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It's funny.  Laugh. Science

Making Ice Cream With Liquid Nitrogen 390

JasonMaggini writes "Popular Science has an article on how to whip up a batch of ice cream in 30 seconds or so by using liquid nitrogen. Just the thing for those hot summer days. The article is by Theodore Gray, creator of the ultra-spiffy Periodic Table Table."
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Making Ice Cream With Liquid Nitrogen

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  • shoot... (Score:5, Funny)

    by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:40AM (#6220216)
    and to think i just spent 30 minutes going to the store to get rock salt...
    • Re:shoot... (Score:3, Funny)

      by mattyohe ( 517995 )
      This is why you should subscribe to slashdot, so you can look into the future.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:42AM (#6220222)
    Am I the only one who is worried about shrinkage?
  • Heretics! (Score:5, Funny)

    by supz ( 77173 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:43AM (#6220224) Homepage
    Liquid Nitrogen should be used for cooling heavily overclocked CPU's, and that is it!

    None of this ICE CREAM MAKING... makes it look like its for wussies.
  • Dippin Dots (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stonent1 ( 594886 ) <stonent AT stone ... intclark DOT net> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:43AM (#6220227) Journal
    That's how the ice cream at the dippin dots stands is made. They just put drops of the unfrozen mixture into liquid nitrogen.
  • by AnimeEd ( 670271 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:43AM (#6220228)
    what's the daily recommended intake for liquid nitrogen?
    • Zero. I'm sure the EPA is looking into ways to increase that amount, however.
    • Gargling (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LauraW ( 662560 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:11AM (#6220535)
      what's the daily recommended intake for liquid nitrogen?

      I'm nots ure, but a professor I knew at Northwestern sometimes gargled with liquid nitrogen to impress people during "chemistry day" type demos. Supposedly if you keep exhaling and moving the stuff around in your mouth, the air is enough of an insulator to keep from freezing your tongue off.

      I had lots of fun working as a programmer in an organic chem lab there. When we needed a break from coding, we'd go invent weird chemistry demos or throw defective glassware against the wall. I don't think I'll ever try the liquid nitrogen gargling, though.

      -- Laura

      • Re:Gargling (Score:5, Interesting)

        by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:35AM (#6220595)
        I've read one account of a person who regularly gargled with that stuff, until one day he cracked a tooth...

        Having said that, I worked in a place where liquid nitrogen (LN2) was used to cool the drinks during parties (it was dumped into a large volume of water which contained the bottles; the drinks would freeze if you put the bottles directly into the nitrogen).

        Actually it was kinda cool: I was working in an office almost directly below three huge LN2 tanks, containing about 160,000 liters of the stuff. You remember that scene from James Bond where the programmer screams "I'm *invincible*" before being hit by a wave of LN2 and shattering? I always feared that would happen to me if I ever made a deadline ;-)

        Anyway, that was my excuse for being chronically late ;-)

        • Re:Gargling (Score:4, Insightful)

          by KjetilK ( 186133 ) <kjetil@kjer[ ]o.net ['nsm' in gap]> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @06:36AM (#6221063) Homepage Journal

          I've read one account of a person who regularly gargled with that stuff, until one day he cracked a tooth...

          I've done that many times at parties. It is cool in every way you can think of... :-) My teeth are OK...

          Not risk-free of course, and you don't want to get that stuff down in the stomach... :-)

          I do things like firewalking (had a world record once, 165 feet, and btw, I think the current listed record is invalid), sticking the hand in molten lead, bed-of-nails, etc.

          Icecream is great BTW, it's something the physics department always hands out when it tries to attract potential students...

      • Leidenfrost (Score:5, Interesting)

        by reverseengineer ( 580922 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @04:33AM (#6220717)
        I'm not sure, but a professor I knew at Northwestern sometimes gargled with liquid nitrogen to impress people during "chemistry day" type demos.

        What happens there is the Leidenfrost effect in action- the temperature inside your mouth is well above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen (77K, -196 degC, -321 degF, 138.6 degR), so that when the liquid contacts your mouth, a very small amount of it quickly boils off, and creates a layer of vapor between the remaining liquid and the flesh of your mouth. This vapor layer acts as an insulation blanket, allowing you to consume small quantities of liquid nitrogen without flash-freezing your palate.

        The Leidenfrost effect is also sometimes demonstrated by wetting your hand with water, and then briefly plunging your hand into a container of molten lead. The same principle applies, as the lead is above the Leidenfrost point of water, so the water will form a vapor layer around your hand that insulates it from the molten lead. As much as I would like to believe that since the same principle applies, this is just as safe as brief exposure to LN2, I'm rather reluctant to try this.

