A whipped cream charger, also known as nitrous oxide charger, is an electric cylinder or plastic cartridge filled with compressed nitrous oxide which is used primarily as a whip agent in a conventional whipped cream dispenser used for cold beverages. The narrow end of such a charger has a broken foil cover to release the compressed gas. Usually this is done by a small sharp pointed pin fitted within the conventional whipped cream charger. When the foil cover is broken, the gases are released through a small hole at the top of the charger.
The most common types of cream chargers available are the pressure chargers that are very easy to use and can be used even by the inexperienced users. These pressure chargers are normally found in hospitals, restaurants and food processing industries. Such dispensers are equipped with a dial to set the desired whipping speed. In order to increase the flow rate, the high pressure setting is frequently adjusted. Higher pressure settings result in faster whipping while lower pressures make whipping slower.
High pressure canister cream chargers are commonly used in the food service industry such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, ice-cream parlors etc. to produce high quality and soft whipped foams. They can also be used for dispensing hot beverages such as tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Some canisters contain a spring design which allows the beverage to be easily pushed into the canister. Higher pressure canister cream chargers can also be used to whip cold beverages such as sports drinks.
The other popular type of cream chargers are those that contain a canister designed to allow the liquid to be released from the device straight into the container. The liquid can be dispensed straight into the container or can be mixed in with water and then added to the ingredients of the recipe right before whipping. Higher powered dispensers are often called ‘electric sugar cookers’ owing to the electric nature of the motor they operate upon. In the case of electric sugar cookers, the liquid is released straight into the bowl through a vent; this is to make whipped cream as soft as possible without making it harsh and sticky.
The third type of cream chargers, which are often overlooked by bakers and cookery enthusiasts, are the cartridge filled ones. As the name suggests, the charger is fitted into a special casing that has a stainless steel cylinder. The liquid is dispensed from the cylinder through the small opening in the top of the cylinder. This type of charger is often used to produce high quality and soft whipped cream, and has virtually no maintenance issues.
The final type of dispenser, the one that we are going to discuss today, is the traditional ‘glass vessel’ dispenser, sometimes also known as the ‘pint-shaped’ ones. In the case of these, a glass bottle is filled with n 2 o at a time, thereby producing long chain of bubbles. The cream is dispensed through the neck of the bottle. The most commonly used method of operation is via a metal tap attached to the dispenser, although there are some devices that can be operated by simply placing a lid on the cylinder.