I own a bakery and we make a ping pong ball sized product that is currently hand dipped in chocolate using, ahem, a spoon. As our volumes (about 2,000 per 8 hour shift) have outpaced this antiquated method we are about to invest in enrobing equipment but really need your expert advice. I am using a couverture chocolate so tempering is not necessary. I simply need to get a nice, even coat on a round product.
I've thought about the Hilliards Compact enrober but want to get ideas on used equipment as well. I'm trying to avoid a cooling tunnel due to costs, hoping that a six to eight foot belt at the end of the enrober will give me enough cooling time at room temp to move these to a tray.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks for the help!!
When you say you are using couverture so you don't need to temper - do you mean you are using compound chocolate?
Round things are a little harder to enrobe on an enrobing line due to the shape. If you are using chocolate that doesn't require tempering - then I expect a cooling tunnel is less necessary.
Thanks for replying Kerry. You are correct, it is compound chocolate.
Thanks Ruth. Yes, it is compound chocolate. I thought an enrober might not work well with a round product, but perhaps a "shaker" attachment might make it work.
Did you ever solve your enrobing a round product issue?
I too have this situation, my product is smaller than a golf ball but bigger than a malt ball, and am thinking of attempting the panning process.
Please let me know what you came up with.
Panning is an interesting concept, put would only work if the center is really solid. It wouldn't work on a ganache center for example.
What kind of center do you want to coat?
It's a round shaped pretzel product.
Thanks for your input.
The panning machine I looked at cost $16,000 which is crazy out of our reach - are enrobers less expensive and/or more readily available second hand?
If it's pretzel like - it should be able to be panned. Suspect you can put together something for panning for less than $16,000 unless you want a nice one with built in heating and cooling like the Selmi panner.
You can certainly get panning machines for a lot less than $16K. However, they do require a good deal of skill to learn to use well. (Hint #1 - you do NOT use tempered chocolate when panning). If you don't want to learn, or don't have the time to learn, a system like the Selmi Comfit is basically automatic. However, you do pay for it.
Enrobing does sound like it could work, but one thing to look for is that the enrober has a "bottomer" feature. This is when the carry chain goes below the level of the chocolate for a brief period to ensure that the bottom gets coated, not just the top.
In the Selmi line the smallest machine that accepts an enrobing belt is the Plus, and the combination is well over $20k, last I checked. FBM's smallest continuous temperer/enrober combination is about €10K Euros (~$13,500) after TheChocolateLife member discount. You may be able to find a batch/wheel combination for less.
Otherwise, a used machine may be your best bet.