If you're opening your first restaurant, stocking the kitchen and the pantry can be a daunting task. It's hard to tell what you really need until you get started. One of the staples that you shouldn't overlook is dry ice. It is a versatile tool in a commercial kitchen, and one you should understand how to make the most of. Here's a look at a few of the reasons why you should be stocking dry ice.
Any time you combine carbon dioxide and water, you get a sparkling, bubbly, carbonated product. You can achieve this same goal using dry ice, because it is solid carbon dioxide. If you want to put your restaurant on the map as the place with homemade soda, this is the way to do it. Mix up a batch of your favorite soda base, then pour it into a large bottle until the bottle is about a third of the way full.
Drop in a pound or so of dry ice, then put the cap on the bottle. Let the dry ice dissolve, carbonating the beverage. It's important that you only fill the bottle partially, because pressure will build up in the bottle, much like what occurs with store-bought soda. Serve the mixture right away after the dry ice dissolves so that the dry ice doesn't freeze it.
Helps Preserve Food
Dry ice is a great tool for preserving food because it freezes things quickly. You can use it for flash-freezing in your kitchen by putting about a five or ten pounds of dry ice in the container for every 24 hours of freezing. Place the dry ice in the bottom of the container, then put the food on top of it in sealed storage containers.
Put a lid on the container holding everything, but don't seal it all the way. Allow everything to sit for a couple of hours first so that the dry ice completely converts to gas. That way, you don't build up pressure in the storage container. Once it has completely shifted to a gas, close the container tightly.
When the dry ice shifts to a gas form, it eliminates the oxygen in the container. This protects the stored food from bacteria and bugs.
Stopping the Natural Yeast Process
Any time you bake with yeast, the rising time is important for imparting air pockets and leavening. If you'd like to make your dough ahead and freeze it, you need to interrupt that yeast conversion process. You can do this quickly by surrounding it with dry ice. This lowers the dough temperature enough that it will stop the yeast from growing. That helps you to be able to wrap the dough and freeze it in the portions that you want. Let the dough rise the first time before you freeze it. Then, you can just thaw the bread out and follow the second rise instructions before baking as the recipe normally would.
With so many uses for dry ice in a commercial kitchen, it's no surprise that so many decide to stock it. Reach out to a local dry ice supplier like Chilly Willy & Cool Carl's Ice today about how to obtain and store dry ice in your new restaurant.