A New Kitchen Essential - The Blast Chiller
Trolling the floors of some of the best kitchen shows in the world, I find myself intrigued as to what makes the trickle from the world of food service into the residential kitchen.
One can easily admit that there were two very big facets of
the commercial kitchen that broke barriers and took the ordinary civilian
kitchen by storm – stainless steel and the giant range. Use of steam was yet another innovation once available only to white aproned chefs but now making headway in the residential marketplace.
While at IMM and the highly impressive Living Kitchen, I spotted yet another technology making a run on civilians – the Blast Chiller. And then, I eyed it yet again nestled amidst the La Cornue display at this year’s Architectural Digest Home Show.
Just what is a Blast Chiller? This is not your ordinary freezer. Anyone who spends a great deal of time around food, especially food in the public sense, has had the idea of the Danger Zone drilled into their minds. Perishable food products resting within the Danger Zone (41 and 135 degrees F) are highly susceptible to the growth of bacteria and those left for more than two hours shouldn’t be consumed. The Blast Chiller quickly and efficiently (usually within 90 minutes) takes food through the range of temperatures within a generally safe environment – quicker than a standard refrigerator or freezer.
Additionally, typical freezing causes surface freezing (ever heard of freezer burn?) degrading its quality and, because blast chilling stops the deterioration that begins immediately after the cooking process is complete, the food product’s taste and attractiveness usually remain intact. Dishes can be completed on a larger scale (think making a stew for a week’s worth of lunches) and stored for a longer period of time. Products like vegetables can be prepped for meals later in the week without sacrificing vitamins or nutrients. Paired with such technologies as steam ovens, quality and healthy meals can be prepared with minimal effort.
And all of this exists without wheeling a $16,000 piece of restaurant equipment into the kitchen. Brands are quietly coming on board with smaller sized units prepped to fit into standard openings. The Grand Cuisine Blast Chiller from Electrolux Professional (www.GrandCuisine.com) is billed as not only perfect for chilling but also perfect for creating granitas, sorbets and parfaits and boasts that it can blast chill 10 bottles of champagne in just 30 minutes. The Freddy from Irinox (www.Irinox.com) is not only a clean unit that seamlessly blends with other well known appliance brands, but can also be used to bring frozen foods back to life, reheating them in the same enclosed environment.With other commercial brands like True, BevAir and U-Line making headways in the residential market, it won’t be long before we see more units enter the market.
I may just need a bigger kitchen after all.
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