Let's start with the basics. What is the cook-chill process?
Cook-chill is a common cooking practice that combines two important elements and methods into a single, useful combination. It's pretty simple, really, and it allows Canadian commercial kitchens to be more flexible.
The technique first involves a full cooking process, which is followed up by rapid chilling and storage at fine-tuned, controlled temperatures. Essentially, you take a cooked product from either an oven or a kettle, depending on the product, and send it straight to either a blast chiller or a cold water bath to chill to 3°C before starting it.
The next question is, why?
By cooking your products and then rapidly chilling them to a specific, cold state within HACCP guidelines, you increase the capacity to preserve freshness and quality while maintaining optimal sanitary conditions.
This ultimately saves labor by allowing for better usage of staff and by allowing the cook-chill process to serve as a step in prep. By building up inventory of pre-cooked foods with extended shelf lives, less time is required during busy rushes, and food waste will fall. With cook-chill, the real question is not how much food can you cook, it's how much can you chill?
What does the cook-chill process look like in a Canadian kitchen?
Cook-chill can take on a variety of forms using a whole range of cooking and cooling equipment.
We’ll walk you through some of the basic considerations and direct you to the solution that makes the most sense for your goals and objectives.