A whipped cream chargers (also known as a quick cream charger) is a metal cartridge or steel cylinder filled with nitrogen that’s used primarily as a whip agent in a blow-paste dispenser. The ends of a whipped cream charger have a small steel breaking tab on them, which is opened to release the nitrogen. This is typically done by a tiny, spring-loaded pin within the dispenser’s whipped cream holder. After a cream-related item is inserted into the dispenser, the valve closes and a blast of whipping powder is released. The whipped cream rapidly expands as it is whipped into a ball form.
Although the name “cream charger” may sound humorous, these devices actually serve a useful purpose. They can be used in blow-paste machines (sometimes called cream machines), and in hand-held cream-pans. These dispensers are powered electrically and mechanically and rely on high pressure to achieve their operation. It’s this pressure that propels the hot air through the nozzle and into the air surrounding the device. In a way, they are similar to industrial air compressors, albeit much smaller and less powerful.
While they do the job just as well as their more popular cousins like the blow paste and the canister, cream chargers have one distinct advantage over their more famous counterparts. The nitrous oxide gas that bubbles within the bottle is incredibly effective at binding creams and candies, such as Hot Apple Cinnamon. If you’ve ever had a hot cinnamon apple soda, you know how effective this is at keeping you afloat. As far as how good the foams are…it depends. Some people prefer the rich, creamy feel of real whipped cream, while others find that it isn’t quite as rich or flavorful as other forms of powdered dessert topping.
Cream chargers, due to their size, can sometimes make whipping cream a little tricky. You’ll often find yourself wanting to spoon a lot of it into your mixer, and trying to get it to keep still so that you don’t put any air bubbles in it. This isn’t quite as difficult with a smaller electric cream charger, but if you’re using one of the larger chargers, it can be hard to get the right consistency. It’s also hard to predict just how long you’ll have to wait before the smell becomes undetectable. There are smaller ones, however, and they work just as well as their larger cousins. Just be sure to check the specifications carefully.
One aspect of many electric whipped cream chargers that some people may not care for, especially in an electrical environment, is that they use a metal cylinder that needs to be constantly maintained in order to avoid the risk of rusting. A more recent design is the electric cartridge filled charger, which uses a nitrous oxide cartridge that needs to be replaced every so often. These new models are very quiet and do not produce any undesirable odors.
In summary, nitrous oxide and electric cream chargers are great for commercial use, as well as home use. If you want to make really good whipped cream, you will probably want to invest in an entire nitrous oxide dispenser set. If you prefer to use regular powdered sugar, then you will probably be fine with a small, battery operated dispenser. Whichever model you choose, make sure you take care of your dispenser properly, as they are designed to last a long time!