Today, much more than it did a few years ago, there is a lot of attention to food and the line, which is why, more and more often, those who for work cannot return home for lunch, instead of going all the way days at the restaurant, bar or fast food restaurant decides to to take home his “schiscetta” (as it is called amicably in Milan), or a hot and complete meal prepared in advance at home, the previous evening, or the same morning, before going out.
Moreover eating out every day is a habit that in addition to being not very healthy in the long run it also turns out to be particularly wasteful, because for as little as you can spend a dozen euros per meal you need.
Bringing food from home is therefore an excellent habit that with time rewards not only in health, but also the wallet!
The only problem is keep food in optimal condition until the time when it will be consumed and maybe being able to eat it hot, even if you do not have a microwave-equipped corner in the workplace.
No fear, forget cold meals, salads and fruit salad, the solution is simple: just equip yourself with a practical one office electric food warmer; in this way even when you are around, not only at work, you can eat what you prefer!
Today you can find many hotplates, all different in shape, capacity characteristics, power, practicality, materials, design, brand and price.
Let us therefore briefly review which are the characteristics to which we should pay the most attention when we are about to purchase an object of this type.
Finally, as usual, we want to offer you a series of food warmers, all different, but all capable of guaranteeing excellent performance and a good value for money, so that you can choose the one you prefer and that best suits your needs.
Table of Contents
- – The food warmer: when it’s useful
- – Types of chafing dishes
- – Feeding of the food warmer
- – How to choose the perfect food warmer
- – THE BEST WARMERS ON THE MARKET
- – Conclusions
– The food warmer: when it’s useful
We have already said that the food warmer, otherwise called an electric lunch box, it is a great item for those who are forced to eat outside the home on a daily basis, but in reality its use goes well beyond the workers’ lunch.
Think, for example, of family trips, of all the times you go there by car, especially with children and there is no certainty when it will be possible to stop for a break and if there will be a refreshment area in that place, but also at the campsite, when you equip yourself for a picnic at the park, if you want to prepare a packed lunch alternative to consume during a trip: in all these situations, unless you fall back on the usual cold sandwich (which, let’s face it, isn’t much and becomes a little chewy after a few hours from when it was prepared!) one chafing dish can be really convenient.
Generally it has to do with compact and compact items, from fairly low price; some have multiple compartments to hold different dishes at the same time, for example: a first course a second course, a side dish and even fruit and / or dessert.
– Types of chafing dishes
The first discriminator to be taken into consideration, in the choice of the chafing dish that best suits your needs, concerns the product type to which you wish to grant your preference.
Depending on the technology integrated in the device, that is the way in which it heats the food it contains, we can in fact distinguish between three different types: the active food warmers, passive and hybrid ones. Let us therefore try to understand briefly what characterizes each category with respect to the others.
Passive chafing dish
This type of food warmer in fact not It has of any kind of function of heating, but acts exactly like a thermos for food: the food, once placed inside it still hot, freshly prepared, is kept at a temperature as long as possible, thanks to the other degree of insulation provided by the container.
The passive chafing dishes therefore do not have any internal motor or power supply and for this reason they are recommended in all those situations in which you are sure that you cannot have electric current available. They are ideal for a picnic, a lunch on the beach or in the mountains, but above all if children, especially children, have to bring lunch from home and for obvious safety reasons it is best not to handle sockets in any way.
The only drawback of passive chafing dishes is that, in many cases, keeping food warm is 2/3 hours and not much longer; moreover, for some types of dishes a little bit special, such as fried foods, or for some baked goods, the consistency of the food may be a little affected by the stay inside these containers.
Active chafing dish
Active food warmers are those that not only by virtue of their insulating properties keep the food they contain at the temperature they were in when they were stored, but which thanks to the presence of a small internal integrated motor can administer heat, increasing the internal temperature of the container.
For these models of food warmers also the action of keeping warm is very effective, as the inner lining is normally made of aluminum or stainless steel, materials that allow an excellent insulating action and guarantee the absence of potentially harmful substances like bisphenol A.
