An insulated food carrier or food pan carrier is a specially designed container that allows you to store food items and transport them from one place to the next without losing its serving temperature. It can be used to transport cold or hot food items and is largely utilized by catering firms, restaurant delivery, charities, ‘meals on wheels’, and any organization or individual involved in food supply.
Why should you use an insulated food carrier?
Using a food pan carrier is ideal if you want your items to be as fresh as when they come out of the kitchen oven to when they arrive at their destination. Food is ready to serve and does not require any additional heating by the receiving parties. This is great for your customer satisfaction and will encourage and attract new client to call upon your services.
It also decreases food spoilage especially if your dishes are being sent to a location that is far away or requires some waiting time before serving. For example, catering for an event where the meal consists of several courses such as a wedding or formal function.
The best insulated food pan carriers are also designed for easy transport and handling as well as safety.
Choosing the top insulated food pan carrier might be a bit overwhelming because there are so many available on the market. So here are the top options to help you narrow your search.
Reviews of 5 Best Insulated Food Pan Carriers
This Insulated Food Carrier has the capability to keep food at optimal temperature for up to 6 hours. It also has a holding capacity for 5 full sized food pans. Apart from these basic functions it also boasts the following:
- Durable material – it’s made from high strength polyethylene material which makes it tough and able to withstand daily use such as in a catering or restaurant delivery environment with multiple trips and handling
- Ergonomic Design – its design makes it easy for transport and handling, easily carried between two persons in a comfortable manner
- Superior Insulation – the interior insulation is constructed with polyutherene which is ideal to facilitate temperature retention at maximum levels
- Aesthetic quality- it comes in five different and stylish colors such as black, brown, forest green, slate blue and brick red. This is great to match your company’s brand colors or to stand out from other competitors.
Another point to mention is that it can accommodate either 5 deep full-sized pans (2.5 inches deep) or 10 half sized ones (2.5 inches deep). After placing your dish in the food pan, you simply secure and slide it into the tray racks inside the food pan carrier, seal the door and you are good to go. The food will remain piping hot until you reach your delivery drop off location. It’s also very easy to clean should any spills or leaks occur in transit and overall very easy to maintain and sanitize.
The COSTWAY End- Loading Insulated Food Pan Carrier is another great 5 deep full-sized pan carrier or 81 quarts. It’s also marketed as suitable for both home and commercial use. It only comes in black color but it also has many other great features:
- Durable material – it’s made with food grade LLDPE material which is safe and environmentally friendly but strong and sturdy for everyday usage
- Its insulation is very impressive with its seamless double walled shell that is lined with polyutherene. It also comes with an inlaid sealing ring on the door to lock in the ideal temperature.
- It can be used for both hot and cold food storage and can keep temperatures at maximum retention up to 4 hours
- It’s not electrically operated which saves on overhead costs
- Ergonomic Design – it’s designed for portability and ease of transport and also has nylon latches which won’t rust of break.
This product is a fantastic investment for home use, catering and restaurant delivery as well as large hotels. It’s fairly priced and long lasting for your catering business which is very cost effective. The COSTWAY End Loading Insulated Food Pan Carrier is easy to clean and maintain and with proper care can last for a very long time.
This particular insulated food pan carrier differs from the previously mentioned models in that it is extremely lightweight. It is made of EPP or Expanded Polypropylene which is a type of ecofriendly and high-performance foam material.
- EPP is classed as a recyclable plastic material so you can safely discard of your food carrier when it has been used and worked to the max
- It’s durable even though it’s lighter than most models which is favorable for transport and handling
- It’s holding capacity is customizable as the interior racking system can hold a variety of different sizes of pans from deep dishes to flat trays. The quantity varies on the various types and sizes of pans.
- It’s easy to clean and does not get stained or damaged by oil or grease
This model does not have ergonomic handles and would require a trolley or other wheeled mechanism for efficient transport so it’s not as portable as some. Since it is a lighter weight foam material, it may not stand up to extended daily wear and tear. In this instance, it’s better for equipping a small-scale catering outfit or small groups such as churches, schools, and personal household use.
