How to Use a Waterbath
What is a water bath?
A water bath is a method of cooking a dish within a pan of hot water. It creates a moist environment in the oven and provides even and gentle cooking. It’s used for cheesecake and other desserts so that the filling sets gradually and evenly, resulting in a smooth crack-free surface. It may seem like an intimidating step, but I promise it’s actually quite easy!
Here are the materials you’ll need
Nothing too fancy here, you should have everything already in your kitchen:
- 9×3-inch springform pan (recommended) or round cake pan in which to bake the cheesecake.
- Large roasting pan to hold the hot water.
- And since most springform pans are not airtight and will leak water, you’ll need a waterproof barrier. You can use foil, a slow cooker plastic liner bag, or even another slightly larger pan (my preferred method).
How to make the water bath
- Prepare crust and filling as directed.
- Protect pan as desired with foil, liner bag, or another pan. (If using foil, I like to prep pan before adding crust and filling. If using the other options, do it after cheesecake is in the pan and ready for the oven.)
- Set prepared pan into large roasting pan.
- Transfer to the oven.
- Pour hot water into the roasting pan so it comes up 1-2 inches of the springform pan.
That’s it! Not too hard, right? And well worth the effort. If you follow these suggestions, I promise your cheesecake will be silky smooth and exquisite.