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Blast Chiller and Shock Freezer Basics

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By Maggie Moulatsiotis

March 13, 2012

Keeping food out of the "danger zone" is important to the reputation of your foodservice business and for your customer's health. Commercial blast chillers and shock freezers assist in accomplishing optimal food safety while keeping food costs down. With the ability to rapidly cool and freeze prepared foods, blast chillers and shock freezers have become an essential component to many commercial kitchens.

Let's take a look at how they work. 

Nuts and Bolts
 Commercial Blast Chiller

Chilled air is blown at a high      velocity for rapid cooling. This is made possible by very powerful refrigeration equipment. Because of the fast action of  blast chiller units, cooked foods are are cooled down to below 40ºF in a fast amount of time. Shock freezers act in the same manner and bring cooked food down to about 0ºF. Both units allow the core temperature of food items to move through the danger zone faster than they would in a standard commercial refrigerator or  freezer. 

Who Uses Blast Chillers and Shock Freezers?
Traditionally, blast chillers and shock freezers have been used by larger operators, such as hotels or catering companies who serve multiple dining events on a daily or weekly basis. However, smaller food service operations can utilize this equipment as well. These units are available in a variety of sizes and provide the same cost-effective benefits for stand alone restaurants or small food service operators. Some units offer two-in-one options, acting as a blast chiller and a shock freezer depending on the settings.This equipment is ideal for any operator looking to reduce waste and improve overall food cost. 

Benefits of Using a Blast Chiller or Shock Freezer
  • Food that is cooled at a faster rate retains higher quality. Blast chillers and shock freezers allow for food to preserve color, moisture, nutrients and most importantly flavor.
  • Large batches of food can be kept longer, saving on food cost and reducing waste.
  • Roll-in cart options are available so food can go from the combi oven to the blast chiller or shock freezer without the food being directly handled. 
  • These units create an efficient and easy way to remain compliant with HACCP (Health Analysis & Critical Control Points) regulations.
  • Many models come equipped with advanced record keeping software and built-in printers to monitor food temperatures throughout the chilling process.
Consider installing a blast chiller or shock freezer in your restaurant for optimal and safe cold holding. 

To read more food service education articles or to shop for your next food service equipment and restaurant supply purchase, visit www.FoodServiceWarehouse.com.

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Posted by Brian Carrick on 3/17/12 at 9:31 AM EST

Among the best ideas in a long, long time (wish I had designed it even though I pictured it back in the 1980s), this is an amazing piece of equipment that I wished I had in the 1980s when I was involved in some amazing high-volume country club cooking! Thanks for the excellent article, it is wonderful and thanks for letting the rest of us know about this. Chef Brian Carrick, 40+ years foodservice career, worked in California, Hawaii, and Washington State. Writes for the Elemental News of the Day.

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