How to Use Foil Steam Table Pans?

Table of Contents

Consult an Expert


Aluminum foil steam table pan, also known as aluminum foil pan, is made of thick aluminum foil, which has good thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance, and is usually rectangular. Foil steam table pans have sturdy side walls and flat or ribbed bottoms, in line with the foil pan design concept. Foil steam table pans are generally classified according to size. Common ones include full size foil steam table trays and half size foil steam table trays. Its shapes are rectangular, square, round and oval.

How Aluminum Foil Steam Table Pan Developed

Early 20th Century

aluminum foil early 20th century

The early application of aluminum foil materials

Aluminum foil, a lightweight, high-temperature-resistant, easy-to-form material, has begun to be widely used in food packaging and cooking utensils. It is mainly used in large-scale centralized dining occasions such as the military and large factory canteens. At that time, the aluminum foil dining table plates had a relatively single size and shape and were mainly used to meet the needs of large-volume catering.

Mid-20th Century

aluminum foil container types

The first appearance of aluminum foil cooking utensils

With the rise of the fast food industry, aluminum foil table trays began to be used in fast food chains and school cafeterias. The sizes and appearance designs of foil trays became more diverse and were used to make table trays.

Late 20th Century

foil steam table pan

Functionality gradually improved

With the advancement of aluminum foil manufacturing technology, the foil dining table tray is thinner, lighter and more durable, with new edge and bottom designs and improved thermal insulation performance. Aluminum foil steam table plates of various sizes and shapes have emerged to meet the needs of different types of food, such as full-size plates, half-size plates, rectangular plates, round plates, etc.

Foil Steam Table Pan Classification

Full-size foil steam table pans typically measure 20 inches x 12 inches x 2.5 inches (50.8 cm x 30.5 cm x 6.4 cm). It is rectangular, with straight sides and a flat bottom, and can be stacked and nested. The pan can be placed directly on the steam table or heating surface, and the foil construction allows the pan to heat quickly and evenly.

Standard half-size foil steam table pans typically measure approximately 12.75 inches long, 10.375 inches wide, and 2.5625 inches deep. It typically has reinforced edges and a flat or ribbed bottom to provide stability and even heat distribution during cooking, reheating and serving applications.

Foil Steam Table Pans Size

Foil Steam Table Pans can be divided into small steam table pan, 1/3 size steam table pan, half size steam table pan, and full size steam table pans. The following is the specific size specification table of aluminum foil steam table pans:

NameTop OutTop InBaseDepthCapacity
Small steam table pan11 5/8” x 9 5/16”10 11/16 “ x 8 3/8”9 3/16” x 6 11/16”2 5/8”85 fl.oz
1/3 size steam table pan12 9/16” x 6 9/16”11 3/4” x 5 3/4”10 1/4” x 4 1/8”3 1/8”78 fl.oz
Half size steam table pan12 5/8” x 10 1/4”
12 5/8” x 10 1/4”
12 5/8” x 10 1/4”
12 5/8 ” x 10 1/4”
11 9/16” x 9 3/16”
11 3/4” x 9 7/16”
11 5/8” x 9 1/4”
11 5/8” x 9 1/4”
10 7/16” x 8 1/16”
10 7/16” x 8 1/16”
10 3/16” x 7 11/16”
9 11/16” x 7 5/16”
1 5/8”
2 1/16”
2 9/16”
3 1/2”
71 fl.oz
96 fl.oz
105 fl.oz
128 fl.oz
Full size steam table pans20 11/16” x 12 13/16”
20 11/16” x 12 13/16”
20 11/16” x 12 13/16”
19 9/16” x 11 11/16”
19 9/16” x 11 11/16”
19 9/16” x 11 11/16”
18 7/16” x 10 1/2”
18 7/16” x 10 1/2”
17 13/16” x 9 15/16”
1 1/2”
1 13/16”
2 15/16”
152 fl.oz
216 fl.oz
287 fl.oz

Which Steam Table Is Best

When choosing the best foil steam table pan, there are a few key factors to consider depending on your specific needs and preferences:
Quality: Look for a foil steam pan made of high-quality foil material that is durable and can withstand high temperatures without warping or leaking.
Size: Consider the size of the foil steamer pan based on the amount of food you typically need to serve. Make sure the pot fits in the steamer pan or hot pot. The most common and popular is the 9×13 foil pan, which basically meets all your needs.
With Lid: Some foil steam trays come with compatible lids that can be used to keep food warm, prevent spills, and facilitate transportation. Make sure the lid is securely closed to seal.
Disposable vs. Reusable: Decide whether you prefer a disposable foil steam tray or a reusable tray. Reusable steamers are usually more cost-effective in the long run.

How to Use

Full size foil steam table pans and half size foil steam table pans are kitchen utensils used to steam food. Full size pans are often used for steaming larger ingredients; half size pans are suitable for smaller sized ingredients, but they can be combined.
Place 2 half size aluminum pans inside a full size aluminum pan to achieve a similar “double boil” effect. You can also use the steam in the full aluminum foil pan to place the half aluminum foil pan containing the prepared dishes on the full size aluminum foil steam pan to achieve the effect of heat preservation and heating.
The main advantages of this combination include:

  • Improve cooking efficiency and save energy
  • Dishes are displayed more clearly, making it easier for guests to choose
  • Insulation and heating are more stable and ensure the taste of dishes
  • Transferring and serving dishes is more orderly, improving the overall dining experience
Related Posts


Have questions about our products or request a quotation, send us an inquiry now. We will respond as soon as possible.