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I have never found a spring-form pan that does not leak.

I have never been able to wrap a spring-form pan so that some of the water doesn't get into the pan.

I can wrap it so that a lot of the water doesn't come into the pan.

But it seems to me that there must be a method that works to keep the water out entirely. I just haven't figured it out.

How can I wrap a spring-form pan in foil so that water from the bath doesn't leak into it?

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Where is the water coming in? Through the false bottom or around the latch? – Ray Jul 17 '11 at 4:05
    
I think it's seeping in through the bottom, but I never actually considered that it might be the latch. I'm happy to report that this last go-around had the least seepage I've managed to get yet. But it seems like there should be a zero-seepage method. – Trott Jul 17 '11 at 17:43
    
Until someone makes a springform pan with some silicone or similar to make a good seal, you'll likely never find one that doesn't leak. – Joe Jul 18 '11 at 3:45
2  
@rumtscho: Baking in a water bath is a pretty standard way to make cheesecake. If you can access Cook's Illustrated, here is an example: cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=6303 – derobert Jul 21 '11 at 21:52
1  
@rumtscho: what kind of a cheesecake doesn't contain eggs? – Marti Jul 22 '11 at 1:22
up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you have 18 inch wide heavy duty foil, pull a square that is 18X18, place your pan in the center of the foil and lift the edges of the foil up around the outside of the pan, effectively making a pan within a pan (spring form inside the aluminum foil pan.

If you only have 12 inch foil, pull two pieces of foil about 18 inches long and put them on top of each other. Along one if the long edges, fold both pieces over about 1/2 inch a few times, crimping each time. Open up the sheets which will create one large piece with a seam down the middle. Put the spring form pan in the middle like above. If your seam is tight it should work as well as the single piece of 18 inch foil.

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It also helps to be really paranoid. I probably triple up when I bake cheese cake. – Megasaur Jul 18 '11 at 10:47

Cook's Illustrated recently discovered that placing the springform pan inside a slightly larger cake pan works. The slight air gap doesn't negate the water bath's benefits. And of course a cake pan is a solid piece of aluminum, thus completely water tight.

(Haven't personally tested this yet.)

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put your springform pan in a slow cooker liner or a Reynold's turkey bag. Both are made to withstand heat and work well.

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They have a wonderful new invention that I use. I bake 3 - 4 cheesecakes a week for my business and the best thing I have found is the crockpot liners. They can withstand the high temperatures of oven baking. I wrap one around the spring form pan and then wrap it with heavy duty foil. I have not had a soggy cheesecake since.

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Caryl Johnson said that a year ago in the answer just above yours although she called it a "slow cooker liner" It's a good idea though, I will do it next time I make a cheesecake. – Jolenealaska Jan 21 '14 at 19:13

One hint: No seams!

You can do as many layers as you like, but if there is some kind of seam or overlap it is very hard to get a tight seal.

  • If you can get your hands at some extra-wide foil, just put the pan in the middle and pull up at the sides: no seam.
  • If you absolutely must connect sheets, try what roofers do: Lay two sheets atop each other, fold one long side over a few times, press to seal tightly. Unfold the remainder. The result should be similar to (b) in this picture:
    enter image description here (source)
    Repeat with a second or third layer, if necessary.

  • And finally: There are springform pans on the market that are watertight, no need for extra aluminum foil.

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My recommended solutions, in order of preference:

  1. Simply don't use a springform pan at all with a water bath. It's just not worth the trouble. Use a regular round cake pan for your cheesecake instead. Put parchment into the cake pan for easy removal. You'll just need to become comfortable with inverting the finished cheesecake to get it out, remove the parchment, flip back onto serving platter, and you're done. But it's the best method I've found.

  2. Find a round cake pan that is slightly larger than your springform pan. Place the springform pan inside the round cake pan, then put the cake pan in the water bath. (This solution is recommended by Cooks Illustrated and mentioned in an answer to a previous -- very similar -- question.)

  3. Place a baking pan/sheet with water on the rack immediately below the cheesecake while baking, rather than placing the cheesecake directly into the water. A lot of the benefit of the water bath comes from the moderating effect of the humidity around the cheesecake, which you'll still get this way. Unless your oven is very uneven, your cheesecake should still bake smoothly with no cracking.

  4. Use a double layer of solid heavy-duty aluminum foil. No seams (as Stephie says). Double layer. The problem is even with no seams, you can still get moisture evaporating and then condensing between the foil and the pan. (I've tried this, and I know it can happen. People are always mystified by water "leaking" through the foil -- but sometimes it gets there other ways too. The cooler cheesecake mixture will cause condensation in a high-humidity environment.) And if your pan leaks, even this small amount of moisture may infiltrate and make the crust a bit soggy. That's why I'd recommend option (2) instead, since the humidity won't have a chance to pool and get trapped in the foil where it will get into the crust.

Personally, I've never found a springform pan that doesn't leak. Alton Brown claims they don't exist, so I gave up looking and stopped putting springform pans in water baths.

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agreed; springforms always leak; i go with lots and lots! of grease and a normal high side pan instead; waterbath as normal. – zerobane Dec 3 '15 at 5:24

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