Ever wonder how restaurants can freeze and chill food without ruining its taste and texture? The secret is a blast chiller—a specialized device that can bring down the temperature of an item in minutes, not hours, for the best preservation.
Unless you’re a professional chef, however, you probably haven’t used one. That’s a shame, because blast chillers not only help to keep food fresh—they can also get your warm beer cold in a flash, and hold delicate items like bread dough ready for baking.
Well, a commercial refrigeration company has a new at-home blast chiller that’s designed especially for home cooks, and we think this little device just might be the next big thing for foodies.
The Life W30 countertop blast chiller from ColdLine is about the same size as a microwave oven, and can bring food down from room temperature to -22ºF in just two hours. Freezing food quickly and holding it at an extremely low temperature means there’s less of a risk of freezer burn, so you can store it for up to six months without any issues.
In addition, a blast chiller lets you rapidly chill room-temperature and hot foods like soup for safe storage in the fridge, bring a warm six-pack of beer down to 37ºF in 30 minutes, thaw frozen items safely, proof bread, and make yogurt. (See why we love the idea of having one at home?)
Since most home cooks have no idea how to use a blast chiller, the Life W30 includes an easy-to-use touchscreen that guides users through the various programs available. So, if you’ve just made bread dough but don’t want to bake it until right before a dinner party, you can tell the W30 when you want it to be ready, and the chiller will adjust the temperature automatically.
As a companion for a standalone freezer, a blast chiller is also a great bet for anyone who hunts or fishes, or who buys food in bulk.
The bad news? Currently, the W30 is only available in Italy and Australia, and plans for further export don’t yet include the U.S. Also, it sells for around $2,700—which is a lot of money to spend for the promise of cold beer.
But if the microwave oven and sous vide immersion circulator are any guide, kitchen technologies tend to drop in price as soon as they get popular. The Life W30 might never make it to the U.S., but we wouldn’t be surprised if, by 2019, similar devices were flying off the shelves at Williams-Sonoma.