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help? cooking and cooling large volumes of stock

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I will be opening a restaurant that requires approximately 200 gallons of beef and chicken stock to be created on a daily basis.  The stock will be frozen for future bulk use (serving to customers). 

 

I have been told that the applicaiton of steam kettles would be a better alternative than the originnal 20 18" ranges + 20 120qt stock pots that I was originally going to use.  However, I have no experience with the use of steam kettles and the production of stock in them.

 

A few questions.

 

How does steam kettle stock compare to stock pot stock in terms of flavor and clarity? I believe steam kettles would do a better job given the inherent mechanisms to control temperature. Do the steam kettles allow (or require) the skimming of surface scum in order to preserve clarity in the stock?

 

To adhere to safety standards, how might I go about cooling 200 gallons of stock from 190F to 40F within the 4 hour window as required?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

post #2 of 21

200 gallons daily and then you will freeze it?  Steam jacketed kettles are fine.  One place I worked we had I think an 80 gallon with a lid and spigot.  There was no loss in quality as far as I could tell.

post #3 of 21

Steam kettles are just big stationary pots . If you get them with a spigot on the bottom, it will pay for itself in labour---but you will need a floor drain and water faucets/hoses when you install the kettles.

 

For rapid cooling you will need extara sinks or portable sinks--these are just sinks on wheels with a drain.  Place your hot stock in containers and in the sink, fill up with ice water and insert an ice wand or frozen milk jugs filled water in the stock.  Stir every 10 m ins or so, and within 30 mins it will be cool enough to safely put in the coolers.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies! 

 

A couple follow up questions if possibe. 

 

1.  Will I still need to skim the scum off the top of the stock?

 

2. Are there specific containers you would recommend to transfer the stock into the ice bath.  Would transferring the stock directly into food-grade 5 gallon buckets and then into the ice bath work or would the plastic not conduct the chill very well?  Would I need to transfer into individual stockpots in the ice bath?

 

Many thanks.

post #5 of 21

Also one way I used to cool stock. waas to take stock id previously forzen and skimed and id that to hot stock. Didnt delute the taste, and cooled very fast.

post #6 of 21

I'm confused!

 

If you're making 200 gallons of stock daily, I would presume you are serving 200 gallons of stock daily, correct?

 

If so, WHY are you freezing any stock?

 

If you are NOT serving 200 gallons of stock daily, why are you making 200 gallons daily and freezing it?

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

The intent is to cook the stock at a food processing facility and then ship it to "storefronts" that will simply reheat the stock and add it to noodles.  I would imagine that frozen stock would be more easily and safely transported than hot stock. 

 

Also, to the extent possible, if daily consumption were 200 gallons, I would like to produce more than 200 gallons of stock at any given time to have plenty in reserve so that potentially daily batches do not need to be produced and I could save on labor costs. 

 

This of course is the intent, but any suggestions/comments/opinions are welcome.

post #8 of 21

NOTE: Not a pro, yes I know the rules...

 

In Jacques Pepin's memoir The Apprentice, he discusses opening Le Potagerie, a soup operation in Manhattan. He ran into the problem of cooling and storing very large quantities of stocks, and he solved it with ice. I recommend reading his explanation.

post #9 of 21

Yes, always skim the scum off.  This is dead protien and fat.  Dead protein does nothing for you.  Fat is a thief, it robs flavour.

 

Doesn;t matter what size or material of container you use.  Just make sure it has a solid handle and is small enough for one person to safely lift in and out.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 21

Somehow I feel like this is more complicated and expensive than it should be.  If you are serving noodles do you really need stock or is broth sufficient?  If you have multiple stores why can't each store do their own small batch?  The equipment cost to run a central commissary will set you back a few hundred grand.

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for all the responses.

 

Chris - I will seek out and read that memoir.

 

Foodpump - agreed.

 

Kuan - I use stock/broth terms interchangeably although I know the two are different (although in my understanding broth is the more complex of the two).  Rent prices in the areas which I target for storefronts are extremely high, so it seems to be more cost effective to have a central kitchen.  Furthermore, the central kitchen ensures quality control and consistency from location to location.  Each satellite location can also be much smaller in sq footage and thus easier to find locations, and I don't have to worry about hiring a "cook" for each location.

 

At least, those are my thoughts...

post #12 of 21

Mahi03,

 

A couple of thoughts for you to "mull over":

 

  • "Stock" is what, 99% water? Ok, maybe not that much but have you considered reducing (condensing) your stock(s) so you are not paying to transport so much water?
  • "Freezing" takes energy, both to initially freeze AND to store. If you reduce (condense) your stock(s) before freezing, you can reduce these energy costs as well as transportation costs.
  • Besides the cost of blast freezing equipment at the commissary, you will need freezers at each store front. Not only more capital cost but monthly energy cost as well.
  • Have you considered using commercial bases like those at http://www.bonewerksculinarte.com/ , http://www.unileverfoodsolutions.us/products/categories/1687-4573.basesbouillons_knorr_dry_bases.html,  or http://www.soupbase.com/? This would save commissary space, blast freezer equipment, reduce freezer requirements at the storefronts, drastically reduce transportation requirements, improve ability to adjust to varying demands, and adapt to changing menus.
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #13 of 21

Those are good points for a central kitchen.

