Top 10 Soup Warmers (Oct. 2018): Reviews & Buyers Guide

Top 10 Soup Warmers (Oct. 2018): Reviews & Buyers Guide

Soup is a universal food. You can travel to any place in the world and you will always find soup on the menu. In my life-long search for the best things humanity has created, I have traveled everywhere and eaten everything. Most of it has been tremendous. Some of it, well, not so much. But the one aroma that always stirs my senses is a big cauldron of soup bubbling away.

Almost every food ingredient has a place in soups. Meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, grains. You name an ingredient and there’s a soup recipe for it. Soup is also easy to make. In his cookbook, The Best Soups in the World, Author Clifford A. Wright notes that, “Right this second, everyone can go into their cupboards and pull out the makings for a soup.”

The problem isn’t what kind of soup to make, but how to keep that soup the perfect temperature for eating. That’s where the soup warmer comes into play. It’s a kettle big enough to hold the entire batch of soup, usually with a heater powered by an electrical or flammable gas source.

The soup warmer comes in a wide range of sizes and styles, so choosing the one that’s right for you can be difficult. Have no fear! Stuffoholics is here to help you decide, with our Top 10 Best Soup Warmer list!

Why Should You Trust Us?

During our four years of reporting and updating the information on this website, we have carefully examined about 20 soup warmer models and tested most of them. To help consumers like you find the soup kettle of the best quality that you need to keep your home-made soups at just the right serving temperature we have arrived at our 10 top rated products.

We’ve done about 55 hours of web research to make sure we have all of the specification accurately recorded. There’s another week of testing these cauldrons through community-based usage, and our own personal testing. We do all of this review to make sure the information we provide you is accurate and the results are unbiased. We are not here to promote any brand or any particular product.

With all of this in mind, we have picked out our top rated and most effective soup warmers on the market.

Advantages of Using a Soup Warmer

We love soup. But nothing spoils a good soup more than being served at room temperature. Soups vary in thickness and preferred temperatures, and keeping them just right can be a challenge. Whether you are serving a traditional soup, curry, gravy, or other sauces, you want to serve them at the proper temperature. They not only taste better, but they will retain the perfect consistency.

If you are serving large amounts of soup, at a church or community dinner, or even in your restaurant, a commercial soup warmer doesn’t take up much space, the soup won’t spoil, and it is ready on demand when the customer orders it. Because most of these units are made of stainless steel, they are reliable, portable, and lightweight. They can be used conveniently back in the kitchen, or place them out in the front of the house.

One word of caution about one style of electric soup pot. Some use enamel surfaces in the kettle. Although it is extremely durable, enamel can’t always withstand high temperatures for long periods of time. It is best to check the manufacturers suggested uses for this type of soup kettle.

How to Use a Soup Warmer?

Rule number one is that the soup warmer is not a soup cooker. It is designed to keep prepared foods at a well-preserved serving temperature. It does not get hot enough to cook the soup from scratch.

A soup warmer is really simple to operate, although you might be surprised to learn that the heater doesn’t actually heat the soup. You add water to an outer container, and the soup is placed inside a second pot that is lowered down into this hot water bath. In cooking terms, this type of indirect heating is called bain-marie style warming. It keeps the soup at its best serving temperature without over-cooking.

The process is simple. Fill the outer container with the recommended amount of water, and place the inner cauldron inside the outer kettle. Fill it with your soup, close the lid and set the desired temperature. Your soup or sauce will stay at the perfect serving temperature for hours.

Who Should You Buy This?

If you do any kind of entertaining, are involved in serving large quantities of food at community dinners, have a catering service or own your own restaurant, you can’t be without a soup warmer. In fact, if you are involved in serving meals to large numbers of people, an investment in a commercial soup warmer or two is a necessity.

The way you use your soup warmer is going to dictate the style of kettle you should buy. If you only plan to use it in your kitchen, an electric soup pot may be your best choice. However, if your intended use may involve serving meals at picnics or other outdoor events, an electrical supply may not be available. Your best bet would be to buy a portable unit that uses canisters of gel cooking fuel. Even if you do have a nearby electrical supply, you may want to use the flame heater style for aesthetic purposes.

