Another thing to keep in mind when selecting chafing dishes is heat type; they can use either electricity or canned heat. Canned heat produces a chemical-based flame that is placed on a special holder underneath the dish. Canned heat is ideal for caterers or other event planners that do not have electrical outlets near their buffet table, and is more portable than electric heated versions.
Electric chafers have a heating element that attaches to the bottom of the dish, so they need to be near an outlet. Most dishes can be converted to electric with the purchase of a portable electric stove, which can be found in the associated products. Electrically heated chafing dishes are ideal for use in areas where there are stringent restrictions on open flames, such as dry outdoor areas or indoor locations with strict fire codes. They are also convenient because they will never run out of fuel, unlike the fuel-powered models.