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Top Of The Best Buffet Tongs Reviewed In 2018Last Updated July 1, 2018
№1 – Ice Tongs,Stainless Steel Ice Tongs Multipurpose Utility Tongs Outdoor Grilling Tongs Clamp Fit for Ice Cubes,Buffet,Barbecue Steak,Grilling,Cooking Kitchen Tool (3 Pcak)
№2 – Pack of 2 Thickening Stainless Steel Buffet Party Catering Serving Tongs Food Clip Salad Tongs Cake Tongs Bread Tongs Kitchen Tongs
№3 – Update International (BU-STG) 8” Stainless Steel Buffet Tongs [Set of 12]
The first major challenge that a caterer faces is keeping food hot and appetizing between the time it’s finished cooking and the moment it’s presented to guests. There are many solutions at varying levels of cost and complexity, and choosing the right catering equipment depends primarily on how long food needs to be held.
Non-Heated Food Carriers
The simplest transportation solutions are non-heated food carriers. They’re built with pan slides that accommodate batches of food held in standard Gastronorm food pans. They’re best for making shorter trips from the kitchen to the venue as they’ll only keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold for four hours at the most. Most manufacturers offer hot and cold packs that are designed to be inserted into the equipment and extend those holding times.
Non-heated food carriers take two forms. The lighter-weight and slightly less expensive solution is the soft-sided food delivery bag. These hold up to half a dozen pans, and they can be carried by hand by one person, making them easy to load, unload, and carry. They’re generally much lighter than the more rugged alternatives.
A more heavy-duty method of transportation is the food carrier, generally made from nearly-indestructible polyethylene. The smallest hold four full-size hotel pans and are generally light enough to be carried by hand. Larger carriers can hold twice that number of pans or more. Both sizes can be pushed around on dollies, and both are usually made with vents to exhaust steam, preventing moisture from making your products soggy.
For transporting individual pans, or one layer of several fractional-sized pans, there are top-loading carriers made of the same rugged materials. They’re small enough to be carried individually, and can be transported on dollies when stacked. Food can be served directly out of them, making them an excellent solution when food will be plated before it’s served. They’re also an ideal option for holding ingredients and trimmings that will be assembled at your venue.
Heated Holding Cabinets
Heated holding cabinets are the catering equipment solution to keeping food hot for more than just a couple of hours, as well as situations where the box will need to be opened and closed frequently. They’re powered by heating elements and often include a circulating fan to spread the heat out evenly. They’re typically constructed with a sturdy metal frame that sits on large casters capable of traversing varied terrain. They’re available in full- or half-sizes.
Chafers are the go-to serving solution for buffet-style catered events. They come in a few common shapes and sizes, most of which are designed to accommodate standard food pans. The simplest kind have removable lift-off covers; others have roll-back covers. The latter come at a higher cost but are tidier and a little more convenient to use.
Because presentation is key at catered events, chafers come in a number of attractive finishes. Mirrored chrome is by far the most popular. Designs range from classical opulent to modern sleek and simple. This buffet equipment is also available with various gold and brass accents to match your demographics’ expectations.
Traditional chafers are heated with canned chafing fuel. Electric heating elements can be purchased as a substitute for fuel, which can be safer and cheaper to operate, but can be tricky to accommodate at venues without plentiful electrical outlets.
Buffet Stands and Risers
As an alternative to serving buffet offerings in chafers, food can be set up on buffet stands and risers. This decorative buffet equipment consists of platforms that display individual platters of food and are the most upscale of all display options. There are fuel-heated risers as well as non-heated options. Although setting them up might require more labor and time than regular chafers, customers who expect to see them will probably be willing to pay a premium.
Another class of catering supplies that’s almost as important as chafers is serving utensils, including tongs, serving spoons, and ladles. Plastic is the affordable solution, costing just a few dollars each or less, so you can afford for a couple of them to go missing occasionally. If your style dictates it, metal versions are available in the same steel finishes as common flatware.
