When using a small volume of contents, is it better to fill a larger (pint/ 500ml sized) whipped cream dispenser only partially or to fill a smaller (half or quarter pint/ 125ml or 250ml) whipped cream dispenser fully?

Specifically, will the cream be filled with enough tiny air bubbles if I do not fill it to maximum volume?

Secondarily, is it cost effective to use small batches of content in regards to the whipped cream nitrous oxide chargers?


Thanks, commenters who discuss cost effectiveness! Now I know, nitrous oxide chargers are one-time use. :)

  • Cost effective compared to... what? There's no getting around that using the same charger for a small volume vs. a larger volume will mean a higher cost-per-volume. Did you have another alternative in mind?
    – logophobe
    May 25, 2018 at 18:47
  • @logophobe, yes that is what I was wondering around cost-effectiveness. From your comment/ my reading, I see that they are one-time-use only chargers and fairly standard in size, but I was not sure. May 31, 2018 at 1:14
  • 1
    Yes - the commercially available versions are only suitable for a single use and come in only a standard size or two. Most of the handheld whippers use a standard 8-gram charger, and discharging it involves piercing a metal seal that the charger is manufactured with so that it cannot be readily reused. The issue of cost-effectiveness is difficult to answer here because it's subjective; I have no idea what threshold you consider "effective" or acceptable for any given use.
    – logophobe
    May 31, 2018 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


You can (to some extent) fill it under the max line and still get good results.

The standard 500 ml whip has an internal volume of 750 ml actually. If you fill it up to the max-line, you’ll have 250 ml left for the gas in the cannister.

Ideal Gas Law states that, pressure changes inversely proportional to the volume of the container.

So... say that you’ve filled up to 250 ml, you’ll extend the volume of the gas twice; thus the pressure will drop twice.

Henry's law on the other hand, states that amount of dissolved gas is proportional to its pressure. So, the amount of NO2 you'll get dissolved will be also halved.

50% less gas should be your lower-limit I would say. You'll probably have less volume also on your whipped cream as well. If that's something ok with you...

But this approach will signifacantly lower your yield too. As the leftovers in the cannister will be constant, not proportional to your starting amount.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.