Definition of chafing dish in US English:

chafing dish


  • 1A metal pan with an outer pan of hot water, used for keeping food warm.

    • ‘For the chilly version of a chafing dish, serve bowls or cups of food on ice-filled trays, platters, or foil pans.’
    • ‘At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in a warm oven, in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warming tray.’
    • ‘Often these gatherings are held in dimly lit rooms with portable bars and chafing dishes of chicken fingers, meatballs, cheese cubes, and dip.’
    • ‘If I would tell her to check to make sure the flames in the Sterno pots weren't too high under the chafing dishes, she would go over and make sure the caprese salad appetizer was full.’
    • ‘The second one broke three plates, a nice chafing dish, and a food processor, and all he was trying to do was mix up some tuna salad.’
    • ‘One of the last times we catered, we were busy packing the last of the chafing dishes in the van and Mr. Freak asked if we would like a tour of the house.’
    • ‘Friday night my wife went to a cookware party - everyone buys a chafing dish, and the hostess gets 50% off a full set of pots and pans.’
    • ‘When I went to get water for the chafing dishes, I was informed the only source of water was a garden hose down by the old grain trough.’
    • ‘The fondue dish, called a caquelon - never deemed an essential part of the enjoyment of melted-cheese dishes - should not stop you making fondue and, if you should find yourself without one, try a chafing dish instead.’
    • ‘Hot foods can be kept at serving temperatures in chafing dishes or in casserole dishes over tea candles.’
    • ‘If hot food must sit out for longer than two hours, use warming trays, slow cookers or chafing dishes to keep the food hot.’
    • ‘Metal chafing dishes, with or without their water bath jackets, also make suitable containers for fondue.’
    • ‘Almost complete local vessels have been recovered, including a rare chafing dish.’
    • ‘On our way into the sleeky curved a la carte dining room, we had inspected an array of chafing dishes, tiered salads and carved-to-order meat stations that looked mighty like a buffet.’
    • ‘A covered chafing dish sat on the sideboard, flanked by a glass-enclosed display of pastries and fresh fruit on one side and a nice selection of fruit and vegetable juices in liter bottles set into a tub of crushed ice on the other.’
    • ‘The big corporate dinner was in the hotel sports bar and consisted of a bowling-pin-bedecked table of chafing dishes filled with burgers, fries, fried mozzarella, and chicken wings.’
    1. 1.1 A metal pan, typically one containing an alcohol lamp, used for cooking at the table.
      • ‘Now, if you will - if you can - imagine all of these things piled up together into a single tray, the tray perched on top of a handmade, tabletop sort of Sterno-fueled chafing dish, so that you've got this tower of: everything.’
      • ‘Methanol is often encountered in everyday life because it is a common solvent for household products as well as being used as fuel for chafing dishes.’
      • ‘As Elizabeth David has explained, this device ‘ultimately became the elegant silver-plated chafing dish set over a spirit lamp and used for the table cookery of Edwardian dishes’.’
      cooking utensil, container, receptacle, vessel
      View synonyms


Late 15th century: from the original (now obsolete) sense of chafe ‘become warm, warm up’.


chafing dish

/ˈCHāfiNG ˌdiSH//ˈtʃeɪfɪŋ ˌdɪʃ/