A Bain Marie is a kitchen appliance which cooks or heats food by means of a water bath. Functioning in a manner similar to a large double boiler, the lower portion, which contains a sealed heating element, is filled with water. Pans full of food are then suspended over the water and heated by the steam rising off the water below. Like all kitchen appliances, the Bain Marie requires routing cleaning to perform at an optimum level.
Unplug the Bain Marie and allow the equipment to cool completely before attempting to clean it.
Remove the water from the Bain Marie. If your unit has an exterior tap, turn the knob to the open position and allow the water to drain into a bucket. If your unit does not have a tap, remove the pans from the Bain Marie and place the unit by the edge of the sink. Tilt the base towards the sink, allowing the water to run out. When the water is fully drained, return the unit to its normal, upright position and close the tap, if applicable.
Detach any easily removable exterior parts, such as pans, lids and knobs. Place them in a sink of hot, soapy water and allow them to soak to loosen any stubborn food particles or stains. Once baked-on spills have begun to loosen, scrub the parts with a steel wool pad to remove any persistent bits of food. Rinse the washed pieces and set them on the counter to dry.
Fill the base of the Bain Marie with fresh, clean water. Add a bit of liquid detergent and a commercial descaling product, such as Lime Away. Turn the unit on and set the thermostat to high. Allow the unit to reach its maximum operating temperature and then turn off the power.
Wait for the water to cool slightly. Wearing protective gloves, scrub the interior of the base with a scouring pad.
Drain the soapy water from the unit. Refill with cool water and scrub with a kitchen sponge to remove any residual debris. Drain and rinse, repeating as many times as necessary to ensure the unit is free from detergents and chemicals. When rinsing is complete, wipe the Bain Marie base dry with an old towel.
Spray the exterior of the Bain Marie with an all purpose cleaner and wipe with paper towels, removing any fingerprints, smudges or spills from the surface.
Return all the external components to their proper position once they are completely dry.