I was thinking about buying a steam table. Im looking for something I can keep all my meat and side dishes hot. Is a steam table the best option to keep meat hot where you serve it? Ive never used a steam table but lots of buffets have them.
Depends on what you want to do. Are you looking at not transporting it much? Some are designed for some portability, but over time they will show the wear like the wheels will start having issues, dents to the sides and electronics can start to malfunction from the moving around. You also need to make sure you have accurate power supply. Some draw a lot of power and can cause issues at off site events.
Another option is chaffers that use stereo type products to generate heat. Some are very light weight and designed for ease of portability and other are designed for elegance. So it depends on what look and how much transport you want. No need for a power drop.
At home I have some that were made out of plywood. They break down into 4 pieces, not counting water pan and lid. They actually work very well. I have not bought any lids for them yet. I just use foil and a towel to insulate if needed. I only use them at home and for gatherings with friends.
Different states have different requirements for maintaining foods when doing large gatherings; how long at what temps, etc. You would probably be best served checking with your county extension office or state department; whoever controls such regulations, to get the best answers to your questions. Steam tables or chafing dishes, how high temps and for what duration, etc. first so as to not break any local, county and/or state laws.
I'm already buying some cambros to get me to the event. I just want something to serve from. In my state many have steam tables. I just don't know if steam tables is the best to keep meat hot. Last bbq guy I seen he had a big heating pan that had a keep warm feature.