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danielle_j

Scaling Caramel for Ice Cream -- Equipment Suggestions??

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Hello and Happy Holidays!  I own an ice cream company and am looking for some information about equipment to use for scaling large batches of caramel.  Right now, we cook sugar over electric heat in an approx. 6 qt. stainless steel pot.  Once the caramel is at the correct color and temp (more on that below), we add our dairy to the hot mixture.  Obviously, this is not a viable option for producing large batches.

 

I'm familiar with confectionary equipment from Savage, but don't have the budget for an automated piece.  Does anyone have experience with using just one of their copper or stainless steel kettles over a regular sized burner on electric heat? We've tried to use a single larger flat bottom pot sitting in the middle of all 4 burners on the stove to make a large batch of caramel, but it doesn't heat evenly.  I'm wondering if the rounded bottom of the kettle helps the entire pot cook evenly -- would we be able to set the kettle right on the burner; or, have to use it in a double boiler setting?

 

Additionally, any recommendations for thermometers that work well with caramel would be welcomed.  We've used digital probes and candy thermometers, but on numerous occasions, the color and smell of the caramel that we associate with "doneness" is a dramatically different temperature for each batch.

 

I came across a similar post on this topic from 2016, but aside from a recommendation for a large piece of equipment from Savage, there wasn't any other feedback.  Hoping to get some good input that will bridge the gap between extremely small batches and mass production.

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12 minutes ago, danielle_j said:

We've tried to use a single larger flat bottom pot sitting in the middle of all 4 burners on the stove to make a large batch of caramel, but it doesn't heat evenly.  I'm wondering if the rounded bottom of the kettle helps the entire pot cook evenly -- would we be able to set the kettle right on the burner; or, have to use it in a double boiler setting?

 

I've found that you really do need to match your pot size to your heat source with caramel, as cold spots can crystallize so maybe taller rather than wider is better. 

 

And I don't think a double boiler would get hot enough to cook the sugar to caramelization temps.

 

good luck!

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54 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

 

 

 

And I don't think a double boiler would get hot enough to cook the sugar to caramelization temps.

 

 

 

You are right, caramelization starts to happen after the water is boiled-off and the temp can rise above 100C.

 

@danielle_j You might try doing a large pan placed in a big  hotel pan filled with oil. The cooking pan could be elevated a bit off the bottom so oil could circulate and provide more  even heating. But temp control might be tough unless you could find a hotel pan that would heat by induction.


Edited by gfweb (log)

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You need to use direct heat. Round bottom copper pots are the best used with the correct heat source. There is no water to boil off. You are melting the sugar at about 300F. You don't need a thermometer as you go by color. You should be able to get a used Savage furnace reasonably.

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7 hours ago, gfweb said:

That looks a lot like a turkey frier . Perhaps not rated for indoor use

 

I, too was thinking a turkey fryer burner or wok burner would be much less expensive.  I also found one for home-brewing designed to boil lots of liquid quickly that looked more stable than some of the others.  You could probably use it indoors under an adequate hood.

 

But for now, I'd just get a bigger pot.  Something like this - Is a triple batch enough for now?  http://a.co/03NmrKd


Edited by pastrygirl sloppiness (log)
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