PopSci is pleased to present videos created by ChefSteps, the free-to-learn culinary school started by alumni of the creative team behind Modernist Cuisine. These original videos explore the art and science of cooking, as well as provide a glimpse into unseen or unnoticed phenomena that occur in our kitchens.
The team at ChefSteps, a brand new online cooking school, created this remarkable video (the first in a series) for our edification. In it, a pool of liquid nitrogen placed in a vacuum chamber gets its pressure lowered so that its boiling point drops rapidly. The nitrogen comes to a vigorous boil, which in turn causes the liquid to cool off further due to surface evaporation. It drops below its freezing point, in fact, and becomes pure -346°F nitrogen ice.
Then, as if that wasn't dramatic enough, the nitrogen atoms forcibly rearrange their lattice in a chain reaction that's caught on super-slow-motion video, casting off flakes of nitrogen snow.
The voiceover is by ChefSteps founder Chris Young, whom you may recall as one of the three brilliant authors of Modernist Cuisine.
But is there a practical use for this solid nitrogen that we can only force into existence under a kitchen vacuum? Your suggestions are welcome.
ChefSteps is more like an online infomercial than a cooking school, but still very interesting stuff.
Do you think we might use it as the ultimate disinfectant ? ....for difficult to access spots on kitchen utensils, perhaps ?...or maybe to serve a scoop exploding frozen bananas ?...
Thats prtty neat, so solid nitogen is colder than liquid nitrogen.
Yeah, kinda like when ice is colder then water... genius. ¬_¬
One can top off a container of perishable food, displacing as much air as possible by stuffing in this material, food can last much longer in a refrigerator, since no oxygen is available esp. for bacteria. From my own experience - I do buy milk in a smallest bottle size, but still can not consume all that fast enough, with an end result is that, esp. in summer, I had to needlessly but necessarily discard last 1/4 or so.
I think the obvious use for this is a nitrogen snow cone. It's tasty for a millisecond until your tongue freezes solid.
Seriously though, couldn't this be used as super-dry ice? I don't know the properties of frozen nitrogen. Maybe it sublimes faster than carbon dioxide, making it useless. If you could keep it in ice form though, it seems like it might be useful for something really important, like transporting lobster from Maine to New York or something like that.
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To cool a velomobile in a humid environment, using a supply of solid nitrogen would be lighter than using liquid nitrogen. This would help dispose of those fancy calories, while saving time.
Nadobabo; Pasteurized milk freezes well. When mine reaches the age of suspicion, I make milk ice cubes. I haven't tried drinking it yet, but for cooking, I can't tell the difference. Their are many things that freeze well. My wife cannot eat eggs. We found the *best* eggless glazed donuts in TX, and bought obscene quantities thereof. She worried that they would spoil. I told her to freeze them, on the theory that the worst that might happen was ruining the donuts. Turns out that donuts freeze very well. In fact, if you nuke 'em, they're almost as good as fresh cooked.
Well, crystallization is an area of needed study still, so it could definitely be useful for that.