If you have a small food business and you are looking for quality equipment to upgrade your kitchen then consider a stainless-steel food warmer. This type of food warmer is also referred to as the ‘electric food warmer’ or ‘bain marie’ which is typically known as a water bath. It’s a great addition to your food serving practices as it is basically heating food with hot water and steam. Ideal for delicate recipes and dishes that require a certain level of heat to be at peak quality.
The 5 Best Commercial Stainless Steel Food Warmers
|Best Overal||Zica ZCK165A Commercial Bain Marie Buffet Food Warmer||4.3|
|Runner Up||Winco FW-S500 Stainless Steel Food Warmer||4.5|
|Best Budget Pick||Tiger Chef Electric Countertop Food Warmer||4.4|
|4 Pot||Kitma Commercial Stainless Steel Electric Food Warmer||4.3|
|3 Sections with Tap||SYBO ZCK165BT-3 Stainless Steel Bain Marie Buffet Food Warmer||4.8|
We have compiled a list of the 5 best commercial stainless-steel food warmers that are top rated and high performance. Besides, we have also reviewed top-rated food warmer display cases to keep racks fully stocked and prepackaged foods hot and fresh. If you have a busy restaurant or café, you would benefit from the use of a food warmer because you can pre cook certain items and keep them warm for serving take away or your best-selling dishes that tend to be in demand. It is a wonderful time saver for lunch hour and special sales on food. It’s also great for catering buffets, weddings and events where you do not cook food on-site and need to keep your menu hot, ready to eat and fresh. For better transport of cooked or prepared food without losing heat elsewhere at a party or event, you can read the reviews of the insulated food pan carrier.
These commercial stainless steel food warmers come in different sizes, some are counter top compatible and light weight so you can use a few units to have a wider range of food available. For a great portable catering set up these stainless food warmers are ideal and compliment the use of an insulated food pan carrier as well. Stainless steel food warmers are not only functional for keeping dishes warm but they also help to manage the space in your kitchen or at your event and can hold a variety of pan sizes according to its dimensions. Since the food warmer keeps food warm and saves space, you can easily place it on the side of the food prep table in the kitchen. Click to read the reviews, if you are looking to have stainless steel or wooden kitchen food prep tables.
Choosing the type of stainless food warmer to suit your intended purpose can be a drag because there are so many models with features to compare and price ranges. This list narrows it down for you by providing information about the best selling and high quality units that consumers have recommended time and time again.
Reviews of the 5 Best Commercial Stainless Electric Food Warmers
1. ZICA ZCK165A Commercial Stainless-Steel Electric Bain Marie Food Warmer
First on the list is the ZICA stainless-steel electric food warmer. It is great option for restaurants and catering companies. It boasts the following great features:
- Simple control knob and switch – It has five different heat control settings on a simple dial knob and the on and off switch is waterproof
- It has a multi ring heating tube that evenly distributes heat and maintains an even temperature for keeping pans warm. It’s neatly hidden inside the one-piece molding and not exposed
- It has a power capacity of 1200W and 110V /60HZ
- ETL Certification
- Compact size: 24.3” (Length) x 14.6” (Width) x 9.5” (Height), 17 lbs weight
- It can hold 24 quarts
This can be used in a number of applications for buffets, hotel breakfast areas, brunches, catering, parties, wedding banquets and self-service environments. Due to its lightweight and portability, it can even be used on mobile food carts or food trucks that have an electrical supply.
2. WINCO FW-500 Large Stainless Steel Food Warmer
The Winco stainless-steel food warmer is also a great light weight option and has similar applications as the previously mentioned Zica model.
- Compact size: Outside dimensions: 22. 5″L * 14. 5″W * 9. 5″H and Inside dimensions: 20 inch L * 12 inch W * 6 inch D
- ETL listed for electrical safety and conforms to ul-197
- ETL listed for sanitization safety, conforms to nsf-4
- It has the following voltage supply: 1200W, 120V Ac 60Hz
- There are three temperature settings: Low=140 Medium=170 High=200 (Fahrenheit)
Perfect for your kitchen commercial or domestic, its portability also makes it a great option for outdoor events or food stalls such as fairs and carnivals.
3. TIGER CHEF Commercial Stainless-Steel Food Warmer
This stainless-steel food warmer comes with its own lid to lock in the heat as well as provide protection from food contaminants. It’s a great unit for use at functions or outdoor events as well as restaurants and buffet lines. It also has some other great features such as:
- Three temperature settings: Low=140, Medium=170, High=200 (degrees Fahrenheit)
- Energy efficient: 120V/ 60Hz , 1200W, 10 A
- Simple Dial control
- ETL certified for electrical safety and sanitation (UL-197, NSF-4)
- Overall dimensions: 22 ½” L * 14-5/8” W * 9-3/8” H. Inside dimensions: 20” L * 12” W * 6” H. Standard opening dimensions: 20” L * 12” W * 6” D.
This warmer fits nearly full-size pans up to 6 inches deep. This stainless-steel warmer also has a unique feature. It can be used with an adapter inset kit that can convert the standard warmer to accommodate 2 round steam table pans that are ideal for soups.