        Also, molten lead is a lot harder to come by, for me anyway, than liquid nitrogen- I work at UIUC's helium liquefier, so there's up to 5000 gallons of LN2 right outside the window (used both for providing to research groups and for the helium liquefier itself), and LN2 hoses on the wall. I'm generally pretty cautious with the stuff though- it does sting when it contacts bare skin, and as labels on the dewars often remind me, pure nitrogen DOES NOT SUPPORT LIFE, so you want to make sure that if you use large quantities (and the 220L dewars some groups have qualify) in a ventilated area. I've personally not found working with liquid nitrogen to be very dangerous- it's certainly less dangerous than some of the stuff used in an organic chemistry lab.

        I remember the lab manual intro for a chemiluminescence/phosphoresence experiment that used things like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the solvent DMSO (which isn't terribly toxic by itself, but can be absorbed through the skin, and has a nasty tendency to take other compounds with it), that had a warning that went something like: "Most of the reagents and solvents used in this lab are toxic, flammable, carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, or some combination thereof." LN2 and LHe are just really, really cold.

        Anyway, I've had liquid nitrogen ice cream a number of times before- it tends to be a perennial favorite of many of the science-oriented clubs on campus, as well as a popular demonstration at the annual Engineering Open House- some ChemE's mixed some up this year- using LN2 I poured for them the day before, which was sweet. The ice cream is usually pretty good, IMO. The consistency can be rather variable, and it isn't as good as cranked homemade stuff, but hey- I'm not going to pass up free ice cream.

        • Re:Leidenfrost (Score:5, Interesting)

          by G-funk ( 22712 ) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @05:03AM (#6220817) Homepage Journal
          allowing you to consume small quantities of liquid nitrogen without flash-freezing your palate.

          Er, no... This does not allow you to consume it... You can hold a bit in your mouth, but if you swallow it you will most likely die unless you can get right to a hospital very quickly, as it closes the entrance to your stomach and then proceeds to turn into nitrogen, which funnily enough takes up quite a bit more space than liquid nitrogen.
          • Re:Leidenfrost (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Sheriff Fatman ( 602092 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @05:38AM (#6220914) Homepage

            See http://www.darwinawards.com/personal/personal2000- 25.html [darwinawards.com] for what claims to be the world's only documented case of cryogenic ingestion.

            • Re:Leidenfrost (Score:3, Informative)

              by KjetilK ( 186133 )
              Cool! Yep, it is true, you really shouldn't swallow... Liquid Nitrogen expands extremely quickly, you would indeed be in deep trouble if you do... But I've gargled it many times. It's fun.

              I'm surprised by two things by this: One is that he even managed to swallow, I haven't really tried, but my experience is that it boils extremely fast, and I would think it would be very hard to do that.

              The other surprising thing is that he wasn't more seriously injured, or indeed that he lived to tell about it...

              BTW

          • Yes, you're right- I should have been more specific when I wrote "small quanitities." Due to the possibility of tooth damage, I'd never put more than a few milliliters into my mouth anyway. As for swallowing the stuff, I probably deserve a -1 Imprecise Use of Language for using the word "consume" when I meant more along the lines of "let it evaporate, inhale/exhale fog"(though you should also be careful with this-"DOES NOT SUPPORT LIFE" and all). As far as I can remember, I don't think I've swallowed the
  • i like setting off thermite reactions.

    playing with liquid nitrogen kind of evens things out.
  • by pyro_peter_911 ( 447333 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:45AM (#6220244) Homepage Journal
    If you substitute liquid oxygen for the liquid nitrogen you could be having baked alaska in 30 seconds.

    Peter
  • by thanq ( 321486 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:45AM (#6220246)
    My older folks used to tell me about how poor people in Eastern Europe were after the WWII under Soviet occupation. Since some of them could not afford glasses or mugs, they would often put a teabag in their mouth and they would drink water warmed up in the sun.
    So now, I guess they can also enjoy ice cream by putting all the ingredients in their mouths and then pouring the liquid...... uhmm.... never mind...
    • by conway ( 536486 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:04AM (#6220313)
      This is silly, and not true, since there was no concept of a "teabag" in Eastern Europe.
      People made tea from tea essense.

      What people did do is to put a lump of sugar into their mouth as they were drinking the tea -- instead of putting it into the tea.
      This was more of a matter of personal preference than desire to save sugar (although there was a little bit of both -- sugar was often given out via ration cards)

    • Actually...