The active food warmers are ideal for those who use them in the office, where a power socket next to the desk is usually always found and then suitable for containing the most disparate foods: from pasta, through meat, fish, vegetables, but you can always enjoy even soups at the right temperature even , velvety and risotto.
Hybrid food warmer
The third category of food warmers it’s something in between, or a hybrid, compared to the two just seen. In this case, in fact, we are dealing with products that they have an integrated motor that allows the need to heat the dishes, but that only works thanks to the use of a rigorously removable power cable, so that if you wish you can use it as a passive lunchbox, without the useless encumbrance of the wire.
These features make the hybrid food warmers extremely versatile and definitely the best solution currently available on the market, because it perfectly adapts to every occasion and every type of use.
– Feeding of the food warmer
The second factor to be carefully evaluated in choosing the food warmer most suited to your needs, if you clearly do not opt for a passive model, is relative to theproduct supply.
Until a while ago, only passive chafing dishes were found on the market and therefore not equipped with any internal motor. The evolution of technology has led almost all the most famous brands producing this type of objects to produce and to propose models equipped with a heating function, for which the presence of an integrated motor and a power supply of some kind is clearly necessary.
Even with respect to feeding food warmers on the market are divided into three broad categories: there are those equipped with electric cable, those instead of run on batteries and the most innovative ones use a USB socket.
Electric food warmer
It is usually defined as an electric lunchbox, one of all those models, which can be active or hybrid, but which in any case has an integrated engine, able to operate once connected to electricity. Obviously the maximum power of each food warmer and indicated in Watts, can be different case by case, more or less and the same can be said for energy consumption (indicated in kWh), which in any case for appliances of this type are always very low.
To ensure greater ease of use, these products are almost always equipped with removable power cord: in this way, the space is greater only at the precise moment in which the meal is heated, while for transport it will in fact be the same as that of a passive chafing dish or with integrated batteries; in other cases instead the cable is fixed, but there is a practical cable reel that limits its size and facilitates the moment when everything must be stored and transported.
Remember, if you decide to buy an electric lunchbox, always check that the length of the power cord Supplied is sufficient for you and in case also the voltage of the electric socket.
Obviously, even among battery-operated products, both hybrid and active models can be found and the operating mechanism is the same as for electric food warmers; the only difference lies in the way it comes powered the engine, that happens through of the batteries, also integrated.
That being said, there are food warmers on the market that use batteries rechargeable and others instead of using traditional batteries disposable. The products with integrated own batteries are generally more expensive, but clearly the initial surcharge, with a constant use, is amortized avoiding further expenses to buy the batteries; the models with disposable batteries are instead cheaper, but we must take into account the additional and constant expense over time, due to the periodic battery change.
What is certain is that if you were out of the house and the food warmer turned out to be empty, with the battery-powered models you would be able to easily supply it with new energy.
Food warmer with USB socket
In this technological era, he certainly couldn’t miss it food warmer with USB socket. From simple and immediate use it is activated in exactly the same way as a mobile phone is recharged, proving to be a valid ally for those who usually eat in front of the PC, but also for those who want to be able to heat their meals even in the car, given that the vast majority of models of this kind are equipped with an additional cable that allows them to be directly attached to the cigarette lighter, or alternatively a suitable adapter can be used purpose.
In these situations to activate the heating the electricity of some other electronic equipment is exploited, be it a PC, a laptop or other: the important thing is that it has a USB port available. In general, even for these models of chafing dish the cable is always removable, so as to limit the bulk during transport.
– How to choose the perfect food warmer
The food warmer in fact it is a rather simple object, both due to its nature and conformation and to the use to be made of it. That said, on the market today there are really so many models, which differ from one another not only, as already mentioned, by type and type of food, but also by aesthetics, based on capacity, size and conformation; in the presence of various accessories or compartments; to the actual heating capacities; to the practicality of transport, to the type of closure that distinguishes them and more.
In short it does not seem but i parameters to keep in mind when you are about to choose an electric lunch box are several, let’s see then to analyze them briefly but punctually, one by one, so that you can make a conscious and targeted purchase, of which you will certainly not end up regretting!
