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




About: Random Weekend Projects

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

For more project videos, check out

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.



    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest

    18 Discussions


    4 years ago

    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.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    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.



    5 years ago on Step 2

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

    5 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 2

    Co2 fire extinguishers are refillable.


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 2

    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.

    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.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    tried this - very tasty and fun to make. my one son (who loves sweets) really enjoyed this but my other son didn't, he felt the fizzy-ness was too much. I thought it was really cool. It's sorta like pop rock ice cream. if you added some fruit flavoring it would be more like pop rocks. either way it's good stuff (and who knew dry ice is safe to eat!)

    Gamer Guy

    5 years ago on Introduction

    What happened to your YouYube account?

    "This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated."


    5 years ago on Introduction

    The Youtube Video is unwatchable. The account was terminated. Any other source for it?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Careful, you can't be sure your dry ice is foood grade! I Guarantee a fire extinguisher is not! Its made from air using a pump, usually powered by gasoline engine so the pump exhaust may be included in your dry ice, yuch, carbon monoxide and partially burned gasoline! let some dry in a pan and if it smells off DO NOT USE.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is an awesome idea! How long will the ice cream keep if you store it in the freezer after making it? WIll it keep like a normal tub of ice cream?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    It's not going to "keep" in a freezer. Your freezer temperatures are typically slightly below the freezing point of water. According to one website I saw, PThe ideal freezer temperature is 0 Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius) for storing food. And -10 Fahrenheit (-23 Celsius) is recommended when freezing food."(see: A typical household freezer won't be able to go much lower than that. However, dry ice sublimates (changes directly from the solid used in this ice cream into a gaseous form - there is no such thing as liquid carbon dioxide at ordinary room pressure) at −78.5 °C (−109.3 °F) at Earth atmospheric pressures. Sooooo....the carbon dioxide (fizziness) part of this icecream will start to break down right away. But...the frozen half and half, etc. would remain frozen in your freezer. But it would be ordinary ice cream, not fizzy icecream after some time. How much time? I don't know, but it would keep longer in lower temperature surrouundings... like your freezer. I think it would also help to keep it in a styrofoam box inside your freezer. The sublimating CO2 takes heat energy out of the rest of the ice cream, helping keep it at a lower temperature than your the rest of your freezer. But don't seal it tightly....don't want a "CO2 icecream bomb".


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I'd never heard of this until a week ago when we decided to make this for a fund raiser for a club at school, and now I see it here.... Cool! =)