Cream chargers, also known as whipped cream chargers or nitrous oxide chargers, are small canisters filled with nitrous oxide (N2O) that are used to whip cream. However, these small canisters can be used for a variety of culinary purposes beyond whipped cream. In this article, we will explore the various culinary uses of cream chargers and how they can elevate your dishes.
What are Cream Chargers?
Cream chargers are small canisters that contain nitrous oxide, a colorless and odorless gas. The gas dissolves into the cream when the charger is used, which causes the cream to become whipped. Cream chargers are commonly used in the food industry, but they are also popular among home cooks who enjoy creating culinary masterpieces.
Culinary Uses of Cream Chargers Cream chargers can be used for a variety of culinary purposes beyond whipped cream. Some of the most popular uses include:
- Infused Oils: Cream chargers can be used to infuse oils with various flavors. Simply place the oil and your desired flavorings (such as herbs, spices, or fruit) into a cream dispenser, add a cream charger, shake well, and let it sit for a few minutes. The infused oil can be used in salads, pasta dishes, or as a finishing oil for grilled meats.
- Foams: Cream chargers can be used to create foams out of a variety of liquids, such as fruit juices, vegetable purees, or even coffee. Simply add the liquid to a cream dispenser, add a cream charger, and shake well. The resulting foam can be used as a garnish or topping for desserts or savory dishes.
- Carbonated Beverages: Cream chargers can be used to carbonate water or other beverages, such as cocktails or soda. Simply add the liquid to a cream dispenser, add a cream charger, and shake well. The resulting carbonated beverage can be enjoyed on its own or used as a mixer in cocktails.
- Sous Vide Cooking: Cream chargers can be used to create a sous vide cooking environment in a jar or container. Simply add the food to a jar or container, add a cream charger, and seal it tightly. The nitrous oxide in the charger will create a vacuum seal that will allow the food to cook evenly.
Cream chargers are also commonly used in molecular gastronomy, a type of cooking that focuses on the chemical and physical transformations of food during the cooking process. Some of the most popular molecular gastronomy techniques that use cream chargers include:
- Espumas: Espumas are foams made with a cream dispenser and cream chargers. These foams can be made out of a variety of liquids, such as fruit juices, vegetable purees, or even coffee. They are often used as a garnish or topping for desserts or savory dishes.
- Spherification: Spherification is a process that involves creating small spheres of liquid that burst in your mouth. Cream chargers are often used to create the spheres, which are made by adding a mixture of liquid and sodium alginate to a cream dispenser. The resulting spheres can be used as a garnish or topping for dishes.
One of the most popular culinary uses for cream chargers is DIY carbonation. By using a cream dispenser and cream chargers, you can easily create carbonated water or other beverages at home. This is a great way to add a little fizz to your favorite cocktails or soda without having to