Foodservice Equipment Reports

SPECIAL REPORT: Blast Chiller Gallery

Some of the models and lines shown here have been around for several years, and some are new or recent, with new technologies and new features like thawing options, for example, and new controllers.

Plus, at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show, two of the manufacturers shown here will be releasing brand-new chilling units, so stay tuned.—Ed.


After several successful years on the market, the QuickChiller QC-40 was re-released in January with some key upgrades. Now each model offers an optional data logger that automatically tracks temperature readings and operation mode by date and time. Information can be downloaded in a Microsoft Excel format to your flash drive, which eliminates the costs of hardwiring and helps maintain your electronic HACCP record keeping. The controller retains the most up-to-date information for 30 days, and the program uses 20 standard product names or descriptions. In addition, the new QC-40 uses hot gas to defrost evaporator coils. This approach defrosts the entire copper coil, which produces faster, more efficient defrosting and improved overall operation, says Alto-Shaam. The QC-40 comes with a 240-lb. capacity, accepting 20 12” x 20” or Gastronorm pans or 10 18” x 26” pans. *


American Panel’s line of HurriChill blast chillers and shock freezers now offers an optional HACCP-compliant thawing cycle that helps you better manage product from day to day. With a thawing option you don’t need to forecast days in advance when menu planning. Instead, you can safely thaw product overnight, then prepare it early the next day when it is convenient, plus blast chill it for later use. The thawing process carefully monitors air temps and alternates between gentle heat and refrigeration to safely thaw all types of product. As for general operation, the microprocessor control systems lets you soft chill, hard chill, shock freeze, hold and sterilize, and some models include a heated core temp probe. The HurriChill line features 26 models with capacities ranging from 30 lbs. or 3 pans to 500 lbs. or 80 pans. Freezing capacities are slightly less than chilling capacities. *


The Bally Northwind line features a new controller, data package and electronically commutated fan motors, all introduced last November. Bally Refrigerated Boxes says the new controller streamlines the chilling process by simplifying command steps and giving you more control. Continuous temp updates assure you that product is always being handled properly. Meanwhile, the data package consists of food probes, a digital controller, diagnostic software and a report generator. The system automates data gathering and report writing for you while customizing data output to your needs. Finally, the new EC motors allow for greater efficiency, reduced costs and fast chill for most items, says Bally. The Northwind comes in two models. The 500 accepts 250 lbs., holding up to 26 12” x 20” pans or 13 18” x 26” pans. The 1000 accepts 500 lbs. in the form of 40 to 52 12” x 20” pans or 20 to 26 18” x 26” pans. Both models are available as pass-throughs, and both chill from 140°F to 40°F in 60 mins. to 120 mins. *


Newly available from Beverage-Air is the CounterChill Series. Available in two models, the CounterChill’s depth is designed to align with refrigerated counters and worktables, and its height allows you to place a convection oven on top of the chiller for a full cook-and-chill setup. The unit’s cabinet features a core temperature probe plus coved corners to ease cleaning. Units accommodate five 13” x 21” pans thanks to a new s/s wire rack structure, whose design provides the air circulation needed to properly chill product. CounterChill units also feature a manual defrost device that works based on condensation evaporation and doesn’t require additional power. You get an electronic control board display with storage for 100 program settings. *


Delfield/Manitowoc holds its place in the blast chiller field with the ConvoChill. Introduced several years ago, the T14D offers multiple cycles so you can choose from blast chilling, which brings 154 lbs. of product from 200°F to 38°F in 90 mins.; shock freezing that freezes 120 lbs. of product from 200°F to 0°F; and soft chill cycles that protect delicate foods. Features include an onboard, integral printer that generates dates, temps and time during all chilling cycles, and electronic control with 99 programs and HACCP memory. Also included is hot-gas defrost and one core temperature probe. Capacity is 26 12” x 20” or 13 18” x 26” pans, and the ConvoChill is designed to work with the ConvoTherm by Cleveland combi oven. Delfield also offers three other models in the ConvoChill line. *