 

You don't need freezers in sattelite sites if you have daily or bi-weekly  deliveries.  Stock can be delivered frozen and allowed to thaw and sit in the fridge for up to 4 days no problem.  This only works if you have guaranteed deliveries, though.

 

Technical description for "broth" is fully seasoned liquid, ready to consume.  Can be anything from salted water to a complex meat/vegetable liquid.  Stock is exactly what it's name implies, a liquid to be converted to something else in the future, and for this reason it is not seasoned as it might be reduced in volume.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #14 of 21

If you need 200 gallons a day, then why freeze it. Use your production on  a daily basis and you will save a lot of space and energy. Your talking here

25600 ounces of stock a day or enough to produce 4666  6 ounce soups per day. You could compete with Campbells or Heinz. Your only option is the use of custom made kettles. and chillers like they use. To bring hat much stock temp. down you will need nitro coil chillers, which are costly. A simple restaurant cannot handle the volume and production you are planning. You need a commissary type operation which will feed other facilities. If you do open a commissary type place, consider doing more things besides stock to feed other locations. Keep in mind a commissary is also used to insure consistency, or to make sure all places serve  quality items..everyday,every time.


Edited by chefedb - 9/10/10 at 4:22am

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Pete - Thank you for those thoughts.  I had not thought of condensing the stock, but will experiment in doing so.  I have been deliberating on the commercial base issue, but I've found that most commercial bases that I've tried, at least for me, have not yielded the same clear stock as a direct simmer from the bones. 

 

If I drain 4 gallons of 150F stock directly into food grade 5 gallon buckets, and use a cold paddle for each bucket, I may be able to bring the stock quickly down to below room temperature, and then safely into the walk-in freezer. 

 

Ed - The restaurant concept is a noodle house serving only noodle soup.  Each serving is approximately 1 quart of broth.  I hope to move about 300 servings a day per location.  To the extent that I can not produce a stock daily, I could theoretically use the energy costs to save on labor. 

 

The commissary is indeed intended to insure consistency and quality control, which has proven very difficult even as I cook myself with producing consistent broth one day to the next, despite exact measurements in lbs. of bones, mirepoix, etc.  I am scared to think of the nightmare of consistency control dealing with different cooks at a myriad of locations.

 

To the extent possible, please keep any comments coming, I have found all your responses very helpful!

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 

Also, to clarify.  The thought process behind utilizing the central kitchen is primarily for the following reasons:

 

1.  Quality and consistency control from satellite location to location

2.  If possible, not having to produce stock on a daily basis

3.  The ability to scale more quickly and easily if demand calls for it

4.  Not having to find such large locations for each additional restaurant front.

 

I am treating this much as a bakery would (I believe).

 

Given the above, I would need to transport the broth (I'm still waiting to hear back from the health department on requirements for this), thus the need to cool the broth and store it in a frozen state to both increase shelf life and ensure the food quality of the stock does not diminish significantly.  Hope this helps!

post #17 of 21

You could just get a commercial noodle soup base.  Unfortunately they all contain noticeable MSG.  :(

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

Kuan - yes that was an issue.  Also in the bases that I did test, I was unable to produce as clear a stock as I would have liked from the powder bases.  Perhaps doubling the bones/salt/sugar/mirepoix will allow me to develop a concentrated version and would be a decent alternative.

post #19 of 21

Try these guys.  The also do customized product.

 

http://www.eatemfoods.com/

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Kuan,

 

I've left a message with them.  Will let you know how it works out.

post #21 of 21
Back in the olden days when Oldschool, Pump and I were cavorting with the dinosaurs, we never heard of an ice paddle, so in a stock we'd use only as much water as necessary, and then if it was intended for a soup, we'd add the remainder of the water in the form of ice. Which is why I always wonder about stock reductions. Things like wine you have to reduce, but stock? Why'd you put so much water in it in the first place, I always wonder. Anyway, the steam kettle should work fine, but be very careful with it. Especially when lifting a closed lid as a lot of steam builds up and the ones I have worked with for some reason have no lid vents you can open to release steam. I used to stick the stirring paddle across the top so the lid couldn't close all the way. Even still, one of the worst burns I ever had came from lifting a lid and reaching over right away to stir. Now I am wondering (very strange idea here) as steam kettles cost a lot, if you couldn't use a broaster (pressure fryer) using water instead of oil to make stock. I have used a pressure cooker to make stock for soup at home, but never in a restaurant. It cuts back on the time and really seems to extract the flavor from the bones. I've heard of people using a deep fryer full of water to cook pasta and I kind of think a broaster might work good for stock. Anybody out there ever try this?
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