Water bath: what is it for and how to do it at home

We tell you how to organize and properly use this method of heating products.

Water bath: what is it for and how to do it at home

 Why do you need a water bath at home

A water bath is a controlled way to heat food evenly. This method allows you to prevent burning or boiling of the liquid. The principle of operation is based on the mechanism of heat transfer from one source to another through an intermediary. Ordinary water acts as such an intermediary. 

The design consists of two containers (pans) of different diameters. Water is poured into the large one, the other is installed so that the bottom does not touch the liquid. Through steam, heat is transferred from one container to another. 

The advantage of a water bath:

  • food is heated slowly and evenly;
  • substances are not subjected to strong heat treatment, therefore, they retain their benefits;
  • food does not burn, because the water does not heat up more than 100 degrees.

This method of heating is often used in the pasteurization of products and the transformation of a solid into a liquid state. More details will be discussed in other sections of the article. 

How to make a water bath at home

To create a water bath, you will need two pans of different diameters. Next, follow the algorithm:

  1. Take a deep saucepan with a larger diameter.
  2. Place another smaller container on top so that the bottom does not touch the other pan. 
  3. Pour less than half of the water into the first pot.
Small pots should have metal handles to avoid the risk of burning. 

What can be cooked in a water bath

1. Warm food

In a water bath, you can not only cook, but also heat food:

  • Place a large container on the stove and pour ¼ of the liquid into it.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Put food in a small container, place over a large one. 
The advantages of this heating is that the food is heated from 40 to 90 degrees, depending on the degree of boiling. Food heated at this temperature will be more useful. than, for example, in the microwave. 

2. Melt honey

Honey has the property of crystallizing or candied. This is a completely natural process, but using the product in cooking or cosmetology is not very convenient. To give the bee dessert an attractive and viscous look, you need to use a water bath. To do this, put a small amount of candied honey in a small container and put it to warm up. As the temperature increases, the crystals will turn into a liquid. If the consistency is too thick, add a little water - literally a couple of tablespoons. The same method is used by dishonest beekeepers to give honey a more marketable appearance. 

3. Melt the wax

In cosmetology, traditional medicine and needlework, natural wax in liquid form is often used. With his help, candles , sculptures are made, unwanted hair is removed, diseases of the joints are treated. If you try to melt the wax on an open fire, it will burn out. Therefore, a water bath is the right solution for the transformation of a substance from a solid to a liquid state. Take the right amount of wax, place in the top container. When the substance begins to melt, start stirring. The process will go faster and the wax will melt evenly. But you need to work with a liquid substance carefully, there is a high risk of burns.

4. Melt propolis

Propolis is a resinous substance popular in folk medicine, which contains more than 200 compounds that are beneficial to human health. During storage, this substance hardens, and then turns into a rather fragile substance. It is impossible to use for medicinal purposes, so a water bath again helps out. During heating, phytoncides come out of propolis. These compounds are useful in diseases of the lungs and bronchi, rhinitis. In liquid form, it is also used to make medicinal ointments. The melting point is 80 degrees, then propolis does not lose its beneficial properties. After boiling, it becomes useless. It is better to heat the substance in a water bath with the lid closed. As soon as the propolis reaches the desired consistency, you need to strain it through a sieve. 

5. Melt chocolate 

Before melting chocolate in a water bath, you need to choose the right option. The composition of such a product must be at least 50% cocoa beans. It is impossible to heat porous chocolate - this is due to the peculiarities of production. Air interferes with the melting process. And of course, tiles with different fillings and cheap chocolate are not suitable.

The melting point of dark chocolate is 55, for white - 45 degrees. Overheating leads to bitterness, so the process must be controlled.Stay on the stove and stir constantly with a silicone or wooden spatula, this will help to avoid the formation of lumps. Do not close the lid, because the condensate will get into the chocolate and spoil its taste. 

When melting, divide the product into three parts: first melt one third, then add the remaining parts. If you need to add other ingredients to chocolate: liquor, cognac , milk, cream, there is a nuance - liquids accelerate the burning of the product. For every 60 g of chocolate, 1 tablespoon of the other component should be added. Add only heated substances, combining with an immersion blender. 

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