If you've ever worked in a commercial kitchen or eaten in a commercial or institutional foodservice operation, you know how important fresh ingredients can be. For operators, though, the process of preserving freshness is harder than eating the end result, and blast chillers can help.
Blast chillers are an essential piece of equipment in any commercial foodservice operation. These units use rapid cooling technology to quickly and safely lower the temperature of hot foods, thereby preserving their freshness and quality which leads to happy customers and a healthier bottom line for operators.
Here are the top five benefits of blast chillers in commercial foodservice:
Extended shelf life -- Blast chillers help to extend the shelf life of food by rapidly cooling it down to a temperature that inhibits the growth of bacteria. This is especially important for perishable items like meat, fish, and dairy products that can spoil quickly if left at room temperature. By preserving the freshness of these products, blast chillers can help to reduce food waste and save money for businesses.
Improved food safety -- Rapid cooling is also essential for ensuring food safety. When hot food is left at room temperature, it can enter the "danger zone" between 40°F and 140°F where bacteria can thrive. By quickly bringing the temperature of food down below this threshold, blast chillers help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Faster service -- Blast chillers can help to speed up service in commercial kitchens by allowing food to be prepared in advance and stored safely until it is needed. This is especially important during busy periods when demand is high and time is at a premium. Some foods can be prepared or par-cooked in advance, requiring just a simple retherm or finishing just before service. By pre-cooling ingredients and dishes, chefs can cut down on time it takes to assemble and serve dishes, leading to faster service and happier customers. Add the current labor challenges in the foodservice industry, and the benefits of using blast chilling to prep dishes can be even more important. A good quality blast chiller also has the ability to shock freeze, and low temperature cook. This is an additional benefit for today's foodservice operation, with labor challenges threatening the industry across the board. This allows for the food menu item to be cooked and automatically chilled overnight, without staffing an additional human on the production line.
Increased menu flexibility -- One of the things we see every year, especially during the last five years, is the drive toward menu diversity. With a more diverse consumer base requesting a wider range of food types, menu flexibility can often mean profitability. With a blast chiller, commercial kitchens can expand their menus and offer a broader range of dishes because of some of the benefits listed above. Time saved means more time for creativity. Ingredients saved mean more inspiration. Combine those two things, and the result is increased menu flexibility. This can help to attract more customers and increase revenue for businesses.
Energy savings -- Blast chillers are designed to be energy-efficient, which can help to save money on energy bills for businesses. By quickly cooling food, blast chillers help to reduce the workload on refrigeration systems, which can lead to lower energy consumption and reduced wear and tear on equipment. This can help to prolong the lifespan of refrigeration systems and reduce maintenance costs over time.
In conclusion, blast chillers are an essential piece of equipment for any commercial foodservice operation. By extending the shelf life of food, improving food safety, speeding up service, increasing menu flexibility, and saving energy, blast chillers can help businesses to operate more efficiently, save money, and provide a better experience for their customers.