Long a supplier of blast chillers, Electrolux Professional added its Cruise models to the air-o-chill line in 2008. The Cruise chiller lets you insert a 3-sensor probe into product and press the “cruise” button to start. From there, the unit automatically controls the chilling process according to product type, size and starting temp of each load. Meanwhile, a patented Residual Time Estimating algorithm estimates the actual time needed for each probe-driven chilling cycle and displays that time for you. A turbo cooling cycle provides nonstop chilling/freezing and allows you to set a perpetual working temp between -33°F and 37°F. You also get ice cream cycles, including a freeze and hold program that brings ice cream fresh from production at 19°F down to the target temperature of 7°F and then holds automatically. Turbo freeze can be used to make firm ice cream ready to be put in a display counter at 7°F. *


Introduced in 2010, the programmable MultiFresh MF 70.1 brings you chilling and freezing capabilities plus the ability to proof, thaw and cook at low temps, all in one cabinet. MultiFresh’s low-temp cooking cycle is ideal for specific types of meat, fish and other products that require a slow cook to enhance flavor. A choice of controlled or rapid thaw cycles lets you time exactly what you want to do, and when, and then hold at safe temps for prep. MultiFresh even lets you control proofing cycles precisely for optimal flavor and texture of leavened products headed for baking. Features include standard mode for chilling or freezing, dynamic mode for chilling or freezing via icon commands, and personalized modes for customer-specific products. You also get core temperature probes with five measuring points. Capacity is 24 12” x 20” pans and 12 18” x 26” pans. *


In 2011 Master-Bilt added reach-in and undercounter models to its line of Master-Chill MBC blast chiller/freezers. Joining existing roll-in and pass-through versions, the new units are self-contained and include a feature called the Food Identification Controller. The F.I.C. monitors temperatures in the core, beneath and on the surface of product to prevent freezing and degradation as well as preserve nutritional value. The new models meet all federal HACCP requirements for food safety, dropping food temp from 194°F to 37°F in 90 mins. When freezing, the food temp is reduced from 194°F to 0°F in 4 hrs. All controls and parts are easily accessible from the front, and a hinged fan cover makes for easy access to the evaporator and fan. An interior drain outlet eases cleaning. Capacities range from eight to 20 12” x 20” pans or seven to 10 18” x 26” pans. *


From Nor-Lake comes a line of Chill Smart Blast Chiller Freezers. These self-contained cabinets are designed to rapidly and uniformly bring down food temps to either chilled or frozen. Features include the Food Identification Controller system, which modulates air velocity and refrigeration power during the various stages of the cycle. Standard features include CFC-free polyurethane insulation, hermetic compressor, door-frame heater, LCD digital display, R-404a refrigerant and removable magnetic door gasket. Warranty is 12 mos. parts and labor. *


Among Randell/Unified’s refrigeration systems is the FX 4-N-1, which allows you to refrigerate, freeze, rapid chill or safety thaw all in one unit. You can adjust temps from as low as -5°F for freezing up to 40°F using the system’s convertible refrigeration system. Powered by patented technology that provides 100% in-drawer cooling, the efficient, self-contained FX 4-N-1 brings 20 lbs. of food, or two 12” x 20” pans, from 165°F to below 40°F in less than 4 hrs. when operating in rapid-chill mode. In safety thaw mode, 20 lbs. of frozen product is moved from frozen to refrigerated temp without ever rising above 40°F, says Randell, and within 6 hrs. to 8 hrs. Features include a removable insulated drawer compartment and a patented in-drawer cooling system. *


The RBC Series blast chiller with SmartChill controller is designed to chill its entire capacity in as little time as possible. A cyclonic airflow system creates a horizontal curtain of air that extends from the top of the chiller all the way to the bottom. Centrifugal blowers direct air to chill food in approximately 90 mins., says Traulsen, without edge freezing or exterior ice formation. And you can adjust the product holding temperatures and chill endpoint to suit the individual characteristics of your products. Features include automatic alerts, both audible and visual, plus two onboard printers and NAFEM Data Protocol capabilities that allow you to monitor and record a variety of data. Four RBC models offer capacities of 50, 100, 200 and 400 lbs. *


The VBC-100 self-contained, reach-in blast chiller combines speed of processing with simplicity of operation.  Each model has an easy to use three-step control panel that is simple to operate and reduces training costs and errors. Each VBC-100 is capable of processing 100 lbs. of 160°F cooked product to a core temperature of 38°F in 90 mins. or less with proper containerization. Each chill cycle can be controlled by an electronic timer or three temperature probes, ensuring exact temperatures while saving energy.  At the end of the chill cycle the cabinet reverts to a storage refrigerator. *

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