Using bread proofing cabinet as melter?
Greetings chocolate community,
I have been searching for info about using a bread proofing cabinet for a chocolate melter. Are any of you doing this? I have been pricing them out and they are considerably less than an official chocolate heating cabinet, but I would love to know if they work as well. I can turn off the humidity feature on the proofer and would be able to hold the chocolate at 115 degrees F, so I am not sure if the chocolate specific machines go much lower than this? I am thinking I will have to take the pans out of the cabinet and add them to the temperer to bring the temperature down.
There’s no reason why it won’t. What I would do is use a controller with two temperature probes. Put one in the chocolate to measure its temperature and another to measure the ambient temperature. You can set the two to optimize melt time and reduce overall energy consumption
thanks for that info Clay
We are now considering just building our own enclosed insulated box and putting a thermostat and heater in it with a fan. I am using hotel pans with lids and will use a stainless shelf to set those on. I think it should do the trick.
At one of the spectrum is the Brod Folding Proofer for about $150. I would use this for small amounts of chocolate for decoration. It may take a while to dial in the exact temperature (measure the chocolate temperature and adjust the proofer temperature to get exactly the temp you need).
Many proofing cabinets are plumbed to the water supply in the space. Do not plumb the cabinet and make sure the humidity feature is turned off. Easy.
Again, measure the temperature of the chocolate (probe thermometer) and adjust the temperature of the cabinet to get the exact temperature you need. 115F/45C is a good temperature to ensure all of the crystals are melted out.
Another quick tip is to use small hotel pans (e.g., 1/3 or 1/4 at 4″ deep) and fill them with the exact amount of chocolate you want to add to your tempering machine or whatever you plan to do with the chocolate. This makes it easy to add the exact amount of chocolate each time. Buy covers for the pans, too.
Depending on how much chocolate you need to use, you can buy an under-counter proofer and put a work surface and/or a machine on top of it. This is a great solution for when space is at a premium.
You want to make sure the proofer you are purchasing can be set to a temperature between about 86F/30C and 125F/50C. The actual temperature you use will depend on what kind of tempering technique/machine you are using. In a batch machine you want to use 115F/45C. In a continuous tempering machine the temperature will be between (about halfway between) the heating temp and the cooling temp. If you have a very precise cabinet you can use a very low temperature and melt the chocolate without taking it out of temper in the first place.