Vacuum tumblers: Better for prepared foods, better for budgets [w/ Infographic]

Marination isn’t just culinary – it’s a science. And when prepared food departments understand that and invest in the right tools behind the counter, they turn out a better product more efficiently.

High-capacity vacuum tumblers are the cornerstone of smarter, more flavorful marinades, not to mention more cost-effective and timely operations from staff. What are vacuum tumblers? What enhancements can investors expect from this equipment?

“Vacuum tumblers spin raw meat and other ingredients in an oxygen-free environment.”

How do vacuum tumblers work?
Vacuum tumblers operate in the same fashion as the drum of a washing machine would. Instead of water, laundry detergent and dirty socks splashing around, vacuum tumblers slowly spin raw meat, spices, sauces and other ingredients in an oxygen-free environment.

Why is this airless vacuum so important? Marinades soak deeply and more fully into vacuum tumbled meats than when applied through conventional seasoning or marinating methods. So, what does that mean for prepared foods and its mission to serve customers with quality, speed and affordability?

1. Maximized marinade materials
The absence of oxygen forces as much marinade into the meat as possible. Not only do the ingredients penetrate well below the surface, but with such high utilization users take advantage of every last drop of marinade. No ingredient goes to waste – it all goes right into flavor. Furthermore, businesses have the freedom to spend exactly what they need on marinade supplies, no more no less.

2. Shorter preparation time
Marination without a vacuum takes time, which means a more drawn-out planning period. However, prepared foods demand might alternate from day to day. If staff doesn’t have the resources to closely track customer demand, they may accidentally marinade too much too far in advance. Vacuum tumblers reduce marination time to as little as 10 minutes, so prepared foods departments turn out flavorful products in a fraction of the time, avoid wasting goods and optimize labor.

3. Higher water holding capacity
Meat is primarily water. If cooks don’t take this biological fact to heart when processing and preparing products for their customers, they can easily drain meats of their moisture. That impacts quality and yield. In the airless chamber of a vacuum tumbler, meat retains its water holding capacity – often referred to as WHC.

4. Tenderize and marinate at the same time
A study published in the Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences actually proved this to be true with pork chops. Continuous vacuum tumbling treatment “was more effective in increasing the pH, WHC, product yield and further improving the physical characteristics and sensory qualities of pork chops” than intermittent vacuum tumbling and conventional static marination. In the end, higher WHC means greater value on ingredient investment, higher profits and a juicier, better-looking and better-tasting product as well.

Like their name suggests, the barrels on vacuum tumblers rotate to ensure every piece of meat receives an even coating and a rich consistency. But did you know vacuum tumblers also tenderize meat during the marination process? Once again, vacuum tumblers prove they preserve the integrity of the product while cutting out time-intensive labor, giving prepared foods staff more time to devote to their happy customers.

5. Automated features
Vacuum tumbler operators can choose between different tumbling speeds and marination times. Apart from setup, the equipment requires no additional handling. Automation further frees prepared foods staff to attend to other important matters. With a vacuum tumbler in the kitchen, businesses can diversify their meal offerings easily without adding extra preparation into the mix.

An investment in vacuum tumblers supports all corners of prepared food processes, from production to customer service to the creation of delicious foods – and that’s no spin!


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