      Due to the Leidenfrost effect this might actually work, but it also might cause loss of teeth (seen it) tongue (seen pictures) or stomic (don't want to know).
    • I can personally vouch that dipping an orange segment in LN for thirty seconds and then attempting to eat it is not sensible. Not even on a hot day.

      I was young... I was foolish... I was in the lab...

      J.

  • This guy has got to be the coolest person on the planet. Liquid nitrogen notwithstanding.

    Creator of a great piece of software, Artist in a practical and informative media (The Periodic Table table) and brilliant writer. Study how he writes, very very closely. Would that everyone could write that well.
  • Dippin' Dots (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kaz Riprock ( 590115 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:47AM (#6220251)
    This is the exact process that Dippin' Dots [dippindots.com]uses to make ice cream in little tiny spheres (about 2-5 mm across).

    The process was determined around 1988 by Curt Jones (a biologist interested in cryogenics...the science of freezing...not cryonics, the science of "Disney on Ice"). He started his company and now you can get Dippin' Dots everywhere from malls to theme parks.

    You might even be able to catch a rerun of the FoodTV show, Unwrapped, where they discuss the manufacturing process. It's show #CWSP11 and it'll air again at these times [foodtv.com].

    PS - Yes, I know Walt Disney isn't actually frozen....but Teddy Ballgame is.
  • by frankmu ( 68782 )
    i wonder if i could borrow some of the liquid oxygen from the back of the hospital for this?
    • Re:LOX? (Score:5, Funny)

      by red floyd ( 220712 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:02AM (#6220303)
      I doubt it. A buddy told me about the stuff they used to do at CalTech...

      DISCLAIMER: My buddy may have been shitting me...

      He said they used to freeze frogs in liquid N2 and throw them against the wall to shatter. Then they'd put it in the wastebasket, and get a kick out of the reaction the stink got from the next sucker to enter the room.

      One day, he said, a guy didn't have any N2, so he used LOX instead. It reacted with the volatiles in the frog and blew out the wall when they threw it.
  • When I was about 10, we went on vacation with a group of people that happened to have a lot of doctors. These doctors happened to have easy access to liquid nitrogen for medical reasons. They brought a couple huge containers of liquid nitrogen, and we took sodas and dipped them in with a string for a couple seconds. Nice and slushy :-)
    • I hope you used cans! I knocked off some from the hospital i used to work at and tried the same thing with some mates and a six-pack of bottled beer, and the results were not so promising. They went pop! (Yes, that is my scientific explanation of the experiment)
  • by HornyBastard77 ( 667965 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:50AM (#6220260)
  • Now I'm amazingly happy that I both work at a research lab with massive tanks of liquid nitrogen in our lab, and that I have a birthday on Thursday. I know what we'll be making for the the cake!
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:3, Funny)

      by PaulBu ( 473180 )
      Yeah, reminds me of a story which happened in our cryoelectronics lab, back in Moscow State University (Russia). OK, some guys bought frozen dumplings ("pelmeni", for those who know... ;-) ), and were not sure if they will not thaw by the time they get home, so they just poured a liter or two of LN over. Well, the next thing we've heard about those was half a week (!) later when the dumplings finally thawed enought to be separated and cooked... (pre-microwave oven days ;-) )

      Paul B.
  • My recipe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ost99 ( 101831 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:53AM (#6220268)
    I've done this with some friends just last week. It looks quite scary, espesially when the physics buffs start putting the liquid nitrogen in their mouth.

    To do this right you need to use more than 30 sec if you do it by hand like we did.
    Use 2 eggs, and 0.6L of cream and mix in a bowl.
    Chop one 100g dark chocolate bar and mix with the rest.
    Add 0.1 L Irish Cream.
    Whip it all together while someone pours a small stream of liquid nitrogen into the bowl.
    Don't do it to fast (30 sec will give you large frozen lumps...).

    When the ice starts to get thick enough, stop pouring nitrogen and put the lid back on the nitrogen container. You can play some more with it *after* you have eaten your ice-cream.

    This would be a great idea for a bussines, set up a stall near a beach and sell on-the-fly real ice-cream to tourists. $5 a cup, the show is for free!

    - Ost
  • if i recall correctly it was some swedish cooking program(either swedish or made in finland in swedish language).

    looked rather spiffy... or iffy, or piffy. the guy explained that it was actually better and much more easier to get it 'perfect' this way as the cooling was much more rapid.
    • Re:seen this on tv. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:47AM (#6220464) Homepage Journal
      The goal of ice cream is to make the ice crystals really small. Big ice crystals feel grainy in your mouth. Ice cream should be smooth.

