Anti-Griddle Alternative for the Culinary Arts and Molecular Gastronomy
The Anti-Griddle, trademarked and manufactured by PolyScience, has long been the go-to cold plate in the Culinary Arts and Molecular Gastronomy fields. While popular and trusted in the industry, it does have several limitations that only the new Arctic Griddle addresses, opening new possibilities in the field.
In the rolled ice cream business, the machines used to freeze and roll the ice cream are frequently referred to as anti-griddles (generic term), after the famous cold plate. However, the trademarked Anti-Griddle product makes a very poor platform for making ice cream rolls. Why is this? The Anti-Griddle product is limited in four ways:
- relatively small working cold plate area
- does not have raised edges to keep liquids within the cold pan area
- it has a fixed temperature of -34 deg C
- lack of a defrost option
While most people who have purchased the Anti-Griddle have not been looking to make rolled ice cream, it does beg the question, how do these constraints impact users and what could be accomplished with a unit that did not have these limitations?
Small Working Area
The Anti-Griddle has a rectangular dimensional working area of 14.5 x 9.4 inches, or 136 square inches. This then sets the limit for the maximum size of any decorative pieces that you might want to try to produce. Likewise, this also limits the total number of other frozen desserts, appetizers, and garnishes that you can produce at any one time.
The Arctic Griddle has a 20-inch round pan surface. This translates to maximum area of 314 square inches of working area, more than twice the maximum working area of the Anti-Griddle. As a result, you can create larger pieces, or twice as many smaller pieces, or some of both. With the Arctic Griddle you have enough working area to freeze large decorative pieces while at the same time as making more smaller functional pieces.
Lack of Raised Edge Pan Shape
The cold area of the Anti-Griddle is simply a straight sheet of stainless steel. If you were to pour a significant amount of liquid quickly onto the cold portion of the Anti-Griddle, most of it would run all over and down the unit before it could freeze, creating a large mess. It could even get into the uncovered vent openings, possibly damaging the unit.
In order to keep liquids in place on the Anti-Griddle surface they must be poured slowly, so that they have time to freeze in place and keep from running. This however takes time and can slow down production. This is one reason why rolled ice cream on an Anti-Griddle is not practical.
The pan shape of the Arctic Griddle keeps any and all liquids poured on the surface within the cold region. As a result, liquid can be poured faster without the fear of runoff. Any spills will be contained and can easily be cleaned up. Should any liquid be poured outside the pan area, the louvered openings (designed to NSF standards) on the front and back of the unit will prevent any of the spill from entering the unit and potentially damaging it.
Rolled ice cream isn’t the only thing made possible by the pan shape and the ability to pour large quantities of liquid. Large decorative frozen water pieces can be made with a unique shattered glass look. Similarly, you can make shattered glass ice chips out of just about any beverage, including coffees, sodas, juices, and energy drinks. Try spicing up your next dessert with some Monster energy drink pieces.
Fixed Temperature of -34 deg C
With a fixed setpoint of -34 deg C, the temperature of the Anti-Griddle is too cold for rolled ice cream. The ice cream would be nearly impossible to remove from the surface of the unit. Typically, the temperature used for ice cream rolls is around -20 deg C. Even using a release agent such as olive oil on the surface of the unit may not be enough to make the rolling process possible.
The adjustable temperature of the Arctic Griddle gives it the advantage of being able to roll various products. With an adjustable temperature, one can set the temperature to the optimal setpoint where the product just freezes but not to the point that it becomes overly brittle and stuck to the pan. While ice cream rolls are always a possibility, it is the more inventive uses of rolling that are of interest, such as rolled frozen decorative chocolate pieces or frozen purees. While some creations are too brittle and not suitable for rolling, there is usually more than one way to modify the liquid base to better support rolling.
With the Anti-Griddle, the featured claim is that you can make creations with frozen outsides and liquid insides. By having a fixed temperature at -34 C, this is the pretty much the only thing you can do. Alternatively, the Arctic Griddle’s variable temperature gives one the ability to cool and freeze at different rates. Controlling the freezing rate allows one to control the crystal size and the overall texture. This capability opens endless possibilities for different textures and creations.
No Defrost Option
Because of the fixed low temperature of -34 deg C and a lack of a defrost option, removing some items from the Anti-Griddle’s pan surface can be challenge. The recommended solution offered by the manufacturer is to use oil as a release agent. However, it needs to be reapplied frequently and is less than an ideal solution to the problem.
The Arctic Griddle offers two solutions to release issues. First, a defrost option is present which can quickly raise the temperature of the pan’s surface. A few seconds with the defrost on is all it takes to be able to remove the item from the pan, and yet, it is a short enough period of time to not melt the product being removed. The second option is the adjustable temperature of the pan itself. By adjusting the temperature of the pan to the optimal setpoint, the pieces being frozen can be removed much easier. For example, rolled ice cream can be removed rather easily at a temperature of -20 deg C, but just a few degrees colder and it can become almost impossible.
The Arctic Griddle’s defrost option opens yet another new possibility. By using the defrost, the pan’s temperature quickly rises. If left on long enough this can be used to melt or partially melt the bottom side of the product currently being frozen. Using this method, a unique layered texture product can be envisioned. The partial melting can also be in decorative shattered glass pieces to alter the appearance and clarity.
While the Anti-Griddle has long served the industry, there is now a superior new alternative in the Arctic Griddle. The Arctic Griddle is capable of everything the Anti-Griddle can do while opening additional opportunities. With the Arctic Griddle you can do larger decorative pieces or more appetizers, garnishes, and desserts. It also opens up inventive and creative ideas using the adjustable temperature and defrost capabilities. What you can do with an Arctic Griddle is only limited by your imagination.