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Cooking with Liquid Nitrogen

Modernist

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203 replies to this topic

#181 bmdaniel

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:44 AM

You could probably use the vacuum insulated coffee dispenser Dave Arnold recommends (or two) - he says it loses 50% of its volume in 24 hours, so it will probably work if you just want to use it for a day or two.

http://www.cookingis...itrogen-primer/ - scroll down about a quarter of the way

#182 avaserfi

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:52 AM

I think there'd be too much sloshing with a cooler in a trunk.

I'd buy a big thermous and drill a small hole completely through the cap to vent it. This is critical. LN2 will go off like a bomb if kept sealed. The only shortcoming of using a drilled thermous is that it loses a bit more N2 than a Dewar since the internal pressure is a bit lower.

If you did use a styrofoam cooler perhaps some baffles could be put in to keep the sloshing down.

Whatever you end up using, venting is critical.


I will most definitely allow the vessel to vent. In the Cooking Issues primer they recommend against keeping the LN2 in the passanger portion of a car. The trunk is the best I can do, but I can drive carefully and keep the vessel held in place in a larger box to prevent/minimize sloshing.

You could probably use the vacuum insulated coffee dispenser Dave Arnold recommends (or two) - he says it loses 50% of its volume in 24 hours, so it will probably work if you just want to use it for a day or two.

http://www.cookingis...itrogen-primer/ - scroll down about a quarter of the way


Yeah I saw the dispenser he recommended, but don't know enough about them to know what to order. Do you have any idea on the type they use?
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#183 bmdaniel

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:57 AM

Yeah I saw the dispenser he recommended, but don't know enough about them to know what to order. Do you have any idea on the type they use?


I would just run to a restaurant supply - I am sure they will have them and you can make sure they are vented before you buy.

Otherwise, you can get something like this on Amazon for $28, but I can't be sure it vents naturally(probably does, but you may have to return if not)

#184 Judy Wilson

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 12:20 PM

One of our culinary research assistants just blogged about his experience with liquid nitrogen, which he's been cooking with for more than five years. So far, only one bad incident to speak of!

But basically he says a lot of what has been said here: wear gloves, don't use it in closed, unventilated areas, wear shoes that aren't made of fabric (in case some drips on your foot), etc.
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#185 paulraphael

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 01:03 PM

I just did some rough calculations of what amount of air 2.5 liters of liquid nitrogen would displace. At 700 X expansion, it would displace 61.8 cubic feet of air. Assuming you're in a sealed room measuring 10 feet by 10 feet by 8 feet, the room holds 800 cubic feet of air ignoring cabinets, people, etc.


The trouble is that LN2 and air won't mix evenly. The LN2 will generally dsplace most of the air in the lower half of the room. The other trouble is that unlike C02, it doesn't make people ghasp for breath. People just get sleepy and lie down, often dramatically.

I think the most important precautions, mostly already mentioned are:

1) unsealed (and unsealable) container
2) safety goggles. a drop splashed in your eye can be very, very bad
3) ventilation
4) no clothes that could accumulate LN2 and hold it next to your skin (boots that are open at the top, etc...)

If you spill the stuff on open skin it just rolls and boils off. But if it ends up inside a glove or a shoe, with nowhere to go, you can get instant and extreme frotbite. I don't think full lab saftey gear is necessary ... my scientist friends who work in actual labs don't bother with it ... but some basic precautions like pants cuffs pulled down over your shoes, long, unabsorbent gloves (if you're wearing gloves at all), etc., are smart precautions.

#186 Skywater

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 10:49 AM

My local suppliers will only sell you liquid nitrogen if have a dewar or rent one of theirs.

#187 mkayahara

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:27 AM

My local suppliers will only sell you liquid nitrogen if have a dewar or rent one of theirs.

As they should. Transporting liquid nitrogen in any other container is just asking for trouble.
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#188 Broken English

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:06 PM

How much is it on average?

