That pork shoulder you’re thawing right now? It’s wasting water. According to the Frontier Energy Report, it takes 368 gallons of water to defrost five pounds of frozen meat. Any thoughtful chef is pained by the all too common sight of it: precious resources, literally flowing down the drain.
Restaurant waste is no secret. In addition to unused product, trimmings, and the uneaten remains of oversized portions, thousands of gallons of water are wasted every month by many of our establishments. And if the waste doesn’t sting, the water bill likely does.
Enter Boss Defrost, a patented water circulator designed to virtually eliminate water waste. The product, which was developed in Boulder and is currently being used in 16 states, is gaining popularity amongst businesses seeking savings and sustainability. Chris Starkus began using Boss Defrost—which circulates a fixed amount of water instead of letting it continuously run from faucet to sewer—while working as the chef at Urban Farmer in Denver. Starkus observed the convenience (the device is portable) as well as the water savings. In fact, he was so convinced by the technology and the company’s sustainable mission, he left the culinary world and became a partner and the chief sales officer for Boss Defrost.
Boss Defrost is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, making it a reliable alternative to the standard running water method mandated by health departments. Starkus says if the device is used five hours a day, seven days a week, a restaurant’s water savings will pay for the unit within a month. “This is a really great way to push sustainability and get everyone to subscribe to it,” he says.
Elan Wenzel, owner of Element Knife Company in Denver, met Starkus in 2018 and was inspired by Boss Defrost’s efficiency. Wenzel, formerly a chef at Sushi Sasa, believes in the technology enough to demo and sell the product at his shop. “Clean, usable water is going to be an issue in the future. Products like this in restaurants will really be amazing,” he affirms.
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