      Ordinarily, you achieve that by stirring the ice cream constantly. With liquid NO2, you achieve the same effect by freezing everything before the crystals have a chance to grow.

      So yeah, you do get better ice cream this way.

      There's also a lot less air whipped into it. For my taste, there's too little; a spoonful has too much "cold" in it to really taste it. Since it has more ice cream and less air, you get more mass in a spoonful, and thus more cold. But that's all a matter of taste; that's exactly what Ben and Jerry make all their money at. A little goes a long way.
  • fun with sodium (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evenprime ( 324363 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:59AM (#6220290) Homepage Journal
    I'm much more impressed with his experiments with sodium [theodoregray.com]
  • by WatertonMan ( 550706 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:59AM (#6220292)
    Ah, the good old days at Los Alamos. We used to get spare containers of liquid nitrogen and have big ice cream parties.

    Tips (haven't read the article yet, so some of these might be redundant) -

    - make sure you have good ventilation.
    Nitrogen can fill the room and will push out the good air.

    - don't use a regular blender.
    Unless you have a heavy duty egg beater the nitrogen will be freezing the ice cream mix so fast that you'll bust the motor. Use a heavy duty one and then switch over to a large metal spoon.

    - good ingredents count.
    Use good cream. Add powdered milk for the extra protein. (I like adding a little bit of high quality protein that I use while working out) We used fresh dates, strawberries or whatever. If you use vanilla don't use that crappy stuff. Good vanilla is well worth the price - sort of like good basalmic vinegar. Once you've had the real deal the stuff supermarkets sell tastes like crap.

    - Invite a bunch of friends.
    It's a great party. Do the typical physics/chemistry tricks with the remaining liquid nitrogen. The shattering tomatoe or fake hand in the nitrogen tricks are always classics.

    • One more thing I didn't see anyone mention. Besides the "chunks" in the ice cream being smaller, it seems like as the Nitrogen evaporates it makes the ice cream very fluffy. Almost like soft ice cream. It's hard to explain. It has a very different texture. I like it a lot better than stuff made in a regular churn and much better than anything you could buy in the store.

      Now if there were only an easy way to get nitrogen now that I don't work in a lab.

  • Uhm (Score:5, Funny)

    by jabbadabbadoo ( 599681 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:01AM (#6220300)
    Do not try this at home. You might get fat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:06AM (#6220321)
    I can't wait till they publish the instructions on roasting a turkey using a fusion reactor.
  • I can't imagine the brain freeze I'd get from this! :)
  • by SkewlD00d ( 314017 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:06AM (#6220323)
    This page [tecnea.com] clearly shows they're already doing this in an industrial setting. Also, there's something called "sonication" that uses sound to make small particles of ice cream intermediate & pre-products of a powder-like consistency. And those ice-cream "dots" that are sold at malls are just ice cream mixture drops frozen in LN2.
  • by dummkopf ( 538393 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:07AM (#6220332) Homepage
    there are two problems with making icecream with liquid nitrogen: first, you cannot buy nitrogen at 7-11, you need to either work in a lab or have a friend who does (the latter being my case). second, good icecream is generated by continous stirring of the stuff while it slowly freezes. in this fashion the batch freezes in a polycristalline state and not in one giant single-crystal slab. this is very important as good icecram is supposed to smooth in texture and not "icy". it is almos impossible to do this with the liquid nitrogen version because things freeze too fast. from my experience i have learned that the best ice cream maker is made by KRUPS: stick the bowl into the freezer overnight (or into liquid nitrogen if you want to speed things up!) and enjoy a full batch the next day of the flavors you like. of course you could run into the store and buy some icecream, but do you know what is in that stuff?
  • ...but where can I get some liquid nitrogen?

    Jason
    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
  • by netblade83 ( 627941 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:09AM (#6220339)
    Technology to do this was invented by Iowa State University a few years back, as referenced here: http://www.nitroicecream.com/company%20history.htm .. nothing new.... i must say, damn good ice cream
  • by conway ( 536486 )
    My dad works as a scientist in a lab, and has easy access to liquid nitrogen.
    Some time ago we had a family of mice decide to take up residence behind our bookcases. My dad decided to take the easy way out (vs. moving the bookcase) and bring some nitrogen to flush them out.
    After pouring 1/2 a thermos behind the bookcase, there was lots of smoke and commotion from behind the bookcase, but the next day the mice returned!
    I guess they didn't mind it too much -- it must have dissolved too quickly to do them an
  • Recipie from the lab (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gessel ( 310103 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:12AM (#6220350) Homepage
    I've done this - it's fun and impresses the girls, but harder in an office/lab than in a well stocked kitchen.

