Monday, August 24, 2009

Block Ice Temperature -- Understanding the Importance

For quite some time we have discussed the various features of shaved ice and snow cone machines that use block ice. We have also discussed the economical benefits of using your own block ice maker or block ice molds if you have a busy location or multiple locations. If you use or are considering the use of block ice, it’s important to understand how to properly use ice blocks in your machine so that you create optimal products for your customers. The following information is from our “Cold Cash” business manual and discusses the importance of block ice temperature. Please feel free to contact us today for your FREE copyof our 105 page business manual that is full of great, helpful information!

For block shaved ice shavers, the temperature of your block ice can make or break your shaved ice business. Block ice that is too cold when shaved will not stick together. Ice that is too warm will create a clumpy mess. Either way, you will not get ideal results if your ice is not at the proper temperature when you get ready to use it.

To solve this problem you can “temper” or “warm up” your ice blocks in order to get the correct ice consistency. Tempering allows the ice to reach the ideal shaving temperature of 18 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. To temper your ice, simply remove an ice block from the freezer about 25 to 30 minutes before you need it for shaving. You can place your block ice in 5 gallon buckets or restaurant bus trays during the tempering process. Once the ice block begins to melt on the outside surfaces, simply place the block into chest type ice coolers (48 or 60 quart coolers works best) in order to maintain the temperature. This sweating or melting of the ice blocks will be your signal that that ice has reached the tempered stage. If for some reason your block ice gets too warm either during the tempering process or while in the coolers, the ice will become clumpy and will not hold flavor well. If this were to happen, simply place the ice back into the freezer and let it refreeze.

One tip that will help with tempering is to adjust the temperature of your block ice storage freezer so that it stays within a range of 18 to 20 degrees. Simply place a freezer thermometer inside your freezer to assist you in maintaining the proper temperature setting. Allow 24 hours to pass for each temperature adjustment before taking your readings.

Tempering ice will take some practice to get used to in the beginning. Depending on how busy your stand is, you will need to adjust how many ice blocks are tempered at any given time. You will also need to get a feel for how often you need to replenish your tempered blocks. Remember, if you temper too many blocks at once you can always refreeze them.

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