Capacity and dimensions
We come now to another factor decisive for the choice of the perfect food warmer: its capacity, or the capacity. Clearly this is a strictly personal aspect depends on the specific containment needs of each user.
If for lunch you usually only consume a first, or just a second, then you will orientate yourself on a more contained product, while if you want to make a full and abundant meal you will have to buy a larger and larger product.
Clearly it goes without saying that the ability of a food warmer appears to be directly proportional to its bulk: useless therefore to buy an enormous chafing dish or equipped with more plans and compartments when you normally eat little, or however if you are used to having lunch with only one dish at a time, otherwise you will be forced to carry around an oversized container for nothing; in these cases it is better to opt for a compact model, which takes up as little space as possible, so that it can be stored safely even in the bag!
Especially if you go to work by public transport it is good that consider well what the ideal dimensions of your food warmer should be so that you succeed in transport it easily without it becoming an excessive and annoying encumbrance!
A food warmer but more compartments.
There are very simple food warmers that are equipped with a single compartment for food; in general the simpler models and those with smaller dimensions are thus made.
If, however, when you go to the office or outside the home, you want to bring along a complete meal, consisting of several courses, then, unless you want to equip yourself with two chafing dishes, it will be good to opt for a lunch box larger, but above all already equipped with several compartments, generally of different sizes.
The number and dimensions of these compartments will be fundamental in the choice and it would be better they were all extractable in order to be able to completely detach them from the heating element of the food warmer, not only to consume the various courses more easily, but above all to be able to wash them in the best way.
To be able to warm up your food in the best way you should make sure that the electric food warmer you are going to buy is equipped with food tray with non-stick inner surface: only in this way will you be sure that the food contained in it does not stick and does not spoil, whether you think consuming them directly in the food warmer itself, but even more so if you believe then to consume them inside another dish.
An airtight seal
For a food warmer the semplicity, but most of all the tightness of the closure is very important.
In fact, if something should come out of the lid during transport, you would risk getting it all dirty, or, especially if you are used to storing the food warmer in your bag, you could irreparably damage its contents!
A cover with a hermetic seal, practical but safe at the same time, is a fundamental and essential requirement for a quality food warmer.
Attention why the greatest damage in this sense they are caused by liquids, don’t just think about soups and velvety, but also simply roast sauces, sauces, or whatever! Not all food warmers are guaranteed to prevent the leakage of liquids: make sure they are or equip yourself differently, for example by putting sauces and condiments separately and pouring them into the food warmer only when you are actually warming the dishes.
Presence of the vent valve
Subsidiaries always than on the lid of the food warmer you intend to buy there is a vent valve; this in fact is very useful for letting the steam and condensation escape, which inevitably form inside the lunch box when you put away the hot food and then close it to transport it, but also in the act of heating.
As we have seen active food warmers e those Hybrids must be equipped with a cable, which allows you to connect them to the power outlet or at least to an electrical appliance via USB port.
Very useful in all these cases that the power supply cable be detachable, in such a way that during transport, but also when the food is consumed directly from the lunch box, as is the case in most cases, especially for those who bring lunch to the office and have no possibility of transferring it to the dishes, one does not have the obstruction and obstruction of the wire, which can be a nuisance and a danger.
In the rare cases where this cannot be removed, make sure at least that the device you buy is equipped with special cable reel, perhaps allowing the thread to disappear well rolled underneath the food warmer itself.
Some more accessories
Sometimes the presence of some accessories can help make everything more practical and functional. Consider for example the presence of a cutlery compartment: some models of food warmers boast a special compartment in order to have everything you need available and often this is sold with a spoon, a fork or both cutlery already included in the package!
Other useful elements, in this case to transport, are hooks and handles, which generally placed on the cover or on the sides of the same facilitate the movements but also the opening of the chafing dish itself.
The food warmers are specifically designed to heat food, but you have never wondered how much does it heat an object of this kind?
