What is a blast chiller and why do you need one?
With a blast chiller, you can quickly cool or freeze freshly prepared meals. It is ideal to use for food that will not immediately be served because you’ve made it in advance, or because it’s only part of the preparation for a certain dish and the rest will be done at another time. Almost every catering business can make good use of a blast chiller. Caterers, hotels, restaurants, company canteens and cafes are good examples of places where food is prepared in advance, often in large quantities.
Why is it necessary to cool food down quickly? For food safety, it’s important that food is cooled from 70°C to below 3°C within 90 minutes. The bacteria and micro-organisms that cause food spoilage are most active between these temperatures. The longer your food sits between 3 and 70°C, the faster bacteria multiply so it’s very important to chill or freeze quickly.
The blast chiller can be used for any foods that are suitable for freezing. However, large pots with liquids, such as soup, can be more difficult to quickly cool completely. It’s better to cool these in smaller portions. Have you forgotten to cool your drinks? No problem, just put them in the blast cooler and you will soon be serving chilled drinks again in no time. The Maxima blast chillers are also suitable for Gastronorm containers.
How does a blast chiller work?
The Maxima blast chillers have several cooling programmes, including quick freeze, quick cool and deep freeze. Simply set the time and temperature and the appliance does its work. Although the appliance also has a storing mode, it is often more convenient to put your food in a freezer when you want to keep it for a longer time. That way, you can keep your blast chiller free for the next job. What you have frozen, you also want to defrost again. This is possible using the defrost programme.
What’s the difference between a blast chiller and a freezer?
Sometimes a freezer is not sufficient as it does not always cool food fast enough to preserve its quality. If you cool food down slowly, this can affect the structure of the food. You can see this in, among other things, the loss in weight of the food frozen, as well as the presence of crystals, or freezer burn, when freezing. Everyone knows what a piece of meat tastes like when it has lost a lot of its moisture, or when sauces have developed an oily layer. These affect the taste and quality of a dish. Because of the speed at which a blast chiller can cool, you retain the quality and the moisture content better than in a conventional freezer. This also extends the shelf life from a few days to several months. You won’t even notice that you made the dish on a different day.
What are the advantages of a blast chiller?
- automatic defrosting
- suited to GN container sizes
- food safety: don’t give bacteria a chance
- decreased food waste: thanks to longer storage times
- cools to 3°C in approx. 90 minutes and to -18°C in approx. 4 hours
- more efficient: meals can be made at quiet moments and revive when needed
- quality assurance: minimal loss of flavour, moisture and weight, and no crystallisation
- can be used for many ingredients: from meat and fruit to cocktails and entire desserts
What should you consider when buying a blast chiller?
Our blast chillers and quick freezers have similar features, including the same width and depth. You should base your choice mainly on how many kilogrammes you’ll want to freeze at a time. After the accelerated freezing or cooling process, the appliance functions as a regular refrigerator. When the products placed in it have reached the desired temperature, the blast chiller keeps them there. Depending on the food, this is 3°C or -18°C. This way, bacterial growth is inhibited and the products retain their taste and quality.
How do you clean a blast chiller?
All catering equipment needs to be cleaned regularly. After all, food residue can always transfer onto the shelves or the walls. Our blast chillers are designed to make cleaning as easy as possible. Before you clean the inside, the freezer must first be defrosted and at the same temperature as the environment.
For both inside and outside the blast chiller, lukewarm water, a damp cloth and a mild detergent are sufficient. This will keep the coating in good condition and prevent rust on the inside. Finally, do not forget to clean the rubber seals.
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