How do Whipping Siphons work

Reading time 4 minutes

Whipping siphons or kitchen siphons are appliances used to turn any liquid we put inside into a mousse. For instance, you can use it for much more than preparing whipped cream. Whether you use it for making fresh soda, speeding up marinatinginfusing fruit, or topping a dish with foam or flavor or textural contrast. 

In the same way, this particular utensil is the symbol of molecular gastronomy, a culinary art that highlights the physical and chemical aspects of food and liquid interactions. 

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Nitrous Oxide Cartridges and Whipping Siphons

At its most basic, a whipping siphon is just a metal or stainless steel container used to pressurize liquids or aerate creams with a high-fat percentage. Right at this point, during the pressurization process, is where nitrous oxide cartridges, also called ‘canisters,’ become useful and make this utensil even more enjoyable. These last, we require to pressurize the chamber holding the liquid. 

In other words, nitrous oxide acts as a propellant gas or whipping agent in a whipped cream dispenser. 

Good to know: Nitrous oxide dissolves much better in fat than in water, so high-fat liquids generally foam better in a siphon than low-fat ones do. 

Find out in this blog How to Make Whipped Cream That Remains Firm.

Where to buy nitrous oxide 

To make whipped cream or another preparation in whipping siphons (creams, sauces, foams, mousses, cocktails, etcetera), it is clear that we need nitrous oxide. The question now is where to get it. Online, for example, there are multiple options you can dive into. However, we want to make the task easier for you: purchase cream chargers right here on Fast Gas. 

Typically, you would need a single cartridge of 8g of gas for a whipping siphon, but this one you can only use once and costs about 50 cents. Two cartridges are generally sufficient to charge a 1 L siphon. 

But, if you work in a professional setting, what we imagine, you better go for a bigger cream charger like Fast Gas 615gr.

Our bottles are intended for high-volume commercial use and have a regulated tank system to fill much larger containers and dispense more whipped cream. You can raise your production level to ten liters per hour to have an idea.

Here is a Beginners’ Guide to Using Whipped Cream Chargers

Parts of a Cream Siphon

Once learning about cream siphons or whipping siphons, it is indispensable to learn about the elements of your whipper.

A siphon consists of 5 parts:

  1. A metal bottle or container where the liquid we pour the mix (e.g., cream)
  2. The head. Inside the head are the head valve and a rubber gasket that helps secure the head when tightening and keeps the dissolved gas from escaping.
  3. The handle or lever of the bottle. Tip: Hold the siphon upside down to help the gas propel the liquid from the siphon.
  4. The cartridge holder. Here is where we insert the N2O charge or cartridge. 
  5. The nozzle adapter. This part is where we place the decoration nozzle. The nozzle can come in many shapes, most commonly in a tulip or start shape. 

Guide to using whipping siphons

  1. First and foremost, make sure your siphon is clean to use. The presence of solid particles, even the tiniest, can block the valve. If you prepare different batches of whipped cream, clean between uses with warm water and a proper brush. All parts of the siphon have to be dismantled and cleaned. 
  2. Pour the mix and close the bottle.
  3. Insert the capsule into the cartridge holder and secure it very well. You will hear a slight click that means the cartridge is pierced. This is the signal of ‘ready-to-use.’ 
  4. Shake gently for a few seconds and let the gas binds to the fat molecules of the cream.
  5. Turn the siphon upside down. By this moment, a nozzle has already been placed in the nozzle adapter. 
  6. Now it is time to press the handle to release the aerated mix. 
  7. Enjoy your cream! 

Precautions while using a cream siphon

Till this very moment, many might think that manipulating a cream siphon is a piece of cake, and it might is. But like anything in life, this utensil has after all, in and outs. 

To start, the importance of cleaning a siphon very well. 

Secondly, as a rule of thumb, always filter the liquid to whip. We don’t want the presence of solid particles, right?

Thirdly, place the rubber gasket well and, more importantly, make sure it is not damaged. If the rubber doesnt function as it should, the gas can leak out and the pressure in the bottle decreases. You risk not getting the liquid pushed out of the bottle. 

Fourth, do not hammer, or let your container fall. Don’t forget you are dealing with pressurized gas. What brings us to the next point: keep it away from heat sources.

Last but not least, get yourself a high-quality siphon. There is no time to be stingy when it comes to avoiding dissapointment. 


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