Are N2O and CO2 Chargers Interchangeable in the Kitchen?

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Cartridges for nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) will fit soda siphons, whipped cream dispensers, and espresso machines. The cartridges have the same screw-on fitting.

What distinguishes these two compounds is how they react with water and cream. They are both useful in the cooking.

Because their cartridges are so similar, it’s easy to confuse one for the other. It is also tempting to substitute one for the other if you are unaware of the repercussions.

Continue reading to discover the difference between nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide and why they cannot be used interchangeably.

Are N2O and CO2 chargers interchangeable for culinary purposes?

Both N2O and CO2 charges fit the same fitting on soda siphons, whip cream dispensers, soda machines, and espresso machines. When carbon dioxide (CO2) reacts with water (H2O), the result is carbonic acid (H2CO3), sometimes known as seltzer water. It has a somewhat acidic taste that complements various cocktails. Mixing it with cream, on the other hand, may generate undesirable results, which is why N2O and CO2 chargers are not interchangeable.

Carbon dioxide and soda siphons

Since its invention, soda siphons have been utilized in restaurants and residences. The original 1829 idea was created to protect sparkling wine from becoming flat.

When alcohol was prohibited in the United States during the Roaring Twenties, they were popular in the parlors of speakeasies. Soda siphons are still in use in certain companies and households today.

Aerosol canisters appeared a few decades before siphons. Their invention, however, made the soda siphon and cream charger conceivable. To transform flat water into sparkling water, current soda siphons still require CO2 cartridges.

The acidity pairs nicely with a scotch and soda; but, mixing CO2 with cream might produce less-than-ideal results. If you’ve ever blended orange juice and milk, you’ll understand why the acidic consequence of combining CO2 and H2O won’t work.

When mixed, the final product has an acidic pH of three to four. When you combine acid with milk, you get curdled milk, which has a sour flavor.

Soda manufacturers employ CO2 to produce big volumes of canned and bottled soda in enormous tanks.

Moreover, soda fountains at convenience shops and fast-food restaurants employ bulk CO2 tanks to carbonate your beverage as it is prepared.

The sole distinction between soda factories, soda fountains, and your usage of a CO2 cartridge is one of size.

Nitrous oxide and cream chargers

It’s unclear how the cream charger came to be. Nevertheless, an enterprising chef may have seen a soda siphon and a batch of cream and thought, “Why not?”

Regardless of how it happened, the invention of this instrument has assisted many a cook, and fresh whipped cream is always preferable than prepared items.

Instead of modifying the cream’s chemical makeup, nitrous oxide interacts with it, making it light and airy. However, CO2 coupled with cream has the opposite effect and will spoil your batch.

Nitrogen oxide combined with cream under pressure in a charger produces the same outcome as manual or machine whipping. The benefit is that you can obtain it on demand and with minimal effort.

Nitrous oxide binds with the cream

Whipping cream is just adding air to cream to make a light, creamy, airy product. Whipping cream is not possible with carbon dioxide, but it is possible with nitrous oxide.

Nitrous oxide, unlike carbon dioxide, is neutral, which means it is neither acidic nor basic. As a result, it has no effect on the taste of the foods it is combined with, and it does not turn acidic when mixed with fluids.

When nitrous oxide is discharged under pressure into cream with a fat content more than 27%, it combines with the cream’s molecules, fluffing it up. Isn’t it amazing?

Will nitrous oxide give me fizzy water?

It will, but not in the same way. Yet, a few producers are putting nitrogen into water.

Nitrogen oxide in water causes it to bubble somewhat. Nevertheless, it does not have the same chemical interaction with carbon dioxide as water does.

The acidic punch of carbonated water combines nicely with beverages but not with cream. While the N2O produces fizz, the absence of acidity causes it to taste flat.

Frequently Asked Questions about N2O and CO2 cartridges

How many grams of nitrous oxide is in a cartridge?

A cream charger nitrous oxide cartridge carries eight grams of gas. The gas is released into the cream charger after the seal is broken.

How many grams of carbon dioxide is in a cartridge?

CO2 cartridges contain eight grams of gas and, when pierced, discharge all of that gas into the container of your soda siphon.

How long will soda water stay bubbly in a soda siphon?

Water in your soda siphon will remain bubbling for about two weeks.

Are CO2 and N2O cartridges refillable?

Not with these little containers, which are designed to be used once and then discarded. They are, nevertheless, recyclable.

Do espresso machines use nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is added to certain cold brew beer, making it frothy and creamy.

Can N2O and CO2 cartridges be interchanged?

You will obtain buttermilk if you put CO2 in your cream charger. If you use N2O in your soda siphon, the water will lack the tang that it has when combined with CO2.


The next time you’re at an event and don’t have the right cartridge, you’ll understand why you can’t use CO2 in lieu of N2O.


Are all cream chargers the same?

Some chargers work with all cream dispensers, while others only work with the same brand. As a result, be certain that the charger you choose is compatible with the cream maker you possess.

Can you use CO2 chargers for whipped cream?

Simply explained, co2 cartridges for soda siphons and whipped cream chargers are not interchangeable.

Are whipped cream chargers universal?

Nitrous Oxide N2O Whipped Cream Chargers by EurKitchen are globally compatible with all whipped cream canisters and dispensers that take any standard 8 gram N2O charges.

Are soda chargers the same as cream chargers?

Despite they seem to be the same when packed, a soda charger and a cream charger are not the same. Cream chargers contain nitrous oxide, while soda chargers include carbon dioxide (N2O).

Is CO2 the same as N20?

CO2 is acidic, whereas N2O is neutral; the acidity is what gives fizzy beverages their tang, and why seltzer tastes so different from the water from which it was made. Nitrous adds no taste to everything it passes through, which is why it may be utilized for sweets, savory dishes, and beverages.

Do you use no2 or CO2 for whipped cream?

Do you whip cream in a whipped cream dispenser using C02 or N20? The only gas that may be used in your whipped cream dispenser to create whipped cream is N20 (Nitrous Oxide).

Are whipped cream chargers nitrous oxide?

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, the whipped cream charges contain nitrous oxide, which is known to induce hearing loss, brain damage, limb spasms, heart failure, or asphyxia when breathed. Nitrous oxide is often used to reduce discomfort after oral surgery, however it is extremely addicting if administered incorrectly.

What can I use co2 chargers for?

Soda chargers easily add carbonation to water, other beverages, including mixed drinks. They are constructed of steel and contain pure carbon dioxide (co2). They are often utilized in the commercial food sector as well as in families who like fizzy drinks.

How much nitrous oxide is in a whipped cream charger?

Their normal nitrous oxide capacity is 7.8 grams.

Can you legally buy cream chargers?

Cream Chargers are an age-restricted product, which means you must be at least 18 years old to buy.

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