Cook chill kettles were designed to cook products, monitor the product temperature, hold the temperature for a specific time, then chill the product down.  This sounds great, and it is.  Cook chill kettles maximize efficiency of the kitchen staff while increasing food safety, no doubt.  HACCP plans are maximized, but batch production is often a concern.  By chilling in the kettle, it doubles the time the kettle is in use.  This becomes a concern or issue in high production areas.

 

For areas that are concentrated on production, chilling in a different source is often recommended, provided space is available.  When we chill in an alternative unit, the cook chill kettle is ready to cook the next batch of product as soon as the unit is emptied and cleaned.  Batch production is increased and if completed correctly HACCP is still maintained and food safety in adhered to.

There are several different components designed to chill product down effectively after cooking it, all of which require floor space.  You can transfer product into a bulk chilling tank.  The bulk chilling tank is a stainless steel jacketed tank with a low speed mixer.  A pump circulates chilling water through a jacket.  By mixing at low speeds it ensures maximum chilling / heat transfer of the product. Once chilled, you can transfer product to filler or depositor.

Another alternative is a water jet or tumble chiller.  Both units take water and immerse the product in cooling water.  The tumble chiller uses a tumbling effect to rotate the product and move the product around.  A water jet chiller uses water jets to “massage” and tumble the product.  The water jet chiller has less moving parts than the tumble chiller and are usually preferred because they are more gentle on products.  The cost of both these items are higher because they both need the product to be in bags, which means you must also purchase a pump / fill station with sealer.  Because of this, and the size of the chillers themselves, the floor space is drastically increased.

In some cases a blast chiller can also be used, yet not recommended for liquids.  In order to cool liquids effectively we need to move the product.  If the product in not moved around, the outside of the product will chill, while the center stays warm.  When we put it into storage, the center will eventually heat up the outside product, and your product will now be out of food safety criteria and your HACCP plan will be voided.  Blast chillers are recommended for solids, semi solids, or small individual portions of some products.

The choice is hard, it comes down to space, time, and cost.  Regardless, cook chill kettles are increasing in demand as food safety and shelf life becomes an issue.  Your are choosing cook chill for all the same reason, choosing the correct layout or design is the hardest part.