Also, Heston Blumenthal was on The Jonathan Ross Show and he was dsipping his bare hands into it and flicking it at Ross, which made for quite an amusing scene. Extrapolating from this, I'd assume that it's okay to touch, if only very briefly.
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#189 Dexter

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:36 PM

I know this is super late, but a professor of mine in college called it the Leidenfrost Effect - basically the same thing that makes droplets of water skitter across a hot surface without just sitting down and boiling away. A layer of rapidly forming vapor insulates the warm and cold bodies, and keeping them slightly apart. He demonstrated it by holding his hand out, fingers together, like he was sticking his hand out to shake someone elses', the poured LN2 over the top. Did it to a couple of students too. Made the point stand out in my head, even 20 something years later.

#190 Dexter

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:42 PM

Actually, now that I've gravedug this particular thread, I might as well drop this question in here as well:

Does anyone know of a good, smallish (2 person household, guests on occasion) Dewar they'd recommend, and a place that sells them? Getting it filled up isn't as much of a problem, but I'm hesitant to going the Ebay route for this kind of equipment.

#191 msacuisine

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:06 AM

I'd like to pick up a liquid nitrogen dewer, but they seem quite expensive, so I want to make a good choice. Does anyone have advice on the best size for kitchen use? Where are some sources to procure one at a reasonable price? Any other advice about purchasing one?

 

Thanks.



#192 gfweb

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:09 PM

You can use  a old fashioned thermos with a glass liner SO LONG AS YOU DRILL A VENT HOLE IN THE CAP TO PREVENT EXPLOSIONS. I have done this for years quite safely. The only downside is the small volume of most thermoses.

 

You could probably use a insulated plastic drink carboy like you see at picnics or construction sites to get a larger volume. SO LONG AS YOU DRILL A VENT HOLE IN THE CAP TO PREVENT EXPLOSIONS.

 

Don't forget the  vent.


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#193 Smithy

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 12:41 AM

Good advice, gfweb.

 

Where does one go to get liquid nitrogen with which to fill the carboy, or the thermos bottle, or the dewer, for home use?  Is it becoming widely available outside the major cities? I'm curious about this, having only ever acquired LN2 in small quantities from the university chem lab. 


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#194 gfweb

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:03 AM

That's where I've always gotten mine.



#195 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:48 AM

I get mine at a chemistry supply house.  But since I'm in Ecuador, ymmv.


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#196 Smithy

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:01 AM

That's where I've always gotten mine.

 

 Is it because you have an "in" with the stock person, or do they allow you to purchase it?  I suppose I'll have to ask my local universities, if I decide to pursue this, what their policy is.


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#197 Kerry Beal

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:21 AM

Companies like Praxair that supply gasses to industry and for medical purposes have liquid nitrogen.  Also dry ice.  



#198 gfweb

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:39 AM

I only use the LN2 at work so no subterfuge is needed.

Kerry's suggestion is a good one.

#199 Kerry Beal

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:44 AM

To be honest - work is where I get mine too!  But my dry ice I get from Praxair (he trades me for chocolate!)



#200 Samir Chopra

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 03:47 PM

Has anyone in the bay ares been able to purchase liquid nitrogen with any success?  I've tried contacting Praxair near San Francisco but they did not allow me to purchase any LN2 from them.



#201 gfweb

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 05:39 AM

Has anyone in the bay ares been able to purchase liquid nitrogen with any success?  I've tried contacting Praxair near San Francisco but they did not allow me to purchase any LN2 from them.

If you don't need a big volume you might ask your dermatologist if she'd sell you some.



#202 William Colsher

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:58 AM

Do those of you who use LN2 also use the insulated bowl, gloves, etc?



#203 gfron1

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:07 AM

I do not.  I used to when I first started until I learned how it moved when poured into my bowl.


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#204 Nowayout

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 11:28 PM

I buy mine from a local welding supply.  I buy it under a business name and they made me sign some hazmat document.

 

I found a used 50 liter dewar on ebay for around $100 (a real steal!).  It was some university surplus.  

 

I made a lid for it with a pressure relief valve as well as a valve and a draw tube for dispensing.  Works great!

Basically a poor mans version of this: http://static.colepa.../0377367APP.jpg

 

Here is a pic of a similar one:  http://www.ebay.com/...=item5d4f787d3c

 

I don't fill it all that often, mostly for making LN2 ice cream, which is awesome!


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