Blast Chillers extend product shelf life, but are they right for you?
Q: Our pre-packaged meals and sides are doing really well in our new location, will a blast chiller help our program, can it really increase shelf life for our grab-and-go products?
A: Yes, a blast chiller will help your prepared foods program. A blast chiller is the ideal way to keep foods that are cooked and then cooled tasting fresher longer. How much longer? Our friends at Masterbilt, who have been making blast chillers since the 1990's say it should extend shelf life for your products by about 5 days with proper food handling and packaging techniques in place. Besides longer shelf lives, blast chillers have some other great advantages too.
Pictured above is the QC2-100 blast chiller/freezer with roll-in pan cart from Alto Shaam.
Rapidly cooling food moves it through the food borne bacteria danger zone quickly so bacteria has less time to multiply in your cooked products as they cool. This means longer shelf life for product, but it also means tastier and better looking product as well. Foods that are cooled in a blast chiller will look and taste more like they did when they were first cooked. Blast chiller cooled foods retain more moisture as well, so you get less product shrinkage.
Pictured below is the JOF-23 counter top blast chiller/freezer from Techfrost
Another huge benefit of having a blast chiller is having a dedicated place to cool your hot foods.
Rolling that rack of fresh-from-the-oven chicken breasts into your walk-in to cool is going to raise the temperature in the walk-in. Now all of your product is being held at less than optimal temperatures, resulting in shorter shelf lives for everything in your kitchen. This situation also creates unnecessary condensation. Letting your food cool to room temperature first is not a great option either, as it will result in the product spending even more time in the danger zone and ultimately lead to shortened shelf life or even a warning from the health inspector.
Your health inspector will love your blast chiller because it will keep food out of the danger zone and most blast chillers are capable of logging food temperatures via a food probe for HACCP records.
If you have more questions about blast chillers for your food business or any other restaurant equipment let us know! 1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a question, or ready for a quote? Call us at 800-244-9729, or email us today!