Blast Chillers vs. Freezers: Which is Right for You?
When shopping around for equipment to add to your commercial kitchen, you may have been presented with the prospect of including a blast chiller to your facility. While on the surface, it may seem like just another type of commercial freezer, there are crucial differences and benefits each type of equipment offers a commercial kitchen. Find out about the differences between blast chillers vs. freezers and more.
What is a Blast Chiller?
A blast chiller rapidly lowers the temperature of food safely so that the food doesn’t run the risk of losing moisture and nutrients, or reaching the danger zone. Depending on your particular unit, a blast chiller can cool food temped at 160° F to 41° F in around an hour-and-a-half to two hours, making it great for quickly cooling down food products during service shifts, or to prepare for cold storage to be used later.
Similarly, there are also blast freezers, which rapidly freeze foods much in the same way as blast chillers do. Blast chilling or blast freezing food allows the taste, moisture and texture to remain in the food product, meaning they’ll appear as they should upon preparation.
What is a Blast Chiller Used For?
Blast chillers have many uses around a commercial kitchen, and can be utilized to:
- Rapidly freeze or chill batches of food for later production
- Chilling to set food such as desserts to be prepped later
- Making sorbets, ice creams and other soft frozen desserts
What is a Commercial Freezer?
Just like residential freezers, commercial freezers are insulated and temperature-controlled units that cool and freeze food products. Commercial freezers are a staple in foodservice facilities, and depending on what you need a freezer for and the space you can allocate, you can get a freezer in a multitude of sizes. From large-scale walk-in units to undercounter versions, freezers are incredibly useful in a commercial kitchen.
What is a Commercial Freezer Used For?
Freezers can be used in many situations around a commercial kitchen, but are mainly used for:
- Storing frozen foods for prolonged periods of time
- Freezing or cooling food products
What’s the Difference Between a Blast Chiller & Commercial Freezer?
While both blast chillers and commercial freezers fall under the general refrigeration category, they both serve their own important purposes in a commercial kitchen.
The main difference between a freezer and a blast chiller are their basic functions: a commercial freezer chills and freezes food products and keeps them frozen over a prolonged period of time, whereas blast chillers rapidly cool food products. Depending on what you need to accomplish will determine when and how you’ll use either a blast chiller or freezer.
Typically, blast chillers are seen as a useful addition to a commercial kitchen, as they can positively impact food production and prep work. On the flip side, commercial freezers are a necessity in foodservice establishments, but can greatly benefit from having a blast chiller around. For example: after blast chilling food, it can then be stored in a commercial freezer if it doesn’t need to be prepared within a few hours. So, while the decision to add a blast chiller or an additional freezer to your facility is ultimately up to you, both provide their own benefits and will certainly earn their keep in any restaurant.