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soup explosion....what happened?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

i have an old(50 years+ i think) cecilware combo soup and bread warmer. basically it's a square metal box with two bains for tureens, a hooded bread warmer pan, bottom warming drawer. it is electric. i have made every soup imaginable and unimaginable over the past 20 years without any problem. the process is the same each night....heat the soup, put in the tureens, place the tureens in the soup warmer. last night's soup was a tomato basil bisque. within 20 minutes of the soup being in the warmer...kaboom!  the soup exploded all over the soup station... cups, saucers, bowls, spoons, the warmer itself and the wall. what a mess!  it's like the soup belched from somewhere deep below in it's belly....what happened?

the only other time this has happened was last year with the same soup...tomato basil bisque...

anyone know? a guess? a suggestion

customers love this soup but unless i can figure out what went wrong, i'm not willing to take the chance that this will happen again as it's not worth the headache or the clean up

thanks all or any,

joey

also, if anyone reading this post who is not a 'pro' and hence cannot answer here, but has an opinion, answer or guess i would greatly appriciate it if you pm me...thanks


Edited by durangojo - 9/8/12 at 10:20am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #2 of 12

IDK about the soup, but was opening a can of tomato sauce and the second that the can was breached the same thing happened.

Is the lid really tightly fitted to the tureen?

Only thing I can up with is maybe the tomato base (acidic) is emitting a gas and building pressure under the lid.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

the lid has a slot for a ladle...not 'batten down the hatches' tight, but good enough i think. i have put in other tomato based soups with no problem....pesto is the only big difference, but can't seem to understand what that would do...obviously something does happen though

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #4 of 12

How hot was the soup when it went into the bain marie? I can't fathom how that would happen, it's obviously around 140* when it's in the soup warmer, strange.

post #5 of 12

Did you see the explosion? Or did someone make a mess and make up a story? I dont understand how it could happen.

post #6 of 12

Are you sure water did not boil out of warmer or it was empty when started? This would cause the whole unit to explode including the electric heating element or coil. Another question did you bring soup to a boil or simmer prior to puttin in warmer or did you put it in from fridge as I have seen some people do?

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 #7 of 12

Only thing's i can think of are to stir it and keep it at a lower temperature keeps any pressure from building up.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks all...i believe the problem was that the temperature setting on the soup warmer was way too high....of course and as usual, the waitstaff didn't know anything about it!!

@chefed....it is an old electric warmer...no water.   i bring the soup to just below a boil then simmer it

@squirrel...the soup was hot

@xerp....i walked in just after it happened.....as i said the mess was over the ENTIRE station and the wall and the ceiling as well....it really was like a huge belch!

still haven't gotten all of it off the ceiling...i had a cake explode in the oven a while back...i mean actually explode...splain that one to me!

thanks again all for taking the time.

joey


Edited by durangojo - 9/10/12 at 3:36pm

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #9 of 12

Odd that it would happen twice withh only that particular soup.

Someone likes their tomato extra hot and cranks the dial?

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

yes, it is strange that it only happened with that particular soup....as an aside, on both occasions it was the same waitress, but i ain't going there hoss!

joey

 stranger still is that when i owned 'joey's' at the ski resort, the tomao basil bisque was on the menu and it never happened once in 5 years.....now, splain that!

at first i thought perhaps it was a symptom that the temp control switch was shot, but since it's only that one soup it doesn't make much sense...go figure...

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #11 of 12

I am only guessing but I would imagine the culprit would be the pesto. The oil congeals in large globules overnight in the walk in. The next day as heat catches up to them the trapped gasses look to escape and they succeed with dramatic effect. You might try heating the soup a bit and then reblending to break down and disperse any large globules before bringing up to final temp. But as I stated at the outset, this is pure conjecture on my part and the secretary will disavow any knowledge of my existence.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

cheflayne,

yes i agree, the only culprit aside from operator error left is the the pesto, but i do not make the soup ahead, so as i make it that day(okay, there are only 3 ingredients) if you don't count all that goes into the pesto itself...tomato juice, heavy cream and pesto, my routine is i heat but do not boil the tomato juice and cream together, whisking all the while..once heated to where there is steam coming up from the pot and it's just starting to bubble up at the edges i let it go a bit further almost to a boil then turn the heat down, and reduce it a bit... once in a while i whisk it, then when reduced i add the pesto....whisk, whisk and whisk some more to reblend as you say and distribute the pesto throughout and to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.....slow and low heat til it's hot and 'together'....more whisking and blending...the soup is just fine when it leaves the stove and is put into the tureens...there is nothing on the bottom of the pot either...as i said before, i made this soup daily the same way at 'joey's for 5 years without any incident ...i'm wondering now if the pesto separates in the warmer somehow then explodes...hmmmm...interesting guess.........thanks

joey

walk in?


Edited by durangojo - 9/10/12 at 8:47pm

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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