Homemade Ice Cream With Liquid Nitrogen!
The "How To"
It’s easy to make ice cream using nitrogen. Only use nitrogen from a clean dewar, or a liquid cylinder vented down to near atmospheric pressure. Disposable aluminum roasting pans are ideal containers in which to make batches of ice cream. Stack two or three pans. The dead air space between them helps to insulate the ice cream while you are making and serving it. Use a wire whip to mix the ingredients, but use a wooden spoon, which can handle the -320°F temperature without embrittlement, to stir the cream mixture while pouring in the liquid nitrogen. Do not use plastic bowls or spoons as they may break when cold.

Thoroughly mix the cream ingredients. Slowly pour an estimated cup or two of liquid nitrogen into the cream. The mixture will foam up – so be sure to not overfill the foil pan with the cream mixture. Stir, while carefully scraping the sides of the container where the cream tends to freeze first. Then pour in a few more cups of liquid nitrogen, stir and repeat until the ice cream is as hard as you desire. The nitrogen gradually evaporates as the heat from the cream makes it boil. As the heat leaves the cream and is transferred to the nitrogen, the cream becomes colder and turns from a liquid to a solid – a great “states of matter” science lesson for kids and one with delicious results. You can continue to refreeze the ice cream with liquid nitrogen as it softens or melts, without degrading the flavor or texture.

You also can make individual servings of liquid nitrogen ice cream. Pour the cream mixture into Styrofoam cups (1/4-1/2 full). Using another cup, pour a couple of tablespoons of liquid nitrogen into each cup with cream. Give everyone a plastic spoon (as the amount of liquid nitrogen is small it will not embrittle) and stir. Add liquid nitrogen as needed until the consistency is right. This is a no-fail party favorite!

The Recipe
Begin with 1 quart heavy whipping cream and 1 quart half-and-half. Thoroughly stir in 1-1/2 cups sugar until dissolved; mix in other ingredients; taste. Add more sugar if desired. For vanilla ice cream, add two ounces of vanilla extract or more to taste. Stir into the base mixture chopped nuts, chocolate chips, Oreos, chopped fresh or frozen fruit (thaw first), or your own creative ingredients.


  • Never store liquid nitrogen in a Thermos bottle as they are not designed for cryogenic fluids, are not vented, and will explode if the cap is screwed on!
  • Never make ice cream using nitrogen from a dewar that has been used to store biological specimens
  • Never transport liquid nitrogen in the passenger compartment of an automobile
  • For all the recipes below begin with:
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 1 quart half-n-half
  • Thoroughly stir in 1-1/2 cups sugar until dissolved, then mix in other ingredients and taste. Add more sugar to suit your taste. You won’t need as much sugar for the chocolate recipe below, but may want to add more for some of the other flavors.
  • Stir in other ingredients into this base mixture as per the recipes below, or be creative and make up your own (you can’t mess up making ice cream).
  • Mix in chopped nuts or other ingredients as desired and to suit taste.
  • Savory Vanilla
  • Cream Mixture
  • 2 ounces of Vanilla extract, add more to suit taste.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-Chocolate-Banana-Marshmallow
  • Cream Mixture
  • Mash one banana and stir in
  • Use wire whip to patiently mix in 4 envelopes of instant hot chocolate with miniature marshmallows
  • Stir in one bottle of chocolate syrup
  • Chop up 6 to 8 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and add to mix
  • Strawberry-Peach
  • Cream Mixture
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mash 2 cups Strawberries (if you use frozen, thaw first)
  • Mash or chop up one cup peaches (add some peach juice to the mix)
  • Rootbeer (a hit with the kids)
  • Cream Mixture
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ bottle Rootbeer concentrate
  • Tutti Frutti
  • Cream Mixture
  • Mash 3 cups mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)
  • Mash 2 bananas
  • >½ cup thawed concentrate orange juice
  • ½ cup thawed concentrate lime or lemonade
  • Oreo
    Add chopped Oreo cookies to vanilla recipe
  • Cream Mixture
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mash 2 cups strawberries (if you use frozen berries, thaw first)
  • Mash 2 bananas