4A40.34 - Liquid Nitrogen - Ice Cream Recipes - Slushie Recipies

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Liquid Nitrogen - Ice Cream Recipes - Slushie Recipies
Properties of Liquid Nitrogen
Area of Study:
Chemistry and Physics
Liquid nitrogen, Ice cream recipe of choice.

See also 4A40.34 in Heat and Fluids


  • 6 cups of cream/half-and-half/milk, in a 2:4 ratio of cream to half-and-half 
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Optional Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • fruit chips
  • chocolate syrup if desired

Now to freeze it....

Individual servings can be made quite easily.  Give each person a Styrofoam cup that is half full of the ice cream mixture.  Pour a small amount of liquid nitrogen into each cup while the person stirs until it freezes.  In this way each person gets to play with the liquid nitrogen and make their own ice cream. 


Get a "large" metal bowl and a wooden (or other sort of material that won't break when cooled to very low temperatures) spoon and pour the mixture in.  Add ~ 1-2 liters of the LN2 and stir vigorously.  (This will be very impressive to the kids as it will look like you're stirring a cauldron of witch's brew!)  

CAUTION: Adding the liquid nitrogen too fast or without stirring will result in ice cream with large lumps or mixture inconsistencies that will affect the taste.  

If you have something to add to the ice cream (fruit, nuts, etc.) get the ice cream cold enough until it just begins to lose it's shiny appearance, then add.  From here just keep adding the LN2 until the ice cream is the desired consistency.  Serve immediately!

You can get ideas for flavors and items to add by looking in a cook book that has regular hand-churn ice cream recipes and adapting them to his recipe/freezing method.

  • Jearl Walker, "4.41, Homemade Ice Cream", The Flying Circus of Physics Ed. 2, p. 193.
  • Bobby Mercer, "Do-It-Yourself Slushie", Junk Drawer Chemistry, 2016, p. 182.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.