Gallery: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream at What's the Scoop in Portland, OR

The secret ingredient
The secret ingredient
The Ostrovskys use liquid nitogren to freeze their ice cream quickly in a big Hobart mixer—they believe it helps the texture by creating smaller ice crystals.
First step: get it in the mixer
First step: get it in the mixer
The custard base goes into the Hobart and the flat beater screws on tight.
A puff of nitrogen
A puff of nitrogen
Gloves are necessary for handling the hose.
A little more
A little more
The kitchen at What's the Scoop is open so customers can catch the liquid-nitrogen show.
Ok, a lot more
Ok, a lot more
Brian Ostrovsky manning the mixer. He attended the Penn State Ice Cream Short Course to perfect his recipes and technique.
Soup?
Soup?
At first, the texture is pretty soupy, but this method yields 6 gallons of ice cream in about 5 minutes.
Thickening
Thickening
As more liquid nitrogen is released over the churning mixer, the ice cream texture thickens into smooth ribbons.
That looks better
That looks better
The texture begins to harden, which means it's ready for add-ins.
Squirt in some chocolate
Squirt in some chocolate
To add chocolate bits, Ostrovsky squeezes in some melted chocolate shell (made in house.)
Mix 'er up
Mix 'er up
A little more mixing breaks the chocolate into bits.
More chocolate
More chocolate
To make sure there's chocolate throughout, more is added after churning.
A cool blast
A cool blast
After the chocolate is added, a little more liquid nitrogen cools it all down further.
Scrape
Scrape
Then it's time to get it out of the mixer and into the freezer. A little scraping is necessary to get the beater clean.
Into containers
Into containers
The soft ice cream is scooped into freezing containers.
Chill out
Chill out
The hardening cabinet is 30 degrees below zero.
Pints
Pints
Pints are for sale for those who want to enjoy their ice cream at home.