    Once my girlfriend was visiting me at work and I was stuck late while I was finishing some experiments. The kitchenette was stocked with only the usual bad coffee gear--ultra-pasteurized cream cups and sugar packets and bad coffee--and she was restless and hungry. I asked if she wanted some ice cream and she thought I was teasing.

    So I took one of the vacuum insulated coffee carafes and filled it dramatically with LN2 from roll-around dewar in the lab (any time you crack the liquid feed on one of those things its pretty dramatic with the hissing and the steam and the gurgling and the spattering, dancing beads of LN2). As an aside, vacuum insulated coffee carafes filled with LN2 will hold it for more than a day.

    I carried it boiling and fogging back to the kitchenette as she followed at a more than safe distance. I found a plastic bowl in the sink and filled it with the contents of about 100 of those little ultra-pasteurized coffee creamers and about 100 packets of sugar, brewed up a fresh pot of coffee and skimmed the first few seconds worth off - when it actually has some flavor and added it to the bowl. She looked mighty dubious, but the glass liner had cooled enough that the carafe didn't seem dangerous any more so she moved in to watch.

    Then while I stirred the mixture with a plastic spoon (and, don't forget - while wearing the bright blue cryogenic safety gloves and full face shields) she poured in the LN2 which filled the bowl with dense fog that poured out, over the counter, and down around our ankles, spreading out across the floor, looking for all the world like a bad sci-fi movie.

    In about 30 seconds we had a bowl of half decent coffee ice cream to share.

    And, for just a little while, she thought being a geek was really cool...
    • >vacuum insulated coffee carafes filled with LN2 will hold it for more than a day.

      That's a delightful story, and thank you for posting it.

      It makes me hate to be a killjoy and point out that unless you've got some kind of venting system, storing liquid nitrogen in a thermos-like container for any length of time is hazardous. Eventually it picks up some heat and starts to boil, and that vapor pressure will go somewhere.

      Oh, you have earned the title of True Nerdhood. I'm adding you to my friends list.
    • Aren't stories like this supposed to start: "Dear Penthouse Forum. I never thought this would happent to me but..." ...and end up a little spicier?
  • by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:16AM (#6220366)
    Get this guy, and that college professor that can cook a ham in 1.15 seconds and we are down!
  • by mrsam ( 12205 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:19AM (#6220383) Homepage
    The obvious question that I have, immediately after reading this story, is how exactly an average Joe-sixpack goes about obtaining a sufficient quantity of liquid nitrogen?

    This whole thing sounds very interesting, but I don't think I can go into your average supermarket store and ask for some liquid nitrogen:

    "Hello, I'd like a loaf of bread, Cheerios, and a gallon of your best liquid nitrogen. And, uh, a few grams of plutonium. I need it for my flux capacitor."

  • N2 vs N2O ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squidinkcalligraphy ( 558677 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:30AM (#6220416)
    N2O (nitrous oxide) is used to make instant whipped cream - in a pressurised state it dissolves in fat, so when the pressure is released, it expands in the cream, causing it to go light and fluffy. I'm wondering if N2 might have a similar effect, making the icecream lighter and fluffier than it might normally be? Solubility of N2 in fat? It's non-polar so it should dissolve, no?

    Unfortunately N2 don't have the same effect as N2O when inhaled |-)
    • Re:N2 vs N2O ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:19AM (#6220555)
      Dunno if LN2 causes a fluffy ice cream like the N2O + cream = whipped cream, but N2 GAS (not LN2) is used for Guiness beer, and ABSOLUTELY gives it a much creamier head than normal CO2 does. (Actually, the gas they use is a mix between CO2 and N2.) I brew my own beer and recently have started using a mixture of CO2 and N2 gas for my Stout beers. It's a LOT better than plain old CO2, partially because the high concentration of N2 in normal air is much higher than CO2, and thus the N2 suds don't escape the beer as fast. Or so I'm told. All I know for SURE is that it tastes good. ;-)
  • This is news? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Feztaa ( 633745 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:39AM (#6220440) Homepage
    Gimme a break. Science camps all over the continent have been doing this for years. It's easy:

    1. Get cream
    2. Add liquid nitrogen, which freezes the cream then evaporates
    3. You've got ice cream.
  • by mtec ( 572168 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:53AM (#6220481)
    used liquid nitrogen to keep the server from melting when this got posted...
  • There's a much easier way to make ice cream in five minutes. My dad invented the method.

