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 Efficient technologies for cooking with electricity  

Cook-and-chill system

With this electric system, you can cook food and cool it within the time you set. This lets you stretch storage life to up to 45 days.


Cook-and-chill system

Cook-and-chill system

Definition

An integrated system for preparing, storing, packaging and distributing food.


How it works

  • Cooking, then quick cooling and storage of food, with precise temperature control at every step
  • Storage at near-freezing temperature to minimize bacterial growth

Benefits

  • Lower food costs
    • Reduced shrinkage from low-temperature cooking
  • Lower power bills
    • Reduced ventilation costs
    • Low-temperature cooking more energy efficient
    • Some units can operate at night on cheaper electricity
  • More compact than conventional equipment for high-volume production
  • Centralized production

Methods

Two ways to chill:

  • Blast chilling
    • Traditional equipment like kettles, braising pans, steamers and convection ovens are used for cooking
    • Once cooked, food is placed in containers then put in blast chiller
    • Method based on blasting food product with frigid air to chill it quickly
    • Bags are used so food reaches desired temperature in prescribed time
    • Storage life: 5 days
  • Immersion chilling
    • For cooking, kettle with agitator for pumpable food products, cook-chill tank for other food like cuts of meat
    • Once cooked, food is pumped to a fill station
    • Food is pumped into 1- to 12-litre bags
    • Bags are immersed in cold water to lower
    • Storage life: up to 45 days

N.B. Storage life includes food preparation and temperature adjustment time

Cook-and-chill equipment
Kettle with agitator
  • Description:
    • Large-volume kettle, ranging from 40 gal. (150 L) to 400 gal. (1,500 L)
    • Designed to fit a food pump
    • Heat for cooking from boiler-generated steam
    • Kettles have agitators that gently lift and turn food to reduce cooking time
  • Options:
    • Programmable cooking
    • Probe monitoring
Fill station
  • Designed to pump cooked food from the kettle and put precise amounts in bags
  • Valve sized to let through cubes in stews and similar dishes
  • Filled bags are sealed before plunging in an ice bath
Cook-and-chill tank
  • Specially designed for immersion cooking of vacuum-packed products like meat
  • Cooking in water bath at low temperatures, from 150°F (66°C) to 190°F (88°C):
    • Reduced losses from meat shrinkage
    • Enhanced tenderness
    • Natural juices and flavour better preserved
  • Once cooked, food is chilled quickly to 40°F (4°C) by replacing cooking bath with an ice bath
  • Once chilled to 40°F (4°C), food is removed from tank and stored
  • Overnight unsupervised operations for units under automatic process control
Ice-water chiller
  • Designed to chill bags from 180°F (82°C) to 40°F (4°C) in 30 to 60 minutes
  • Bags are loaded in tank manually or by conveyor
  • Ice water circulates continuously for optimal chilling
  • Cooling rate depends on product composition and density
Ice builder
  • Designed to produce ice water continuously for ice-water chillers and cook-chill tanks
  • Can also produce ice
Blast chiller
  • Designed to quickly chill most food products, from soup to prepared dishes
  • Suitable for chilling food that cannot be handled by a tumbler-chiller, such as breaded meats
  • Food cooked with conventional equipment is divided into portions on covered trays
  • Food is chilled from 165°F (74°C) to 38°F (3°C) in 90 minutes
  • Chillers, most of which accommodate carts, are sized for daily throughput
  • Most equipped with an air or hydraulic compressor for better cooling capacity
Low-volume units
  • Combined unit: cook-chill tank and ice-water chiller for low-temperature immersion cooking, then rapid chilling
  • Greatly reduced floor space

See also