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How Does Liquid Nitrogen Work with Ice Cream?

Updated: Feb 13

Liquid nitrogen ice cream is a trendy alternative to conventionally prepared ice cream. Its creamier texture and novelty make it a popular option for DIY ice cream makers, gourmet shops, and foodies looking for something special. Both small-batch ice cream aficionados and restaurants that want to make this popular dessert can do so with the right supply of liquid nitrogen, the tools to prepare it, and some exciting recipes to catch people's attention. At The Cryo Group, we provide our clients with concierge cryogenic services, whether you want a steady supply of nitrogen or a system to produce it yourself. Learn more about how you can use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream.

What Is Liquid Nitrogen? How does it work with Ice Cream?

Nitrogen naturally exists as a gas on Earth. At ambient room temperatures, nitrogen atoms stay a gas, and they often pair up to form N2, a nitrogen molecule. But scientists and manufacturers can transform gaseous nitrogen into liquid nitrogen by exposing it to extremely low temperatures or otherwise making it condense into a light, colorless liquid. The fluid is inert and flavorless, but its cooling effect means it can instantly freeze—or at least rapidly chill—almost anything it touches.

What Is Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream?

While liquid nitrogen was first used in scientific experiments and industrial research, many businesses have now implemented its use in the production of N2 ice cream. Liquid nitrogen can reach temperatures of -320° F, and when you pour liquid nitrogen into a premade ice cream base, it can freeze into a pliable bowlful or drumful of tiny ice crystals in less than a minute. The ice crystals are smaller and smoother than conventional ice cream-making methods create, resulting in a treat that has a significantly different texture.

But it's also used for effect. When liquid nitrogen is poured into ice cream, clouds of vapor billow out—suddenly exposed to comparatively much warmer temperatures, the nitrogen expands and turns to gas. The result is a dramatically revealed batch of ice cream that is both a fun story and a tasty dessert—perfect for novelty ice cream shops or seasonal desserts.

Liquid Nitrogen Suppliers for Your Business

Liquid nitrogen ice cream has a great mouthfeel, and it creates a certain theatrical appeal. But it's also important to remember that supercooled nitrogen needs careful handling. A rule of thumb for ice cream makers is that if the ice cream is too hard to easily stir, then it's far too cold and still contains a bit too much liquid nitrogen for safe consumption.

Business owners need to take the safety considerations much further when making N2 ice cream. If you store liquid nitrogen at your commercial property, it needs to stay carefully chilled and fully contained in vessels that can handle both the temperature and the pressure—even while dispersing it into ice cream. At The Cryo Group, we specialize in providing businesses with the liquid nitrogen they need to create small- and large-batch ice cream products, as well as the containers and equipment to do so safely. With our full-service options, you can receive a steady supply of liquid nitrogen, storage vessels for housing it, and equipment for mixing it into ice cream bases. The Cryo Group offers completely customized procurement processes, friendly expertise, and concierge services that make N2 ice cream easier than ever.

Liquid Nitrogen and More at The Cryo Group

Find liquid nitrogen, dry ice, and other cryogenic products with The Cryo Group so you can create novel products and experiences for all of your customers. Contact us today to let us know what you're looking for, and let's get creative together.

Image Credit: Anamaria Mejia / Shutterstock

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