Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream San Francisco – Smitten Review

Liquid nitrogen treats are still gaining popularity around the country. One of my recent discoveries was a new Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream San Francisco shop. 

How Does Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Work

Using liquid nitrogen is a great alternative for fast freezing ice cream that is more creamy and flavorful. It also takes a few minutes, while other methods can take several hours.

Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen gas at an extremely low temperature of -320° F. When it’s not used for making ice cream, liquid nitrogen is used in science experiments, a coolant and more.

Liquid nitrogen ice cream process starts like any ice cream: cream, milk, vanilla, sugar and any add ins (I usually go for chocolate or a shot of espresso). Then you add the liquid nitrogen. This is where the cool fog comes out of the mixer. Since the ice cream can be made in a matter of minutes, customers can make their custom orders and see it made right in front of them. Most liquid nitrogen ice cream stores don’t even have freezers since they make ice cream to order.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Shop San Francisco Waffle Cones

What to Expect at a Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Shop

When you walk into a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop, you won’t find any ice cream at the counter. You pick your flavor, and then watch the fog billow over the counter as liquid nitrogen freezes each ice cream to-order. A minute or two later, you have a freshly-made ice cream ready to enjoy! Freezing the cream mixture with liquid nitrogen prevents large ice crystals from forming and makes it so creamy.

Smitten Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream San Francisco

On our recent trip to San Francisco, I was looking for new experiences and new foods to try. We decided to visit a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop for the first time while we were walking around the Marina District.

At first, I thought that there will be no difference in taste. “It doesn’t matter how you freeze your cream, it will taste the same.” But, you can taste the difference. Smitten Shops use organic milk and cream from a local farm, sugar, and other ingredients to make the smoothest, tastiest ice cream you can imagine.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream San Francisco Smitten

Smitten founder Robyn Sue Fisher worked with a retired aerospace engineer to design & build the first version of the freezing machine, which they call Brrr. The machine freezes ice cream in about 90 seconds and churns perfectly.

Using seasonal and local ingredients, Smitten team creates creative flavors like cinnamon apple crisp, a blood orange with pistachio, or Meyer lemon gingersnap.

Some Things to Remember

You Won’t Have 500 Ice Cream Flavors To Choose From

One thing that you might notice is that there are only 4 or 5 different flavors to choose from. You might be used to going to other ice cream shops and getting several scoops of different ice cream to create the perfect combo. It will be different here. Since the ingredients are seasonal and fresh, the shop does change up the flavors quite often. But since we were in San Francisco for just one week we weren’t able to see the cool variety of flavors when we visited. So we had to stick with strawberry and cream.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream is a Treat

Smitten charges about a dollar per ounce, but a small amount of the ice cream is so rich that it’s enough to satisfy. Smitten doesn’t use preservatives, emulsifiers or stabilizers, so you know you are paying for quality ingredients. That makes it worth it to indulge.

Plus, liquid nitrogen is fun to watch, and it looks (and feels) cool.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream San Francisco Smitten Shop
Shouldn’t this photo be on an ice cream ad?

If you are in the area and looking for an unusual treat, I recommend trying a liquid nitrogen ice cream from Smitten. It has a different texture than any other ice cream I tried and it feels like a new experience and a new treat.

Tell me: What was the last cool food experience that you had?

Hi, I'm Marina, passionate traveler and blogger, based in the United States and travelling the world. Thanks for following me on my life and travel adventures!

14 Comments

  1. Mahima
    June 29, 2018

    Quite an innovative and revolutionary way to make ice-cream. I am compelled to see one being made in front of me. Nice post.

    Reply
  2. Jaleysa
    June 29, 2018

    I’m supposed to be in California next month so I’m definitely putting this in my list!

    Reply
    1. Marina
      June 29, 2018

      That’s so great! Where are you going in California?

      Reply
  3. Alex
    June 29, 2018

    That’s a pretty cool idea! (See what I did there? Cool? haha) I’ve never been to San Francisco, but when that day comes I’m definitely trying this. I’ll keep an eye out for liquid nitrogen ice cream here in the northeast. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Marina
      June 29, 2018

      Thanks, Alex!!! I loved the pun!

      Reply
  4. Nicole
    June 29, 2018

    That’s awesome!! I’ve never heard of this before. I’m all about experiences so now I’ll be hunting down nitrogen ice cream in Dallas.

    Reply
  5. Aaron (@1dish4the4road)
    June 29, 2018

    There’s been quite the nitrogen ice cream craze in London in past few years. MORE ice cream – so I’m not complaining!

    Reply
  6. Rubén
    June 29, 2018

    OMG, ice creams are my new obsession!

    http://blog.rubenurgal.com

    Reply
  7. Rachna
    June 29, 2018

    It looks really tempting in the pics… definitely gonna try it…

    Reply
  8. Sumei
    June 29, 2018

    Looks yummy..hippie to visit one day soon

    Reply
  9. Ovyay
    June 30, 2018

    Never heard of this before. Hope someday I will get to taste this. Thank for sharing. From a solid lover of ice-creams

    Reply
  10. Karolina
    June 30, 2018

    Wow that’s such a scary thing to try – but so cool! I’d love to try this.

    Reply
  11. Ani Kay
    July 15, 2018

    OMG I want to try this so badly! I love ice cream, the creamier the better. And I love the idea of made to order ice cream. How does the liquid nitrogen not affect the flavor?

    Reply
  12. Lexis Hershey
    July 20, 2018

    This sounds sooo tasty! Thanks for the info.

    Reply

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