Do you improvise your own "cooling paddles"?
I've seen cooling paddles in the restaurant supply store. It seems like a really good idea for quickly cooling hot stock, but most of the ones I've seen are too large for my pots. So I'm wondering if anyone has improvised their own cooling paddles. I suppose small water bottles could be filled with water, frozen and plopped into the hot stock. Or a wide-mouth bottle could hold ice cubes, eliminating the need to freeze water.
I'm looking for inspiration -- any ideas? Thanks!
I make homemade soups quite often. I always put the hot soup pot in the kitchen sink, and run very cold water around the outside of the pot. I stir the soup every so often to help disperse the heat. At first, I was quite surprised at how hot the water in the sink became as the soup cooled. I lift the pot out of the water 2 or 3 times during the cooling process, and I empty and refill the sink with fresh cold water. When the pot and contents are as cold as possible, I put the entire pot and contents in the bottom of the fridge. First I put down a large cutting board that rests on the plastic "shelf frame" at the front and back of the bottom shelf of the fridge. I THINK/HOPE that the cutting board transfers some of the weight of the full pot on to the frame and therefor avoids having that great weight directly on the glass shelf. This is the only way that I have ever known and used to make my soups, and I've never had a problem in 35+ years.
I LOVE my homemade chicken or turkey and rice soup. When I don't have any in the freezer, I start to get nervous! It makes such a quick, easy and delicious supper when I don't feel like cooking. Thank heaven for soup!!
P.S. My biggest soup pot is 16 quarts and it fits fine in my sink and fridge!
Silly question, but I started wondering about this as folks talked about the 'quick cool-down' method for pressure cookers -- doesn't putting a filled scalding hot pot in the sink under cold water eventually put too much stress on the metal, with the instant/extreme temperature change? Or is this just something we should worry about with glass and similar materials?
Not all metals respond well to going from the stove to an ice bath so rapid cool paddles really are nice to have. You can buy 1/2 gallon rapi-cool which is quite nice and they hold up well to freezing/thawing. A lot easier than milk jugs for sure.
Cooling is critical if you are making cream soups or any thing with much of a starch content as it can hold heat in the center of the pot for a very long time. If you are still looking for an alternative Nalgene plastic canteens are nice and there's no cleaning the wrappers or glue off like water bottles.
The easiest improvisation for me is to freeze plastic water bottles but I am wary of putting plastic into my hot stock. So I put ice water in a stainless steel mixing bowl and drop that into my stock. The bowl stays afloat and the metal conducts the heat quickly. I just replace the ice water as needed. Sometimes globules of fat stick to the outside of the bowl and help with the fat skimming.
I keep a few Rubbermaid servin-saver containers of different sizes, filled with water, in the freezer for quick-cooling of soups and stews. Since they are suitable for microwave reheating, and made of food-safe plastic, they are good for this purpose. When finished, I just wash the exterior and return them to the freezer.
I have seen dollar stores sell a variant of cooling paddles for jugs of iced tea (so they are much smaller and narrower than the ones you find in the restaurant supply store. The one I saw was about 2 inches by 12 inches by 1 inch).
You still will have to freeze them prior to use.
I live in Canada and in the winter, I just plop my pot into the snowbank on my deck for rapid cooling.
I've used frozen gallon plastic jugs in my wine fermentation bins, so yes, you can do that on a more micro scale. The problems with this method are mess and displacement of the liquid.
Is there some reason a regular or brined icebath won't cool fast enough?
Here's another idea, if an icebath isn't in the cards: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Super-Eff... A copper one would be better, but I can't suffer another thread about toxicity, etc.
I don't have a convenient place to set up an icebath. I've tried it in my kitchen sink, but it's not efficient because of the height of the stock pot.
That wort chiller is impressive, but overkill for my purposes. Maybe frozen half-gallon milk containers is the best solution.