This slender, attractive glass carafe has the nicest design we’ve found for serving juice. Its tight-fitting lid allows for spill-free shaking, and the wide mouth even makes this jug work for small batches of Bloody Marys.
Chances are, your brunch guests won’t drink juice in large serving sizes. A smaller, slimmer vessel like the glass, 1.1-liter Bormioli Rocco Ypsilon Brio gets it on the table without taking up precious space. Of the three carafes we tested, the Ypsilon showcased juice best and had the tightest-fitting lid. That fit is important, because the lid lets you shake up the jar’s contents and store leftovers without soaking up smells from the fridge. The Ypsilon’s plastic one fits like a cork on the inside of the glass. It doesn’t have the most reliable seal—when I turned a full carafe of water upside down the liquid slowly leaked out—but I could easily shake the contents with zero mess (hold down the lid with one finger for security).
The Ypsilon also beats out acrylic carafes, because the glass won’t transfer plasticky flavors to your juice, looks nicer, wears longer, and can be cleaned in the dishwasher without fear of clouding or cracking.
If you’re going with a full-blown mimosa bar, two or three of the Ypsilon can display a variety of juices. Or if the gathering is more intimate, mix up a batch of mimosas or Bloody Marys for two. You can mix directly in the carafe with any regular wooden spoon or spatula (no special bar spoon needed). When filled to the neck, it holds 3ounces comfortably, which translates to about six 5-ounce servings of juice or four pint-glass-sized Bloody Marys (if your pint glass is packed with ice).
Overall, the Ypsilon has clean lines, no seams in the glass, and a modern aesthetic. It originally came to my attention after two separate San Francisco restaurants served me with it on the same day.
We also tried the Anchor Hocking Glass Carafe, one of the few other choices with a reliable lid, but found its visible seam on the outside and thicker glass to be less attractive. The Simax Bohemia Cristal carafe matches the Ypsilon for looks, but the lid isn’t airtight and can’t be used for storage. We considered popular Weck juice jars, but the tiny parts securing the lids are very misplace-able and a bit fussy.
If you want an electric griddle for making a lot of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and even grilled sandwiches at once, we suggest the Presto Tilt ’n Drain Big Griddle Cool-Touch Electric Griddle. It’s big enough to make an entire 16-ounce package of bacon or palm-sized pancakes at once, and in our tests we found that it heated evenly and browned foods perfectly. The nonstick surface really works and also makes for easier cleanup. If you buy this model, invest in a good silicone spatula—such as the GIR Mini 11-inch Flip Spatula—as metal utensils can scratch the nonstick coating.
We tested the Presto against the Broil King Professional Portable Nonstick Griddle—the top pick of America’s Test Kitchen (membership required)—and found that they cooked about on a par, but the Presto is typically half the price. The two griddles have a similar grease-drainage system, but we like how the Presto has a small trough at the front of the cooking surface that siphons grease into the tray under the griddle. We did prefer the Broil King’s sturdier metal handles over the Presto’s flimsy plastic ones, but that was our only real complaint.
Most wire racks are meant only for cooling baked goods, but using a rack to cook your bacon is one of the simplest ways to serve up the ultimate brunch-time crowd-pleaser without spending 30 minutes in front of a hot skillet. A rack crisps bacon up evenly, raises the meat above its rendered fat, and allows the strips to cook up flat—no curling or soggy spots. The CIA Masters Collection 1Inch x 1Inch Wire Cooling Rack does the job perfectly. It’s one of the few racks we’ve found that are oven-safe and shaped to fit well in a half sheet baking pan. It’s sturdier than other racks we’ve looked at, and its tight grid pattern (as opposed to parallel wires) won’t let food bend or fall through.
A silicone spatula for nonstick cookware
This silicone-coated spatula is a must if you use nonstick cookware, as it won’t scratch. Its angled, tapered edge easily slips under brittle cookies and fried eggs without mangling them.
