Ice cream in the desert

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 00:25
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For a while it has been a fantasy of mine to have ice cream while camping in some remote location.

I don't want to crank up the fridge and turn it into a freezer because I don't like beer slushies (unless I have to).

I was watching a cooking show on SBS a couple of weeks ago and this cook (chef, Heston I think) was cooking outside and used nitrogen to cool something down quickly and he was in a garden, or similar.

Ever since I have been wondering if it would be possible to make ice cream in a stainless steel bowl, chilling the outside with nitrogen, or similar, how easy is it to buy a nitrogen gas cylinder, would I use nitrogen, how safe would it be to carry said gas supply to a remote locality?????

I have a lot of questions and it's actually a bit liberating to get them out of my head.

Does anyone think it's a feasible idea, or should I just get over it? I still reckon it would be quite decadent sitting at Jupiter Well on a star studded night, eating frozen ice cream. mmmm.

eighty matey
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Reply By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 06:39

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 06:39
I think its a resonable question.

The joys of owning a 4wd and living in Australia. Dream big and live large.

Craig
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Follow Up By: Member - Redbakk (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:55

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:55
Nice looking hole you're fishing in Craig.....get any?
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 12:53

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 12:53
No fish,
There were seals everwhere. Looked to good not to have a crack. The spot is 2km West of the Baxter cliffs.

Brilliant spot.

Craig
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 07:50

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 07:50
Matey,

Didn't see the "cooking" show you're referring to, but there are really two ways you could use nitrogen (or any other gas) to provide cooling.

When a gas is compressed it releases heat. That's why a bicycle pump, and a decent air compressor get hot when in use. If you compress a gas and let it cool, it will draw in heat when expanding, so make things cold. This is just how you Engel or Waeco works. Go to the extreme and compress a gas till it turns to liquid (or in some cases direct to solid, like CO2 which goes to "dry ice"). It then draws in a lot of heat when expanding and returning to the gas state.

Neither is a sensible way to make ice cream - a cylinder of compressed gas is heavy and should not be carried inside a vehicle anyway because of the consequences of all that gas escaping quickly in the event of a mishap. Carrying liquid nitrogen or any other liquified gas is complex and very dangerous.

Leave it as a fantasy, or crank up the Engel. That way you'll be able o carry ice cream too!

Cheers

John
J and V
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 08:27

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 08:27
Matey,

Dry Ice has traditionally been produced from CO2 and as John has said, can be very dangerous to handle. Its temperature is -78C and can result in burns when handling. Together with all the other hassles it is a romantic but risky notion. It may be better to take a second small fridge run as a freezer which would be cheaper anyway.

Some TV shows like to be very 'clever' but you don't get to see all the hassles off-camera to create the dramatic presentation.

Having said that, if you see me going past when you have just made some ice-cream, wave me over to provide an expert opinion of the product. LOL

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 09:36

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 09:36
For a safer solution you could carry the nitrogen in your tyres :)

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Greg
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Follow Up By: Dirt Princess - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 12:56

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 12:56
I second that Allan, I'll be in the official tasting team;). Struth Matey what a dream. In the desert eatin icecream. Keep dreaming!
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 19:04

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 19:04
mmmm... the science or the dream.

I thank you for the info and the concern, but The Explorer's reply got me thinking. Fill one of my spares with nitrogen???!!!

It's outside the vehicle and with tyre being a 265/75R16 I should have heaps.

Call me crazy but you're probably right.
mmmm......ice cream in the desert......
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 19:18

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 19:18
Sorry eighty matey, I doubt that you are serious but anyway, sublimating from the maximum safe pressure of your tyre will not be sufficient to produce the temperature you seek. You need to start from a very much higher pressure.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:05

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:05
Hi Allan,

it's been something I thought about, and spoken about, when camping for a while.

When I saw the TV cook, Heston someone, do a frozen desert in a back yard, using a small gas cylinder, a stainless steel bowl and a big pair of gloves, it was like my dream was possible.

I've had a few crazy ideas abouit how I could do it (which I may patent in case they work) but this TV show "looked"easyish.

I'll Google the show.

