Commercial Blast Chillers Buyers’ Guide

on February 19, 2024

Commercial blast chillers are specialized refrigeration equipment designed to rapidly lower the temperature of food, preventing bacterial growth and preserving food quality. They are also known as blast freezers or flash freezers. Blast chillers work by blowing forced cooled air over the food, and they typically have various settings for different temperature ranges.

These chillers can bring the temperature of food down from 160 degrees to 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less in about 90 minutes, depending on the setting and the initial temperature of the food. They are used to reduce food waste, minimize preparation times, and improve production efficiency in commercial kitchens.

There are different types of commercial blast chillers, including reach-in, undercounter, roll-in, and roll-thru models, each suitable for various kitchen setups and production volumes.

 

How Does a Blast Chiller Work?

Commercial blast chillers operate by employing forced cooling mechanisms to rapidly lower the temperature of food from above 140 degrees Fahrenheit to below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, or even lower, in a short timeframe. These devices play a crucial role in preserving the texture, flavor, and appearance of food while preventing bacterial growth.

Through their ability to maintain moisture content, blast chillers ensure the integrity of various food products, including meats and vegetables. Additionally, the rapid cooling process aids in the retention of nutrients and vitamins, contributing to the overall preservation of the food's nutritional value. By adhering to food safety standards and swiftly cooling food to safe temperatures, blast chillers not only meet regulatory requirements but also effectively safeguard against bacterial contamination.

In essence, commercial blast chillers function as indispensable tools for maintaining the quality, safety, and freshness of food.

 

Benefits of a Commercial Blast Chiller

The advantages of using a commercial blast chiller are multifaceted. Firstly, these devices contribute to decreased bacteria growth by swiftly lowering the temperature of pre-cooked items, minimizing the risk of dangerous bacterial formation.

Secondly, they play a crucial role in maintaining moisture within frozen food by minimizing the frequency and size of ice crystals, preserving the integrity of the items. Beyond food preservation, blast chillers streamline food preparation processes, facilitating the quick and efficient preparation of items like smoother ice cream, perfectly baked pastry dough, or homemade pasta.

The rapid freezing capability of blast chillers also ensures locked-in freshness for ingredients, particularly beneficial for items like shellfish that require immediate serving. Additionally, these devices aid in reducing food waste by preventing spoilage, enhancing food safety, and expediting the turnaround time for certain menu items, thereby increasing overall efficiency in commercial kitchens.

The versatility and speed offered by blast chillers provide chefs with increased creative freedom in food preparation, allowing for quicker chilling of a variety of food items. Moreover, nutrient retention is ensured as blast chillers prevent rapid nutritional degradation by rapidly freezing batches of food.

Furthermore, the extended storage life provided by blast chillers allows for the preservation of fresh ingredients, reducing food waste and extending the peak quality of seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Lastly, the ability of blast chillers to rapidly reduce temperatures keeps food out of the "danger zone" (40-140°F), ensuring compliance with food safety regulations. In summary, commercial blast chillers offer a comprehensive array of benefits, ranging from improved food safety and reduced food waste to increased efficiency and creativity in commercial kitchens.

 

Blast Chillers in Commercial settings

Here are some common uses for blast freezers in a commercial setting:
The use of blast chillers in various food preparation scenarios offers significant benefits across different culinary applications.

For fresh seafood, flash freezing with a blast chiller proves essential in preserving the delicate texture and flavor of items like sushi, oysters on the half shell, and other raw seafood.

In the realm of fruit and vegetables, blanching or steaming followed by blast chilling helps maintain color, texture, and flavor, making it ideal for preserving large quantities of produce for canning, such as in jam and jelly production.

In baking, blast chillers play a crucial role by enabling the preparation of large batches of dough or baked goods, preserving their quality for later use, especially important for butter-rich pastry dough susceptible to warm temperatures.

Ice cream and sorbet benefit from blast freezing after dispensing to ensure a lower temperature for handling and transportation.

High-volume foodservice establishments use blast chillers to promptly chill, portion, and store large volumes of cooked food for retherming at a later date.

In general food preparation, blast chillers allow for the efficient prep and freezing of uncooked food items like eggrolls, breaded chicken tenders, and fresh pasta, facilitating quick access for cooking.

Finally, for items like stock, broth, soup, and stew, blast chillers expedite the cooling process, reducing bacterial growth and ensuring food safety by swiftly moving these hot liquids through the danger zone.

Overall, blast chillers emerge as versatile tools in the culinary industry, providing solutions for preserving quality, ensuring food safety, and streamlining food preparation processes.

 

Blast Chiller vs Freezer

A blast chiller serves the purpose of rapidly lowering the temperature of food, typically from 160 degrees to 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less within about 90 minutes. Its primary function is to quickly cool food to prevent bacterial growth, retain essential nutrients, and preserve overall food quality. This is achieved by utilizing cold air blown over the food product, gradually reducing the temperature in the chamber.

In contrast, a freezer is designed to maintain food at a temperature below freezing for long-term storage. While blast chillers are ideal for swiftly chilling food for short-term storage or immediate use, freezers are employed to store food over extended periods in a frozen state. The synergy between blast chillers and freezers in commercial kitchens is common, as they complement each other to enhance efficiency and extend the shelf life of various food products.

 

How Cold Is a Blast Chiller?

According to the Department of Health Guidelines, food must be reduced from +70ºC to +3ºC or below within 90 minutes to be safely blast chilled.

The temperature of a blast chiller can vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific model. However, the goal is to bring the temperature of food from above 140 degrees Fahrenheit to below 41 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower in a short period.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, commercial blast chillers are indispensable tools in the culinary industry, offering rapid temperature reduction to prevent bacterial growth and preserve food quality. Their benefits include reduced food waste, streamlined preparation processes, and increased efficiency in commercial kitchens. Blast chillers complement freezers, catering to both short-term and long-term storage needs. With diverse applications in seafood, baking, and high-volume foodservice, these devices play a crucial role in maintaining food safety and freshness. Overall, blast chillers are essential for modern, efficient, and creative foodservice operations.

For all your commercial kitchen needs in Vancouver, look no further than Vancouver Restaurant Supply. Upgrade your kitchen with top-notch equipment, including essential blast chillers. Trust us for quality, reliability, and unmatched service in meeting your restaurant equipment requirements.

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