Best Food Warmer Reviews

Updated January 15, 2021

People who enjoy entertaining family and friends know the challenges of keeping food organized and warm while attending to their guests. Food warmers are the best helpers in the kitchen for big family gatherings, parties or other events.

Using a dish warmer prevents the hustle of trying to make a dish last minute to serve it hot, constantly disappearing into the kitchen while hosting an event.

Many electric food warmer options are available to do justice to your hard work in the kitchen. These handy kitchen aids keep food hot, while preserving its taste.

So, heating trays let you enjoy your own party, saving you from frequent commutes to the kitchen. Warming trays also save space as you use them as serving plates.

We have made a list of the best food warmers much-needed for big families. You can see their main features, pros and cons in this practical list.

See Our Best Heating Food Trays

1 Homefront - 2 In 1 x Large Pro Series Hot Tray Food Server
Best For Higher Budgets
Homefront 2 In 1 x Large Hot Tray Food Server
Hide other buying options

2 Swan - SW12SS XL Cordless Buffet Server and Food Warming Tray Hot Plate Swan SW12SS XL Buffet Food Warming Tray
Show other buying options
Buy On AO
Hide other buying options

3 Tower - Four Buffet Server and Plate Warmer
Best Overall
Tower Four Buffet Server and Plate Warmer
Hide other buying options

4 VonShef - 3 Tray Food Warmer Buffet Server VonShef 3 Tray Food Warmer Buffet Server
Hide other buying options

5 Kingavon - BS100 Buffet Electric Food Warmer Kingavon BS100 Buffet Electric Food Warmer
Hide other buying options

6 Quest - 16520 Compact Buffet Server and Warming Tray
Best For Low Budgets
Quest 16520 Compact Buffet Warming Tray
Hide other buying options

1. Homefront 2 In 1 x Large Hot Tray Food Server

  • Extra large capacity of 10.5 litres.
  • 3 heat setting options available.
  • Has a large surface warming tray.
  • Keeps food warm up to 3 hours.
Best For Higher Budgets
Homefront - 2 In 1 x Large Pro Series Hot Tray Food Server

This stylish buffet server is a great option for big families. Its large-surface warming tray and notable 10.5L capacity is ideal for Christmas or Eid dinners, family gatherings, or parties.

With 3 variable heat settings, this tray food server allows you to serve different kinds of food in their ideal serving temperatures for up to 3 hours, thus preserving the taste.

The approximate heat settings are as follows: low: 40°c-55°c, medium: 55°c-65°c, high: 65°c-75°c.

You can serve various dishes from rice to vegetables or meat curries in its three high quality stainless steel insert pans.

You can also move the buffet server safely thanks to its cool touch handles.

This hot tray food server is practical with the light and easy to clean dishwasher proof plastic lids. It is very easy to set-up and use.

There are two lights on the front, one indicating that the device is on, the other turning off when it reaches the required heat.

Overall, this extra large electric food warmer is the best option for big families and crowded parties with a 10.5 litre capacity. It is also good value and a great alternative for renting a hot food tray for your parties and other events.


68 x 33 x 11 cm
5.48 kg
Stainless Steel
350 W


  • ‘Power on’ and ‘ready to use’ indication light
  • Has 3 stainless steel insert pans
  • Dishwasher safe lids
  • Cool touch handles


  • The plastic lids are not so durable
  • Not great for everyday use

2. Swan SW12SS XL Buffet Food Warming Tray

  • Cordless use. 
  • Integrated warming plate function.
  • Keeps food warm up to 3 hours with 1000watts power.
  • Keeps food at 60 degrees for 1 hour.

This portable cordless buffet server heats up to 130 degrees in just 8-10 minutes and allows you to keep your food warm, right on your table.

When unplugged, it can preserve the heat at 60 degrees for one hour, allowing your delicious meals to be served warm and fresh.

Its detachable power cord enables the warming tray to be placed directly on the dining table, making it very convenient to use.

You can enjoy all your courses at the ideal warmth without leaving the table.

The integrated warming plate function with 1000W heating wire embedded into its ceramic base is another distinctive feature of this electric food warmer.

All you need to do is remove the top tray section of the buffet server and place your plates onto the hot, flat surface.

Its skidproof silicone rubber feet allows for practical use on the table. It looks stylish and elegant, too.

This electric food warmer is a great option if you don’t have much room in your kitchen. You can use it with your own bowls or plates, and easily move the party to another room or your yard with this portable hot tray.

The 1000W heating power places this electric heater among the best food warmers in the market for simpler needs, although the lack of temperature control is a disadvantage.