The point is, there is no best choice when it comes to which style of warmer you chose. Your usage will dictate that for you.

Also, consider the size you need. The commercial units can hold as much as 11 quarts, while smaller units top out at about 7 quarts. Unless your family is huge, a commercial grade unit may be too big for the job.

What to Look for in a Good Soup Warmer?

The most critical function of a soup warmer is to maintain a consistent, perfect temperature for serving. So, an electrical kettle needs to have an accurate temperature control. A portable unit that uses a gel heater needs to have adjustable airflow controls to adjust the flame’s intensity.

A low water indicator light or visible water gauge is also a handy feature. You never want the water bath to run dry. It will ruin the soup and maybe even the warmer itself.

Also, look at the capacity to make sure you are buying one that meets your needs. We recommend finding units that use stainless steel for the interior cauldron. It’s is the easiest material to clean and sterilize, and is likely a requirement for any commercial situation. All of the units in our Top Ten have stainless steel soup pans.

Consider the configuration and depth of the pan. A deep pan might be great for soups and stews, but a curry dish might be better served in a flatter pan with a larger surface area.

How We Picked and Tested

Our selection process included practical testing at the hands of a number of volunteers. In four years of looking at soup warmers, we have considered about twenty different models and put most of them through our own testing. We have to say that none of them are perfect, but they are the best we’ve found.

In about two months of examination through community-based testing, we studied the performance of these warmers and considered the reviews of those who use them. We looked at capacity, maintenance and cleaning, versatility, the materials used in manufacture, the configuration of the interior kettle, and many other features. In total, we used 20 comparisons points to arrive at our list of the 10 best soup warmers.

We are not promoting or representing any particular brand or model. Our study is completely independent and unbiased. The products in this list got here solely based on their worthiness as the best soup warmers we tested. We are confident the soup warmers listed below represent the best units that are currently for sale.

These soup warmers come in a wide range of styles and sizes, so study the entire list and choose the kettle that best serves your needs.

Our Top Ten Product List

We have analyzed what we consider to be the 20 most important features of a top-rated soup warmer, and measured each unit against that list. A link to the chart of our findings is included below so that you can see the research for yourself. Use our Ten Best Soup Warmer list, along with the attached research report, to carefully decide which unit is best for your needs. We’ve done all the research for you. Now you get to have fun delving into the details we are providing, without having to spend hours looking it all up on your own.

Our Pick: Excellanté 10.50-Quart Stainless Steel Soup Warmer

Why is this product our Pick?

Top Pick

Rare combination of great features

Excellanté 10.50-Quart Soup Warmer

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Rare combination of great features

Excellanté 10.50-Quart Soup Warmer

As the soup warmer of choice for restauranteurs, the Excellanté 10.5 is a product fit for all budding chefs! Start your cooking career with this one!

We began by looking at the 20 features we consider most important for a soup kettle. Although this one does not have the highest number of positive features, it does have a unique combination of high points, as you can see in our attached research report. This product is made of stainless steel for maximum durability and a fast and complete clean-up. The electrical circuitry is U.S. standard 110 volts and uses a 600-watt element for a heater.

The Excellanté 10.5-quart model is quite affordable, usually for sale around $85.

This product offers a rare combination of many of the most important features when compared to the other units we tested. It’s large enough to be an ideal choice for restaurants, buffet lines, catering assignments, or any event that requires a large amount of stews, soups, or sauces to be kept warm for extended periods of time.

Detailed Review

soup warmer: Simply the best of the best

Capacity:

As the name states, the Excellanté 10.5-quart soup warmer is one of the largest capacity kettles on the market. This makes it ideal for commercial applications like restaurants with soup and salad bars or buffets. The 600-watt heating element is the most powerful of any in our top ten, so it can handle the job of keeping soups warm for hours at a safe temperature. The heavy-duty unit weighs just under 10 pounds empty.

