What is Cook and Chill Technology?
What is cook and chill? It sounds like a joke, but it’s the latest technology changing the food service industry.
Many restaurants use this method of food preparation and it’s only growing more and more popular. Fine dining, chain restaurants, and even hospital cafeterias are using this method of preserving and serving food.
This could be beneficial for your restaurant.
What Does Cook and Chill Mean?
Cook and chill is a new food preservation method. You prepare, portion, cook and then chill food in a specific cook-chill machine. The food can be good for up to 28 days before it needs to be eaten. They are then put into special bags. It almost looks like the bags you that you can suck the air out of it to shrink fluffy things and make them into flat things.
It’s often used more in restaurants than in a home kitchen.
It helps maintain food quality, nutritional value, flavor, and appearance. It also makes it nicer for diners because they get their food faster.
How Does Cook and Chill Technology Work?
Cook-chill technology safely reduces food from 158 degrees Fahrenheit to 37.4 quickly. As in within 90 minutes quickly. If you want to freeze cooked food, the temperature will need to go from 158 degrees to -0.4 degrees in 240 minutes.
Bacteria grow quickly between 41 and 145.4 degrees.
Why you need a specific cook-chill technology is because just putting food in the fridge or freezer isn’t good enough. In fact, it could even cause the temperature to rise within the machine and affect other food being stored there.
There are two types of chill, there is hard and soft chill. Soft chilling is a gentler process for delicate products, like fish, fruit, and veggies. They don’t develop ice crystals.
Hard chilling is good for food like meat, casseroles, and lasagna. The airflow drops below freezing to maintain safety while making sure the product stays in good condition.
Benefits of Cook and Chill Technology
There are a lot of benefits to using this technology. They vary from the food itself to how it can make it easier for your employees and customers.
Freshness and Quality
Any food made with the cook-chill method is a sure way to get freshness and quality. The centralized preparation enables foodservice operators to have complete control over uniformity and quality.
All the recipes are carefully measured and cooking cycles carefully monitored. Food is cooked to proper doneness. They are never over or undercooked.
Best of all, even after weeks in storage, the food is still fresh and tastes as if it was just made.
It’s a Successful System
This system is now being used by leading restaurants all over the country, and it helps them serve a wider variety of fresh tasting food with ease and consistency. Family style restaurant chains are able to supply a wide variety of soups and entrees to their stores now.
With cook-chill, the raw ingredients go into the cooking kettle and then food is never again exposed to handling. The bag it goes in can be used for packaging, storing, distribution, and reheating. This unique, multilayered material also prevents crossover of flavors.
You Should Try It
This type of food preparation is popular for a reason. It’s easy to use and it keeps food safe and fresh. It also makes it easy to get food out quickly to your customers.
It can stand a wide variety of temperatures. It saves a lot of manpower and trained cooks aren’t necessary at the serving locations. Part-time employees are capable of reheating and serving the food.
Also, less time and labor are required since fewer pots and pans are used in the kitchen and serving area. Storage and inventory are easier to handle because each package is identified by content and packaging date. Cook-chill bags are easily stackable and need little storage space.
With all these benefits, it would be silly to not look into this technology. It would make it easier on your staff and yourself. Who doesn’t want an easier way to prepare food and have it come out faster for your diners?