For scraping down the sides of bowls and pans, we prefer the Kickstarter-born GIR Spatula. It’s made of a single piece of silicone with a nearly invisible edge seam, so it’s easy to wash, even in the dishwasher. It’s slim enough to fit into a peanut butter jar, and its parallel edges make it comfortable and quick for scraping down the sides of a large bowl or sauté pan. The tip is thick enough to give the spatula heft for pressing down doughs, yet still flexible enough to glide smoothly and cleanly around the edges of a batter bowl.
The GIR’s grippy, rounded handle feels better than competitors’ flat, thin sticks. And because both flat sides of the blade are symmetrical, both left- and right-handed cooks can use it. The GIR Spatula comes with a lifetime guarantee. It’s a pleasure to use, and the bright, popping colors would look great hanging on the wall.
Crate and Barrel’s Caesna tongs work well for serving both casual and dressed-up dinners.
When it comes to serving sliced meat or vegetables like asparagus or green beans, we think serving tongs are best. If you want something fancier-looking than our Winco recommendation, the Crate and Barrel Caesna Mirror Serving Tongs balance style and practicality. Versatile, easy to grip, and made of high-polish stainless steel, these tongs work well for serving both casual and dressed-up dinners.
We think that you’ll find this does a much better job at clutching the loose leaves and vegetables of the garden-variety salad than an over-sized spoon and fork.
Does a splendid job of serving up the healthy stuff, and looks great while doing it, too. “Design that inspires. Function that rewards. Quality that endures. Value the surprises. Innovation that consistently challenges expectations.” These are the qualities Cuisipro crafts into each of their kitchen tools.
Lodge Charcoal Chimney Starter
Whether your cook uses a charcoal grill or is into Dutch oven baking or braising, this is the place the cooking all starts. This is a piece of gear that’s used so much, it’s a basic.
Charcoal Companion Himalayan Salt Plate & Holder Set
Perfect as a warmed serving plate (you can even finish cooking at the table) or as a surface for searing and grilling. Adds subtle flavor and rare trace minerals to food.
Because your candy display will inevitably feature tall containers, guests’ eyes will also be drawn to the walls behind them. A simple backdrop in coordinating colors is enough to keep things pretty. We used circular paper fans on our wall.
You can also use streamers, garland, paper lanterns, balloons, or even your favorite paintings and posters for a background. If you feel like getting crafty, colorful paper plates twisted in cellophane look like giant hard candies.
You may not have enough tall containers on hand for your buffet. Even if you do, a pedestal is still a useful tool. It can be used to elevate a bowl, vase or jar to add another dimension to the table. While you can purchase a pedestal specifically for this purpose, an inverted box, brick, book or dishware works just as well. Cover it with your tablecloth so it’s not visually distracting.
To avoid too much visual chaos, you may want to keep things symmetrical by using the same type of storage containers on either side of your buffet.
Create a point of interest by elevating one container of candy (or cake) above the others.
Don’t be afraid to mix candy in containers. Filler candy can be used at the bottom of large jugs and jars to make other candy easier to reach.
Avoid using excessively tall containers in the back of your display. They may be too hard to reach.
For the same reason, avoid containers that do not have a wide mouth or are otherwise difficult to reach into.
While the containers should be full enough to look plentiful, avoid filling all the way to the brim. It could cause spilling.
While we’ve suggested glass in this article for its translucent appeal, keep your guests in mind. If you have children at your party (or clumsy adults!) breakable servingware may not be advisable.
For hygiene purposes, you should set up the candy so that guests are touching it as little as possible. Provide tongs and candy scoops for bulk candies in a color that complements your theme. Smaller serving implements are preferable; you don’t want your guests to overdose on sugar!
Do not let raw high risk foods touch other foods
Always clean and sanitise utensils and benches/work surfaces used to prepare high risk foods immediately after the food has been prepared
Work benches and cooking utensils should always be kept clean
Make sure insects, rats, mice and other pests cannot get into the food preparation area
Pets should also be discouraged from domestic kitchens and must never be allowed into a shop or community kitchen
Dispose of rubbish regularly and correctly
Make sure the floors, walls, window sills and all fixtures in the food preparation area are regularly and properly cleaned
9.Correct food storageFood poisoning bacteria can only multiply in the temperature danger zone of between 5°C and 60°C.
