Big or Small?
Whether you want to serve a lot of food together or only a small batch will determine the size of the warming tray you need. But, be it small or big, there are warming trays for everyone!
Warming trays with large dimensions are great when you want to cut down your trips from the kitchen to the dining, but it also comes with a price. Before buying a big warming tray, consider the size of your table as well. In case your dinner table is not that big, the decoration will just look congested and unattractive.
What is It Made of?
Durability is the one aspect that most of us look for when buying any items, and this feature is a must for warming trays. They usually come in stainless steel and aluminum, and the choice rests on you.
The stainless steel warming trays are the most commonly used ones because they are mostly rust-proof and long-lasting. However, we cannot guarantee that all stainless steel warming trays would be better than aluminum warming trays.
It is best to look at the material for yourself to judge if it will last for a long time or not. After all, stainless steel items can also feel flimsy to the touch!
Can the Temperature on Warming Trays be Adjusted?
Yes and no.
Some warming trays give you the option of choosing between Low, Med, and High, while others only have low and high. These are convenient for when you know what temperature you want the food to stay on.
The MyHotMat Modular Electric Warming Tray is one such tray that lets you set the temperature to either a warm or a high with its button labeled I and II.
On the contrary, there are warming trays that do not have any adjustability features at all. You plug them in, turn on the switch (or not), and let it do its thing! Mostly, these food warmers reach the optimal temperature to keep your food safe, so there is nothing to worry about.
How User-Friendly is the Tray?
You got your warming tray, but you are not comfortable using it. A total waste of money!
It is best to grab a warming tray that you can conveniently use to save you from that thought. If you are not a big fan of switches, you could get one that gears up only by plugging in. The Salton Electric Warming Tray is one of the top choices when it comes to no switch functionality.
Contrarily, if switches feel more comfortable to you, then the Deluxe Glass Buffet Warming Tray has a reliable power on/off switch on the back. All you have to do is turn it on and wait for the heat to gear up!
Also, for first-time users, we recommend buying a food warming tray that comes with a light indicator. This makes it easy to figure when it is on and when it is done, keeping the food to the optimal temperature.
Small Bonus Point to Look Out:
This is not a very important feature, but it is wise to have a warming tray with a cool-touch handle. Since warming trays are all about that path from the kitchen to the table, it is convenient to have the cool handles so that you do not burn your hands.
Nevertheless, if your favorite warming tray does not have a cool-touch handle, you could always use heat-resistant gloves.
01. Can I Use a Warming Tray in Place of an Oven?
Most people have this common misconception that warming trays can be used in place of ovens.
However, warming trays are only there to keep your already hot food warm. Since your oven does not have the option of serving the food plate of food directly, you need a warming tray when serving guests. Using the modifiable heat settings, you can keep food warm for a long time.
02. How Long Does a Warming Tray Keep the Food Warm?
Typically, the shortest amount of time that a warming tray keeps food warm is an hour. Nevertheless, some trays take it up a level and keep your delectable food heated up to three hours!
This does not always relate to how high the temperature is, but instead takes into account the wattage of the heating element. It is best to remember that some warming trays take a lot of time to heat up initially, but that is sometimes a good sign because they keep the warm food longer.
03. Does a Warming Tray Require Foil Paper?
No, and we do not suggest using it under any circumstances! Warming trays are meant for plates and bowls only, and not for food wrapped in aluminum foils. Using this can reduce the integrity of the tray and cut down the taste of the food. Now, who wants to waste their money, right?!
04. Do Warming Trays Stay Hot Even After Unplugging?
Yes and no. This one depends on which tray you got. From our list, the Salton Electric Warming Tray is the only one that works even after you unplug it.
However, most electric warming trays do not come with this option. Keeping that in check, warming trays are mostly meant for serving in places with power outlets available, so this is not a very common feature in them.
The best warming tray must be easy to use, have a good-sized cord, and be durable. To top it all off, it must suit the purpose you are buying it for!
You know what they say, “You can never have enough comfort in your own house!”
And to make your lives easier and a little less hectic, having one of the best warming trays is a must!
Need more help in deciding? Leave a comment below, and we will try our best to help you out!