Usability:

It uses electricity to power the heater, so this unit is not as portable as the gel-fired design. But it is a clear winner for permanent positions at any restaurant and school or community kitchen that serves a high volume of customers. It is listed by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and Intertek (ETL) for use in the foodservice industry.

Pan Configuration:

The aluminum water pan holds one liter of water and heats cold water up to maximum temperature in about 30 minutes. Stuffoholics, however, recommends starting the day for all of these soup warmers with a filling of boiling water to get things off to a faster start.
The stainless steel soup pan drops down into the outer cauldron and rests on a rim that is removable for cleaning.

Ease of Use:

It has an easy-to-use dial control for setting the heat and reaches a maximum temperature of 175°F (80°C). It is a simple set-it-and-forget-it design. A nice feature is that the temperature settings spread farther apart on the dial as you reach the highest temperatures, allowing for more precise adjustments in the range that you will likely be using this machine.
There is one feature we wish this unit offered. There is no low water indicator light. The only way to check the water level is to remove the soup cauldron and look into the water pot. If the soup container is fairly full, this is not an easy task.
The stainless steel food liner and lid are dishwasher safe.

Special Features:

A very nice feature of this soup warmer is the hinged, detachable lid. The hinge clips easily onto the removable top rim, so you can use this unit with or without the top.

A real bonus for commercial applications is the included magnetic menu card sign and stickers to easily identify the type of soup being served.

Pros:

  • Commercial grade quality
  • Large 10.5-quart capacity
  • Excellent temperature controls
  • Hinged lid

Cons:

  • No low-water indicator

Verdict:

The Excellanté 10.5 quart stainless steel soup warmer is the choice of many restaurants, and for good reason. It is a sturdy no-nonsense workhorse of a soup warmer. Its powerful heating element is more than enough to keep your soups safe and warm all day.
Our only complaint is the lack of a low water indicator. With so many positive things going for it, it’s a shame that checking the water level remains a cumbersome task.

Budget Pick: Winco 211 Stainless Steel Soup Warmer, 11-Quart

Why is this product our Budget Pick:

Budget Best

The affordable brand name option

Winco 211 Stainless Steel Soup Warmer

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The affordable brand name option

Winco 211 Stainless Steel Soup Warmer

This great option is jam-packed full of features that you’ll be itching to use right away! Its great price & durability will have you rushing to buy one right away!

Although the Winco is not the lowest-priced unit on our top 10 soup warmer list, it is still our budget pick because it offers a healthy range of positive and effective features. With a sale price in the $55 range, this portable gel-fired unit has a hinged lid for quick, easy service.

This simple 4-piece unit consists of the bain-marie pan, the food pan, a one-piece frame and the fuel holder. Despite its low sale price, or maybe because of it, this unit is regularly used by foodservice vendors and hospitality kitchens all over the globe.

Detailed Review

soup warmer: This option is here to save you money

Capacity:

The Winco holds 11 quarts of soups, stews, or sauces in a clean simple design that won’t take up a lot of space on your serving table.

Usability:

This gel-heated system can be set up for service anywhere. No electricity needed. Just be sure to have enough gel canisters along with you. The entire system is stainless steel, so clean-up is easy, and it always looks like new.

Pan Configuration:

The water pan sits down into the frame. It does not have a large water capacity, so this needs to be checked manually on a regular basis. The soup pan holds a whopping 11 quarts. It has a hinged lid with a cutout for a soup ladle, which is not included.

Ease of Use:

The Winco 211 is as simple of a design as a soup pot gets, so it is very easy to use. Heat is provided by a single gel fuel canister. The soup warmer is only 11.2 inches in diameter, so it doesn’t take up much space on your serving table.

