Food Preparation for Preservation & Storage aboard the Joyful of Aspen

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Food Preparation for Preservation & Storage aboard the Joyful of Aspen

I recently had the pleasure of spending a day in the newly finished demonstration kitchens at Sydney Commercial Kitchen. Joining me on the day was Anne Posner and one of her friends. The reason we were there was to prepare their food supplies for the upcoming leg of their round the world sailing trip. This next stage was to take the Posner’s up the east coast of Australia and across to Darwin, a trip that would take up to one month to complete.

Joyful at Bora Bora

Boat Name: Joyful, out of Aspen, Colorado, USA
Owners: Jeff & Anne Posner
Boat Make: Wauquiez 40

Joyful at Bora Bora

Jeff & Anne beside the Joyful

The food inventory for that day was 40 pieces of beef fillet, 40 salmon fillets 3kg of hamburger mince and 2kg of both turkey & pastrami. The brief was simple cook to medium all the proteins and get them completely frozen so that they can be stored in the onboard chest freezer.

The freezing part was particularly important due to the fact that the onboard freezer could only maintain a frozen temperature and is not strong enough to actually freeze anything on its own. The cooked to medium part was also important I soon learnt because if the freezer did fail and everything thawed a medium piece of meat would last longer than a raw piece of meat in case of there being no means of cooking and that may come in handy if your stranded on the high seas.

Being a chef it is normally against my religion to cook anything over medium rare but I could let it slide just this once.

We were supposed to start work at 9-9.30 but as luck would have it there was a delay collecting the produce and the ladies didn’t arrive until 11.30am and there was a 5pm deadline!

While the food was being prepped for cooking, I quickly placed some brown rice in a 100mm deep gastronorm pan, seasoned it with salt, then covered it with water and a drop of oil (to stop the rice sticking together) and placed it inside the UNOX XEVC-0711-EPR ChefTop Mind Maps PLUS Series 7 Tray Electric Combi Oven. Using only the steam function the rice cooked beautifully with an adaptation of the absorbtion method (still the best way to cook rice).

Image shows the UNOX XEVC-0711-E1R ChefTop Mind Maps ONE Series 7 Tray Electric Combi Oven, UNOX ChefTop XEVHC-HC11 Hood with Steam Condensor and an IRINOX EF 20.1 Multi Fresh 20 Kg Blast Chiller Shock Freezer


We next fired up the 300mm Griddle plate on the Waldorf RN8403G for sealing all the Salmon fillets in small batches on a high heat to get good caramelisation and colour. By this time the rice had finished cooking and it was transferred into the Irinox on blast chilling mode.

Then we transferred the salmon on to trays ready to load up one of the most faithful members of any kitchen, the combi oven. Using the temperature probe function of the UNOX XEVC-0711-EP we then picked one of the larger pieces of salmon and set the combi to 60°C on a temperature of 160°C, and sure enough when the alarm sounded and we took out the salmon the first piece we checked was beautifully medium.

While the salmon was been cooking I turned on the Friginox SBFMX30ATS Blast Chiller/Freezer and after a little bit of prodding of the touch screen interface (which was quite user friendly) prepped it for use by running a cooling cycle so that it would be ready to go when the salmon had reached their desired internal temperature. The touch pad was easy to use and had a lot of variable setting, ranging from 3°C degrees right down to minus 40°C that would come in handy for a lot of different uses. We took the salmon straight from the oven and placed the trays in the blast freezer and setting it to -18°C I inserted the built in probe into one of the centre pieces of Salmon and commenced the quick freeze cycle. Due to the salmon being only 150g per portion it only took a little over 2 hours until the Salmon was frozen solid!

We repeated this system for the beef fillets, however this time using the our CONVOTHERM C4GSD-610C easyDial 7 Tray Gas Combi Oven, which came out a beautiful medium and the hamburger mince that had now been rolled into balls for later use in a pasta sauce aboard the boat.

Includes CONVOTHERM C4GSD-610C easyDial 7 Tray Gas Combi Oven & a Friginox SBFMX30ATS Blast Chiller/Freezer

UNOX XEVC-0711-E1R ChefTop Mind Maps ONE Series 7 Tray Electric Combi Oven, UNOX ChefTop XEVHC-HC11 Hood with Steam Condensor and an IRINOX EF 20.1 Multi Fresh 20 Kg Blast Chiller Shock Freezer

Due to the Friginox being full of salmon I got to play again with the Irinox EF20.1 Multi Fresh. If anything, the Irinox was even more user friendly with only 2 settings to choose from chilled or frozen as opposed to the Friginox’s variable settings. Again I chose the freeze setting and inserted the probe into one of the larger beef fillets, pressed go and the Irinox went to work.

I found the Irinox worked just as fast and in a little over 2 and a half hours the beef fillets were also frozen hard.

While the proteins were in the blast freezers we brought out the Orved VM315 Vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealers are so much fun to use and they serve a very important role in preserving food in any kitchen. The unit we were using was the VM315 and after setting the amount of vacuum required and the correct seal for the bags we were using we set about portioning the Turkey and Pastrami for lunches on board the boat. We laid the cold cuts flat and with silicone paper between each layer and then inserted them into small 14 x 22 mm bags which were the perfect size for this purpose. We were able to fit 2 bags in across the sealing bar and each cycle took around 35 seconds to complete and in a short time we were done. The bags of turkey and pastrami were laid flat evenly on Gastro pans and with just enough room in one of the blast chillers we managed to put them in to freeze.

Rice, pastrami and turkey portions
Image shows the portions of rice, pastrami and turkey

The last job for us now was to remove the frozen Salmon, Beef and Meat balls and portion them up for storage in the boats deep freeze, a production line was established and while the VM315 got a good work out, all the food was frozen and bagged in good time.

Steak portion with pan juices included

Cooked salmon portion
Salmon portion

Cooked salmon portion
All the salmon portions, frozen and ready to go sailing

Food mission complete, a feat that would have normally taken days without the use of advanced kitchen equipment was squeezed into 5 hours! The real mission was yet to come.

Hopefully Jeff & Anne are enjoying their restaurant quality food as well as the trip up the Australian coastline.

Sydney Commercial Kitchens wishes you both safe travels.

Article By Brett Nipper

Come along to UNOX Combi Oven Demonstration


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