Like Craig F said, "Dream big and live large". That sounds good.



Thanks for your input,

Steve
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:23

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:23
Yep, don't stop dreaming.........that's where the greatest ideas have come from.

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Allan

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 07:54

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 07:54
We have ice cream regularly on outback trips, its kept in the freezer section of the fridge in the Oka, just the same as the fridge at home. ;-)))
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:12

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:12
Come on, where's the fun in that??

Sure, it's luxurious and slightly decadent but using inappropriate ingredients to create a frozen desert from liquids in the Great Sandy Desert on a Tuesday night... I reckon that'd be something different.

My son is about 3 weeks away from being a fully qualified Fridge/Freezer/Air con mechanic. I should get him to test his knowledge and help me create my desert. He made a stubby cooler that actually cools your stubby! but that was using 240 volts It should just be one step more.

Have fun,

Steve
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 08:36

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 08:36
Why not - if you are really keen just do it.

Wait until the evening when the air is cooler, take the not to be frozen things out of the fridge and put them in a box or something and wrap a blanket around. A few bottles of fluids that have been chilled all day will help keep that stuff cool. Now crank the fridge up and go for it.

I made ice cream once from a packet kit - not all that nice, probably better nowadays. Better to use your own brew. I would have a trial run at home so you have the process right and not fluff it when the fanatsy is in action.

Have fun.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:16

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:16
That's the spirit Alastair.

I've got 96 days until we leave, so I'll try some stuff. It would be the best surprise to knock it up when we're camping.

I'll let you klow how I go,

Steve
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Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 08:44

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 08:44
The real practicality of icecream in the desert, does involve nitrogen, but forget making the icecream and forget liquid nitrogen.

The answer is dry ice.
run with ya normal refrigeratoin and leave that alone, get ya self a very well insulated and smallish esky...six pack is too small.....pack it solid with dry ice and put a small number of premium type icecreams (like magnums) or small premium icreams in tubs like the ***MAMINO*** ( mmmmm MAMINO) in the middle of it.

you should get a couple or 3 days maybe more out of this arrangement before the dry ice runs out and fails to keep the icecream firm.

To make this dream a reality you will need to do some testing on how long your system will hold the icecream.

And you will need to establish where you can source both the dry ice and the icecream within reaslistic travel time of the desert.

One alternative to the esky is medical transport boxes, these are high density styro boxes that are realy thick in the walls and seal very well.
They use em to ship medical products, tissue samples, body parts and drugs all over the world.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:52

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:52
and dry ice is used to ship
....... wait for it .......
ice creams,
yes we use it, we buy our ice creams by the box, about 20 30 boxes each time and it is packed in a "shipper" (small boxes in a bigger box) and they pack dry ice in small plastic bags around the small boxes ...... the bags are about 6" x 4"
We buy it in Alice Springs so there is someone in Alice that makes and sells the dry ice in packets specifically for transport usage .......
One thing is that it is gone after 3 days, thats how long it takes for our freight to get here .... so i cant tell yo how long it lasts but if you somehow find out who sells it in Alice they will be able to tell you how long it lasts
You idea now is starting to look posibble ....
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 10:02

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 10:02
Yes indeed and exactly right, before the advent of cheap and universally accessable refrigeration lots of things where shipped in dry ice.

And yes icecream particularly, used to be regularly shipped to regional towns by normal rail and road freight packed in dry ice.

even today, if you have been to a school fete, the icecreams served from the company provided icecream van would have been shipped, stored in and served out of dry ice........

back in the days before just about everybody could afford a portable fridge, if you wanted to go camping or traveling for more than a day or two dry ice was a necessity.

How long it lasts well that is dependent on how well the package is insulated, the ambient temperature, and how much dry ice is packed compared to the material being stored and how well it is managed.

I have personally seen dry ice still remaining after 5 days.

If you realy want long times out of dry ice you need to be talking block, because it is so much more dense than pellets.

The icecream shippers generally used are not fabulously insulated ( its just not cost effective) yet they can still get 2 or 3 days out of it.