However, food poisoning bacteria do not multiply at the same rate throughout this temperature range. They multiply most quickly between 36°C and 38°C, which is around human body temperature.
Above 60°C nearly all food poisoning germs are killed. Below 5°C the germs stay alive but they do not multiply. Keeping food out of the temperature danger zone helps stop the multiplication and growth of bacteria.
Using buffets to combat food waste
At a glance, the amount of food waste from a buffet might seem like it would be off the charts. But in some areas, buffets are being put to incredibly good use combating food waste. Humans waste enough food every year to feed around two billion people. Go us. In major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Diego, a new app is starting to catch on. Originally developed in Finland, BuffetGo allows users to purchase end-of-the-day food from major restaurants at a fraction of the price.
On your end, you browse the app, select the restaurant, pick up your to-go box, fill it up, and head out the door. Behind the scenes, what’s happening is that you’re picking up food that’s gone unsold and can’t be saved for the following day due to various health regulations. (It’s perfectly safe at the end of the day, though.) It’s a win-win. You pay a fraction of the price for the same food people have been eating all day, the buffet makes some of its money back, and the food isn’t wasted.
The Biggest Risks
You probably know someone who cringes at the thought of heading out to a buffet. Eating out anywhere is putting a lot of trust in a stranger, and buffets ask you to trust employees and other customers. Fortunately, there are some things that you can keep an eye out for to help protect you and other diners.
When it comes to dangerous foods, you might want to consider giving some of the seafood (particularly raw things like oysters and sushi) a miss. There’s a huge potential for illness there, especially when those foods aren’t kept at the proper temperature. Aside from improperly cooked or stored foods — which can be a danger anywhere, not just at buffets — the other big danger is cross-contamination. Cross-contamination can also happen anywhere, but buffets have more potential hazards. With all customers serving themselves, there’s a huge chance for the transfer of germs on serving utensils. And it isn’t hard for someone to use one serving spoon for multiple dishes. This is bad; please don’t do it. Long sleeves making contact with the food or serving line is bad, and that’s not even mentioning people who might pick up a dinner roll, change their mind and put it back. So to keep yourself safe, look for telltale danger signs like spoon handles touching food, other customers returning with dirty plates, and dishes that don’t have their own individual serving spoon or set of tongs. Avoid those things, and maybe let an employee know what’s going on.
There are no regulations for serving utensils
The rules that are in place for buffet food and safety are just like other restaurants, which means you might be unpleasantly surprised about some of them. When it comes to the actual food prep, utensils must be swapped out and cleaned every four hours. And on the buffet table, any time a serving utensil actually falls into a dish of food, that food has to be tossed. So you’d expect there to be some rules about the serving utensils, right? Nothing.
Regulations don’t extend to serving spoons and tongs, even though there’s a huge risk for contamination. That includes everything from someone using the same utensil for more than one dish, to someone who’s just come out of the bathroom without washing their hands properly. (And that happens more than you want to think. According to a 201study from Michigan State University, only percent of people wash their hands in the CDC recommended manner. Yikes.)
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Buffet Tongs wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Buffet Tongs
- №1 — Ice Tongs,Stainless Steel Ice Tongs Multipurpose Utility Tongs Outdoor Grilling Tongs Clamp Fit for Ice Cubes,Buffet,Barbecue Steak,Grilling,Cooking Kitchen Tool (3 Pcak)
- №2 — Pack of 2 Thickening Stainless Steel Buffet Party Catering Serving Tongs Food Clip Salad Tongs Cake Tongs Bread Tongs Kitchen Tongs
- №3 — Update International (BU-STG) 8” Stainless Steel Buffet Tongs [Set of 12]