How to Make Carbonated Ice Cream, "Halloween Style"! (Dry Ice Cream)





Introduction: How to Make Carbonated Ice Cream, "Halloween Style"! (Dry Ice Cream)

Carbonated ice cream?  ...Really!  And here's how to make it with a few simple ingredients, and a bit of dry-ice.

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Step 1: Watch the Video!

WARNING: Dry Ice is extremely cold! (-78C/-109F) and can cause instant frost-bite to exposed skin.  This project should not be attempted without adult supervision and adequate training. Ingestion of dry-ice may cause serious internal tissue damage.  If Dry Ice is ingested, drink copious amounts of warm water as soon as practical.  Misuse, or careless use may result in serious injury.  Use of this video content is at your own risk.

Step 2: Dry-Ice (With a Fire Extinguisher??)

You may remember in a previous project how we used a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) fire extinguisher to produce dry ice.  For this project, I tried discharging the entire 15lb extinguisher to see how much we could get, and ended up with 5 lbs of dry ice.  Not bad!

If you haven't seen the video on how to make dry ice with a CO2 fire extinguisher, check it out here;

Certain fire extinguishers utilize CO2 as the medium for suppressing fires.  These types are mainly found in restaurant kitchens, mechanical rooms, and in areas that hold sensitive equipment like computers.

CO2 fire extinguishers are usually charged with food grade CO2 and are referred to in terms of pounds.  For example, a 5lb CO2 extinguisher is charged with a 5 lb weight of liquid CO2.   The extinguisher is then highly pressurized.

CO2 fire extinguishers are marked with stickers, or holes punched in the servicing labels.  They also have unusually large discharge horns, and no pressure gauges.

Of course if you don't have access to a CO2 fire extinguisher, try getting some dry-ice at your local grocery store.  This will work just as well (and a lot cheaper) than getting it any other way.

Step 3: What You'll Need

This simple vanilla ice cream recipe is easy, and delicious!

2 cups Half & Half
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

Note:  Half & Half is a dairy product consisting of half light cream and half milk. If you have heavy whipping cream and milk, you can make half and half by combining four parts whole milk with one part heavy cream. If you only have light whipping cream, use three parts whole milk and one part light whipping cream.

Step 4: Add the Cold

Mix all ingredients together, and add some cold.  (In this case, dry ice!)

The dry ice cools the liquid mixture to the point where it takes on the familiar qualities of ice cream.

BE CAREFUL!  If you add too much dry-ice all at once, your ice cream mix will bubble over and spill out all over your counter.  This makes a very big mess, so avoid the hassle by adding dry ice in moderation, as the mix needs it.

I love this method because it adds a mysterious flowing fog quality to the process that's very visually stimulating, and gratifying.

When the fog stops, the dry ice has most likely all sublimated out, but be careful when eating, and watch for any small pieces that may have been missed, and avoid eating them.  Because the CO2 sublimates directly into a gas, it's very clean and doesn't leave behind any residue.

Dry ice is solid CO2, and as it sublimates through the mix, it forms carbonic acid with some of the water in the mix, giving the ice cream the familiar fizzy carbonated taste that we associate with soda.

Step 5: Ready to Serve!

The ice cream should be ready when it looks and feels like .. well, ice cream!

When you are convinced there are no more chunks of dry ice in the mix, and no more vapor is rising from the ice cream, it's a pretty safe bet that all the dry ice has sublimated out.

The awesome thing about using a cooling medium like dry-ice in the mix is that it doesn't leave behind any watery residue in the mix.  It all just vaporizes out, leaving the chilled ice-cream behind.

When you're sure it's safe to eat, go ahead and transfer it to a cone or a dish for serving.  

You've just created a carbonated ice cream cone!  That means it's slightly fizzy and will tingle your tongue a bit.

Step 6: Enjoy!

When my kids got a taste of the tingly treat, they couldn't get enough.

Well now you know how to make a delicious carbonated ice cream in a way that's appropriate for halloween, but fun any time of the year.

If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others.

Check them out at

Here's the video again in case you missed it.



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    This is one of you're best ideas ever. My brother and I love you're videos, and we did the one were you make instant ice. thank you. By the way I am totally going to have to make the metal foundry.

    Your Highness. Or should that be Mr K Random? How does one address you BTW?

    Anyway, Your Highness (to be on the safe side) thank you for some very fine instructables. I always know when I see one of yours that it will be worth reading. This is no exception - it's just what I had in mind for a small kids' project.

    Do you recall, by any chance, how much dry ice you needed for a certain amount of ice cream? I'm wondering about doing this but am rather CO2 limited and so I don't want to make a gallon of sludge when I could be making a pint of beautiful ice cream.

    You said you got 5lbs of dry ice from a 15lb extinguisher. Did you use all of that? I have at most 4 x 1kg extinguishers (just shy of 9lb total). What type of amount do you think I can aim for with that?

    Any help appreciated.


    If a 5 pound block costs you at most $5, why would you use up a fire extinguisher?

    You can buy CO2 in the US but elsewhere in the world it's nearly impossible to source. In the UK you'll pay £30+ for delivery no matter how much or little you want, for example.

    In case you already had one

    Co2 fire extinguishers are refillable.

    Also, I would think it is easier to crush it up into fine bits since it is already "snow" instead of a single hard block.

    He wanted to.. .it's quite all right

    If it melts, will it still drip on you?

    Tried this last night. It was excellent and my housemates loved it! I'm gonna do it again and include a banana puree.
    I used normal sugar though, not sure if powdered would make a difference.

    I'm so glad you're videos are back up, I didn't realize I should've started archiving them. XP
    You're easily my favorite youtuber.