The fourth best insulated food pan carrier comes from GIANTEX. It’s quite similar to the COSTWAY model that was previously listed with its seamless double walled insulation and inlaid sealing ring. It also carries the following amazing features:
- Up to 8 hours of hot or cold temperature retention
- It can hold up to 95 quarts or 6 deep full-sized food pans, there a re 12 levels of interior rack placements so you can used different sized pans accordingly
- Highly durable exterior of LLPDE materials with a stackable and interlocking design. This means that if you are using more than 1 of these carriers you can easily interlock them neatly for transport and safety
- Non toxic and safe for the environment
- Easy to clean and sanitize
- Its handles are built into the body which prevents breakage or damage
This GIANTEX Insulated Food Pan Carrier is ideal for large catering companies and organizations that require frequent transport of food. It’s incredibly resilient and made from high performance materials that can withstand multiple trips and daily use over a very long period of time. It’s one of the higher end models in this list but because it’s manufactured with high quality materials it is a great investment that would last for years.
This is another model available from CARLISLE and is another type of professional catering food carrier that is designed for fast paced environments. This model is very unique because it comes with its own built in dolly and it’s 2 tiered, meaning it is 2 stacked separate compartments which can be useful to transport both hot and cold food items at the same time.
- It can hold 10 food pans (5 in each compartment)
- Temperatures can be maintained for up to 6 hours
- It’s built in wheels are designed to ensure sturdy transport and has a locking mechanism to ensure the carrier does not roll away when standing
- It’s made of sturdy and durable materials that are also easy to clean and maintain
This product is great for large catering companies with large and frequent delivery orders as it can hold so much more than the average insulated food pan carrier. It’s ability to store hot and cold items simultaneously due to its dual compartments are a great perk and allows caterers to transport both main dishes and desserts in one trip.
How to choose the best insulated food pan carrier?
As always check your budget first, how much can you afford to spend on an insulated food carrier? They all carry a different range of prices but usually are over $150 USD and some even have deals where you can buy more than one at a time and save.
What are you using it for?
If you want a food pan carrier for home or personal use then you can consider the CAMBRO model because it is the most lightweight and easy to use and transport. For catering companies that have more orders and frequent trips to make, any of the other models would be well suited and durable enough for everyday outings, they are also heavier but most catering companies have several staff members who can adequately maneuver the insulated food pan carrier. (Ideally 2 persons)
How long will an insulated food pan carrier last?
It all depends on the way you handle and transport the insulated food carriers. Even though they are built to withstand a lot of friction in order to get the most use out of them, they must be handled with care, cleaned and sanitized with every use and properly maintained. If you adhere to such care instructions these food pan carriers can last years. They are all constructed with very high performance and nontoxic materials that can stand the test of time.
Are Insulated Food Pan Carriers safe to use?
All the materials used to construct the models mentioned in this article are food grade and nontoxic. If you are environmentally conscious you would be pleased to note that the CAMBRO insulated food pan carrier is 100% recyclable. An extra cautionary measure one should take is to wear proper gloves or safety gear when inserting or removing the food pans because they will be hot.
Where can I purchase the best insulated food pan carrier?
All of the models discussed in this review are available on amazon.com
If you are a small catering business owner or someone actively involved in a group or charity that often requires food transport then it’s recommended that you invest in the best insulated food pan carrier suited to your needs. Your food will remain fresh and at optimal temperatures and this would in turn provide your food recipients with great customer service and satisfaction.
Large companies would especially benefit from models from GIANTEX and the CARLISLE 2 Dual Compartment model as these can retain food temperatures for 8 hours and 6 hours respectively which is longer than the other models mentioned while simultaneously providing larger holding capacities. Many of the food carrier models can be purchased in quantities of 2 and more with special pricing, visit the links provided to check out the various offers and find the one that is most appealing to your wallet or investment output.
Small and medium companies can easily grow and expand with the use of high-quality insulated food pan carriers as they can broaden their delivery maps and go further than using insulated bags.
The fact that these insulated food pan carriers do not require any electrical input is another great reason to invest as it omits overhead costs and saves the firm a lot of money that can in turn be used to improve the company itself.
They are durable and easy to clean and sanitize and this is essential to keeping your food delivery up to code and preventing contamination of food and help you to avoid a lawsuit! It’s not uncommon for spills and leaks to occur in transit. Having a pristine insulated food carrier also gives your clients peace of mind and they can trust you to provide a safe and tasty service and give your company a great review.
With these points in mind, you are well on your way to choosing the most resilient, high quality best insulated food carrier to take your catering practices to the next level of professionalism. Happy buying!