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I turned on the TV yesterday just in time to see a guy use liquid nitrogen to make his ice cream. At first I thought it was just to make the show more exciting, but it seemed to be an important part of his ice cream making process.

What benefits (if any) are there to using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream?

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If you are going to give -1, you should at the very least state why. –  moomoochoo Aug 6 '13 at 4:35
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moomoochoo, explaining downvotes is definitely polite and helpful, but also not required: it's better for people to vote without explanation than not to vote at all. (Not that I really have any idea why you got one, but don't worry, it'll even out in the end.) –  Jefromi Aug 6 '13 at 5:52
    
Thanks Jefromi. I will keep that in mind next time :) –  moomoochoo Aug 7 '13 at 8:10
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1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Ice cream is an emulsion and in it, you have air, fat, and ice. The smaller the ice crystals, the smoother the icecream and better chance of achieving a velvety, creamy, smooth texture. The flavor is also elevated given the smaller crystals. Put it in the freezer, and ice crystals start to grow bigger and you lose the benefits.

Also, colder temperature inhibits the taste buds ability to pick up sweetness. At liquide nitro cooled temperatures, you can get an explosion of flavour as the icecream warms up and melts in your mouth and the taste buds start to pick up on sweetness.

Finally, aside from a show, it's much much faster to make icecream with LN2 than in a regular machine. Seconds versus 30-45minutes.

There are hazardous issues with liquid nitrogen and handling. As a starting point, look into this primer.

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