Beyond Whipped Cream
When people think of a whipping siphon, perhaps an image of sweet, light, and fluffy whipped cream enters their mind. And it’s true; the classic preparation of whipped cream using an iSi whipping siphon has been the foundation of the tool for the last 50 years.
However, whipped cream is just skimming the surface of what you can do with an iSi whipping siphon. It is in fact one of the most fun, creative, and versatile tools any commercial kitchen could employ.
How Does a Whipping Siphon Work?
The genius of a whipping siphon is that it relies on one simple equation: the right ingredients + the right gas + the right whipper = culinary perfection.
Take, for example, classic whipped cream:
First, we add the “right ingredients” into the whipping siphon, which in this case would be chilled heavy cream and vanilla syrup.
Next, we add the “right gas,” a stainless steel capsule filled with compressed nitrous oxide (known as a charger) that you screw on to the whipping siphon. We then give the whipping siphon 4-6 shakes.
Lastly, we have the “right whipper,” also chilled. Dispense the product and voila, we have perfect homemade whipped cream. The nitrous oxide removed the oxygen inside the siphon and expanded every fat cell of the heavy cream.
Pro Tip – Flavored Syrups and Keto Ingredients
Don’t stop at vanilla syrup. High-quality syrups are readily available and come in an astounding amount of flavors: everything from hazelnut, chocolate, cherry and mango to dragon fruit, spiced pumpkin, and macadamia nut.
Sugar-free syrups are also available from your favorite brands, which opens the door to keto recipes and reaching a new demographic of diet-conscious clientele.
Nitrous Oxide Chargers Create Foam
Nitrous oxide (N2O) prevents oxygen from touching the food inside the siphon. Take an avocado, for instance. Exposed avocado flesh will succumb to oxidation and turn brown. However, when prepared in a whipping siphon it never turns brown because the nitrous oxide removed all of the oxygen, thereby preventing oxidation from even starting.
Now your avocado foam, mousse, guacamole, and anything else you can think of will retain its gorgeous green color.
Carbon Dioxide Chargers Create Fizz
Then we have carbon dioxide, or CO2, which brings dazzling movement to your cocktails. When you think of carbonation, soda may come to mind. CO2 chargers can also be used with a whipping siphon to create fun and surprising cocktail elements without extra sugar or additives.
Carbonation is created when carbon dioxide released from the charger dissolves in a liquid. Carbonation utilizes pressure to force the absorption. The result is effervescent sparkly bubbles.
Five Creative Ways to Use Your Whipping Siphon
1. Marinate Meat From the Inside
When you don’t have hours or days to marinate meat, an iSi whipper makes the marinade process time-efficient and produces an incredible taste. Using a pressure injection accessory, we can marinate exactly where we want to add fresh flavors and juiciness.
Simple Marinade Injection Steps Using a Whipping Siphon
- Put marinade into a whipping siphon.
- Charge with nitrous oxide to open the pores of the protein.
- Using an injector tip, puncture your protein of choice.
- Push the marinade into the meat
iSi’s injector tip is long enough to pinpoint spots on, for example, a whole turkey. Since some areas of the bird cook faster, you can pick and choose where to inject marinade so that sections of the bird that cook faster don’t dry out. Even with long cooking times, all of the meat will remain tender and juicy.
Pro Tip – Xanthan Gum
Avant guard chef Giuseppe Messina recommends preparing an emulsion in your marinade using xanthan gum, a texturizer, so that the liquid won’t seep out of the meat. Chef Messina only uses a hand blender to perfectly dissolve xanthan gum into a liquid, and to avoid clumps that appear when mixing with a spoon.
2. Infuse Flavors & Aromas With Rapid Infusion
Rapid infusion is a fast and easy way to infuse fresh flavors and inspiring aromas into food without a lot of equipment or time. Nitrous oxide and pressure create a surprising result where flavors of solids can be extracted quickly into a liquid in just minutes instead of days or weeks.
You can create unique cocktails, as we will discuss in detail below, flavored and aromatic oils, marinated meat, specialty syrups, savory foams … The possibilities are truly endless.
Simple Rapid Infusion Steps
- Attach the rapid infusion accessories onto the whipping siphon.
- Fill the whipping siphon with your chosen liquid and solid ingredients.
- Apply the charger and charger holder, and then wait a few minutes- depending upon your ingredients.
- Press the lever to relieve the pressure through the rapid infusion tool.
- Empty the final product using a funnel and sieve into your container or glass.
Nitrous oxide is released from the iSi cream charger into the whipping siphon which infuses solid and liquid ingredients together. It works fast and easy to create a monumentally fresh and unique culinary experience.
Whip Up Ambrosial Flavors in Minutes
If you were to long-term infuse fresh jalapeño in tequila for three weeks, the result would be some hot tequila without the flavors of the pepper.
But with iSi’s rapid infusion technique, you can mix tequila and jalapeño pepper (after removing the seeds) into a whipping siphon, charge with nitrous oxide, cover and vent the gas out of the whipping siphon et voila. You have just created fresh jalapeño flavored vodka in minutes.
The flavors build while the bubbles dissipate, so it is important to wait approximately 5-10 minutes before serving the tequila. This simple infusion brings the heat and bright, grassy taste of the pepper to a special tequila experience.
In the mood for something floral? Apply that same technique to create lavender sugar syrup, which infuses the taste and aroma of dried lavender and sugar syrup into a sweet floral euphony for the ages. Lavender syrup is primarily used in drinks, both hot and cold, and desserts. Try it in lemonade or as a flavor note in Indian-inspired ice cream.
