Steam Table Pans and Hotel Pans

What is Steam Table Pan or Hotel Pan? What are Steam Table Pans or Hotel Pans used for?

Sometimes restaurant chefs refer to pans they call steam table pans or hotel pans, even if the restaurant is not in a hotel. A hotel pan is the same as a steam table pan, counter pan, or service pan. They are the large rectangular pans that food is served out of when you are at a wedding reception, banquet, or eating from a buffet. They are not only used for these purposes, but are also used in the kitchen, such as to hold ingredients for a line cook. Basically, they are all-purpose pans that can be used for some cooking, storing, holding, etc.

Steam table pans or hotel pans are usually made out of stainless steel. Some large rectangular heat-proof and food-grade plastic containers might be called steam table pans or hotel pans as well. They come in eight standard sizes, according to length and width.

Steam table pan or hotel pan sizes

Steam table pan or hotel pan sizes

The standard size of a hotel or counter pan is about 20-3/4 by 12-3/4 inches, which will fit in openings of a steam-table or to insert in chafing dishes (“chafers”).

Steam Table Pans or Hotel Pans

Steam table pans or hotel pans are available in various depths, such as 2 1/2, 4, 6, and 8 inches deep. They are sometimes identified by their depth, with a “200” meaning a 2-inch deep pan, a 400 meaning 4 inches deep, and so on. This practice stems from the original manufacturing practice of identifying stock sizes by these numbers.

Also, there are smaller sized pans that are called half pans, quarter pans, etc. based on their relationship to the standard sized pans. There are even pans that are 1/6 the size of the standard pan.

As to why these pans are called steam table pans or hotel pans, the name probably came from long ago, when hotel owners would serve their guest dinners at designated times, and everyone would eat at once, requiring the use of large pans for serving. Many hotel chefs served food in chafing dishes, as well.

Steam Table Pan or Hotel Pan Sizes

Pan  Size212-in.4-in.6-in.8-in.
Full Size20-3/4″ X 12-3/4″ X 2-1/2″
20-3/4″ X 12-3/4″ X 4″
20-3/4″ X 12-3/4″ X 6″
20-3/4″ X 12-3/4″ X 8″
2/3 Size13-7/8″ X 12-3/4″ X 2-1/2″
13-7/8″ X 12-3/4″ X 4″
13-7/8″ X 12-3/4″ X 6″
1/2 Size12-3/4″ X 10-3/8″ X 2-1/2″
12-3/4″ X 10-3/8″ X 4″
12-3/4″ X 10-3/8″ X 6″
12-3/4″ X 10-3/8″ X 8″
1/2 Size Long20-3/4″ X 7-7/16″ X 2-1/2″
20-3/4″ X 7-7/16″ X 4″
20-3/4″ X 7-7/16″ X 6″
20-3/4″ X 7-7/16″ X 8″
1/3 Size12-3/4″ X 6-7/8″ X 2-1/2″
12-3/4″ X 6-7/8″ X 4″
12-3/4″ X 6-7/8″ X 6″
1/4 Size10-3/8″ X 6-3/8″ X 2-1/2″
10-3/8″ X 6-3/8″ X 4″
10-3/8″ X 6-3/8″ X 6″
1/6 Size6-7/8″ X 6-1/4″ X 2-1/2″
6-7/8″ X 6-1/4″ X 4″
6-7/8″ X 6-1/4″ X 6″
1/9 Size6-7/8″ X 4-1/4″ X 2-1/2″
6-7/8″ X 4-1/4″ X 4″

Steam Table Pan or Hotel Pan Capacities

The following table provides the capacity in quarts of common steam table pan sizes and depths. Note that capacities are approximate and meant to represent 80 percent of a pan's brimful capacity.

Steam Table Pan or Hotel Pan Capacities

Pan  Size212-in.4-in.6-in.8-in.
Full Size8.3 qt.14 qt.
21 qt.28 qt.
2/3 Size5.6 qt.9.3 qt.14 qt.N/A
1/2 Size4.3 qt.6.7 qt.10 qt.12.4 qt.
1/2 Size Long3.8 qt.6 qt.8.7 qt.12 qt.
1/3 Size2.6 qt.4.1 qt.6.1 qt.N/A
1/4 Size1.8 qt.3 qt.
4.5 qt.N/A
1/6 Size1.2 qt.1.8 qt.2.7 qt.N/A
1/9 Size0.6 qt.1.1 qt.N/AN/A

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Full Size Anti-Jam Steam Table / Hotel Pan - 6 Deep
Full Size Anti-Jam Steam Table / Hotel Pan - 6" Deep
12.80″W x 20.90″D x 6.00″H
      This full size standard weight anti-jam steam table pan was built from sturdy 2..
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