Science of making Ice cream with liquid nitrogen

by Mary Ann on July 6, 2012

july4 fireworks picture

The 4th of July fireworks from our local Shopco parking lot.

The fourth of July was spectacular at our house! We had the usual feast of sausages, potato salad, fruit and chips.

Our youngest daughter made her first “I am really on my own, cake”. It turned out beautifully and tasted great.

july4 cake picture

July 4th cake. Doing something yourself is a great esteem booster.

However the highlight was one of those unplanned learning moments that can be so fun. Our son in law brought liquid nitrogen to the party in a large metal bottle so the kids could make ice cream without the wait.

It was fun helping each of the littles combine the ingredients for the ice cream. They love to cook.

kids making ice cream picture

Maggie and Jack making ice cream

kids making ice cream image

Jack and Mary making ice cream

Then Brady poured the liquid nitrogen in the ice cream and WOW, we had fog everywhere; clouds on the floor so to speak. The kids LOVED it. The ice cream was amazingly delicious!!

pouring liquid nitrogen picture

Pour liquid nitrogen into cream and sugar and you have instant ice cream!

home made ice cream picture

Simply delicious home made ice cream!

But as guys and kids will, the fun spilled out of the jar and the ice cream making to any other feasible place. It was poured on the kitchen floor and we all ran rampant through the clouds. It was poured down the stairs and into the sink filled with hot water. Lots of silliness, lots of laughter and fun.

playing with liquid nitrogen picture

Mary and Jack playing with liquid nitrogen

playing with liquid nitrogen image

Jack getting into the fun.

Did you know that if you pour liquid nitrogen on an inflated balloon the balloon deflates. That is because the nitrogen is so cold that it cools off the air in the balloon taking up less space and it deflates. Hold it in the warm room air and it re-inflates. Cool!

pouring liquid nitrogen on balloon

Pouring liquid nitrogen on an inflated balloon

Our deflated balloon re-inflating

We learned that nitrogen makes up 80% of what we breathe. Jack couldn’t get his mind around the fact that what was making ice cream is also what we breathe. Lesson for a future year!

We also learned that most elements can be liquid, gas and solid. Just so you know, liquid nitrogen can cause very serious burns and must be handled with great care and only by adults. : )

Maggie enjoying the fire works

July fourth was a learning day at the Johnson’s, learning a bit about chemistry and our wonderful country. Happy Fourth of July!

kid with sparklers picture

Mary learning how to use sparklers

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny July 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

Sounds like amazing family fun! I am going to go make me some ice cream……


Andrew Johnson July 7, 2012 at 10:45 am

Yes it does. The whole lot of it 🙂


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