There are more basic models for which it is not possible to choose the temperature at which you want to heat the dishes, while other more advanced ones allow, thanks to the presence of special programs of to select from time to time the temperature desired, or at least to choose between high, low and medium temperature. This makes them decidedly more versatile and performing: you can prepare all the dishes you want, certain to always be able to consume them at the ideal temperature.
We have seen that generally the electric food containers have rather contained powers: keep in mind that a higher wattage usually corresponds to a higher heating rate and at a slightly higher selling price. So, if you need to be able to count on devices that bring your meals to temperature in a short time, carefully evaluate the power of the food warmer you are about to buy.
Not all food warmers are equipped with buttons, let alone LED indicators that allow you to understand when your dishes have reached the desired temperature. It is in fact elements are present exclusively in the models of band Medium-High.
If there are buttons, these can be used in various ways: o in the more advanced models, to select the desired temperature; or simply to switch the heating function on and off; or again to facilitate the removal of the internal container.
The indicator lights instead they can be used to signal the charge level of the batteries, the time of the heating process, or much more simply the fact that the appliance is connected to the electric current and therefore in operation (the classic warning light).
If you think that one or more of these indications could be particularly useful, or even indispensable, in choosing the perfect food warmer for you, pay attention to the presence of LEDs and buttons!
Cleaning and maintenance
Practicality in everyday objects is essential and compared to a chafing dish it is good to evaluate this aspect not only in the actual use, but also as regards transport, but also cleaning and maintenance.
Infuse a lunch box if it is used daily to bring lunch to the office it will have to be washed at each use, at least in its internal part, the one in which we usually store food.
While in active or hybrid models, in general, we find an internal container, or more than one depending on whether the model has more compartments, which can be easily extracted and washed in dishwasher making cleaning operations easier, in most passive chafing dishes this is not present and the container must be washed every time.
Be careful to read well if it is possible to wash in the dishwasher and then, clearly, as you will have understood if the model can be dismantled so much the better! Often it is possible to remove only the internal containers (attention in some cases not even those!) While the larger tray (which houses the containers and is generally made of stainless steel) remains fixed, but in some cases this is also removable and washable, the which makes everything easier.
– THE BEST WARMERS ON THE MARKET
Now that we have analyzed all the different types of existing food warmers and have listed what are the distinctive features to which pay particular attention, let’s see what the best models on the market today and currently sold.
We focused exclusively on active and hybrid models that actually allow us to heat the dishes, leaving aside the passive ones, which in fact only allow you to transport them and keep them warm for a couple of hours.
1. Lunchy Box Wintem
This Wintem electric and insulated lunchbox guarantees a broad capacity having inside a steel container from 1.5 liters and 2 plastic containers of 600 ml each.
To warm up your lunch, simply plug the box into the socket and wait half an hour, then the meal once warm, closed inside, will remain so for at least an hour.
Easy to transport, it is configured as a rectangular case, made of hard plastic, equipped with a handle; weighs only 762 grams, for a maximum size of 24 × 17.6 x11.1 cm; the power cord is removable. The only foresight is recommended for solid foods, therefore liquids could cause some spillage problems.
That said, Lunchy box it is really nice to see and, what is more important, practical to use, being equipped with an air valve, a removable and suitable tray cutlery compartment with spoon included, is ideal for taking to the office or for a picnic or a picnic in the park.
2. SPICE chafing dish
With its 40 Watts of power and one 1.5 liter capacity, lo “AMARILLO INOX” electric food warmer will allow you to bring your lunch with you from home, wherever you want, on vacation, to the park, to work, to school and to always consume it at the right temperature, also thanks to the practical handle that facilitates transport.
Internally it has a stainless steel tray, which can also be removed, which allows for perfect cleaning and sanitizing of the product e several compartments, which will allow you to carry a full meal and to store any type of food you want inside.
Externally it looks like one nice plastic case white and yellow, with maximum dimensions of 24.2 × 17.4 × 11.2 cm and a weight of 739 g. The new cover with sealing gasket will keep you safe from unpleasant transport accidents and packaging as well as removable power cord you will also find a plastic cutlery.
3. Ariete chafing dish
Scaldì is one of Ariete’s new electric food warmers, which, in a few minutes, even when you are away from home, allow you to heat your meal and enjoy it as soon as it is done!
