There are different ways to incorporate a blast chiller into an operation. In many cases, it depends on volume, space, layout, and other factors.
The Difference Between Blast Chilling and Shock Freezing
The phrases 'blast chilling' and 'shock freezing' can often conjure very similar images. They both take warm food and move them to colder storage temperatures in a very short period of time. However, that's where the similarities stop. In reality, shock freezing and blast chilling are two, distinct processes with two, different applications.
Let's start with temperatures. Blast chillers are great for taking hot or warm food and moving them through the Danger Zone as quickly as possible to temperatures right around the freezing mark. As you might expect, shock freezers can do the same thing but to a much colder degree.
Now that we've defined the basic difference in temperatures between the two processes, how does that translate in terms of applications?
Think of blast chillers as an ideal solution for temporary storage. Blast chillers are great for moving food and ingredients to ideal storage conditions over a 24 to 48-hour period. If you're planning on prepping or par-cooking an ingredient for use in an upcoming meal service, blast chillers are the ideal solution.
Shock freezers, on the other hand, are designed for moving food quickly to frozen storage conditions. By preserving the cellular structure of food as it's moved quickly to sub-freezing conditions, food and ingredients are placed in optimal conditions for lengthier storage. Take bulk foods, for example. If bulk purchases are part of your process, shock freezers can provide significant cost savings with storage periods up to multiple months. Think of shock freezers as more of a long-term solution.
Shock Freezing and Blast Chilling: Which One Is Right for You?
In some cases, blast chillers come with shock freezing capabilities. This gives operators the best of both worlds in a single unit. Others only perform one operation or the other. With Thermo-Kool, all reach-in units have the capacity to provide both functions, while roll-in units can be configured as just blast chillers or shock freezers, or both depending on the needs of the operation.
Ready to learn more about which unit is right for the functions you're looking to provide? Request a quote on a new blast chiller or shock freezer from an expert at Thermo-Kool. We're here to help!