Instructables

Pop Rocks!

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Picture of Pop Rocks!
Pop Rocks!  Love 'em or hate 'em, you have to admit these tiny candy crystals pack a neat little punch.  This candy takes me straight back to my childhood!  They can be hard to find sometimes, so here's how you can make a similar substitute with some surprisingly common ingredients.  

 
 
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Step 1: Gather Ingredients

~ 2 Cups Sugar
~ 1 Tsp Baking Soda 
~ 1/4 Cup Citric Acid Crystals (Can be tricky to find.  If your local gourmet/country store doesn't have them, try here .)
~ 1/3 Cup  of Corn Syrup
~ Small amount of Water (Just enough to get sugar wet)
~ 1/4-1 Tsp Flavoring     (any extract will work. Use what you like! When using stronger flavors such as cinnamon, mint, and cherry, you can use a small amount (about 1/4 teaspoon). Subtler flavors such as lemon, strawberry, orange, and peach require more (1/2 to 1 teaspoon.)
~ A Few Drops of Food Coloring of your choice
~ Candy Thermometer (Make sure it is properly calibrated.  Put some water on to boil and put your thermo. in.  Bring the water up to boil and see what the temp. is when it starts boiling.  You may have to adjust the paper inside to set boiling point to 212°F.  Then you know it's ready to go.) 
~ Medium sized Saucepan
~ Whisk
~ Pastry brush
~ Powdered Sugar
~ Large Cookie Sheet
~ Zip-top plastic bag
~ Blunt Instrument ( i.e. hammer, brick, lead pipe, etc.)
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I like your cooking stick.
gdomantic1 year ago
first come pop-rocks, than comes meth! :DDD
indyjoe1 year ago
is the citric acid just for flavor?
chickflix (author)  indyjoe1 year ago
The citric acid mixes with the baking soda to make the fizz/pops.
my personal belief is that pop rocks can be considered an addictive drug. (This is based on personal experimentation)
i put my pop rocks onto sherbert ;)
mygibzone2 years ago
Pop rocks were always a childhood favorite. I'm excited to try this!
there a taste sensation .I made peppermint , maple and orange . peppermint is my favorite and it fizzed/popped the most .I like the recipe . :) =)
chickflix (author)  slaveboy20002 years ago
ooh, peppermint would be good. I'm glad they worked out for you! There are a lot of variables that can make this tricky to make. I'm gonna have to try the minty ones. :)
chickflix (author) 2 years ago
thanks everyone!
I love this recipe for Pop Rocks!
SD4563 years ago
Thank you very much for this instructable! I was looking for these for ages :)
bakesalot3 years ago
that is so cool! glad I found this (:
zilcho3 years ago
It wouldn't be too hard to make a device capable of holding a lot of pressure to put the molten candy in. Then just add a lot of dry ice and seal it off.
Langarulz3 years ago
its hardly ever not dry in AZ
The fizzing here is the same process as the fizzy Skittles. I hate those Skittles; they taste salty. This reaction will also make sodium citrate, so I am worried that if I make these, I will equally dislike them. Have you or other people found these to be salty?

Also as a caution, speaking chemically, these will be salty. However, I can't speak from trying this recipe specifically.
chickflix (author)  duckythescientist3 years ago
You probably won't like them, then. They aren't exactly salty, but they are sour. I didn't get a salty taste, but I like salty and sweet together(ie. Chocolate covered pretzels).

Feel free to change the recipe if you want. Out of all the experiments we tried with them, this version came out the best. You can try adding the 1/4 citric acid when you add the baking soda. That will start the reaction early though, leaving them less fizzy. Try it out. We liked these the best, but try them another way if you want. That's what makes cooking fun! Experiment a little!
I'll probably just wait until someone figures out a way to (safely, at home) use nitrogen instead of an acid base reaction.

Thanks for the response though!
jenjenbug3 years ago
Best phrase of the day, E.V.E.R.

"homemade chunks of awesome"

Thanks for the chuckle!
MaXoR jenjenbug3 years ago
How about "I feel better than a tub full of good things" - Freakazoid
jenjenbug MaXoR3 years ago
Not bad!
chickflix (author)  jenjenbug3 years ago
Lol, thanks! Glad to be of comical assistance! ;)
eyewalk3 years ago
Any recipe with a hammer listed as essential equipment has got my vote!
MaXoR eyewalk3 years ago
Too true.... destruction is fun (Remembers back to the toys in sandbox days.... aww so much destruction)
MaXoR3 years ago
I like this idea, and although these will only fizzle, or froth in your mouth.... it's the safest solution for at home, well safest for those without welding experience, and a background in engineering.

