The ins and outs of whipping siphons
Whipping siphons are extremely handy and versatile tools – and a godsend to bartenders and molecular gastronomy chefs. Besides facilitating creative expression in various forms, they make the impossible possible. I mean, what other tool can make a fiery jalapeño-infused tequila in under three minutes? Or whip up a fresh mango foam within just a few seconds? An absolute essential behind the bar counter and in modern kitchens, safety must come first though when dealing with highly pressurised objects. So read on to learn everything you need to know about using whipping siphons and guarantee yourself a safe and successful experience behind the bar or in the kitchen.
What are whipping siphons?
A whipping siphon is a metal container used to pressurise liquids, usually with nitrous oxide. Whipping siphons are popular within the culinary and bartender scene for making foams, rapid infusions, marinades, whipped cream and much more. Whipping siphons are available in varying sizes, most commonly 500 ml and 1 litre, thermal and not, with a mechanism for single-use nitrous oxide capsules or, for more regular users, the Smartwhip system, which features a large cylinder and a pressure regulator.
How do whipping siphons work?
Whipping siphons are relatively easy to operate once you understand the purpose of each component. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced siphon user, tick off the 10 points in this checklist to make sure that everything is in order and able to run smoothly. Doing so will save you from making a big mess, should something go wrong after charging.
- Make sure the siphon is clean, dry and free of odours, including the accessories.
- The lid of the siphon is equipped with a rubber ring to make sure that none of the gas can escape. Ensure that this rubber ring is clean, dry and placed correctly on the inside of the lid before every use. Also make sure to remove and thoroughly clean it after every use.
- Prepare dense mixtures using a blender or handheld mixture until the consistency is smooth so that it can pass through the siphon nozzle with ease.
- Pass every mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to avoid any fibres or seeds from clogging up the siphon nozzle.
- We would even recommend passing egg whites through a fine mesh strainer as the egg’s fibres could clog the siphon nozzle or produce an unaesthetic result.
- Fill the siphon with your mixture, paying close attention not to exceed the maximum capacity indicated on the siphon.
- Screw the lid on completely, without tightening it so firmly that you won’t be able to unscrew it later.
- Connect your Smartwhip to the siphon and charge it to the recommended pressure, or load the siphon with a nitrous oxide cartridge.
- Disconnect your Smartwhip (or, if necessary, load it with another cartridge), and shake the siphon energetically to distribute the nitrous oxide gas evenly.
- Cool the siphon in the fridge for 30 minutes if need be.
- To release foams and whipped cream, place your piping nozzle of choice on the dispenser head, hold the siphon face-down, and press the trigger.
- For liquid infusions or marinades, vent the siphon before unscrewing the lid as the whipping siphon is under immense pressure; hold the siphon upright and press the lever to release the built-up gas completely.
- Thoroughly clean and dry all of the components before loading the siphon with something new.
Where are whipping siphons sold?
Every Smartwhip system that you order includes a high-quality stainless steel Smartwhip whipping siphon, as well as an adapter that will allow you to use the system with all whipping siphons. Whipping siphons can be bought from various sources in varying sizes, though the quality varies. The choice is yours, and the options are endless, as are the possibilities of what you can make with whipping siphons. So step outside of your comfort zone and experiment with new tools and techniques!