Blast Chiller vs. Freezer: What's the Difference?

what is a blast freezer

When working in the food and beverage and hospitality industries, you'll need to work with various chilling and freezing equipment. Whether you're storing goods for shipment or for selling directly to consumers, you'll want to make sure you aren't confusing one type of equipment for another. Two pieces of equipment that are often confused are blast chillers and blast freezers. When it comes to the great debate between blast chiller vs. freezer, it's important to understand that they are two vastly different pieces of equipment. 

Blast Chiller vs. Freezer: Is There Really a Difference Between the Two?

There is no debate between what a blast chiller is vs. a freezer for those who are new to the industry because they both "make things cold." However, for those who have many years in either the food and beverage industry or within the hospitality industry, you know that a blast chiller and a blast freezer are two very different pieces of equipment. 

What is a Blast Chiller?

Blast chillers are pieces of equipment used to quickly lower the temperature of foods and sometimes are even used to quickly chill a drink for serving. Depending on the size of the unit, it may include multiple shelves so that the user may place several sheet pans for cooling between steps. 

Bakers often utilize blast chillers while making various pastries and baked goods that require multiple steps for completion. For instance, if your making cookies that require frosting, you need to ensure the cookies cool substantially before you can put your icing on; otherwise, it will likely melt right off. 

What is a Blast Freezer?

Now, a blast freezer is a completely different piece of equipment. Commercial blast freezers are a must-have for almost any restaurant setting because they allow you to freeze your goods for storage right away. 

Blast freezers differ from standard freezers in that a standard freezer usually takes approximately two to six hours to freeze your product all the way through. However, a blast freezer can freeze something completely through within 30 minutes. 

Those working with different types of foods and that buy products, such as meat, in bulk typically utilize a blast freezer to help them preserve the quality of the meats they plan to freeze for later use. 

Blast Chiller vs. Freezer

How to Choose Between a Blast Chiller and Blast Freezer

When it comes time to choose between a blast chiller vs. freezer requires you to ask yourself some very important questions, including:

  • What are your chilling/freezing needs? 
  • Do you primarily need the ability to cool quickly or freeze quickly?
  • What is your ideal chilling speed?
  • What is your available budget?
  • Could you benefit from both units?
  • Do you have the floor space for one or both units? 

If you're working with a very limited budget, then you'll likely need to choose which type of chiller will suit your needs the most. However, many establishments find that having at least one of each has many benefits. 

Blast Chiller vs. Freezer: Why You'll Want to Consider Both

Believe it or not, those in the food and beverage industry, as well as the hospitality industry, invest in both a blast chiller and a blast freezer when feasible. That's because they can be used in tandem by many in the industry to help speed up goods production. 

Say, for example, you have to make an ice cream cake for a customer. You may need to use a blast chiller to cool your cake down before you can place your freshly made ice cream on or within it. You may then need to place the final product in the blast freezer to preserve its quality until the client can come and pick it up.  

Why Choose a Blast Chiller

If your primary need is for a device that can quickly cool something to help speed up your product production, you'll want to invest in a blast chiller to help keep things cool enough to keep your production process moving quickly. 

For instance, if you're working in the bakery industry, you may need a blast chiller to help you put together freshly iced cookies or add a fresh fruit compote to your already chilled cake. Instead of having to wait for the freshly baked cookie or compote to cool down, you can place them within the blast chiller to cool them down quickly so you can go ahead and add the room temperature icing to the cookie without it melting or add the compote to your pastry without making it too hot and soggy. 

Once your baked goods are ready to go, you can store them appropriately. 

Why Choose a Blast Freezer

Now, while a blast chiller is great for on-the-go production, a blast freezer is ideal for those looking for a device that can help you preserve the integrity and quality of your goods once they are complete. 

Blast freezers are an excellent tool for those who choose to prepare large batches of food and then need to freeze it quickly to preserve the dish's integrity. They are also excellent for those looking to preserve foods that can deteriorate rather quickly, such as freshly baked bread.

Another excellent use of a blast freezer is for flash freezing fresh meats to keep bacteria at bay. While many butchers ensure that their meats are delivered as fresh as possible, those who need to preserve the meat for later use or those who need to ship it to customers will want to freeze the meat as soon as is possible to not only ensure it stays as fresh as possible, but to preserve all nutrients, and keep all bacteria and viruses at bay. 

Blast Chiller vs. Freezer: Which Will You Choose?

Choosing between a blast chiller vs. freezer doesn't have to be a complicated process. Once you know what your current needs are, as well as your available budget, you can make an informed decision on whether to get one or the other or even invest in both. While many businesses do opt to have one of each if possible, it's not uncommon to see brands choosing the one that suits their needs the most.