Pacojet - question for chefs out there
- fatboy44 Jun 15, 2006 10:16 AM
I am thinking of purchasing a Pacojet. I've seen a live demo at the Javits Center and was impressed. For sorbets it seems unequalled but I have my doubts about ice creams (no stabilizers etc.) The demo was fairly limited so here's my question. Is the Pacojet really as versatile as they say it is or has it the potential of becoming another gadget on my kitchen counter at $3400. Thanks for you input.
why would you WANT stabilizers in your ice cream???
The pacojet is an expensive tool which insures any idiot can make ice cream or sorbet. Granted, professional ice cream makers (really professional) are usually too large and too expensive to have much place in a home kitchen. The models you find at SurlTab. etc. make a mostly icy product.
I use natural stabilizers in my ice cream so that the ice cream does not melt as quick and doesn't crystallize when taken out of the freezer several times a night for service. My question should have been, is the pacojet a satisfactory machine for ice cream production. The answer seems to be NO so far. The Musso Lussino is a nice little work horse but you have to scoop your product out of the bowl (not so convenient). Maybe I should be looking for a table top batch freezer. If anyone can recommend one in the price range of the Paco I'd appreciate it. Thanks
I work at a fine restaurant in Woodbury, CT that uses the Pacojet for all their ice creams and sorbets. It works great. I love it. We keep a supply of frozen ice cream and sorbet in our freezers and spin them in the morning and they are ready to go for the dinner service. We have no problem keeping up with the inventory with 10 canisters full and ready to go.
Shrn57: I will be working at a new restaurant in CT which will be using a Paco Jet. Over the summer I have been playing with the Paco Jet, experimenting with different recipes, etc. The restaurant is due to open in a couple of weeks and I'm still not comfortable using the Paco Jet. Fat content, using bases, recipes not working, my head is spinning! I would appreciate any tips you could provide because it sounds like you have all the kinks worked out.
Overrated. The advantage to the pacojet is being able to make low sugar or savory IC/sorbet that would freeze too hard normally, but be able to serve them 'fresh spun' and soft. It is also good for other savory applications like making infused oils. (Oil, herbs, freeze, paco.)
Sorbet can still get icy, and re-spinning doesn't help as much as you'd like, because once it's been spun and fluffed up, you don't have the solid mass to get the fine shave on, so the ice crystals don't really get much smaller.
I hated it for ice cream, because I like to make very rich fatty ice cream, which tended to get overspun and get little buttery bits. A fellow pasty chef showed me how to make ice cream appropriate for the paco, by using mostly milk and very little cream and adding invert sugar to keep it soft. Great, but I'd rather just have a machine that was designed for ice cream, not a glorified blender. I ended up getting a Musso Lussino that is great for ice cream, decent for sorbets - the key with sorbets seems to be to spin them longer. That machine is only $600.
If you're set on the paco, though, check out JBPrince.com, they have a machine (Frixair reconstitutor???) that looks very similar and I think is less than 2 grand.
re: babette feasts
I know this is.... A really old post. But for anyone resurfacing it for information here you go
At the end of service or at home. You remelt your ice cream or sorbet bases and freeze them over night again for the next day to respin them back to perfect consistency. Obviously remelting removes all air and frozen crystals. The blades shave the ice crystals more finely than any traditional method of spinning frozen things.
For fattier bases that get 'over spun'. Meaning you're introducing too much air in to the mixture. During the spinning process you press the red button that is the pressure release. This will allow built up air as it spins to be removed from the canister to prevent this. Not a known method but it does what you need it to do. Simply put. The paco her surpasses many other ice cream machines not because of just what it does, but because of mobility and storage as well. It's roughly the size of a mr coffee with a grinder on top. However, home use? I think would be a little silly and expensive. This is a time saver and a space saver in professional kitchens.
Benefits of a pacojet: if you work in a very small kitchen with a very low volume of frozen dessert preparations, the pacojet is good because sorbet can be made to order, so little waste and bases can be prepped and kept in the freezer well ahead of time.
Drawbacks: it is LOUD! This sucks because professional kitchens are noisy enough, and using the paco will disrupt all communication while it is in use--tragic in a professional kitchen. It is a pain in the butt to clean if you use it frequently during service. You will need freezer space to hold the metal canisters. I have never seen a lid made for those things, so you'll have to cover it with 2 sheets of plastic wrap (1 for contact, 1 for top). Labeling the canisters is a pain, especially if you will be prepping multiple bases.
So depending on your specific needs, I would really not recommend one. You can play around with it and come up with all sorts of things, but if you just want an ice cream maker, get an ice cream maker. I cannot recommend a professional model, but at home I have a Krups and the KitchenAid attachment. I'm happy with both.
Good luck finding what you are looking for!
I use a Cuisinart, which cost me under $100. It makes great ice cream. One Christmas for dessert I made orange ice cream (among other things :); it was the best I have had, even better than the stuff made by a local Italian specialty ice cream shop. Served in a super-crisp bowl-shaped tuile, it was fabulous. To make it I used the recipe book that came with the machine.
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