Catering Guide: Induction Heat vs. Chafing Fuel
Let us help you this catering season.
This catering season, we are dedicated to providing you with information about the best products for your catering business.
If you’ve been wondering if you should go with traditional chafer fuel or try out the induction heat products this year, keep reading. This week we are highlighting the difference between the two, and giving you all the information you need to make the most educated decision for you business. You can find all the products listed right here at Bresco. If you have any questions or would like us to put something on hold for you, just call us at 800-344-2455.
Chafing fuel generally comes in small canisters. It either uses liquid or gel fuel and creates an open flame. You can find chafing fuel canisters in many different burn time options. Some are adjustable based on the heat level you will use, and some have a set time, such as two-and-a-half hours. One of the biggest advantages of using traditional chafing is that it does not need power to work. For instance, if your catering company was catering an outdoor wedding, you would be able to set up the tables with the hot food anywhere at all, no matter if there is a power outlet nearby or not. If using induction, it would be necessary to plug in to a power outlet. Traditional chafing fuel is more portable and easier to handle in situations like this.
What IS induction?
So what is induction – and how does it work? Induction refers to the generation of heat using magnetism, so the induction-cooker element (or “burner” on traditional stoves) is a high-frequency magnet that puts off an electromagnetic field. When a piece of magnetic material (a cooking vessel) is placed into this field, energy is transferred, or conducted, into the material causing it to become hot. By controlling the amount of electromagnetism put off by the element, you can control how much heat is transferred to the cooking vessel, which will determine how fast the food is cooked.
Induction cook tops use technology to transfer heat to the material of the catering tray. A good way to figure out if your catering tray is compatible with induction tops is to stick a magnet on it – if the magnet sticks, the material should work with induction surfaces.
There are definitely some positive attributes that come with the use of induction. There has been a marked rise in the use of induction in recent years and it’s not hard to understand why. Because induction does not use a flame, there is almost no risk of fire and you also emit less ambient heat, making those you are catering to more comfortable. In addition, if you are catering an outdoor event, there is no chance that the flame will get blown out, which is a legitimate concern with traditional fuel sources. Lastly, it is important to look at the lifetime hours of the product. Induction warmers have been shown to last up to 10 hours per day for approximately a year.
Although induction burners may be more costly, it is likely that they will last longer than traditional chafing fuel canisters, meaning you may be getting more bang (or more business) for your buck!