Keeping hot food hot is about more than just serving quality dishes for commercial food operations. Commercial food warmers are an integral part of maintaining food safety and efficiency.
While keeping food warm sounds like a one-size-fits-all endeavor, there are multiple types of commercial food warmers that keep foods at temperatures above 140 degrees (and out of the danger zone).
Holding and Proofing Cabinets
Heated cabinets are designed specifically to keep items warm during the food prep process or before serving. These commercial cabinets use humidity or a dry heat to maintain temperature. In some cases, the humidity in a heated cabinet can extend food storage time by hours. Because of the diverse functions and capacity of these cabinets , heated holding cabinets can be used for transporting food (within a building or from one location to another) or storing food. A proofing cabinet is similar to a holding cabinet, but comes with settings that are designed for rising baked goods.
A heated merchandiser is a heated holding cabinet designed for the dual purpose of maintaining a safe temperature and displaying the product. Some heated merchandisers are equipped with specialized lighting and rotating shelves designed specifically for an optimal display. Heated merchandisers can hold almost any kind of heated food item, such as pizza, nacho cheese, hot dogs, poultry products, French fries, cheese curds, and warm sandwiches. (To choose the best merchandiser, get more information or talk to a professional about options for heated merchandisers.)
Commercial Countertop Food Warmers
These compact commercial food warmers come in a variety of styles designed to keep any type of food warm and safe for consumption. Countertop warmers use wet or dry heat to keep foods at ideal temperatures for serving. Units that employ wet heat use a water reservoir that provides an even heat but does require refilling. Countertop warmers that use a dry heat do so with a heated element. Unfortunately, these warmers can be prone to cold and hot spots, though they do not require the additional labor to refill the reservoirs. Other units are designed to use either a wet or dry heat depending on the situation.
Forced Hot Air Holding Station
Warming stations are specifically designed to keep food warm and crisp. These commercial food warmers use technology that circulates air and prevents sogginess. Forced hot air holding stations can extend holding times up to four times as long. These units are ideal for holding French fries, chicken wings, and other fried foods; a food service equipment professional can provide more information on this innovative food warming equipment.