Pros:

  • Hinged lid
  • All stainless steel design
  • Small footprint on the serving table

Cons:

  • Water level needs frequent checking
  • Some owners report their top is shiny stainless steel, while the sides have a brushed finish

Verdict:

Winco is a brand name you will find in many of the best commercial kitchens and catering trucks, so you can be sure that this piece is a high quality, portable soup warmer. It’s relatively low sale price and high durability make it one of our top-rated picks. Owners of this soup warmer agree. Nearly 90% of online reviews give this unit a 5 out of 5 rating.

Advanced Pick: Displays2go 2.6-Gallon Capacity Stainless Steel Soup and Sauce Warmer, Black

Why is this product our Advanced Pick?

Soup-er pick

The advanced & affordable choice

Displays2go Soup & Sauce Warmer

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The advanced & affordable choice

Displays2go Soup & Sauce Warmer

It’s the no.1 option to make a quality soup! With its advanced features, including its whopping 12 setting temperature dial make it a popular pick. Professional and good value!

On our attached research report, you will see that this soup warmer has some of the most important and advanced features among the units we examined. The large 2.6-gallon capacity is sufficient for buffet tables and commercial applications. The temperature control dial has 12 numerical settings.
Another reason it wins our advanced pick rating is that the sale price falls in an affordable range. This unit also comes with a magnetic menu card holder and name cards for 14 different soup, stew, chowder and chili dishes.

Detailed Review

soup warmer: Seeking an advanced product? Try this

Capacity:

The Displays2go soup warmer has a 2.6-gallon capacity. That’s enough for about 40 servings of your favorite soup dish. The electrical heating system uses a 400-watt burner, which is more than sufficient to keep your food nice and warm.

Usability:

This is a very versatile soup warmer that looks great. The hinged lid with a ladle notch makes this an effective soup warmer for personal or commercial purposes.

Pan Configuration:

The inner soup cauldron is a 2.6-gallon capacity stainless steel pan that rests atop an outer ring. The entire ring can be lifted up to allow for checking and refilling the water pan as needed.

Ease of Use:

The 12-point temperature control knob allows you to select the exact temperature. The lid has a hinge that is easy to snap on and off. The stainless steel inner pan is easy to keep spotlessly clean.

Pros:

  • Lift-off ring covers the entire top surface
  • Large 2.6-gallon capacity
  • Attractive styling

Cons:

  • The design is suited more for commercial use than home kitchens

Verdict:

This Stuffoholics Advanced Pick soup warmer from Displays2go is a very attractively styled machine with simple controls and a nice design that makes set-up and clean-up a breeze. The lid is well designed, too. With a 400-watt heating element, it will have no problem holding a perfect temperature. This is a good choice for large and commercial applications, but likely more than you need for home use.

A List of 7 Other Products We Reviewed

No 4: Update International CM-18 Contemporary Marmite Review

Warming Wonder

A good portable pick

Update International CM-18

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A good portable pick

Update International CM-18

The Update International is lightweight and easy to move. With its stylish design and multiple sizes options, it is a basic, but reliable soup warmer.

This soup warmer is the type that uses gel fuel canisters to provide the heat. That makes it extremely portable. It is a very contemporary design, so it will look great on your serving table. The shiny stainless steel and full-sized fuel shelf are a real stand-out.

Capacity:

We are talking about the 11-quart capacity version here, but Update International also sells a 7-quart version of the same design. So, if you are just looking for something for smaller functions or even home use, you might want to consider the 7-quart version of this soup kettle.

Usability:

The all stainless steel design means it is durable and easy to clean. Take care of it and it will look like new for a very long time. The lid has a beautiful stainless handle and a cutout for a soup ladle.

Pan Configuration:

This soup warmer has a very standard design, with the actual soup cauldron dropping inside an outer sleeve that is filled with water before use.

Ease of use:

This is a gel-fired system, so it is very easy to use, even in locations with an electrical supply. One thing to watch for is the size limitations for the fuel canisters. More than one online review has pointed out that the larger fuel containers do not fit in the space under the pans. If you purchase this soup warmer, be sure to have the small fuel cans on hand or your meal could get postponed while you run to the store. This also means you have to keep an eye on the canisters to make sure they don’t run out before you are finished serving.