If you can weld, and know how to understand stresses caused by pressure, and not a contact point, then you should have no problem creating the CO2 version.

Wouldn't it be nice to get the real deal? (Although unless you eat these things for supper, I doubt you'll ever eat enough to gain the savings needed over purchasing all the equipment.)
randofo3 years ago
For years I have been considering making them with all kinds of serious industrial equipment. It's not an easy feat heating something to 300 degrees and then pressuring it to 600 psi. This mildly frightens me to try.

I'm glad that you posted this so now that I don't have to build my suicide pop rock machine.

Very cool!
chickflix (author)  randofo3 years ago
Thanks! They were fun to make!

I've considered the possibility of building a pressure cooker, but i think I'd like to keep my limbs. Perhaps if you'd like to do a joint venture sometime... :) Anyway, these are a neat alternative.

Thanks again for your support!
MaXoR chickflix3 years ago
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MODIFY A PRESSURE COOKER, THEY ARE DESIGNED FOR UNDER 20PSI!!!! The metal walls alone will likely bulge already at 30, and might simply explode apart at 50-80.

You're going to be looking to use 1\8 - 1\4 inch carbon steel at least, so all of you figuring you're going to go make something out of a pressure cooker, you're setting yourself up for a whole mess of 3rd degree burns!
hlfwy.thr3 years ago
Cool! Didn't know you could make these at home. I'll have to try it out/.
MaXoR hlfwy.thr3 years ago
Keep in mind he said they were "LIKE" pop rocks, although these will only fizzle, or froth in your mouth. The same experience can be had with vinager and baking soda, since it's the same reaction your creating.
vanmankline3 years ago
Nice detailed instructable, however this is closer to a seafoam or sponge toffee. True Pop Rocks can not be made a home, although this is still a great candy.

It does use CO2 (from a chemical reaction) to make it light and airy, but Pop Rocks require CO2 to be injected at high pressures. It is the pressurized gas escaping that makes the pops.
I almost wonder if there isn't an IBLE here for that CO2 version to create REAL pop rocks. Sure 600 PSI is huge, but it's about what is available in a CO2 cartridge isn't it? So why couldn't you just heat up the sugars, then have a sealed system that allows a CO2 cartridge to be evacuated into the mixture?! Im also assuming that you simply have to cool the sugar after the CO2 has been added, although it must be cooled at 600 PSI until hard.

This doesn't sound impossible to me, and compared to other ibles, it now seem probable that someone will take this and make it real.
for storage use a bottle with a vacuum seal and pump out the air. You can make your own resealable vacuum bottles and use a commercial vacuum pump or build a pump. If you use the reynolds system (I have one) they have various sized bags, so you could put P-R's in a few put them in the big bag (99% sealed, then close the big bag, cauum it press the smaller bags closed (inside the sealed evacuated big bag) and then pu them in a big jar which you vacuum as well. Cheap bags don't work well over time , but in a jar they will do fine allowing no degaidation as you open then close the big bottle to give treats to kiddies, ok adults too.

nice instructable
chickflix (author)  spark master3 years ago
Thanks for the input! I didn't even think of that. That'll give me an excuse to use the food saver next time. :)
that toy cost so much , ya gotta use it once in a while!

I must clarify to all I just confused, you put a serving in a small sandwich bag, then close them 99% . Then you put them flat in a large vacuum bag (clear see through plastic seal that and evacuate the big bag, which evacuates the little ones (cheapo bags). Run a finger over the seals of the small bags so they are sealed up (inside the big bag under vacuum)then release the vacuum to the big bag. take all the little bags put in vacuum jar and evac that. (you can make a jar for a penny or less)

cheapo bags won't keep a vacuum long, but stored in a vacced jar they will keep very nice and allow you to remove them and take them on a trip to park etc and still keep good explosive sillyness for all to enjoy.
Remag12343 years ago
$15 from Amazon, that would buy a lot of pop rocks.
I'd really like to make some sizzling bacon pop rocks. I found this recipe for bacon extract:
http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/8ue5i/outpouring_of_support_from_reddit_keeps/c0ah12r

Do you think this would work?
chickflix (author)  happysmurfday3 years ago
It would be neat to try! Just remember that they are kind of sour with the citric acid.
mikelike3 years ago
These look so good though I am pretty sure my teeth will disagree with me.:))
tvincent3 years ago
Most homebrew supply shops also carry citric acid, it gets used in home wine-making occasionally.
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