What You Need To Know About Bain Maries
There have been many technological advancements in kitchen appliances that aid in cooking food. One of the appliances that have stayed classic is the Bain Marie. Cooks up to this day still rely on it to keep their soups warm, cook custards, milk curd, and so much more.
What is a Bain Marie?
A Bain Marie literally translated means “Marie’s Bath” in reference to the inventor, Marie-Antoine Carême, who recommended its use for keeping prepared food warm. It consists of a large pan; usually, metal, either round or oval, of between two and six-liter capacity per person on average, depending on how many courses are being served. The pan is half-filled with hot water kept at a boil before the food is introduced. The water vaporizes into steam which evenly heats all surfaces of the dish without boiling or damaging it. This allows delicate sauces to be made successfully while preserving their intended texture – be it thickening by reduction or enrichment by the addition of cream.
What to consider when choosing a Bain Marie
Previously metal Bain Marie was in use in restaurant kitchens and people’s homes. They have a commercial look, but today, they are replaced by a more stylish, sleek stainless steel design for kitchen use, restaurant use, and catering establishments use.
Some important factors to be considered while buying a good bain-marie are:
- Heat resistant material used for pan, lid, and handles – as it should be able to stand up to hot water, boiling water, and other cooking conditions like simmering, slow, gentle braising, and stewing at low temperature over a long period of time.
- Size of the Bain Marie – even though the size selected depends on individual preference, the size is very important because when the Bain is too small, it will not be able to accommodate more than one dish.
- The depth of water in the Bain Marie – this depends upon the amount of hot liquid or foods that are to be simmered. Shallow pans will need to have a large neck so food going into and coming out of it can be done easily, whereas deep pans require a smaller neck for the same reasons.
- Presence of handles on pan and lid- handles make handling easy while taking out hot liquid from ovens or removing lids for serving purposes, etc. For better safety, these handles should be heat-proof.
- Availability of tight-fitting lids with vents – For the best results, the Bain Marie should have tight-fitting lids with steam vents; these vents avoid excess pressure building up inside the dish.
- Availability of tempered glasses to cover the pans – Tempered Glass helps you watch cooking progress without lifting, searing hot lids, and prevents cracks due to high temperatures. They are also available in different shapes like round, square, or rectangular for cooking multiple dishes at once. The glass allows viewing but doesn’t let liquids evaporate or allow flavors to escape during the cooking process. This makes food healthier because nutrients stay locked inside your Bain Marie pots
Remember, good cooking always starts with the proper equipment, and proper use of them can do wonders in your kitchen. So go ahead and add Bain Marie’s to your list today!