68 x 33 x 7 cm
4 kg
1000 W


  • Detachable rubber power cord
  • Fast warm-up
  • Easy to store
  • Can be placed on the table


  • Comes with no containers
  • No temperature control

3. Tower Four Buffet Server and Plate Warmer

  • Doubles up as a warming plate.
  • Adjustable temperature setting.
  • Comes with four non-stick trays.
  • Good value for money.
Best Overall
Tower - Four Buffet Server and Plate Warmer

This versatile buffet server and plate warmer is ideal for house parties and small gatherings.

It comes with two large and two small non-stick, easy-to-clean trays, which makes it perfect for serving a full meal on one server.

The tray capacities are 2 x 2.4 litre and 2 x 1.2 litre, ideal for families or entertaining guests.

All four trays are complete with transparent, plastic lids.

If you wish to serve your food in a more elegant or stylish way, you can put the trays aside and use your own bowls or platters on the warming plate.

Simply remove the top tray section of the server and it’s ready to use.

The adjustable heat setting is a great feature for keeping your food at optimum temperature. You can make sure your dish is not too dry by controlling the temperature.

The cool touch handles and non-slip feet also ensure safety and convenience. There is also a LED power indicator in front of the device.

Tower Four Buffet Server and Plate Warmer is a good value option for house use and practical for serving a variety of dishes fresh and warm.

It might be one of the best food warmers in the market to cater for different events like barbecues or dinner parties with four buffet servers and a total capacity of 7.2 litres.


15.4 x 38 x 64.7 cm
6220 g
Stainless Steel
300 W


  • Allows for versatile use
  • Comes with different-sized trays
  • 7.2lt total capacity
  • The trays are non-stick


  • Plastic lids
  • A bit heavy to carry around the house

4. VonShef 3 Tray Food Warmer Buffet Server

  • Reaches 70 – 80° temperatures.
  • 7.5L total capacity.
  • Has an adjustable thermostat.
  • Serves as both buffet server and hotplate.

Hosting dinner parties is stress-free with this buffet server. Thanks to it, you can easily coordinate a whole meal with perfect-timing, keeping your main dishes warm while preparing side dishes, and serving it all hot.

Its adjustable thermostat allows you to find the perfect serving temperature for your food, and its indicator light shows you when the pan is hot and ready.

The distinctive feature of this electric food warmer is that it can keep your food between 65 – 70° over long periods of time.

The dish warmer comes with three pans – each with 2.5L capacity (7.5L total) and with its own plastic lid. You can keep great amounts of food in them, which makes this product great for large gatherings.

This kitchen aid is also perfect as a hotplate. You can easily transport the tray to your table holding it by its cool touch handles, and serve your food in more refined bowls or platters.

The tray metal is safety food contact certificated so you can also place food directly onto the tray.

The buffet warmer has a 1m power cord, which means that you don’t have to worry about tripping over long cables when in use. But it might not be great to use outdoors, where you might need an extension cable.

All in all, this electric food warmer is great for value with a higher maximum heat compared to some other similar models.


65 x 38 x 15.4 cm
4.5 kg
Stainless Steel
300 W


  • Comes with 3 warming pans
  • It’s easy to find the ideal warming temperature
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Easy-to-grip cool touch handles


  • Short power cable (1 m)
  • Plastic lids not great for higher temperatures

5. Kingavon BS100 Buffet Electric Food Warmer

  • Comes with 3 large buffet dishes.
  • Serves as both a buffet server and a hotplate.
  • Has an adjustable temperature dial.
  • Keeps the food piping hot.

This stainless steel hot buffet server is great for dinner parties. It comes with 3 buffet dishes with a 2.36 litre capacity and clear plastic lids.

They are easy to clean and ideal when serving a main dish like casserole or curry with hot side dishes, like baked potatoes, rice or grilled vegetables.

You can also use it as a warmer tray on your dining table, and keep your food in your own selection of plates and bowls.

The hot tray area is large enough to fit casserole dishes straight from the oven.

Its adjustable temperature dial ensures that you serve your dishes at optimum temperature so that their taste and aroma are perfectly preserved.

The electric food warmer keeps your food warm for long periods of time, letting you attend to other needs of your party guests, or enjoy the event you’re hosting.

You don’t need to worry about overcooking or burning the food.

It also has cool touch handles, an indicator light, and 105 cm power cord. It is easy to use and transport.


65 x 38.2 x 16 cm
4.8 kg
Stainless Steel
300 W


  • Has 3x2,36 litre buffet dishes
  • Excellent value
  • Easy to carry
  • It is easy to clean


  • Plastic lids
  • Short electric cord

6. Quest 16520 Compact Buffet Warming Tray

  • Very light compared to similar models.
  • It is compact and easier to store.
  • Has an adjustable temperature dial.
  • Offers 2 functions in one appliance.
Best For Low Budgets
Quest - 16520 Compact Buffet Server and Warming Tray

If you want to buy a food warmer but you worry that it is too much for a small family, you might consider giving this food warmer a chance.

