Commercial Bain Marie Explained

What is a Commercial bain marie in cooking?

In essence, it is a heated bath that can be used both to cook food and to keep food warm over time. The commercial bain-marie term itself has become more loosely used to describe the type of pan used. So while its origins are focused on cooking and heating, modern bain maries also are commonly wont to hold cold food items also.

A bain-marie (pronounced “bane mah-REE”) is essentially a fancy way to describe a hot water bath in the culinary world. The purpose of a bain-marie is that it creates gentle heat around the food and results in a uniform cooking process. The name comes from the medieval-Latin term balneum (or balineum) Mariae—literally, Mary’s bath—from which the French bain de Marie, or bain-marie, is derived.

How to cook in bain-marie or water bath?

A double boiler is a cooking tool that includes a pot of hot water simmering on the stovetop, and tan a bowl or insert situated above the pot of boiling water. Keep hot food above 63°C (for example in a very bain-marie). This is outside the danger zone (5°C – 63°C). Bacteria grow well in warm temperatures, probably  25°C – 40°C. Lukewarm food is dangerous coz it could be a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.

How to set up the bain-marie?

A water bath, known as a bain-marie, provides moist surroundings in the oven for recipes such as baked cheesecake and Trinity cream, which would otherwise dry out & fail. All you need is a large roasting pan. Place in the oven with your Trinity cream standing in it in individual cooking vessels. Then, add hot water (just lightly simmered will be fine) to you’re desired level. Also, keep in mind that some will evaporate while cooking. Plastic water-filled can is a useful tool here as you generally only want to fill the pan up to about halfway, which can be a little tricky.

To make a bain-marie, choose an exterior container that is deep enough to keep water at least 1/2 to 2/3 the depth of you’re ramekins, souffle dish, etc., & large enough to let it for at least 1/2-inch between the individual containers.

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Commercial Bain marie explained

Types Of Commercial Bain Marie

Bain Maries can come in different types of shapes & sizes. Most often, they are made from stainless steel. The standard stainless steel bain-marie for commercial use comes in a round shape. They are usually found in many restaurants and have multiple applications. Modern bain maries are also typically used to keep cold food items as well.


A wet heat bain-marie has a chamber of hot water to retain food warm. The unit gently heats it to a set temperature. Then, the food pan is placed into the water.


Instead of using hot water, a dry heat bain-marie uses a heating element that directly heats the base of the food pan.


A soup kettle is a practical option to a wet heat bain-marie if you need to keep a larger volume of a single item warm. As the name suggests, it is typically used for soup but is also great for holding food such as chili, gravy, or curry.


When there is no availability of electricity or gas, a chafing dish is an excellent option. With similar functionality to a bain-marie, chafing dishes uses liquid cans or gel chafing fuel. They are contained below the water pan to hold food warm.

This type of Bain Marie is used to keep the food hot or to transfer heat to any food item. It helps in slowing cooking, melting, etc. It is generally seen in canteens, restaurants, & hospitals where keeping the food warm is crucial. Also, These types of heated baths are used in science, industry to keep materials warm over a period of time. A bain-marie is also used to melt ingredients for cooking. It is very similar to the traditional double-boiler.

Different Design Of Bain Marie

Different types of designed bain-maries been used in the service areas. According to design, we can classify bain-marie as below. Depending on food usage one can choose a number of GN Pans that come with a bain-marie.

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Bain marie with 4 Gn pan vessel
Cold Bain Marie / 2 GN Pan Vessels
Cold Bain Marie / 2 GN Pan Vessels / under shelf
Bain Marie for keeping food hot,cold or at room temperature
5+2 Bain Marie


Uses Of Bain Marie

When used for cooking, a bain-marie is generally used for gentle foods such as custards that are prone to crack using dry heat. Melting chocolate is the second well-known use for a bain-marie. The most frequent use for a modern bain-marie is holding food or ingredients. Bain Maries are used to keep foods cool as well as to heat them. It can be seen on salad bars that use bain maries for things like salad dressing. Bain Maries has containers placed in a cooling unit or surrounded by ice to keep foods fresh.

Cold Bain Marie 

This type of Bain Marie is used to hold the food cold or frozen. Instead of providing slow heat, the equipment acts as a cooling device for required food items. This type of Bain Marie is used to hold the food cold or frozen rather than hot. These types of Bain Marie are for ice creams and cold desserts or chopped fresh fruits and vegetables for salads in catering businesses, restaurants, hotels, etc. Only the action is reversed.

Wet Bain Marie 

This is the basic type of bain-marie. They work on wet heat. The wet heat may be created by filling the bottom can with boiling water, oil, salt solution, or any other liquid. The boiling point of water is 100 degrees C. Hence, it becomes the maximum temperature for the bain-marie. Similarly, the highest temperature can be achieved in the bain-marie by oil or salt solution.

Dry Bain Marie 

The dry-heat electric Bain Marie often consumes less energy. Also, It requires little cleaning and can be heated more quickly than traditional versions. They can also operate at high temperatures. They are often much less expensive than their traditional counterparts.

Electric Bain Marie

During the heating process, they can also be wet, using either hot water or vapor, or steam. The open bath-type bain-marie creates heat through a small hot-water tub (or “bath”). The vapor-type bain-marie creates heat with scalding-hot steam.

Click Here to See the Full Range of Bain Marie’s available from Sharda steel equipments.

The cold bain-marie that is available here is heat resistant, anti-breakable, and anti-rust to ensure the robustness of the products. They are eco-friendly products and do no harm to the environment. Some of the examples of the items available are gas stoves, heavy-duty ovens, ceramic ware, cutlery sets, cooking utensils, and many others.

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