Q: Aren’t blast chillers really just for high-volume operations?
James Piliero: Blast chillers, when used in conjunction with cook-chill, are ideal for high-volume operators. However, any operator looking to save labor by cooking more food less often, make safe/quality use of leftovers, increase production/menu items using the same cooking suite, refresh ready to eat or grab-and-go foods or expedite dessert production can benefit through use of a blast chiller.
Q: How can blast chillers help a foodservice operation save labor?
JP: Use of a blast chiller as part of the cook-chill system can save significant labor. Sometimes referred to as “cooking seven days of food in only five,” the cook-chill system has the ability to produce the same amount or even more food in less total labor hours while using the same cooking suite. By cooking larger amounts of food less often, the total labor needed to produce it can be reduced. Then, if safely cooled using a blast chiller, the resulting surplus can be quickly, easily and inexpensively rethermed as needed over the next five to seven days to provide the same taste and texture as having been “just cooked.”
Q: Food safety is always a concern in foodservice. What part can blast chillers play in preparing food safely?
JP: Cooling any hot food, both just cooked or even leftovers, must be done within FDA guidelines in order to avoid the growth of foodborne pathogens such as E. coli and listeria, which grow most rapidly between 41 and 135 degrees F. Blast chillers are designed to do this while providing the documentation required in order to prove the operator’s due diligence.
Q: Are blast chillers easy to operate?
JP: They can be, but just as with any other equipment category, relative ease of use varies both by brand and by operator perception. In order to be successful, the cook-chill system requires cooling to be completed safely 100% of the time. In our experience, the greater number of button pushes required to initiate a chill cycle, the lower the percentage of time that the blast chiller will be used correctly.
Q: What makes Traulsen blast chillers a better choice than other chillers?
JP: Perhaps Traulsen’s biggest advantage over competition is our hands-free “Auto Start” feature. Using a Traulsen blast chiller, a chill cycle can be started simply by placing a food probe into hot product, virtually assuring proper operation. Traulsen units also come standard with three removable food probes, allowing the operator to simultaneously chill a variety of food types rather than using traditional single-batch methods. Traulsen’s on-board cycle data printer is a standard feature providing automated HACCP data documentation along with a USB port for downloading up to 90 days of chill-cycle history. Finally, our unique two-stage refrigeration system saves energy and maximizes compressor life.
Traulsen’s blast chillers are designed and assembled in Fort Worth, Texas, and backed by our industry-leading three-year parts and labor warranty, providing operators peace of mind knowing they will have quick access to parts and service should they ever need it.