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Liquid Nitrogen?

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  • peps1 Oct 8, 2008 11:48 PM

Any chowhound chefs or chemists out there know of a liquid nitrogen source in or around Austin, legal or (gasp) illegal? Would like to play around with it. Thanks.

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  1. Check Airgas (www.airgas.com). They have local offices here in Austin. They have the liquid nitrogen and might have some dewars to carry it. There are a lot of safety issues with it so you have to be careful how you carry it, and use goggles when handling it. There might be other gas supply shops around town.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fduran

      Thanks, fduran. This has been a big help. I also located some from Praxair on Metropolis. However, I need to provide my own container ($500!). I'll let you know details if I obtain any.

    2. Matheson Tri Gas on Springdale between 4th and 3rd streets. I see them venting enough liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen that they could afford to give away enough for needs for free. They have all sizes of bottles, and a huge white tank of it at the loading dock.

      7 Replies
      1. re: sqwertz

        Thanks, sqwertz. I also located some from Praxair on Metropolis but must provide my own $500 cryogenic container. This has been a big help. Anyone else in town playing around with this stuff? I'll let you know how it goes.

        1. re: peps1

          I don't have the time or i to do the research myself... please do tell what the point to this is.

          1. re: Rene

            chefs and cooks have been experimenting with liquid nitrogen more frequently in the past several years. there are several applications for this product in the kitchen as well as new ones being discovered. i would say the most common use for liquid notrogen recently is applying the substance to normal oily products to achieve a ground powder that could not be achieved without making into a fatty paste, say, for example, peanuts or olives. (although maltodextrin works for this result as well.) you can also make dipping dots, or freeze shrimp shells to grind and make salt from. it can be used to shatter and grind pork for a pork sugar that can then be bruleed onto pineapple, etc, etc... to answer the original poster as far as legality, you need to actually use hospital grade liquid nitrogen in the professional kitchen. the nitrogen from airgas won't hurt you but, as far as tx health department is concerned, there could be some impurities, although liquid notro will kill anything that could possibly harm you. the problem most commonly associated with obtaining the nitro is, the fact that you need a special approved container to leave the store with it. liquid nitro is relatively cheap but the dewars start at about 500 dollars. used to be you could just walk in with a thermos. here are a few tips... check with welding schools, a lot of times they have access to rentals of dewars for students. also, if you have an uncle or cousin who welds he may be able to help you find a used dewar. check with companies that carry the nitro as well, some also do the rentals of dewars.

            1. re: Philip Speer

              I got a good deal on Ebay at one time. You can certainly pay significantly less.

              1. re: Philip Speer

                Thanks, Phillip. I believe I may have found a rental dewar at www.airgas.com. $1.40 per day. Hope it's for real.

                1. re: peps1

                  i know this is a year later... but did you have any luck with airgas on getting the nitrogen?? i'm also in austin and just found this page from google... i'd appreciate any help...

                2. re: Philip Speer

                  Sounds like fun. Do you have any web sites or other resources you can share? Thanks