For the last day of our amazing homeschool group (a liberal arts-based family academy, aka a “liber family school”) we got to enjoy ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. My thanks to one of the moms, Jani, whose idea this is! She brought the tank of liquid nitrogen and supervised the making of it. Each family pitched in about $4 to pay for the ingredients and liquid nitrogen. We got to watch ice cream made in 5 minutes flat! I’ve included the pics from when we made it. It was so yummy and creamy and wonderful to see the liquid ingredients thicken and freeze in 5 min. There’s no need for ice or rock salt. Jani brought her Bosch mixer to mix the cream while the liquid nitrogen was being poured over the top of the ingredients but you can also just use an old-fashioned spoon and a bowl. I was just reading in a book on family traditions about how the Victorians had a traditional “School’s Out, Summer’s In” ice cream party every year at the beginning of summer vacation. So this was our de facto School’s Out, Summer’s In party. Who knew that we were carrying on a Victorian tradition?
The main advantages to making ice cream this way are:
1. Better texture, and therefore taste
2. Super fast
3. More entertaining as you see the “smoke,” or nitrogen gas
4. You also get a science lesson as kids ask how the nitrogen gas makes the liquid ingredients freeze
The main disadvantages are:
- You have to first find and buy a container to hold the liquid nitrogen
- Then you have to find a place to buy the liquid nitrogen and then pay for it. The article referenced at the bottom explains how to do that. Jani told me that her family bought the liquid nitrogen tank off of craigslist.
This video explains why liquid nitrogen ice cream has a better texture.
Then here’s a video on how to make it.
Here is a link to Steve Spangler’s web site with his instructions on how to make it. The photo below shows what Jani’s nitrogen tank looks like.