Holding and Warming Equipment: What’s The Difference?

Holding and Warming Equipment is essential to any foodservice operation, as it keeps food hot and fresh during wait times. There are many types of holding and warming equipment to choose from, so it’s important to find one that fits your operation. You need the correct type of warming equipment to make sure that foods are at a safe and hot temperature when taken to a customer’s table. How will you know what type of equipment is perfect for your foodservice operation? Keep reading to find out!

Drawer WarmersDrawer Warmer

Drawer warmers ensure that foods arrive not only hot, but also at a safe temperature. Many drawer warmers let you control what temperature you’d like the food to be held at. Some warmers even let you control a different temperature for each drawer, such as if you need meat to be held at 150° and mashed potatoes to be held at 170°.

Heated Holding Cabinets


Heated Holding Cabinets are taller than drawer warmers, and most come with casters so you can easily move the cabinet throughout your foodservice operation. These cabinets can hold a variety of sheet pans and hot food steam table pans, depending on which model you purchase. Heated holding cabinets also proof your food, all while keeping your food at a safe temperature! Easily control these cabinets by selecting the perfect temperature.

Food Warmers


Food Warmers are sometimes also called Buffet Warmers, but are essentially the same thing. These warmers usually sit on a countertop or hang above a food bar. You can warm a variety of foods with these warmers, depending on the type you purchase. Overhead food warmers have pre-focused heat that maintains serving temperatures longer without continuing to cook the food.

Heat Lamps


Heat Lamps are very similar to overhead food warmers. They use bulbs or lamps to heat your food to maintain a safe temperature. Depending on the model type, some heat lamps can heat from above and underneath your food.

Hot Food Display Cases

These display cases keep wrapped products at NSF safe temperatures, and allow for easy dispensing or self-service. Central has hot food display cases that hold a variety of foods, such as burgers, soup, pizza and more.200-110

Heated Shelves

Heated shelves are ideal for pass through areas, buffet lines or can be used as a heated work shelf. These shelves have an adjustable thermostat  and are easy to clean. Central has a wide selection of heated shelves so you can find the one that will fit your foodservice operation the best.

Soup Warmers/Kettles870-011

Soup kettles allow you to adjust the temperature and cook and hold your soup all in one. Soup Kettles can be used in the kitchen, or in a buffet line for self service. Central has soup merchandisers that not only hold and cook your soup, but also provide an attractive display to attract customers’ attention.

Rice Cookers


Want a way to easily cook rice in large quantities? Rice Cookers not only allow you to easily cook rice, some models can also cook oatmeal, grits or liquids. The removable, nonstick pot is easy to clean and includes a moisture cup to collect water to prevent dripping on the counter.

Still Need Help?

If you’re still stuck on which piece of holding and warming equipment is right for your foodservice operation, give Central a call at 800-215-9293. A product consultant will gladly help you out with your needs!

Featured image from Eddie Welker


One thought on “Holding and Warming Equipment: What’s The Difference?

  1. Rony Jahid

    Hi Emily,
    Really Food warmer / heater very much helpful equipment, to let you control what temperature you’d like the food to be held at. this is very much important for a restaurant service and thank you once again for your helpful tips and the equipment listing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *