Why are there no products that can instantly freeze objects?


There are products such as microwave ovens that can quickly heat food. What I am asking is why are there no products that is opposite of microwave ovens as everyday product?

In: Physics

The amount of energy needed would be too great, even if a way to do this electrically could be worked out.

There is such a product (sort of), but it is not cheap or practical for home use: a vat of liquid nitrogen into which the object can be dipped.

Liquid nitrogen has entered the chat.

My guess is that there’s not really a need for it that outweighs the danger factor. Why would you need to instantly freeze something?

To warm something, you add energy to it. To cool something, you need to take energy away from it.

Adding energy is pretty simple. Heat something up with a gas or electricity, or in the case of a microwave, apply electrical energy to produce microwaves to excite water molecules.

There’s no equivalent process to take energy away to a microwave – you can’t use waves to slow down the vibrations of water molecules. There are things such as blast chillers that can be used to “quickly” cool down food items, but their culinary uses are relatively limited. I mean, we’ve all wished we could quickly cool down a beverage that’s at room temperature, but are you willing to spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on something that might cool things down 5 times faster than a freezer? Plus, given that it’s that much colder (~-40C) than a normal freezer, you have a very short window of opportunity between “cold enough” and “frozen”, further limiting the utility in 95% of cases someone would want to quickly cool something at home.

a common fire extinguisher would do this job.

the reason a they don’t make a consumer version is a lack of need. you essentially take a compressed gas and and exhaust it quickly over whatever container of food you want to freeze. you could make a box for it (like a microwave) and just hook up a small robust compressor with a sealed gas (same gas as in your fridge.) you close the door, turn it on, it releases the compressed gas, you’ll want the machine to recover the gas after the process, and you’re done.

but nobody cares. it’s easier and less expensive just to put whatever you want frozen onto the freezer and wait a few hours.

such things do exist and their called blast chillers and flash freezers. but they are quite expensive

Pretty sure they have something that does this since seafood is often flash frozen as quickly as possible. It’s just not viable as an every day consumer product.

There are flash freezers, but they are large and require a great deal of energy. As an everyday product, they would involve a dangerously large amount of energy, so they aren’t coming to your kitchen counter any time soon. It’s amazing that microwave ovens are legal, you probably couldn’t that idea approved today.