As I say those medical shippers are worth a look, if you can lay hands on any, some of them the walls are 2 or 3 inches thick high density styro.

If you get everything right, 5 days is certainly not out of the question.

cheers
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Follow Up By: SDG - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:35

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:35
Anybody see that whack job of a science teacher a few months back, who was running a tally in his classroom of year seven kids, on who could hold a piece of dry ice in their bare hands the longest?
Several got burnt and needed surgery
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 19:40

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 19:40
Thanks for the tip Joe n Mel n kids,

I could find a spot in the fridge for dry ice and that'd help it keep.

mmmm, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have ice cream, one way or another, at Jupiter Well on, or about, the evening of August 6, 2012.

I'll do some experimenting this weekend. It should be fun.

Steve
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Reply By: KevinE - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 09:10

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 09:10
I don't see why you couldn't do it, when I was in the army we used to use BCF fire extinguishers to instantly chill warm beers when the need arose. It worked a treat! Of course, BCF extinguishers are banned now because of the fluorocarbons, but dry ice should do the job IMO. :)
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Reply By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 09:39

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 09:39
Hi

Slightly similar discussion here

Thread 42930

for some more ideas...though most revolve around actually using a fridge/freezer.

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:29

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:29
what about this astro ice cream from the shopfreeze dried icecream
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:58

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:58
I saw that and wondered what it would be like.

Really keen to be a bit more innovative, if you know what I mean.

Steve
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Reply By: Member - Brian P (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 15:49

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 15:49
Hi eighty matey. What about an electric ice cream maker? Like this one

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ALUMINUM-BOWL-ELECTRIC-ICE-CREAM-FROZEN-YOGURT-GELATO-SORBET-MAKER1-45L-PORTABLE-/300686740806?pt=AU_SmallKitchenAppliances&hash=item4602538d46

You could run it off an inverter or of a generator. Brian
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:28

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:28
That'd be fun, and slightly off centre, to set up the ice cream maker on the tailgate after dinner. Churn up a bit of ice cream for everyone.

The bowl has to be pre-frozen so I give that squirt if nitrogen!!

I can almost taste it.

hooroo,
Steve

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Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 17:06

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 17:06
I dunno about you blokes experiences - but just leaving a flat steel dish of water outside overnight in the Outback, between June and August, generally ensures you have all the ice you need, by sun up!! [:-)

A mate bought a Yank icecream churn, and it performs pretty well. He put on a display at the Brookton Old Time Motor Show.
You have to crank the thing for about 30 or 40 minutes to get the ice cream.
It looks like a lot of hard work to me. However, you still need the crushed ice.

The only way you're going to get the required amount of ice is to use a freezer. The stunt of using a fire extinguisher or a gas to produce ice isn't going to be effective - because if you're going to drag with you, all that you need to make ice that way - you might as well take along a small freezer.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/821699/make_instant_ice_cream/

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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:47

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:47
I really liked the video.

That's the sort of thing I was thinking of, but I won't have ice.

I'm going to play around with some stuff and see what happens,

Steve
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 17:25

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 17:25
Back in the early days at Woomera we used to make ice-cream from Carnation Evaporated Milk. We didn't have much alternative and it wasn't a bad drop at the time.

So I just did a Google search and found the recipe still exists here.
Might even try it again for old times sake!

Mind you, freezing is still necessary. Out bush however it seems that turning the fridge down to freezing for a couple of hours could be acceptable. At least there is no need to keep it at freezing to store the stuff....... not in my camp anyway! LOL

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 17:29

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 17:29
Mind you, I thought the original recipe said... "beat until stiff". Which these days would not take long at all! LOL

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:54

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:54
My Nan used to make ice cream using that recipe. It was my favourite and still might be my favourite.

I really like the 21st century idea of having an icecream maker running off an inverter, totally surrounded by desert.

I'm really going to try and do this. 96 days until I leave.

Hooroo,
Steve
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Reply By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:19

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:19
We take great pleasure in getting an ice block or ice cream out on a hot day when out with friends on club trips. Almost tempted to offer them around. Oh at a cost of course!!

