Food Warmer Key Terms

Business.com / Industry / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Food establishments use food warmers to keep food warm while the rest of the meal cooks. Other uses for food warmers include buffet- ...

Food establishments use food warmers to keep food warm while the rest of the meal cooks. Other uses for food warmers include buffet- style restaurants that serve the food warm for the entire shift, and convenience foods, such as pizza by the slice, which must be kept warm while waiting for customers to buy it. Food warmers take on many different names and each kind of food warmer has its own distinct function. Learn the lingo of food warmers so you buy what you need to make your food business a success.

Commercial hot plate

Commercial hot plates keep food warm while the rest of the meal is cooking. They usually come in the one- or two-burner size.

Heat lamps

Heat lamps are lamps with infrared bulbs that extend over food to keep the food warm until it is time to serve it.
University of Missouri offers extensive information about heat lamps and their purposes other than food warming. All heat lamps work on the same principles, no matter their actual use.

Steam tables

Steam tables keep food warm by heating water and creating steam that rises up to the food contained above it. The hot steam keeps the food warm and moist.

Warming drawers, holding drawers

Warming drawers, or holding drawers, keep food warm with heated drawers. The thermostat can be set to just the desired temperature to keep the food hot. Power for warming drawers is usually electricity.

Chafing dish burners

Chafing dishes keep food warm by using a heat source, such as a butane candle under the dish to provide heat. Food service professionals use these elegant food warmers for banquets and other formal occasions.

Display case, heated display case

A display case, or heated display case, keeps food warm by heating the interior of the case. Unlike a food warming drawer, the display case has glass sides so customers can see the food. Heated display cases enable the service of hot dogs, pretzels and other grab-and-go foods to hungry customers.

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