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The nine best food warmer trays for keeping meals hot

Don’t let a good meal turn cold, with our selection of food warming trays - perfect if you're hosting a dinner party

Hotplate Plate Warmer food tray on white background

Perfect for keeping side-dishes at an even temperature when hosting a party, feeding a group of guests, or just making sure your dinner doesn’t turn cold in front of the TV, warming trays are a handy way of cutting down on food waste by keeping meals appetisingly hot until you’re ready to tuck in.

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Instead of rushing back and forth from the oven during a big family meal, or letting the takeaway go cold while you catch up with friends, a warming tray will keep your food piping hot and ready to eat for a longer period of time.

So make the most of your meals, with our pick of the best food warmer trays.

Best food warming trays to buy in 2021

LIVIVO buffet server and food warming tray

LIVIVO Large Stainless Steel Electric Buffet Server and Food Warming Tray

Designed for large gatherings when you’re likely to have a wide variety of dishes to choose from, this professional-looking electric buffet server should keep the food hot and ready to serve. The handy adjustable temperature dial lets you control the level of heat, so your dishes can stay warm without ever overcooking.

While the food stays hot, the handles are designed to remain cool to the touch, so it can picked up and moved between rooms. Each tray is also detachable and non-stick, so the washing up should also be a breeze!

Hostess Alficionado small hot tray

Hostess Alficionado Small hot Tray on white background

Able to keep your food heated for up to one hour on an eight minute charge, this handy dinner tray is the ideal companion for when you’re juggling multiple dishes in the kitchen, or if you’ve just ordered too much takeaway. 

Thanks to its portable design and stay-cool handles, it can be carried to wherever you’re sitting, allowing you to return to the food when you feel ready to take another bite.

Brabantia food warmer

Brabantia 2 Burner Food Warmer on white background

Fitted with two burners, this food warmer from Brabantia works by lighting candles beneath an aluminium grill, which then absorbs the heat and keeps your meal at an even temperature.

The candle snuffers are operated from the outside for added safety so you can easily put out the flame whenever you’re done with your dinner, and stay-cool grips on either side ensure you can carry the tray back and forth without any injuries.

Twin 1 litre food warmer

Twin 1L Food Warmer on white background

This stylish food warmer has a 1 litre capacity, which means you can fill it with plenty of leftovers, or use it buffet style to hold extra side dishes.

The transparent glass lets guests see what’s inside and take your pick before removing the stainless steel lids, which help hold the heat in place. The base of the frame is fitted with holders for two tea-lights, to prevent the contents from going cold.

Wilko 3 compartment buffet server

Wilko 3 compartment buffet server on white background

With three compartments, this warmer allows you to serve up a few hot options for your next party, safe in the knowledge they won’t be sitting at an unsafe room temperature even if your gathering goes for hours.

This buffet server features a temperature control that allows you to adjust the heat depending on the types of dish you have inside, with safety handles either side so you can stay cool while you carry the hot food.

Buy 3 compartment buffet server now from Wilko

Hotplate food warming tray

Hotplate Plate Warmer food tray on white background

Manufacturer MadeSafer claims that every piece of this hotplate tray, which reaches temperatures of up to 135° C, has been put through a number of tests to ensure it is safe and secure. 

With temperature control and thermal insulation, this energy-efficient model is the ideal modern food warmer for those big family meals. The large surface area in the warming tray can fit a variety of dishes, and thanks to the smooth, enamel-coated top, it should be easy to clean once you’re done.

And with handles either side for convenient carrying, this can be easily returned to the kitchen when you’re finished with your meal.

Quest 16520 compact buffet server and warming tray

Quest 16520 Compact Buffet server and warming tray

Doubling as a warming tray and a buffet server, this unit from Quest has three individual trays which can hold up to 1.2 litres of food. 

There is an adjustable temperature dial on the front which allows you to set the heat anywhere between 105° – 185°C. To use the item as a warming tray, simply remove the compartments and place any plates, bowls or gravy boats onto the base to keep them at a desired temperature, safe in the knowledge they’re firmly in place thanks to the non-slip feet.

Silver rectangle hot plate food warmer tray

Silver Rectangle Stainless Steel Hot Plate Food Warmer Tray on white background

The frame of this silver food tray is made from high-grade stainless steel while the glass is made from borosilicate, which essentially means it can retain heat and keep your food at a delicious temperature. The glass is oven safe, and the frame has candle holders to ensure heat is distributed evenly around the warming surface.

Swan cordless heated lazy Susan

Cordless Heated Lazy Susan on white background
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Perfect for a dinner party, this tray doesn’t just keep your food warm, it has a 360 rotating base so you and your fellow diners can access to the food on display. With rubber feet to keep it firmly in place, this heated lazy Susan from Swan takes between eight to ten minutes to warm up to 60 degrees, which it can retain for one hour.