Dry Ice Ice Cream

Dry Ice Ice Cream

A couple months ago I tried making ice cream using dry ice.  It turned out really well.  The added benefit of making ice cream with dry ice is for the first 24 hours after it’s made, the ice cream is carbonated which gives it a really neat texture.

The basic procedure is:

  1. Get at least a pound of dry ice.  If you’re in Ottawa, the best place I’ve found for it so far is Praxair on Star Top Rd.

    Dry Ice Package

    Dry Ice Package

  2. Assemble the base for the ice cream – any recipe you can find for ice cream to put in an ice cream maker will work.  I found that the recipes where you make a custard for the base worked best.

    Ice Cream Base

    Ice Cream Base

  3. Knock off a big chunk of dry ice with a hammer and a chisel, wrap it in a towel, and then use a hammer to pound the dry ice into a fine powder.

    Crushing the dry ice

    Crushing the dry ice

  4. Put the ice cream base into your mixer with the beater attachment, put it on a medium speed, and using a measuring cup slowly start sprinkling in the dry ice powder.  As the ice cream starts to thicken up, gradually slow down the mixer.  Do not add chunks of dry ice thinking that your mixer will break them apart.  They do break apart a fair bit but if you end up eating a chunk of dry ice, it can burn the inside of your mouth – just like frost bite.

    Ice Cream Carbonation

    Ice Cream Carbonation

  5. Keep adding the dry ice until you think you can add just a little bit more before the mixer will struggle and then stop.  I found I repeatedly added just a little too much dry ice and ended up with big chucks of rock hard ice cream at the bottom of the bowl.  Stop while it’s still soft.

    Ice cream after adding too much dry ice

    Ice cream after adding too much dry ice

  6. If you want to stir in big chunks of things in your ice cream like pieces of chocolate bars or if you want to swirl in chocolate syrup or a berry mixture, now’s the time to do it.
  7. You can eat it now as carbonated soft serve ice cream, put it in the freezer for an hour and eat it as carbonated hard ice cream, or leave it in the freezer for 24 hours to eat it as regular ice cream.