Pros:

  • Contemporary, stylish design
  • Choice of 2 sizes

Cons:

  • Limited to small fuel cans only

Verdict:

This is a very basic version of a soup warmer. However, it does have a contemporary and pleasing design. The option of going with a smaller, 7-quart unit may also appeal to some. Stuffoholics is a bit dismayed by the fuel canister size limitation. This is a significant concern and you should take this into account if you decide to go with this kettle.

No 5: Excellante SEJ32000C 10-1/2-Quart Stainless-Steel Soup Warmer, Brown Review

Chef’s Pick

Perfect for Professionals

Excellante SEJ32000C Soup Warmer

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Perfect for Professionals

Excellante SEJ32000C Soup Warmer

A soup warmer made for heavy duty heating. The Excellanté SEJ32000C has a huge 600 watt heating element, so you’ll be able to make piping hot soup in no time!


This soup warmer is a brother to our top-rated entry from Excellanté, and they share many of the same traits. One big exception is the brown exterior, instead of the traditional black.

Capacity:

This soup warmer has a huge 10 ½ quart capacity, putting it squarely in the commercial equipment range. It has many of the best features Stuffoholics likes. The lid is hinged, yet removable for easy cleaning. It has a powerful, controllable heating element designed to work all day long. If you are a restaurateur, caterer, or food vendor, this is the soup cauldron for you.

Usability:

This machine can handle anything you want to throw at a soup kettle. It is NSF and ETL listed, so you know it’s a safe machine. An adjustable knob controls the powerful 600-watt heating circuitry, which means this kettle will keep your soups, stews, and sauces warm, even outdoors in cold weather. It’s easy to see why many street vendors depend on this unit.

Pan Configuration:

The 10.5-quart inner pan is stainless steel and rests on an outer ring that can also be removed to reveal the entire opening of the bain-marie water pan below. The lid is hinged and snaps on and off from the outer edge of the soup pan with ease. You can decide if you want the top on or off.

Ease of use:

With a nice temperature control knob and detachable lid hinge, this soup kettle is easy to use and clean. It’s a heavy duty system designed for near-continuous service. Some reviews do mention that it takes a long time to bring this unit up to temperature from a cold start. The best way to speed that process is to start with hot water.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty 600 watt heating element
  • Removable hinged lid
  • Unique brown color

Cons:

  • Slow to heat up
  • Hard plastic legs could use some rubber pads to hold it in place

Verdict:

Just like our top-rated soup warmer from Excellanté, this is a commercial soup warmer made to stand up to rigorous, all-day use. That also means that it is a big machine, so make sure you need something this large before you buy.

No 6: Winco ESW-66 Electric Soup Warmer, 10.5-Quart Review

Split Cover Choice

The finest commercial option

Winco ESW-66 Electric Soup Warmer

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The finest commercial option

Winco ESW-66 Electric Soup Warmer

The only split cover choice in our top ten! Lovely for ladling, and also coming with a removable Bain Marie pan, this unique design is a one of a kind option for keen cooks!


This is the only commercial soup warmer to make our list that has a split cover. In other words, the cover is hinged in the middle so that only half of the top opens for ladling. It also has a unique removable Bain Marie pan.

Capacity:

It has a 10.5-quart capacity like many of the other top-rated commercial units. It’s a big soup pot. The heating element is 400 watts. It is ETL listed and conforms to NSF-4 standards.

Usability:

The lid design makes this a usable pot for soup and salad bars, and other applications where the soup is ladled directly by the customer. The lid folds open in the middle, so half of the lid always stays in place to help hold the heat in and keep the soup fresher. It also has a stainless steel top ring for easy cleaning.

Pan Configuration:

This unit has an inner stainless steel pan for the soup. But here’s where it steps away from the competition: The Bain Marie pan is also removable! This double-walled construction for the hot water means that the outside skin of the machine stays cooler to the touch. This is a welcoming concept.