This circular pattern, particularly solid in its structure, available in two colors (white / orange and white / purple), it represents a good solution, thanks to its particular flat shape and the presence of comfortable handles that allow it to be transported easily, for then heat your food and consume it directly in the same container.
Internally there is indeed a enameled plate (in turn divided into three compartments), non-stick, very durable, but cannot be removed and therefore it may not be very easy to clean. Quickly, in just over ten minutes, your food will be at the perfect temperature to be consumed; on the other hand, space, shape and weight are not very practical for those who have to bring the food warmer to work traveling on public transport.
The dimensions are in fact those of a cylinder of 24 cm in diameter, 10 cm high, the weight is slightly less than the Kilo, for a power of 105 watts and a voltage of 230 volts, with electric cable supplied, disconnectable to facilitate the transport.
4. Scaldì Scaldavivande
This also electric lunch box, just like the previous one, whose name is also taken up Scaldì, is produced by Ariete and available in two colors, purple or orange: the substantial difference from the one just seen is in the shape.
In this case we are dealing with a rectangular model, definitely easier to carry compared to the circular one and also more practical in use, as the non-stick and scratch-resistant rectangular plate, from 23 × 12 cm, it is removable and this facilitates washing operations.
However, the round Scaldì takes all the advantages: the disconnectable cable, the hermetic closure with two convenient lateral hooks, the valve for venting the steam, the handle for transport and above all the possibility of heating the food very quickly.
The dimensions of this product overall are 28x16x9cm, for 120 Watts of power.
5. Rosenstein & Söhne electric lunch box
This electric food warmer of German origin, produced by Rosenstein & Söhne, presents a excellent value for money and has a good one capacity containment equal to 1200 ml, because inside there is a steel tray and two plastic compartments with lids, one of 500 and one of 700 ml, both easily removable and dishwasher safe. The weight it is not the most contained, going around around the kilogram, for a total footprint of 24 × 17.6 × 11.1 cm.
To heat the dishes, just connect the cable to the power socket: in 30-40 minutes, thanks to 35 Watts of power, lunch is served and internally it stays warm for a long time!
The only warning: the lid is not completely airtight, so yes do not recommend using it with liquid food that would risk coming out; at the most you can transport them in a special container and then only heat them with the help of the food warmer. Included in the package you will also find a practical spoon.
Perfect chafing dish even when traveling
When you need to eat while traveling, perhaps to give your children a hot meal while they are in the car and you can’t stop, there is nothing better than one chafing dish that works by heating the food thanks to the cigarette lighter. Let’s briefly analyze a couple of the best-selling models of this type.
Food Warmer System Eng
This 45 W power lunch box has a good storage capacity of 1.5 liters and works with a 12 V voltage. The dimensions are equal to 16.5 x 11.0 x 21.5 cm and this brings lunch it basically looks like a practical case with a handle, white with inserts available in 2 different colors, orange and blue.
Really nice to see and practical to use: just plug the cable into the cigarette lighter of the car and in less than no time your meal will be ready to be consumed at the right temperature.
Internally it looks like a convenient two-compartment container, which allows you to consume food directly and also has a practical cutlery compartment; it is also equipped with a self-regulating resistance, which keeps the temperature inside the food warmer constant without burning the food.
Auto food warmer from DCG
This electric food warmer can only be used in cars and has a power of 30 Watts and exactly like the previous one, having to work through the cigarette lighter of the car, has a voltage equal to 12 V.
It too available in two variants, white-green or white-orange, visually configures as a briefcase with handle, 23 x 17 x 10cm, with 1 liter capacity, two internal compartments and a cutlery compartment with spoon included.
A plus of this lunchbox, which not many models have, is given by container specially designed for soups and equipped with an additional lid that will prevent dangerous spills of liquids.
Now that you have a clear idea and you know all about electric food scales, all you have to do is choose the model that best suits your needs. From tomorrow at lunch break no more fast food, nor cold parts.
You will see that, in the long run, you will gain health and save a lot of money!