    Buy some frozen fruits. Here, we find big bags of frozen blueberries and raspberries at the supermarket. Any kind of small fruit will work. For thing like pineapples, see if you can buy small frozen bits. You will also need liquid cream - fresh cream won't do, you'd end up with butter, brown cane sugar and honey.

    Put the frozen fruits in a food processer, mix until you get some kind of thick sauce, add just enough cream

  • by voidptr ( 609 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:05AM (#6220515) Homepage Journal
    Add that to the Liquid Oxygen Grill [archive.org] and you've got yourself one cool party. Main course, desert, and pyrotechnic entertainment all in one.
  • by voidptr ( 609 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:14AM (#6220545) Homepage Journal
    1) Take cooler of LNO2
    2) Suspend an ice cube tray full of vodka in it.
    3) Add resulting alcohol cubes to a glass of OJ
    4) Profit!! (or something...)

    The alcohol won't freeze at temperatures designed to make normal ice, but the liquid nitrogen is cold enough to make the liquor freeze. No more worrying about the ice dilluting your drink, as it melts the drink becomes stronger.
  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:15AM (#6220548)
    Show me the guy making liquid nitrogen from ice cream, and then we'll talk.
  • Liquid nitrogen to make the ice cream, and liquid oxygen to start the barbeque :-)
  • by detritus. ( 46421 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @04:42AM (#6220743)
    Homer: 30 Seconds? But I want it now!
  • goddamnit (Score:3, Funny)

    by thedbp ( 443047 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @06:02AM (#6220969)
    and i thought i was cool when i dropped a V8 engine into my Snoopy Sno Cone Maker! back to the drawing board ...
  • by lateralus ( 582425 ) <`moc.moctca' `ta' `r-inoy'> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @06:28AM (#6221044) Journal
    at /etc [thesync.com] (fun with liquid hydrogen) in Realplayer format. The same guys that host the Geeks In Space shows.
  • Safety first... (Score:3, Informative)

    by jridley ( 9305 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:25AM (#6221168)
    Here's a quick rundown of liquid nitrogen safety points. Get some liquid nitrogen, have fun; we've been making ice cream and much more for years. Just read this first and be safe.

    http://www.isber.org/pdfs/karpinski.pdf
  • by jridley ( 9305 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:29AM (#6221179)
    LOX is a good substitute, and you can do a lot more cool things with it.

    Contrary to popular belief, although you should treat it with respect, LOX does not instantly cause everything to become explosive. Someone at one of our LOX ice cream events once held a blowtorch on some ice cream; it just singed the outside a bit.
  • by mistermund ( 605799 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:34AM (#6221430)
    http://www.nitroicecream.com/ [nitroicecream.com]

    They exhibited at the IAAPA Convention last November. The stuff was excellent - very smooth.

    The machine used a large tank of liquid nitrogen, and basically worked by spurting ice cream mixture into a bucket, then spraying it with the nitro. Repeat the process 100 times or so, and you've got 5 gallons of the stuff.
  • Leidenfrost effect (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nlaporte ( 116203 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @09:09AM (#6221690)
    A bunch of people have been commenting on the professor who used to gargle LN2. The man's name was Jearl Walker, author of The Flying Circus of Physics, who published an excellent essay [wiley.com] describing exactly how to do it. He also talks about dipping your hand in molten lead, as well as walking on fire. He is the one who mentioned that when you let the LN2 touch your teeth, they crack.
  • by Rorschach1 ( 174480 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:51PM (#6223826) Homepage
    Developed this one myself - it's quicker and easier than ice cream and it's very good.

    2 cups low-pulp orange juice
    1 cup sugar

    Mix sugar and orange juice. In a large wooden or plastic bowl (metal sticks too much), slowly stir in liquid nitrogen until the desired consistency is reached.

    I'd also recomment using a wooden spoon. I used a hand mixer once, and due to the low viscosity of liquid nitrogen, it spewed droplets everywhere.

    One of these days I want to try making deep-fried liquid nitrogen ice cream. My goal is to get an 800 degree F temperature span in the making of the stuff.

    Remember, be careful with the LN2. It's easy to over-freeze stuff. I once got my tongue stuck to a frozen banana, and it was rather painful.

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss

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