Monday, July 14, 2014
Liquid Nitrogen Kitchen in the Kitchen: Cooking with Dry Ice
Liquid Nitrogen Kitchen in the Kitchen: Cooking with Dry Ice Dry Ice and Liquid Nitrogen for the Home Kitchen Lex Loeb Contributor Network . Dry ice is getting a major new marketing boost to create more home use of the substance. Famous mad scientist chefs have been creating popular new menu items using dry ice and also liquid nitrogen. This phenomenon has fueled a revival in public interest for home use. It would seem to be dangerous to take a dangerous material like dry ice and mix it into food and beverage items for human consumption but apparently it is safe to use with proper care and extra attention. Use of liquid nitrogen in the home kitchen seems like it may be going too far given the sort of accidents that are always bound to happen in a kitchen. Things often spill and splash. Sometimes people accidentally drink from the wrong cup when they are trying to do more than one thing at the same time. The new culinary uses include, flash freezing fruits, sculpting soup into frozen sculptures ready for the table, making ice cream and instant carbonated soft drinks. Yes the dry ice does go into the actual recipes! Care has to be taken in handling dry ice. Even more care is required for using liquid nitrogen. Dry ice is readily available at super market as it has been for years. Gloves and eye protection and a good idea for handling. The novelty uses of dry ice go back years and years as a artificial theatrical stage smoke or fog. Now the big thing is to add the fog to a martini. Yes, the dry ice actually does somehow get ground up into a powder and added to the martini. It carbonates the martini. Making carbonated beverages at home is based on dissolving the dry ice into sugar water or you could just try fruit juice like orange juice. The trick is not to leave any visible chunks of the stuff. It is surprising that it can actually used for human consumption. It used to be that the main uses for dry ice was in packing coolers to keep the contents cold for longer periods of time and for keeping the contents of freezers cold during periods when the electricity grid is down. Instant Ice cream is the new dry ice frontier. The ingredients for ice cream are mixed together and a powered form of dry ice is added to that or everything is somehow put into a blender. The Ice Cream turns solid before your eyes in the process. Fruit juices and smoothies can also quickly be converted into frozen sorbet treats in the same manner. Even stranger is liquid nitrogen being added to the liquid ingredients for ice cream in the home kitchen and stirred into an instant fluffier ice cream consistency because it goes in as a much colder liquid. If ice cream is not your thing, dry ice is also being used to flash freeze fruit for something different at the home table. The flash frozen fruit can also go directly into the home freezer for later use.Fresh fruit can be sliced and flash frozen for immediate use or for longer term freezing. More creative chefs are using dry ice to create frozen soup dishes that they can shape into lively sculptures on the plate. It is rather unbelievable that people can eat and drink foods where the dry ice is added as an ingredient because the directions say do not taste it or put it in your mouth, and do o not inhale because it can cause suffocation. Keep out of reach of children! The stuff is minus 109.3 degrees below zero Fahrenheit or (-78.5 C) Dry ice can be destructive to your kitchen counters. It will break glass and shatter tiles exposed to it in certain circumstances. Care has to be taken in using it. You can't touch it without protective gloves. Dermatologists can use it to burn of moles with proper training. The directions say not to eat it. One can also suffocate from breathing it as it sublimates if one is in a confined space. Inhaling the fumes can cause suffocation too. Dry ice can not be placed in a sealed air tight container because it can cause it to explode because of rapid sublimation into a high volume gas. Danger keep away from children is also on the warning label. Dry Ice is readily available at a near by super market in most locations. No idea where one gets liquid nitrogen for home use. Other uses advertised are for hunters to preserve their trophies, making fog at Halloween haunted houses, as a mosquito repellent, for something called freeze branding and well water treatment. .