Rolf Caviezel on Pacotizing

Pacotizing is a booming kitchen technology in which fresh ingredients are frozen together with the appropriate liquid "en bloc".  The Pacojet then shaves off the number of portions desired from the frozen food block in micro-thin increments, creating an ultra-fine mousse.

Molecular chef Rolf Caviezel, who has been using the Pacojet for years, shares his experience.

Anyone who attends cooking school today is familiar with the Pacojet, launched in 1992.  For this reason, I will only touch briefly on its functions.  You place meat, fish, fruit, herbs or vegetables into the sealable 1 Litre pacotizing beaker, add any additional ingredients, top up with a liquid, and freeze at -22° / -8° F C for at least 24 hours.  If you need some of the frozen preparation for your meal, simply place the beaker in the Pacojet, choose the quantity required and press "Start".  The precision blades of the Pacojet will then mill micro-thin layers with a positive pressure of 1.2 bar at 2000 rpm, creating an ultra-fine consistency.  The remaining beaker contents (that are still at least - 12° C / 11° F) can be placed back in the freezer.  In this way the beaker contents may be "repacotized" many times with no loss in quality.

Caviezel on pacotizing

Unbelievably intensive flavours

In my opinion, the biggest advantage lies in the taste.  Pacotizing intensifies the natural flavours of fresh vegetables, ripe fruit and select herbs, whereby the frozen storage in the pacotizing beaker guarantees long-term freshness and intense flavours.  The shaving off of such thin increments actually processes the foods on a molecular level.  The taste surface is expanded, strengthening the potency of the original flavours.  It is also important to note that foods generally don't need to be cooked in advance, but rather can be placed raw directly into the Pacojet.  Thus not only are the original flavours preserved, but also the harvest fresh colours and, of course, the vitamins. The Pacojet also produces an incredibly smooth texture, which is ideal for further processing.

Save time, use top-quality produce

With the Pacojet, I have been able to organize my kitchen to streamline workflows, save costs and working time and get the most out of my foods.  At a quiet time in the kitchen you can prepare fillings for the pacotizing beakers, such as strawberries that you just purchased in season at a low price.  If I suddenly need a concentrate, the Pacojet will produce it in seconds.  I rarely have any more "leftovers", if, for example, I make highly-flavourful creations out of tasty herb stalks in the Pacojet.

Amortizes quickly

It is well-known that the Pacojet was originally developed to make homemade ice creams. This is how I was introduced to it, and other chefs also start by using it this way. But one constantly comes up with new ideas, making completely new types of soups, pâtés or terrines as an appetizer, fine sorbets to neutralize the palate as an intermediate course, or fish and meat dishes refined with homemade, flavour-intensive sauces, oils and marinades.  For dessert, in addition to ice cream and sorbet, one can make light-as-air mousses. In a nutshell: with the Pacojet I can add a personal touch to my kitchen, differentiate my restaurant from others and increase the value of my business.  And all without a major expenditure – with your own ideas and knowhow, and most importantly, without using any taboo convenience products.  If you set this goal for yourself and choose this path, then you will typically amortize the Pacojet in less than a year.  The Pacojet is also an extremely valuable tool in hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centres – anywhere patients with chewing and swallowing problems are treated. Thanks to the Pacojet, you can also prepare special treats to make life a little "sweeter".

Highly recommended: the Pacojet 2

Since last year, the Pacojet 2 has also been available, making my work even easier and allowing me even more creative licence. The completely new color display with touchscreen has made the operation much simpler. Other improved functions include the selectable air pressure mode with automatic ventilation during the pacotizing process. I can program the processing quantity – with or without air pressure – with even greater accuracy in both whole and decimal portions.  If you erroneously overfill a pacotizing beaker, the machine will correct it automatically with an intelligent “rescue function”, so that you can still process the entire frozen beaker contents.  The newly-developed motor is practically wear-free and comes with a five-year warranty, which makes me happy as a heavy user.  And because the new Pacojet is substantially quieter, it is even more suitable for open kitchens.

Also for non-frozen foods

The optional Coupe Set for the processing of fresh, non-frozen foods rounds out the Pacojet's range of applications. It consists of two cutters for rough or fine applications, a whipping disk for liquids and cutter tongs.  With the Coupe Set I can mince and chop herbs and farces without generating heat, and mix and whip liquids.  I also find the automatic, one-minute touchscreen cleaning process very useful.  And it's great that I can still use all of the accessories from the previous model with the Pacojet 2.  Starting off with the Pacojet is easy.  The Pacojet website has recipes and Pacojet's Facebook page and Twitter foster a worldwide exchange of experiences.  There are comprehensive Pacojet cookbooks on the market.  I also give courses on behalf of Pacojet for beginners and experts.  Here you will find not only tips on usage, but also ideas, inspiration and recipes to make everyday cooking even more delicious.  The next course dates are September 29 and October 27, 2014 (in German). I recommend you register early.

Rolf Caviezel, on behalf of Pacojet AG, Zug