Especially popular in institutions that perform large-batch cooking, blast chillers are big investments that can pay for themselves in time and labor savings. To get the most out of these units, though, operators need to keep them working at peak performance.
- While all refrigeration needs to be on a planned maintenance program, this is particularly important for blast chillers. These pieces are designed to bring food down from just-cooked temperatures to well below freezing in a short amount of time. If a unit’s evaporator coils and condenser are dirty, they’ll have to work harder to perform their jobs. This will drive up electricity usage, increase their cooling time (and hence labor costs) and ultimately shorten their useful life.
- The basics of refrigeration maintenance apply to blast chillers, as well. Keep an eye out for cracked or lose gaskets, as well as loose or damaged hinges, both of which can impact unit performance
- Follow the manufacturer’s’ guidelines regarding the containers for food placed in a blast chiller. If not stored properly, the gasses put out by acidic foods (primarily produce) can eat away at key refrigeration components over time.