NSF Approved 30-45 lb Chocolate Melter for under $1500?

sagekai
@sagekai
02/12/15 09:01:55PM
5 posts

Hi, and thanks in advance for any wisdom you can share!

I'm currently using a Chocovision Revolation 3Z and I'm looking to get a chocolate melter to melt enough chocolate for an additional batch overnight so I can be more productive... Unfortunately the Chocovision and Mol d'Art melters aren't NSF certified, which I need it to be so I can use it in a commercial kitchen.  And the Savage Bros smallest unit is well out of my price range at over $4500.  Does anyone know of an NSF approved chocolate melter for under $1500 that can handle 30-45 lbs of chocolate?

Thanks so much!


updated by @sagekai: 06/07/15 03:02:34PM
Clay Gordon
@clay
02/13/15 12:00:42PM
1,680 posts

sagekai:Hi, and thanks in advance for any wisdom you can share! I'm currently using a Chocovision Revolation 3Z and I'm looking to get a chocolate melter to melt enough chocolate for an additional batch overnight so I can be more productive... Unfortunately the Chocovision and Mol d'Art melters aren't NSF certified, which I need it to be so I can use it in a commercial kitchen.  And the Savage Bros smallest unit is well out of my price range at over $4500.  Does anyone know of an NSF approved chocolate melter for under $1500 that can handle 30-45 lbs of chocolate? Thanks so much!

 

Try an NSF-certified buffet warmer that does not require water. Use NSF-certified hotel pans to hold the chocolate. The buffet warmer should holds 8" deep hotel pans but only put 4" or 6" deep pans in it as you do NOT want the pans to touch the bottom as the temperature controllers tend to be not very sophisticated and if the bottom of the pan is touching the inside bottom of the warmer it can scorch the chocolate. Rather than using full-size pans, use third-size pans to make transferring chocolate easy. (You can also put in a new pan of chocolate when you take out a melted one during the day.) Make sure to cover the pans with lids overnight. You could also put an upside-down sheet pan over the top overnight to make it more efficient. 

 

Total cost, under $250 depending on the buffet warmer you get. Much less, if you already have the hotel pans and lids.

 

If you want to make sure that you don't scorch the chocolate  and get it to melt faster -- get a temperature controller and affix the sensor to the inside bottom of the warmer. Set the temp for ~140F (~60C). You can now set the temperature controller on the front of the buffet warmer to a much higher temperature knowing that the temperature controller will keep it from getting hot enough to scorch the chocolate - the external controller will cut the power if it gets too hot. When it cools down the power will come back on. After a little tweaking you can find the front panel setting that gives you the most efficient cycle.

 

Controllers that will do this are under $100.

 

--- edited to fix typos and grammar ---




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/

updated by @clay: 02/13/15 12:03:30PM
sagekai
@sagekai
02/13/15 10:43:45PM
5 posts

Clay, thank you so much for the awesome response!  I'm especially stoked about the major potential for cost savings- I'm at an early stage in the business where everything is going super well but every dollar counts! :) Time to start hunting down a buffet warmer, hotel pans, lids and a temperature controler!

 

Thanks again!

Clay Gordon
@clay
02/15/15 04:32:54PM
1,680 posts

I don't know where you are located (update your profile to include your country code!). Here in the US I just go online and look at restaurant supply web sites. (This is NOT an endorsement of this particular site - just an example search to show you what you are looking for.) You can get all the pieces you need at any one of them. But, price shop three or four because prices can vary widely.

When searching online search for " shop restaurant countertop food warmer " if you search for " buffet warmer " you will get a bunch of hits on things that won't do what you need.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
sagekai
@sagekai
02/18/15 11:37:30PM
5 posts

Thanks for helping me with the search Clay! I would be hopelessly lost without you!

I thought I hit the gold mine today when I found this warmer with a built-in thermometer (though I would still probably need several of them with 4" deep pans to melt the 30 lbs of chocolate that would be going into the Revolation 3Z)
http://www.webstaurantstore.com/12-x-20-electric-food-warmer-with-thermostat-120v-1200w/324TAH1HFSS.html

But then I spoke with someone from webstaurantstore and he said that ALL the food warmers they sell require water...

Any thoughts on this or where I might look for one that does not require water as you recommended?

Thank you!

mda@umgdirectresponse.com
@michael-arnovitz
02/19/15 05:02:13PM
59 posts

I think Clay's idea will probably give you the most bang for the buck. And that's especially true for smaller amounts of chocolate. But if you are concerned about the issue of water, you might also want to think about a used proofing box. For $1500 (your upper limit) you can actually get a new one, but if you're willing to look around a bit I'm sure you can find a used one for half that price without a lot of effort. Just go to a local restaurant supply outlet and ask - they'll hook you up.

Just make sure you get one with separate temperature and humidity controls and then don't use any water. In a full-sized proof box you could load in a bunch of hotel pans full of chocolate at night and by the morning they should all be melted. So not only would this work for you now, but your needs would have to grow fairly substantially before you outgrew the box. And of course no inspector is ever going to give you grief over a proofing box since they're standard equipment in so many kitchens.

 

sagekai
@sagekai
02/20/15 07:18:39PM
5 posts

Thank you for this idea of the proof box Michael! This seems like the ultimate situation both in terms of bang for your buck and ability to accomodate growth in production size (business is off to a great start so far, so this will come in handy!)  I'm a total novice in the food production business, though, so just want to make sure you're referring to an item like this one right? --http://www.webstaurantstore.com/win-holt-nhpl-1836-heater-proofer-mobile-cabinet-clear-door-120v/962NHPL1836.html

mda@umgdirectresponse.com
@michael-arnovitz
02/20/15 09:26:05PM
59 posts

Yep, that's the guy. And in fact the one you linked to actually looks pretty good. It's NSF certified, so no inspection problems ever. It has separate proof & heat functions, and the heat mode goes up to 185, which is more than you would even need. It's on wheels so it can be moved around. And it looks like it would hold at least 6-8 large hotel pans full of chocolate, so you're good there. In fact by the time you come even close to needing to melt that much chocolate, you'll probably be ready for that Savage anyway!  

And of course as an added bonus it IS a proofer, so there's no reason not to whip up a batch of chocolate croissants every now and again…

Clay Gordon
@clay
02/21/15 04:45:52PM
1,680 posts

The proofing box is a great recommendation. I mentioned the tabletop warmers because of the quantity of chocolate involved. These can be used to keep a lot more melted chocolate on hand and I know that some people use them to warm molds as well.

If you have a used restaurant equipment store nearby you can sometimes find these for significantly less than new. Keep in mind that they also make half-size cabinets.

But, and FWIW, the customer service agent at WebRestaurantStore was wrong when s/he said that all of the warmers they sell require water. Here is one that doesn't. Oh, and a 6x18x26in pan (full-size) should hold ~40 liters. That's way more than 30kg given the density of chocolate is greater than water.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
sagekai
@sagekai
03/01/15 11:45:00AM
5 posts

This is fantastic! I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate your advice on this.  I'm going to go for the proofing cabinet for the ability to pre-melt several batches and have the built in temperature control... also being able to prep several batches one on top of the other will be helpful to conserve space in a small kitchen :) 

 

Thanks again Michael and Clay!

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