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on February 14, 2012
We have had ours two months and have used it three times for entertaining guests in our party room. Works as expected. Keeps food very warm to hot, but not so much as to dry them out. We've used for chicken wings, toasted ravoli's, pizza rolls, meatballs, bacon wraped lil' smokies, and more. Worked perfect for these. No reason to think it will not work well for other items. Easy clean up.

We find that the product base is make of very light materials that flex when you move it. The frame surrounding the serving pans is very light material too. Pans are good. Lids are light could easily chip or crack? We worry about durability. I suppose we could have got better if we spent more. For this reason we took away one star from an otherwise great working product.

As you look at other servers be aware that some of them are much smaller although they might not look like it in the photos. Instead of getting one of the ones that were on sale for $30 everywhere at Christmas, we paid a bit more for this one as the servering pans were twice as big. Can be used as a hot plate also.

Edit 10-2013: Used 20 times over the past year and a half. Still in excellent condition. Lids turned out to be just fine. Great product.

EDIT 11-15-2014: Yes, still working, still very satisfied.

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on November 25, 2011
I purchased this for use at a big buffet dinner party. It was awesome. I filled it before guests arrived, and it kept the food warm and maintenance free throughout the party. It's important to follow the instructions and fill the buffet server with food that's already hot. If you fill it with cold food, it will take forever for it to heat up. I put my food in the buffet trays that come with this buffet server, covered them with foil, and heated the food in the oven before transferring the trays directly to the buffet server. Worked great! I'm looking forward to having it for holiday entertaining. High recommended.
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on December 28, 2010
This surver was better then I exspected. I ordered two and surved 25 for christmas dinner. They kept the food hot all afternoon no one had to have cold food.The 2.5 quart pans are pefect if you need to feed a large group and clean up is a breeze .
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on May 9, 2013
I ended up asking a bunch of friends over for an Easter brunch...thinking everyone will have plans and i'd end up with a few people to entertain. 35 people RSVP'd...I thought I was up a I came up with a game plan to get some warmers for food so I wasn't in the kitchen the entire time. Let me tell you...I went around to every store I could find in the DC metro area and the heaters were pathetic...WAY too small. I honestly think anything smaller than the size of the containers for this one would be useless. Needless to say this wonderful device saved my rear and I love it! I plan on making brunches more frequent now that I have a means of keeping food warm so people can come and go as they please. I'd honestly just warn buyers against buying anything smaller than this...hope this helps!
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on January 1, 2012
This product does what it is advertised to do----keep food warm. You can also use your own Corningware or Pyrex dishes and fit more than three of them on the heating surface.
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on October 2, 2012
This came in handy at my last dinner party.

My only complaint is that it doesn't have an on/off switch. Just plug and unplug.
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on August 27, 2012
Pros: Large individual pans, extra large "warming" surface.
Cons: No "on/off" switch. When its plugged in, its on!
I waited for this product for MONTHS!! For two reasons, it was the best price found at the time (just before Thanksgiving) and it had the larger capacity pans(2 and 1/2 quarts EACH instead of the 1 1/2 quart which barely hold four cups. A buffet server needs to hold enough for eight servings at least to make it useful. Very popular product, obviously, since it was on back order that long. When it finally came, I no longer had need of it right then, but I went ahead and plugged it in. Am I glad I did! It started smoking, with a burnt electrical smell. I waited, thinking it might "burn off" but the smell seemed to intensify. So I repackaged it (it came already "repackaged" so it had already been sent back) and sent that one back. Another came almost immediately (and it had NOT been opened). When I plugged it in, it did have a smell, but it went away really soon. I saw where one reviewer actually heated her food in these containers in the over first, then put them on the tray. I would only do that at a low temp, even though the pans are aluminum because they are pretty thin. Over all, the size and convenience rate at least 3 stars.
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on February 28, 2011
I wish I had this during Christmas time. You can take the containers off and use your own if you want.
Either way works great, keeps the food warm even if you have it set on low temp.
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on November 29, 2013
I ordered this buffet server to help take some of the stress out of preparing a Thanksgiving feast for several people and I used it for the first time yesterday. I researched several brands before settling on Oster. I've had excellent luck with the Oster brand in everything from toaster ovens to blenders so . . .

First of all, read the instructions when your unit arrives. You will see that an electrical smell is expected when the unit is heated for the first time. The instructions recommend that you plug it in and heat it up until the smell dissipates. We followed these instructions. When we brought the unit out and plugged it in to use it for the first time, we had a perfectly functioning unit with no surprises. The instructions also explain that this unit is strictly for keeping cooked foods warm - when placed into the chafing pans the food should already be fully cooked and hot.

I used all three of the stainless steel 2.5 quart compartments. One had baked potato wedges in it, one had turkey and stuffing in it, and one had crispy baked dressing in it. Everything stayed warm, moist, and yummy. We started out with the unit turned on high and placed the potatoes and crispy dressing directly out of the oven into the compartments. Once the turkey was carved and the stuffing removed, we placed those items in the third compartment and then turned the unit down to low where it stayed until dinner was over and we turned the unit off. I could not have been happier with the performance of this appliance. It performed exactly as I was hoping; no more stress about timing all the various aspects of the meal so that everything was hot when we sat down to eat.

Other things I particularly like are the way the lids are made. The way the handle is molded into the lid makes the lids easy to remove and replace for serving, and very easy to wash and dry. We chose to hand wash the lids to help keep them clear and unscratched but they can be washed on the top shelf in the dishwasher. The chafing pans we washed in the dishwasher.

This morning I assembled the unit and slipped it back into its box until I get to use it the next time. I can't wait!
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on December 6, 2013
We bought this to use on Thanksgiving to help keep side dishes warm. We turned it on and immediately had smoke start coming out from the control knob. I'm looking now for how to contact Oster about this. Apparently we weren't the only ones based on the reviews here.
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