utensils are also clean. Cook all foods thoroughly before placing them in the chafing dish. Beef roasts should be cooked to at least 160 degrees F (medium), pork chops and roasts should be cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees F (medium), and poultry (turkey/chicken) should be cooked to at least 165 degrees F. Keep the food hot in an oven set at 200 to 250 degrees F until immediately before serving. All hot foods should ideally be kept at 140 degrees F in the chafing dish, but not exceed 160 degrees F to prevent overcooking.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to Use Chafing Dishes

    Buffets offer as much excitement and variety to bacteria and other microorganisms as they do to your guests. Buffets give foodborne-illness-causing bad...

  • Chafing Dish Instructions

    Chafing dishes heat foods evenly and keep them warm for hours without burning. Chafing dishes use a double boiler system to transfer...

  • How to use a Gourmet Standard Chafing Dish

    Standard gourmet chafing dishes an appropriate tools for entertaining and feeding groups of people. The chafing dish keeps the food warm but...

  • How to Make Sterno Fuel

    Sterno is a gel fuel that can be lit to create a temporary heat source. Sterno typically comes in small shallow cans,...

Related Searches

Check It Out

13 Delicious Thanksgiving Sides That'll Make Turkey Insignificant

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!