Better food with Liquid Nitrogen? I tried that in the 8th Grade with NitroCream!

June 6th, 2011

The Times has a story about a Chef who uses liquid nitrogen to prepare the ideal hamburger:

Dr. Myhrvold’s solution to this challenge is a twofold process developed by the “Modernist Cuisine” laboratory team. First, put the beef patty in a plastic bag and cook it sous vide — immersed in warm water for about half an hour until the core temperature reaches about 130 degrees. Next, dip the patty in liquid nitrogen for 30 seconds to freeze the outer millimeter of the meat, and then deep-fry in 450-degree oil for one minute.

“The freezing followed by the burst of high heat lets you brown the outside without overcooking the inside,” Dr. Myhrvold said. And the deep-frying is supposed to be a technological improvement over the classic White Castle spatula-on-a-griddle technique.

I conducted a number of science projects in Junior High School, as well as High School, involving liquid nitrogen (see here for some press clippings). In 8th Grade, I had the genius idea of making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. I called it NitroCream! I basically froze milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and some chocolate chips. What was the science project, you ask? Well I fed my classmates a sample of the NitroCream and a sample of the store bought ice cream. I think the results were somewhat mixed, though a number of students told me that the ice cream made them sick. All in the name of science, right?

How’d I do? First prize in the Staten Island-wide Science Fair. Yeah, I got that.