You may have viewed the terms commercial bain-marie, double boiler, and water bath discussed nonchalantly in food catering articles and other platforms. But what makes them separate, and is there any difference between them? This blog will review this slightly confusing topic and bring you factual information.

A double boiler is composed of a container filled with warm beverages and a pot above, heated by the steam from the said water. The term bain-marie is more common and can be used to refer to several methods of heating a container by using hot beverages beneath, including double boilers, hot water baths, and chafing dishes. Now that we know the fundamentals of the definition, let’s look at the bain-marie versus a double boiler more intently. Check the following paragraphs to learn more about these different styles of a bain-marie, their design, and their uses.

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What do we Know of Bain Marie?

The word referring to the machine used in heating beverages is coined from french and means Mary’s bath. It is derived from the latin term Balneum Mariae. This word was first employed to explain a device used in alchemy created by a woman named Mary. As informed earlier, there are various types of bain-marie, and some of them are also used in scientific and industrial applications. However, you are most likely to see the word pop up in recipes referring to either a double boiler or a water bath. But it is crucial to know which one to use. You can check out various options on Simco, the leading commercial bain-marie supplier in Melbourne & Sydney.

Double Boiler

There is another variant called double boilers that are utilised on the stovetop. They come with two parts, a saucepan on the burner half-filled with beverages and another pan or pot that is installed above it. Both components of the double boiler can be purchased together, such as various devices that also comes with chocolate moulds.

Water Bath

Another version of the device, a water bath, is used while cooking specific cuisines in the oven. First, the delicacy is put in the cooking dish. Once it is done, that dish is placed in a larger pan filled with approximately an inch of water. The whole component goes into the oven at a time. Alternatively, you can put the larger dish in the oven first with the beverage. Just be mindful not to fill it with too much with any liquid, or it will overflow when the smaller dish or dishes are placed in it.

Serving Bowl

Another variant of the commercial bain-marie is employed as a serving dish. It may be less trending for most household kitchens, but it is widely used in commercial restaurants and pantries. It is used similarly to chafing and other industrial serving dishes. While this kind of product is usually employed in a professional capacity, it can also be helpful at home for organising holiday gatherings or other parties. The food is put in a metal pan over a larger container filled with warm water that keeps a stable, even temperature. The steam from the hot water helps keep the food heated for long without burning it.


Which are the Best Ingredients to Prepare in a Bain-Marie?x`

Irrespective of the said item used by the kitchen is of the oven or cooktop variant; it provides the similar advantage of gentle food preparation across the board. The water cannot reach similar temperatures as the cooktop or the oven. This situation leads to the food not warming up as swiftly. Therefore, one requires the appliance as it is ideal for dishes that need gentle and particular temperature monitoring.

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Melting Chocolate

The double boiler is famously and quintessentially employed for the process of melting chocolate. The chocolate liquefies at a low temperature and is prone to burning quickly. Therefore, melting it directly in a saucepan would probably result in burnt chocolate. A double boiler is appropriate in this scenario as it makes the process easier.

Hollandaise Sauce

If you are a brunch enthusiast, you would know the importance of hollandaise sauce and its role in making a spread complete along with various egg preparations. However, this delicious concoction made of egg yolks and butter is devilishly challenging to prepare. If you are not careful enough and heat it more than required, you may end up with scrambled eggs in butter instead of the thick, smooth sauce you intended to make. If you are looking for a solution, it is available in the form of whisking the mixture in a bain-marie. There are many videos and tutorials on making the dish online, and you can learn it for yourself quickly. You can find appropriate products on Simco, one of the top commercial bain-marie suppliers in Brisbane.

Crème Brûlée

While you can do many more preparations on the cooktop bain-marie, you must be thinking about the oven variant and the cuisines you can prepare on it. It would help look no further than the classic french dessert, crème brûlée. Sure, everyone usually focuses on the crispy upper layer of torched sugar on top. However, the oven variant way is the key to getting the perfect texture to the custard that holds this dish together.

How to Create Your Double Boiler?

Have no fear if a recipe calls for using a commercial bain-marie, but you don’t have one in your kitchen. It’s easy to put together your double boiler with a pot and heat-proof bowl. Select a mixing bowl made of glass or stainless steel that fits on top of the pan. Ensure sealing the pot with the bowl so that outgoing smoke doesn’t find its way into your food or, worse yet, harm you as you utilise it. If your pots and bowls are larger, you can transfer the heat more evenly. A large pyrex bowl is ideal for this objective. The first step is to fill the pot with an inch or so of water. Bring that water to a boil on the cooktop and place the bowl on top. Then you can add the required ingredients, such as chocolate or egg yolks, to the bowl.

Is it Possible to Rewarm Food In a Bain-Marie?

It was usual to use a water bath style bain-marie to rewarm cuisines before microwaves became commonplace. Many chefs still prefer this way, as the method results in more evenly reheating and less drying-out and burning than the microwave. However, the one drawback of the method is that it requires more time. Keep the food to be reheated in a heat-proof vessel. Such a container can be glass, Tupperware or a mason jar. Once you do that,  grab a pot that the container will fit in, leaving room for water around all sides.

Put something heat resistant in the bottom of the pot so your food container can sit on it, so it’s not directly connected with the pan. You can employ a mason jar ring or an inverted ceramic bowl. Put the food container on top and fill the pot with water until it’s halfway up the bowl. Then bring the water to a boil. The cuisine inside the vessel will heat up without burning or drying out. This practice does take some time, and it is essential to rewarm food thoroughly to keep it safe. According to the USDA, you’ll know your leftovers are properly reheated when they reach a temperature of 165° F. There are multiple variants of the product. You can get one on Simco, the foremost commercial bain-marie supplier in Perth.

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