This compact buffet server might be the best option to add an electric food warmer to your cooking appliances.

It comes with three separate compartments with plastic lids. Each buffet tray can contain 1.2 litres of food, and are perfect for serving main or side dishes at BBQs, dinner parties, breakfasts and other social events.

The adjustable temperature dial on the front allows you to set the temperature anywhere between 105° – 185°C.

The warmer heats up very quickly, in just a few seconds, and keeps the food hot for several hours.

This buffet server also doubles as a warming plate. You can take out the outer trays and put your own plates or bowls onto the base of the unit. There are non-slip feet on this buffet server to keep it safe and still on your table.

This electric food warmer is best suited to smaller families or gatherings, but it surely serves its function!


59 x 29.4 x 12.8 cm
2.94 kg
Stainless Steel
200 W


  • It is quite easy to carry
  • Has dishwasher safe buffet trays
  • Comes with 3 buffet serving stations
  • Reaches high temperatures in a few seconds


  • Might be too small for large gatherings
  • Uses 200 watts power

Food Warmer Buying Guide

Technology Behind Food Warmers

An electric food warmer, or a warming tray, is an electronic device that is used to keep your food warm for long periods of time. 

There are various types of food warmers in many shapes and sizes for different catering needs, but their common purpose is to keep food at temperatures that are safe for human consumption.

Earlier food warming technology used to rely on heating the air surrounding the food. But newer technologies heat the elements that hold the food (such as buffet servers, containers or trays) and try to avoid heat loss.

So, usually 200W-1000W electronic heating wires are embedded under the trays to keep the food held in the containers on the trays warm.

The hot trays often have adjustable temperature dials to control the heat through the thermostat, enabling the user to keep their food at optimum serving temperatures.


You can use the modern electric food warmers in different locations according to your needs -in the kitchen, the dining room or the yard and by the swimming pool. Certain models allow cordless usage to cater for your different needs.


Table food warmers allow you to use the warming tray right on your dinner tables.

Most current models have two functions, serving both as a buffet server and hot tray.

Their hot trays stay warm up to 3 hours after being unplugged, and keep your food warm, ready to serve from the table.


Buffet food warmers have their own food containers, or buffet servers. They come in different shapes, sizes and volumes, varying according to home use or professional use. 

They are great for house parties, barbecues or crowded dinner parties, such as the ones at Christmas.


Again, there are food warmers in various sizes, the larger ones being for professional use at buffets in hotels, work places, canteens or large events. The ones that you can use at home usually vary between 59 x 29.4 x 12.8 cm to 68 x 33 x 11 cm.


You can carry the modern electric food warmers around the house, and take them to your garden. Just look for the ones with cool touch handles. 

Most models stay warm up to three hours after being unplugged, and some even allow cordless usage.

Food Warmer Material

Most electric food warmer hot trays and buffet servers are made of stainless steel for food safety and health reasons, similar to a warming drawer

Some models use ceramic plates for hot trays instead of steel.

Most models have clear plastic lids for buffet servers, while stainless steel covers are preferred for professional use for durability and resistance to greater temperatures.

Pricing Range

Electric food warmers for home use are currently worth between £35 to £119, depending on the size, features, make and model.

The heating trays and dish warmers for professional use may be worth much more, again, depending on the purpose of use, size and volume.

Our Verdict

If you are looking for a practical way to prepare and serve food for your party guests or your family gatherings at the comfort of your home without all the hassle, you might want to consider buying an electric food warmer.

You can keep your food fresh, warm and delicious using one of the food warmers in our list and keep your party going!

As the host, you might want to consider the number of people you usually serve before making the decision about which model to make. So, the volume and the size matters!

All in all, most makes and models listed here have almost the same functions. Unlike other models, the Swan SW12SS XL Buffet Food Warming Tray lacks containers (buffet servers), and it doesn’t have the means to control the temperature.

So, it’s best to consider this option only if you have a smaller group to serve and less storage space in your kitchen.

If you have a large group to serve, and you often host parties or events at your home, you should consider Homefront 2 In 1 x Large Hot Tray Food Server with an XL tray and larger volume of 10.5 litres.

Food warmers will surely be of great help in your household if you often entertain people and wish to enjoy the party with your guests.

They are good investments as you can use them for many years on different occasions and they save you a lot of time and energy. So, great value after all!

Related Posts