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Bain Maries And Soup Kettles - Catering Equipment

Dec 25, 2007
A Bain Marie is typically a counter top hot food servery unit (containing multiple numbers of containers within the one unit) used in the catering industry to heat materials gradually to a fixed temperature. A handy piece of equipment for all types of catering outlets and is normally designed to take advantage of the various sizes of Gastronorm dishes, or alternatively you can choose a Bain Marie with round servery pots. Your Bain Marie will have an adjustable thermostat control and should also feature an indicator light to let you know when the unit has reached the desired temperature.

A Bain Marie can also be known as a boiling unit and is the ideal choice for convenient storage and servery of hot food products. Bain Maries will usually be available in a choice of wet well or dry well Bain Maries. When choosing a Bain Marie think first of the product you will be placing inside the unit ready to serve to your customers. A wet well Bain Marie is recommended for food products that are prone to drying out over continued periods of heating (such as mashed potato). A wet well Bain Marie consists of a large container filled with working liquid, usually water and another smaller container filled with the substance to be heated The temperature of the working liquid usually exceeds the boiling point of the particular food product and so the temperature of the inner container can be brought to a known limit and held there by bringing the outer working liquid to the boil.

A Dry Well Bain Marie is used in exactly the same manner except that there is no working liquid (or water) to keep topped up and the food product is kept at the desired temperature by just dry heat alone. Nearly all Bain Maries will be constructed from stainless steel and if looked after correctly and cleaned on a regular basis (both inside an out) will last a very long time

Soup kettles

A Soup kettle is a basically a large single pot version of a Bain Marie (wet well or dry well, please see Bain Marie section above for explanation) but typically used for keeping soups, porridges, chilli and sauces at a required serving temperature.

Soup kettles are insulated to protect counter tops and surrounding areas from heat build-up. The heating element is normally in the sides of the soup kettle to evenly distribute the heat. The outer of the soup kettle will be constructed from aluminium and will contain a stainless steel water vessel and a one piece removable stainless steel inner liner to hold your food product. Your soup kettle will have an adjustable thermostat control and should also feature an indicator light to let you know when the unit has reached the desired temperature. You can use your soup kettle to heat frozen or refrigerated food products to the desired serving temperature. No installation is required simply plug it in and start serving. Ideal for cafeterias, dining rooms, buffet lines and all types of food counters. Available in different sizes and capacities but most commonly a 5 litre or 10 litre version is the most popular.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been a pub landlord for many years. He is a member of the campaign for real ale and offers advice on catering equipment to aspiring publicans.
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