I had thoughts akin to those above. We also had a need for a freezer for the longer desert and CSR drives so simply purchased a small 21litre Engel as a dedicated freezer. At this stage I like "simple". We also have heaps of room in the back of the 100 series when all extra seats are removed and a flat shelf covers all the back including the drawers. Just us two so why not.

It works for us.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:08

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:08
I also love the luxury of pulling a cold drink, or fresh sandwiches, our of the fridge on a hot day, in the middle of nowhere.

We have a second, smaller Engel that we were thinking about taking for a freezer but decided against it. Space and weight are our two main considerations.

I like the challenge of "creating the frozen dessert in the desert".

The ice cream maker run off an inverter sounds different to me.
If I can get it organised and working, I'm not going to tell the others travelling with us and just whip some ice cream up after dinner one night.

That'd be fun,

hooroo,
Steve
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:34

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:34
As a matter of interest I did a Google search for ice-cream machines. Quite a few came up but they seemed to require pre-freezing the bowl or transferring it to a freezer, the machine being only a churn.

However, there is a Sunbeam machine that has an internal compressor to do the whole job. There may be others of course. It is fairly hefty at over 400mm diameter and 11.5kg and although not specified, I would think its power consumption to be reasonable.

It's certainly not for me however.

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 08:02

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 08:02
We have a ice-cream maker at home it packs up very small and will easily run from a inverter. The bowl has to be frozen before you start but once you start you have ice-cream in about 20 min. The wife is going to start making to Gelato's soon. I reckon if you freeze up the bowl before hand, use the machine to make the stuff and once done give it another zap you will be set for some nice hard ice-cream.

I personally just take ice-cream with me but I can see the fun in the experiment, let us know the outcome.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 10:27

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 10:27
Troll

"I personally just take ice-cream with me but I can see the fun in the experiment"

Same here.

Then again taking your own leaves more time to enjoy the bush. Maybe even catch that big one. I think I would rather fish, or watch a sunset, than cook etc.

Can't stand gelatto though. Prefer the smooth milk/cream based stuff.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 20:20

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 20:20
I'm sure I can have a beer, or two, while I make up a batch of ice cream.

Ahh the serenity. There's nothing like the hum of an ice cream maker as you take in the wonders of the Australian landscape :)

hooroo
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 22:14

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 22:14
And the hum of the generator to run the machine??? I wonder but then you may use an inverter.

We were sitting on the top of Big Red and not another car around (11/Sep/11). It was late in the day and not another car or person in sight apart from my wife and I. An amazing sunset. I know what you mean.

Still prefer a chocolate covered Streets one from the shops (2nd fridge).

Catchya

Phil
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Reply By: greybeard - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 23:25

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 23:25
I haven't tried this yet but I'd like to see how it goes.
I can't remember where I found the recipe but ....


2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 level tablespoon white sugar (or castor) rock salt ice two zip lock plastic bags, one snack size, one sandwitch size.

In the smaller bag, place your sugar, milk & cream (50/50), dont over fill it (no more than 1/3 - 1/2 full), you need as much air space as mixture to get it to whip properly .
Zip up the cream bag,
In the larger bag, place a good hand full of ice & sprinkle liberally with rock salt, put your cream bag in & another hand full of ice & salt, try to get most of the air out & zip it up.
Massage the bags vigorously between your hands, you will notice the bag getting very cold as a reaction takes place with the ice & salt, you will need a tea towel to stop the chill blains. Massage for a couple of minutes, the more cream mix you have the longer it will take to get the cream mixture to firm up, when it does, remove the cream bag & spoon the ice cream out onto your favourite pie!!

(dont do what I did the first time & pour/squeaze the mixture out onto your plate along with the salty water off the bag!!!)


give it a go, this is a serious eye brow raiser but is a single serve.

AnswerID: 484333

Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Friday, Apr 27, 2012 at 19:46

Friday, Apr 27, 2012 at 19:46
Hi Greybeard,

in Ron N's reply (10 of 15 above) there is a link to a video that show's it being done. Copy and paste this link to have a look, if you want -

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/821699/make_instant_ice_cream/

I'm going to try it this weekend.

Steve
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