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Bain-maries for holding food?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

do any of you guys use electric bain-maries for holding food at serving temperature? When I outfitted my new restaurant kitchen last year I thought it might be a good idea to have one, but I've found I hardly ever use it, as we don't often get quick bursts of business in this touristy region, but rather slowish, steady streams of customers through the door at any time. This means, of course, that we have to reheat everything, including the mash, which is a PITA. Having used the bain-marie in the past, I never liked the way things like sauces, mash or soup looked after about 2 hours held at around 65°C.

 

How do you guys and girls go about it, if you're in a similar situation?

 

Cheers,

Recky

post #2 of 7

There are single item bain maries typically for soup and larger rectangular ones, like a big water bath with differend retaining tops to hold multiple items. Which are you referring to? You might try simply putting it in storage and work without it for awhile to see how that affects your operation. If you have a POS you can do a sales report to get an accurate count of which items sell. Then decide if the bain marie would be useful for some high selling items, bring it back into the fold. If not, keep it in storage for special events. They work much better than sterno when you have electric available. Better to have one and not need it.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Chefwriter,

 

thanks for your reply. I was talking about the multiple container thingies sitting above a large water bath. I've actually put it in storage, but am undecided. For special events and function it really does come in handy, but after a slowish lunch service like today, it would be scraping the dried up mash crust of the side of the container now.

 

Cheers,

Recky
 

post #4 of 7

Steam tables usually cause damage if the food is in there for longer than an hour. OTOH, it's great for sauces and soups provided they are kept covered.

 

I find "sweat boxes", aka Cambro boxes (giant insulated boxes NO forced air or heating, basically just a thermos) are great for holding any moist foods--mashed pots, rice, sauced pasta, etc can be held for hours without any damage, but they are terrible for any breaded or crispy items. 

 

A'la carte is still the best way to go for sporadic service times

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 7

Hi Recky,

 

As far as holding sauce and soup - you have to keep the sides clean, don't let dry stuff build up on the sides because it will change the flavor and the quality.  With cream sauces and hollandaise its best to cover with baking paper right on the surface of the sauce rather than a lid.  A lid will make condensation accumulate and drip back into the sauce.  Try putting the mashed potatoes in a piping bag and holding it in a tray of the bain marie, they won't get dry and you can present them nicely on the plate with the pipe.

 

Do you have these?  http://www.webstaurantstore.com/21501/steam-table-adapter-plates.html With that you can stick a pot in the hole and it is better for soups and sauces.

 

cdf

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks again everybody!

 

Coup, I have something like this: http://www.ebay.de/itm/Bain-Marie-Wasserbad-Speisenwarmer-mit-3-3-GN-Hahn-/180655626554?pt=Koch_Grill_Imbisstechnik&hash=item2a0fea193a

 

Over here in Europe, these bain-maries are designed to accommodate GN-standard containers which come in all kinds of standardised sizes (1/1, 1/2, 1/3 etc.). I've never seen any adapters for these. I'll look into it, coz it's a great idea.

 

I also like the piping bag idea. No dried up mash anymore and plating that sticky stuff will be a doddle. You live and learn! :-)

 

Cheers,

Recky

post #7 of 7

Hi Recky,

 

GN (gastronorm) is pretty much standard, however Europe has (euronorm) pans.  These are the same overall size, but the "corners" of the pan have a much wider radius.Other than that, the sizes of the pans are the exact same as N.American and Asian.  Any type of adapater will work, or you can also get a local metalshop to make you some as well.

 

Also den, Aus alte Pfanne lernt Man kochen....................

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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