Countertop Warmers

Joined Aug 6, 2011
Good afternoon, just joined the forum.

I am looking to get an electric countertop food warmer to use at home and when we do hot dog/burger barbecues.

I know the sterno chafing dishes are cheaper, and I've looked at them, both the stainless steel and the disposable aluminum. I don't like lighting open flames though or having the burn/fire hazard. Nor do I want to have to keep buying sterno.

I also bought a warming tray that included two pans and lids to use as a buffet server. It's ok, but when using the pans they don't get all that hot. Certainly not to a safe food temp.

So far, I've been looking at used electric warmer prices on ebay. I rather like the look of the Vollrath 71001 series warmer. However, as far as durability, I notice it has a water basin of some type of resin versus the stainless steel type of other brands. Vollrath claims this is better insulated and that the direct heat domed heater it uses is more efficient than the other types which use elements under the well. Another thing I like is it uses only 700 watts, compared to 1200 watts of the more conventional units.

I see lots of other brands of warmer I recognize such as Wells, and others I don't, AdCraft, Cadco, Nemco, etc.

As for pans, what sizes would you recommend for me? They are expensive, even used ones. In my situation I suppose I can get by with cheaper ones, but even those add up when buying half and triple ones, and then the lids.

Does anyone have experience with warmers and could give me your opinion on the various ones?

Thanks very much.
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