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Apr 5, 2007 04:15 PM

Cooling stocks quickly

When I was in hotel school, the kitchens had these big (anywhere from 12 - 30" long) hard plastic molds that got filled with water, frozen, then plunged into hot stocks and soups to rapidly cool them down without diluting with melted ice. Has anyone else seen these and if so, what are they called, who makes them, and most importantly, where might I buy one?

Thank you for any help!

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  1. I've never seen those, but do you think you could use freezer packs? The ones made of gel that you stick in the freezer? I'd probably seal them in a Ziploc to make sure it didn't leak.

    Along those lines, you could also double bag ice cubes and plunge those in.

    I usually stick my pot in the sink and surround it with ice. Very quickly, it becomes ice water, which is a better conductor than just ice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: leanneabe

      I use the second idea here which has two benefits: one, the cooling; two, if there's fat in the stock, it adheres to the bag when you pull it out.

      The third idea is excellent as well.

    2. I've seen the hint of using liter soda bottles. Fill with water, freeze, and you have your molds.

      1. Use an ice water bath. It's going to be as or more effective than anything you throw into that stock. It has the exact same effect. Just in your case the cold is coming from an object suspended in the liquid rather than from the outside of the bowl.

        Frankly, I think the ice water bath would likely be more effective, since you get a really big surface area of the stock/bowl touching the very cold object.

        When I do stock - and it's usually ends up being about 1.5 gallons after straining. I immediately put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with lots of ice and just enough water to give it movement. With periodic stirring, it's plenty cold for the fridge within about 15-20 minutes.

        Plus, the major benefit is you don't put anything in your stock, which has the potential to break or transfer some plastic-y scent depending on what you end up using.

        1. they're usually called "san jamars" after the manufacturer, san jamar, the same way we call cambros. . . cambros. you can order them or buy them from a restaurant supply.
          here ya go

          incidentally while the bag/bottle ideas are good in a pinch, the grade of plastic is not made for hot-food contact, & you could end up with nasty, invisible chem leaching if the soup is too hot-- that's why restaurants can't use these items to cool food.

          1. Alton Brown suggested freezing bottles of water and using those. I'm not sure about plastics in hot broth (melting, possibly) but if it were a little cooler maybe.