Ease of use:

The split lid and removable Bain Marie pan mean that the pot stays cleaner while in use, and cleans up faster at the end of the day. An adjustable knob lets you control the soup temperature.

Pros:

  • Removable Bain Marie pan
  • Split lid design

Cons:

  • Lowest wattage of the commercial warmers

Verdict:

Two features really stand out with this soup warmer. The split lid does a lot to keeping our soup warmer and fresher longer. And the removable Bain Marie pan means the base has a double-walled construction to keep little intrigued fingers around the soup bar from getting burned. The stainless steel top rim also makes it easy to keep the pot clean during a long day of use.

No 7: Matbah Stainless Steel Non-Electric Thermal Rice/Soup Warmer Review

Questionable Kettle

Not our first choice

Matbah Non-Electric Thermal

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Not our first choice

Matbah Non-Electric Thermal

This pick is great for moving soups around, but not our top pick for keeping soups delicious and warm. There’s no need for electricity, but this option might not be worth the price


This kettle seeks to fill a peculiar niche in the soup warmer market. Stuffoholics isn’t quite sure it does that, but we’re offering it here in case this is what you are looking for. There is no heat source in this unit, except for the hot food you put into it. The inner pan is actually designed for use as a cooking pot. The idea is that when the food is brought up to its highest temperature, the pan should be placed inside the outer shell. The food continues to cook in its own heat, as preserved by the exterior.

Capacity:

The cooking pot can hold up to 6 quarts. Since the exterior pans do not have a heating element or contain hot water, there is no capacity measurement.

Usability:

As a soup warmer, the design of this unit is questionable. It does keep food warm for many hours, as long as it is closed up. But once you open the inner container, the heat begins to dissipate like any other pan. If you need to have a warm dish offered on a buffet table for several hours, this unit isn’t for you.

Pan Configuration:

It’s a unique design that is more suited to a particular style of cooking, rather than as a warmer used for dispensing prepared soups over a long period of time. The company claims it is made of heavy gauge stainless steel, but some online reviews question the validity of that. They report seeing welds and spots in the finish that bring the quality of construction into question.

Ease of use:

This pan does have some strong points, and ease of use is one of them. Since there is no electrical heating element and no need for canned fuel, it is about as simple as can be. Also, since the internal pan is designed to be used on induction stoves, you can do your cooking right in the pan, saving some kitchen clean-up.

Pros:

  • Cook foods right in the inner pot
  • No need for external fuel or electricity
  • Good for transporting hot or cold foods

Cons:

  • Foods may not maintain an even temperature when serving over long periods of time
  • Questionable construction

Verdict:

This kettle might be the way to go when preparing certain types of foods. It also makes a fine system for transporting soups and stews, keeping them hot for hours with no external heat source. But as a buffet table soup warmer that may sit for hours, and have its top opened and closed many times, this design doesn’t strike us as very useful.

No 8: Excellanté SEJ31000C 10 ½ Quart Stainless-Steel Soup Warmer, Silver Review

Silver Sparkler

Top choice for all chefs

Excellante SEJ31000C Soup Warmer

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Top choice for all chefs

Excellante SEJ31000C Soup Warmer

Another excellent Excellanté! This is a brilliant option for professionals. Its heavy duty construction and temperature control feature make it perfect for its reasonable price.


Another commercial grade soup warmer from Excellanté joins our list of top rated systems. This one is very similar in design to our number 5 pick, with the notable exception of exterior color. This one sports a silver motif, which just might match your dinner or soup and salad bar décor a little better.

Capacity:

This commercial soup warmer has a 475-watt electrical heating system and is NSF and ETL listed. It has a fairly standard commercial capacity of 10.5 quarts of your best-selling soups.

Usability:

This is a good self-help pot for soup and salad bars. The stay-cool handle on the hinged lid will keep your customer’s fingers happy. The adjustable temperature control will keep your soup tasting great. The easy clean-up will keep your kitchen staff smiling.

