Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
chefadamg

Paco Jet or ice cream maker ?

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone:

Looking for opinions on a Pacojet. I work as a private chef (for a couple in NYC) I'm in the market for a high end counter top ice cream maker...then I thought "how about a pacojet"?? Does the Pacojet work for ice cream? (I'm assuming it doesn't)

The other question I have w/ regards to the Pacojet, is it easy to use for large parties? i.e. if I have a dinner party of 20, can I easily turn out a sorbet course?

I have a feeling the best choice would be, to have both a high end ice cream maker AND a Pacojet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the restaurants I've worked we had both and generally used both for ice cream and sorbets (spin in ice cream machine, freeze in paco containers, and respin in paco at service for texture). That said, if I were only getting one I would pass on the paco, especially if you need to do larger batches and may not have access to a very cold freezer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any direct experience with a pacojet myself, but I have spoken to cooks in other restaurants who use one. From what I've read/heard that understand I've come to have is that the major difference between it and a regular ice cream maker is that the technology allows for a major change in ingredient proportions.

For example, if you go to their website you'll see them advertise about making pineapple sorbet with just pineapple. Supposedly, all you have to do is cut up the pineapple, freeze it for atleast 24 hours at -20 F and then "pacojet" at which point it is ready to serve or go into storage into a slightly warmer (-10F) freezer until one is ready to serve.

According to their website, high-speed (2000rpm) razor sharp blades shave a layer off the material in a frozen state, producing a very "creamy, finely textured end product". It does indeed work for ice cream, supposedly very well. But the recipes are not the same, if you look at some of the sample recipes they call for much less cream or fat than normal ice cream. At one restaurant I know of where they have a pacojet they use only a plain creme anglaise base, supposedly if they use extra cream the ice cream ends up with a too thin consistency after "pacojetting".

There is a lot of info online, I suggest you google pacojet and browse. If you do end up getting one I would love to hear about your experiences with it! We might get one sometime nextyear and I am really excited about it. It sounds like such a phenonmenal product that would be tons of fun to play around with.

Oh and I wouldn't imagine you'd have any trouble serving a party of 20, it takes only 20 seconds to pacojet a 700g portion of frozen base that is then ready to serve, you would need only to prep in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a paco jet, and love it. It gives you far more flexibility than an ice cream maker. Assuming you have freezer space to keep several containers, your options grow. For example, if you keep some vanilla base frozen, you can make strawberry ice cream by simply throwing in some fresh strawberries on top of the frozen base, and process. Instant strawberry ice cream. I've frozen snickers in a chocolate base with great results... the options are rather limitless, and it's always on hand if you tend to your frozen supply of base.

You can also use the paco jet for other things. For example, I pack a container with peeled horseradish root, and top off with a vinegar solution. Any time I want some ground horseradish, I just process one serving. I have another container with caramelized onions. I just process a serving to make a "butter" I can spread on bruschette, or add to a soup in enhance the flavor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We added a Paco early in the summer to complement our Taylor 104 batch freezer. We ended up using the Taylor mainly for cream-based product, and the Paco mainly for fruit-based sorbet.

The advantage of the Paco is its great flexibility. You can make sorbets, ice creams, sauce bases, all sorts of stuff. We bought 16 extra beakers, so we could offer a wider variety of flavors. Each one holds about a litre; typically we made up a two-beaker batch which would give us about 20 x 2oz portions. Three beakers would certainly provide enough and then some for the 20 guest dinner you described.

One downside is that you have to plan in advance because it's critical that you freeze the beakers for 24 hours to ensure that the mass is consistently frozen. I like the idea of having a custard base already frozen to which you could throw in fruit - et voila, instant glace. Not sure that technique would work with a sugar syrup for sorbets though.

We like our Paco well enough, but it hasn't been paying off for us. Most people prefer "real" ice cream hand dipped from our display freezer. So I'm not sure we'll keep the Pacojet. In our environment it has to pay its way or else we'll sell it off. C'est la guerre.

But bottom line on your question though, is that yes, with a good supply of beakers, a decent freezer and planning ahead, a Pacojet would be a great addition to your kitchen.

Cheers,

Steve


Steve Smith

Glacier Country

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if your budget is tight you could easily go for both, there is a pacojet "copycat" system called frixair made by nemox. nemox produces icecreammakers from tiny ones for 30$ up to double cylinder with a 6,4 litre capacity for 2500 euros. their frixair system is great just like the pacojet, and costs only 1600 euros. i know a small artisanal ice producer who uses their icemakers and is totally happy with it...

Nemox Dealer

cheers

t.


Edited by schneich (log)

toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Frix-Air is available in the U.S. from J. B. Prince. I was wondering whether it was really comparable to the Paco Jet. I'd love to hear from someone who has worked with both.

Also, is there a small freezer (suitable for home use) that gets cold enough to prep the ingredients? The Paco Jet site says you need a freezer that goes to -20°C (-4°F). Do regular domestic freezers get that cold?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, is there a small freezer (suitable for home use) that gets cold enough to prep the ingredients? The Paco Jet site says you need a freezer that goes to -20°C (-4°F). Do regular domestic freezers get that cold?

We bought a small Haier dual-zone chest freezer from walmart.com for about $200 plus shipping. The upper compartment will hold about a dozen Paco beakers. And it certainly gets cold enough. We have two digital probe freezer thermometers continuosly reading the inside temp. One hangs in the air, the other is frozen into a cup of water. This way we get a good accurate temp. It took a couple of weeks of fooling around, but we were able to set the Haier to operate in the -3F to -9F range very consistently.

Cheers,

Steve


Steve Smith

Glacier Country

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info on the dual-zone freezer, Steve.

I've done some more snooping around and found a PDF Brochure on the frix-air. It appears to operate on the same principal as the Pacojet, with one interesting difference:

The silicone packing seals the container while a pump supplies air at a pressure of about 2 bar.
I wonder how noisy it is, having a compressor in addition to the cutting blade motor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...