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Old 04-28-2006, 09:58 AM   #41
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Something else to think about is the sheer mass or bulk of the food item that is being cooled. Foods that have to pass through the "Danger Zone" need to do so in the quickest possible manner. One of the reasons why I use the ice bath in conjunction with the ice stick is that I make a LOT of stock in one batch, around two gallons. The larger "mass" of food that you have, takes longer to cool down. I'm making about the limit of stock that I can safely handle with home equipment. If I were to make more stock than that, I would split it down into two separate pots and chill both of those.

A common thing that is taught to cooks who attend a class at the health department is that all large quantities of food need to be broken down into smaller batches for faster cooling. A 4 gal batch of soup, left in the a stock pot, placed in the walkin-refrigerator, and left unstirred, could take 48 HOURS to cool down.

Surface area is also a big thing. Restaurants use an "ice wand", a commerically-available plastic container that you fill with water, freeze, and stick that into the hot liquid to cool. This container, in cross-section, is X-shaped. This allows more surface area to transfer temperatures.

The idea about using several 1 qt bottles is an excellent one, because it also increases the surface area of the hot liquid that's in contact with the cold surface.

I use a cake rack in my sink to allow water to circulate under the pot, so that the entire bottom and the sides are exposed to the cold liquid.

Restaurants are supposed to slice large roasts into 2" thick slices before cooling, to ensure rapid cool-down.

I try to cool my stock down as rapidly as possible, "just in case". I know that my stock is going to be frozen, and stored frozen until I'm ready to use it, but I'd rather not take any chances. Sometimes, I make so much stock, that I literally cannot freeze it all in one batch, so the stock sits in my fridge for a day or two until I get it all frozen. If I hadn't chilled the stock in an ice-batch, that 24 - 48 hours in the fridge could mean the stock spoils before I freeze it.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:07 AM   #42
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Great info Allen.

There was a thread not too long ago about someone who had a bad tasting stock using the same recipe as always but in a much bigger batch. After a number of us kicked the possibilities around for a while, we got to the truth. The stock tasted bad because the batch was too large and took too long to cool, allowing bacterial growth to ruin the entire batch.

It takes more than great ingredients.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:11 AM   #43
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well, looks like breezy and I and maybe charlieD will be eating together...the rest o you, make sure you wear your face masks and rubber gloves. (oh, and
bring your lysol)

One reason I use real copper in my kitchen is that it heats up and cools down Quckly, responding almost twice as fast as commercial grade aluminum, and even faster than tri ply clad or iron. It does make the cooling down process easier.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:25 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
well, looks like breezy and I and maybe charlieD will be eating together...the rest o you, make sure you wear your face masks and rubber gloves. (oh, and
bring your lysol)

One reason I use real copper in my kitchen is that it heats up and cools down Quckly, responding almost twice as fast as commercial grade aluminum, and even faster than tri ply clad or iron. It does make the cooling down process easier.
We'll make sure to get our shots before we come over to your house for dinner!

Amazon had a Calphalon copper 2 1/2 qt saucepan for 29.99 the other day, btw.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:28 AM   #45
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When I see copper cookware at low prices, either on Amazon or in places like Marshall's or Home Goods, I wonder how thick the copper layer is and whether it's thick enough to make a difference.

I have no idea how thick a copper layer has to be to be effective in cookware. I do know I have no interest in polishing copper.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:50 AM   #46
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I know there are rules and regulations, but there is also practical everyday use thing. My pots are 5 and 8 quarts, unless I use the big ones and those are 16 quarts. So if I make the soup and leave it on the stove overnight (letís talk for a second what we mean by overnight. For me it is turn of at 11 pm or so, and till morning, around 5 am or so) and put in the fridge in the morning most of the time it is still very warm.
Now every time I make soup everybody promises to me to eat it. When it comes to it, I am the only one who does, so I end up eating the same soup for a week or so. In the restaurant, it would have been discarded long ago. In many homes too. Me, I don't really care, I can it same thing day in and day out, as long as it tastes good.
There are many factors that affect bacteria building. For example, whenever I take a pot out to cook I put some water into it and boil for few minutes covered, kind of to sterilize it, and only then start cooking.
So, yes, there rules, but there is also common sense.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:57 AM   #47
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P.S. If you are cooking big pot of soup, like I do, in practice, no home is equipped to cool it down fast enough according to regulations used in commercial food processing.
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:53 AM   #48
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Charlie, you are a lucky man because what you are doing is dangerous. That pot of soup is spending far too much time in the danger zone.

Every home is equipped to cool down a huge vat of stock safely. As explained in other posts, you must split the hot liquid up into smaller containers and cool it that way. Use the sink, use ice packs. It's very simple.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:43 PM   #49
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Appreciate the Replies

I just want to thank everyone for the discussion, I have learned much from this thread and hope that others will as well. I did not risk it, I tossed it, as much as I would have wanted to keep it. It sat out over night and all the next day, so that tells me all kinds of stuff was breeding in that container!!!!
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:47 AM   #50
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You did the right thing. "Overnight" vs. "Overnight & all the next day" are 2 different scenarios. Like I said, I've left mine out overnight, but "overnight" was more along the lines of 8-9 hours tops.
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