Pan Configuration:

It’s a fairly standard lift-out stainless steel soup pan. The hinged lid snaps on and off the edge of the main pan. The entire assembly rests on an outer ring that can be removed for cleaning, and to give you full access to the bain-marie pan inside.

Ease of use:

Like all of Excellanté’s soup warmers, this one is easy to use and clean. A single knob controls the temperature settings, and that’s about it.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty commercial construction
  • Accurate temperature control

Cons:

  • Slippery feet

Verdict:

Thanks to the silver finish, this is a sparkly version from Excellanté that will brighten up the décor of your restaurant or catering event. Online reviews rated it among the top favorites, and we do, too. The only issue is the same one we mentioned with the number 5 pick in our list. It has round, hard plastic feet that tend to slide around on a smooth-surfaced table.

No 9: Winco 207 Stainless Steel Soup Warmer, 7-Quar Review

Value Option

Low-cost & Reliable Warmer

Winco 207 Stainless Steel Soup Warmer

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Low-cost & Reliable Warmer

Winco 207 Stainless Steel Soup Warmer

No sacrifices with this Winco! Coming in at a rock-bottom price, the Winco 207 doesn’t scrimp on features or performance. This is a great soup warmer for first time users & beginners!


The 7-quart capacity of this system from Winco makes it a perfect soup warmer for occasional dinner party use at home or other fairly small gatherings. It has a low sale price that will fit any kitchen’s budget. But even at that, there’s no sacrifice in quality or style with this soup kettle.

Capacity:

This is a smaller version of exactly the same design as our Budget Pick from Winco. Where that one is an 11-quart model, this is the 7-quart variation.

Usability:

This is a gel fuel soup warmer, so there’s no need to be near an electrical outlet, and no cords to trip over. As most online reviews point out, it’s best to start this unit by putting boiling water into the outer pan so the flame doesn’t have to heat up the water before it can start keeping the soup warm.

Pan Configuration:

The unit is all stainless steel. It has a lift-off lid with a cutout for a ladle handle. This soup kettle is a standard unit that lifts straight up and out. The bain-marie pan also lifts out of the frame for complete cleaning.

Ease of use:

This is a very simple design made to do one thing. Keep your soup warm. Just put hot water in the outer pan, slide your soup kettle in, put the lid on, light the flame and forget about it.

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Good size for smaller events
  • Small footprint on your serving table

Cons:

  • Fairly small water volume in bain-marie pan

Verdict:

The big brother of this unit is our Budget Pick, so you know we like this one, too. The smaller 7-quart size makes good sense for users that don’t involve hungry hordes. If your dinner party has about a dozen or so guests attending, this soup warmer should fill the bill very nicely. You can find this unit on sale for around $50. At that low price, Stuffoholics thinks it is a great idea to get both the 11-quart and the 7-quarts versions. Then you’re ready for anything!

Online purchasers love it, too. 80% of them give this unit a perfect 5 out of 5 review, and the other 20% give it a 4. If every single purchaser is that happy, this must be a good soup warmer at a good price.

No 10: Atosa AT51388 11-Quart Soup Warmer Kettle Review

Power Pick

Top choice for a powerful machine

Atosa AT51388 Soup Warmer

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Top choice for a powerful machine

Atosa AT51388 Soup Warmer

A powerful & heavy duty combination! This is the best pick for industrial soup cooking needs. It has a great design, strong heating element and huge temperature range, making it perfect for Pro’s!


The Atosa Soup Warmer Kettle goes an entirely different way in the design category. Where most of the countertop, electrically-powered units have the classic cauldron exterior shape, this unit maintains a sleek, cylindrical look. At 800 watts, it also has the most powerful heating element in our list.

Capacity:

This is an 11-quart unit, which makes it one of the largest soup warmers in our Top 10 Best list, although only by one or two servings.

Usability:

This soup warmer has a thermostatic control that adjusts the operating temperature in a range from 86°F all the way up to 212°F. This is a commercial soup warmer that lacks a bit of the styling of some other units, but may be a better choice for use in the back of the house.