4. KITMA 4 Pot Stainless Steel Commercial Food Warmer
The stainless steel food warmer from Kitma is not for countertops as it comes built into it’s very own table stand. It also has a 1 year labor and parts warranty upon purchase. It’s on the higher end of the price scale but for good reason as it is very commercial and heavy duty. Here are its main specifications:
- It can hold 4 full sized 8 inch deep food pans
- Intended for dry use but can be used wet with a compatible spillage pan which is available from the manufacturer
- It comes with a 7” W x ½” thick poly cutting board that can be stored on it’s sturdy and spacious undershelf
- It’s durable and has galvanized legs for great support and stability
- Its insulated by fibreglass and each heating element has it’s own controls
- All switched and dials have mechanical guards for safety and reliability
- 110 V, 2000 W (500 each well)
This is an ideal heavy-duty food warmer for restaurants and buffets. Its heavy weight and can be used as part of a display counter or in-house buffet at a restaurant, hotel or school cafeteria. It’s also great for use at hospitals. Its commercial design can withstand daily use in fast paced settings and there are a variety of ways to arrange different pan sizes to get the maximum use out of it.
5. SYBO ZCK165BT-3 Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Food Warmer
The Sybo stainless steel bain marie food warmer comes with its own 1/3 pans, 3 totals, that also have their own lids. It’s counter top compatible and comes with a tap on the side. It also shares many of the basic features as all the other models mentioned in this article such as:
- Compact size: 24.5” L x 15” W x 10” H and 23 lbs.
- Waterproof switch and simple temperature dial
- It has a 110V power supply
- Tap for water drainage
- USA Brand, recommended by professionals and business owners
It’s a great unit that can also be used domestically as well as in small cafes or canteens. Even though it comes with three pans you can swap them out for bigger pans if required such as two ½ sized pans. It’s built in tap can speed up cleaning time after use to drain water or release excess water and steam while in use.
A portable food warmer is always handy for getting hot food even in mobile food carts or remote locations while traveling, picnicking, or camping. Some of them need an electrical source and some of them can run from vehicle power. You do not have to worry about losing heat if you have the power supply. These food warmers are made of good quality materials so it is recommended to be carried while traveling to other locations with long-lasting performance.
Usage & Buyer’s Guide
How do you use a stainless-steel food warmer?
Apart from the KITMA model, these commercial stainless-steel food warmers all require the user to fill up the mold with enough water to maintain heat. The steam from the water keeps the food warm. The temperature can be controlled for max heating to lower heat or standby heat settings. The KITMA unit comes with an externally available tray that can be used for heating the water and receiving steam heat if certain foods need a certain type of heating.
Does the stainless-steel food warmer come with food pans?
The Sybo unit comes with three 1/3 sized pans, however the Zica, Winco, Tiger Chef and Kitma food warmers do not. The steam table water pans have to be purchased separately according to size.
How to clean a stainless-steel food warmer?
These models are all easy to use and maintain. The food grade stainless steel is rust proof and the electrical components and switches are waterproof. You can easily clean and wipe both the interior and exterior with a clean cloth and dry after use. Always ensure that the electrical outlet in use is not damaged before plugging in your food warmer.
What does ETL Certified mean?
ETL certification means that the products have been officially tested to the safety standards required for the type of product and has passed all regulations for different factors such as electrical compliance, sanitization, environmental safety among others.
Are commercial stainless-steel food warmers safe to use?
Yes. Apart from being ETL listed and certified, these commercial food warmers are safe to use to heat your food items. The steam heat produced may even be safer than using a microwave. As with all electrical appliances, caution is needed when plugging and unplugging the unit, avoid getting the plug or wall outlet wet to reduce the risk of electrocution and do not touch hot surfaces with your bare hands.
Where can a commercial stainless-steel food warmer be purchased?
The models in this article can be easily sourced on amazon.com. Follow the links provided for each and you will be directed to the website.
Benefits of a commercial stainless-steel food warmer
- Space saving
- Great for storing prepared dishes in advance for rush hours
- Safe and Sanitary
- Versatile and functional designs
- Saves time from heating up individual plates
- Convenient electrical appliance
These commercial food warmers are great additions to upgrade your business. They are commonly used in the following settings:
- Food Trucks
- Mobile Food Carts
- Outdoor Vending
- Catering Businesses
The table top models can be safely utilized in domestic settings for parties, barbecues, fundraisers and any event that requires food preparation and serving actions. If you have a small business the best units for saving space and money are the Zica, Winco and Tiger Chef brand commercial food warmers. These models are under $150 USD, durable and easy to maintain in a small business atmosphere. They are light enough to be easily moved if needed and can be great tools for catering companies. While some do not come with pans and lids, these are easily available from some of the same manufacturers. If you already have pans you can customize your food warmer display and use different sized pans for different items. This creates more variety for buffets and you can serve the different components of one dish in this way.
If you prefer having the pans and lids already installed in the unit the Sybo model is also affordable in the mid-range. For larger operations purchasing several table top food warmers are an option or the Kitma stand alone warmer that can easily be built into your front counter display or used as a stand-alone buffet table. This heavy duty commercial warmer is the best buy for buffet style restaurants and daily hotel lunch and breakfast menus.
It should be noted that the Tiger Chef stainless steel food warmer also has the adapter plate inset kits (sold separately) that can facilitate 2 large round pans. This is a great accessory to invest in if you purchase this model as it can be used for soups, pasta sauces, chili, broths and other liquid sauces and recipes. Great for soup kitchens or larger restaurants that have a menu that covers different types of cuisines.
With proper use and care, these warmers can last for many years and be able to withstand daily use. While only a few have advertised warranties, it would be wise to take care of your appliance and use them as instructed to avoid any malfunction. If you notice any dysfunction, contact the manufacturer for quick assistance.
Now that you have the best commercial stainless-steel food warmers to consider, choose what’s best for your budget and your business needs. Each product is top quality and top rated by consumers at every level from domestic users to full scale restaurants. If you need to upgrade your kitchen, a stainless steel food warmer is a great investment! Start with any of these commercial stainless steel food warmers from this list to have warm and fresh food anywhere anytime.