The rapid infusion technique can similarly be used in savory dishes such as jerk chicken strips. Simply add jerk sauce and strips of chicken into a quart-size whipper. Under pressure, the nitrous oxide opens the pores of the chicken, allowing the jerk sauce inside the meat. This is also a fast way to incorporate a very fresh protein into a salad.
3. Whipping Siphon: The Perfect Bar Tool
A whipper creates a whirlwind of drama, entertainment, and surprises at the bar. As we’ve discussed, the rapid infusion technique which uses nitrous oxide chargers opens up a galaxy of possibilities in the taste, presentation, and aroma of cocktails.
Your whipper also works with carbon dioxide chargers to make a bubbly landscape of carbonated magic.
Make Your Fruit Sparkle
When we use carbon dioxide chargers in a whipping siphon, the result is fizz and that special zing that makes drinks more fun. A very popular element, fizzy fruit is traditionally made with dry ice or liquid nitrogen which is a complicated and dangerous process. We can make fizzy fruit fast, easy, and safe with a CO2 charger and whipping siphon.
Simple Fizzy Fruit Steps
- Fill the whipping siphon with fruit that has a high water content such as grapes, watermelon, and strawberries.
- Screw on the CO2 charger and move the whipper to make sure the fruit is distributed equally.
- Refrigerate the whipper overnight for extra fizz.
- Leave this concoction in the whipper until you are ready to release the pressure and serve.
This technique works especially well as a fun high-charged cocktail garnish.
Whipping Siphon Insta-Foam
Give your customers a drink they can’t get anywhere else with espuma. First coined by innovative top chef Ferran Adrià, espuma is the Spanish word for culinary foam.
If you add a syrup to a structure like cream, or a smaller amount of cream plus gelatin or vegan-friendly agar-agar, you can make a perfect foam for the top of a cocktail. The result is a deliciously dramatic, Instagrammable specialty drink with a higher profit margin.
4. Simplify the Service of Challenging Sauces
If you have an already-challenging sauce to make in your commercial kitchen that must be executed perfectly and consistently, day after day, a whipping siphon will simplify this process.
A whipping siphon is up to the task when dealing with temperamental ingredients because it removes oxygen that would otherwise breakdown delicate elements. A whipping siphon allows the kitchen staff to reliably prepare difficult sauces. Take, for instance, hollandaise.
One of the five mother sauces of classical French cuisine (sauces mères), basic Hollandaise sauce is comprised of an egg yolk/butter emulsion and lemon juice for acidity.
The whipping siphon works so well with Hollandaise because it inhibits separation. Hollandaise can be made quickly and the thermal whipper will keep it at its ideal temperature. This takes the guesswork out of hollandaise, which takes the pressure off of the chef.
In many commercial kitchens, there are multiple chefs who prepare hollandaise. A whipping siphon will create a consistent sauce no matter who is preparing it.
When prepared in its traditional manner, hollandaise sauce needs to be served immediately. This is not the case when hollandaise is prepared in a whipping siphon.
The chef can prepare the sauce ahead of time for convenience and time management. If stored in the whipper, it’s very simple for anyone in the kitchen to dollop the hollandaise sauce on eggs. This gives the chef peace of mind that their ingredients and presentation will be perfect every time it is served.
5. Use a Whipping Siphon to Quick Pickle
Having a pickle emergency? Using nitrous oxide, you can get “quick pickling” where the texture and flavor of the solid will change more rapidly.
A subset of the rapid infusion technique, pickling is a breeze with a whipper because the liquid quickly immerses itself into the cucumber. The pickling process typically takes days or weeks. Using a whipping siphon, you can pickle cucumbers in under 30 minutes.
The iSi rapid infusion tool doesn’t just create a tangy pickled taste – it actually extends the shelf life of food just like traditional canning methods.
Pro Tip: Don’t Forget Fruit
Pickling doesn’t end with a cucumber. For her Greek Yogurt Espuma dish, Chef Ashley Simone engineered quick-pickled sweet balsamic strawberries with her iSi whipper using the rapid infusion method. Her balsamic strawberries were ready in under 30 minutes.
Recommended Whipping Siphon
Whip up all the delicious ideas we talked about (and more) with the 1 Quart Gourmet Whip from iSi. This whipping siphon is suitable for both hot and cold food preparation and made from high-quality stainless steel.
The Gourmet Whip includes a stainless-steel straight tip, tulip tip, straight tip with teeth, cleaning brush, ergonomic charger holder with non-slip silicone grip, and a heat resistant silicone grip at the neck.
- Dishwasher safe
- NSF certified
- Stainless-steel body with silicone accessories
- Leaves a small footprint in your commercial kitchen
- Easy to store
- Excellent for cold and warm applications
Looking for more inspired ideas and techniques? Take a gander at our new Restaurant Inspiration library. You may also be interested in articles like Create a Touchless Menu for Your Restaurant and 6 Crazy Fruit & Veggie Hybrids That Will Freshen Up Your Menu.
iSi North America (pronounced “E-C”) was established in the United States in 1977. The iSi Group, was founded in Vienna, Austria in 1964 and is the largest manufacturer of stainless-steel cream and food whippers, soda siphons, nitro siphons, and their respective gas chargers. For over 57 years, the company has led the way as an innovator in whipper and gas charger technology. iSi Whippers are used throughout the world in award-winning professional kitchens and in private households. Wherever they are used, iSi sets the standards for safety and consistency, making work easier and creating inspiring coffee, cocktails, and cuisine with perfect results for chefs, baristas, bartenders, and food enthusiasts.