Pan Configuration:

Like all of the soup warmers we are listing, the inner soup kettle lifts straight up and out. There is one difference, however. The top inch or so of this kettle is larger than the rest of the insert, so it actually rests on top and above the rim of the water pan below. This makes lifting the soup kettle in and out much easier than the other models.

Ease of use:

The smooth stainless steel design of both the outer shell and the inner soup pot make cleaning this unit very easy. The thermostat handles temperature controls very simply.

Pros:

  • Powerful heating element
  • Widest operating temperature range
  • Heavy-duty industrial design

Cons:

  • More expensive than most
  • Aesthetically plain

Verdict:

At about $140, this is one of the most expensive commercial soup warmers on our Top 10 list. But it is truly an industrial version designed for heavy-duty use. It has the highest capacity, the most powerful heating element, and the widest temperature range with the hottest setting of any we tested.

You don’t need this one for home usage. But if you are looking to equip a commercial kitchen and you need a warmer that can handle anything from delicate cheese sauces to nearly boiling Italian Brodo di Pollo, this could be the electric soup pot for you.

Care and Maintenance

Keep the exterior of the pots clean during usage. Spilled food should be removed immediately from the exterior surfaces of these pots, as well as around the top collar. Just use a damp soapy cloth for this task, not a harsh or abrasive cleaner or scouring pad. If you keep it clean, these agents that might ruin the exterior finish aren’t necessary.

There are two varieties of soup warmers in our list, so the care and maintenance is going to vary depending upon which type you have. But there are also many similarities, so let’s start there.

All of the soup warmers in our Top 10 list have lift-out stainless steel inner kettles for the soup. Stainless steel is the standard in the food industry because it is easy to clean and disinfect. Begin any clean up by gently washing this pot to a like-new luster. For units with a removable bain-marie insert, these are usually dishwasher safe. The lids may be, too. Consult your owner’s manual for any specific cleaning directions related to your unit.

If you have an electrical soup pot, always unplug the kettle anytime it is not in use. Keep it unplugged when you are filling it, and also during cleaning. Never immerse the appliance in water. If you keep the exterior unit wiped clean during usage, it should take little more than a light wipe-down at the end of the day.

For gel-fueled soup warmers, first make sure the fire is extinguished. Then remove the fuel canister or wipe out any remaining fuel if you aren’t using the canned type, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Wash everything down with soapy water. Don’t use scouring pads or agents that could scratch up the shiny surface of your soup warmer.

Wrapping it Up

A soup warmer is a must-have for anyone who regularly serves meals to large numbers of hungry mouths. They come in a wide variety of styles and sizes, and most use either gelled fuel or electrical heating elements. The choice you make depends upon how you plan to use the unit.

If you are using the soup warmer in a permanent installation, such as a soup and salad bar in a restaurant, the electrical units are a clear choice. They can operate all day with very little attention required. Set the temperature where you need it, keep the bain-marie pan filled with water, and wipe the exterior clean from time to time. That’s it!

If your business involves catering and travel to a variety of locations, you should consider the gel-fueled design. These units are lightweight, all stainless steel, and don’t need an electrical power feed. Just be sure to have enough gel fuel canisters along, and you’re all set.

The third consideration is size. Large crowds suggest you need the larger 10.5 or 11 quart models capable of holding 60 or more servings. But if you are looking for a soup warmer for use at your personal dinner parties, focus on the smaller units in the 7-quart range.

One last thing that we want to mention involves a necessary accessory for every single one of these soup warmers. Every kettle needs a ladle for serving its contents. None of these units is sold with a ladle included. To us, this is like selling a car without a windshield. At any rate, just remember that when you buy your soup warmer, you will also need to buy a ladle. A stainless steel ladle can cost anywhere from $7 to $50 and up, depending upon the style you choose.

Stuffoholics is happy to provide this Ten Best Soup Warmer list to help you sort through the many options. But what soup you decide to fill it with is entirely up to you. Happy cooking!

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