The recent series of hit TV show 'MasterChef: The Professionals' showed contestants using a wide array of modern cooking equipment, including water baths, temperature probes, blast chillers and blast freezers. This demonstrated how such gadgets have become essential kit in professional kitchens, including high-end, traditional fine dining establishments.
If a name like Michel Roux accepts the use of this type of equipment, then it shows that blast chillers and freezers must be adding significant value to the end results. It is plain to see that using these items is not just about high-volume production of cook-chill ready meals on an industrial scale - it is also about preserving quality and flavour, as well as achieving precise, consistent results.
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Uses for Blast Chillers and Freezers in the Modern Professional Kitchen
Enabling Creativity: Many top chefs know that equipment such as blast freezers and chillers can be used to achieve special effects fast. This applies when working with cold desserts such as ice cream, parfaits, granitas, sorbets and other puddings, as well as preparations which need to "set" in the fridge, such as panna cottas, jellies and blancmanges.
Because these desserts can be set so swiftly, in a matter of minutes rather than hours, it is much easier to create elaborate layered masterpieces, built from flavoured creams and panna cotta together with ice cream. If you are just relying on a normal fridge, this type of culinary creation will take a very long time to finish, as you will have to wait for each layer to set... but, with modern equipment, you can let your imagination run free.
Putting You In Control: With some types of dish, it is important to avoid the creation of macro-crystals, which are formed during very slow freezing and can affect the flavour. Fortunately, Porkka's innovative designs allow you to vary the speed of chilling, with up to eight different programs available to suit different types of food, so that operators can consider their requirements for both taste and speed. Chilling fans help to optimise the results still further.
This state-of-the-art equipment means you can blast freeze even foods with delicate flavours, such as soft fruit and fresh meat, in the knowledge that they will still taste good when they are defrosted to use in your recipes. Japanese chefs have long used blast freezers to preserve fish for sushi dishes, keeping the flavour almost identical to that of freshly-caught fish. When thawed and reheated, pasta dishes which have been blast frozen will also taste as if they had been freshly cooked.
To achieve optimum effects, it is also important to have enough space to chill or freeze the required amount of food. So it is good to know that Porkka's blast freezers and chillers come in a range of sizes to suit different kitchens. Even the smallest models in the range are capable of high productivity, because the short chilling and freezing times mean they can cope with large quantities over a time period.
Saving Time and Ensuring Hygiene: By using blast chillers, it is possible to chill foodstuffs down to a safe temperature quickly, before “bringing back" these items later for the next stage of cooking. This is especially important for larger restaurants which need to do as much preparation of ingredients as possible beforehand, but still want to serve freshly prepared meals.
Being able to chill food quickly is also a help in terms of hygiene and reducing waste, which are top considerations in any commercial kitchen. Food can be taken directly from the oven or hob and chilled quickly, with no waiting around for it to reach an acceptable temperature to be put into a standard fridge. Fast chilling of wine and champagne is yet another advantage of using this type of equipment, as you will no longer have to keep so many different bottles on ice just in case they are required.
Guaranteeing Consistency: Putting food into a conventional fridge to cool down means regular interruptions as the door is opened for other purposes, so you can't guarantee temperature levels. A quality fine dining experience requires precision in temperature and timings – and blast chilling can deliver both, leading to higher quality and less waste. This process can also retain flavours, and ensure that delicate dishes which need to be cooled and served on another day still taste just as good as if they had been eaten when freshly prepared. All in all, using blast freezers and chillers is a great way to achieve professional quality results with less time and effort.
Porkka supply a wide range of top quality blast chillers and freezers, with all the latest features that professional kitchens require. Our models meet all Codex and DHSS standards – and you can rely on them to give the performance you want.
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