Video:How to Make a Smoke Bombwith Anne Marie Helmenstine
Smoke bombs are the easiest and safest do-it-yourself firework project. You only need two inexpensive, non-toxic ingredients and it only takes minutes to make. Watch and learn how you can cook up a smoke bomb at home.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Make a Smoke BombHi, I'm Dr. Anne Helmenstine for About.com. I'm going to show you how to make a smoke bomb out of common, inexpensive ingredients, without setting your kitchen or yourself on fire. Smoke bombs are classic fare for 4th of July celebrations or any holiday that involves fireworks plus they are just a fun project for older kids or adults.
A smoke bomb is an excellent introduction to the art of pyrotechnics because it's stable, meaning it can't blow up. It's non-toxic, in fact you can eat it, although I wouldn't. It's easy to get great results. Are you ready to try it? Let's go!
Homemade Smoke Bomb IngredientsYou only need two ingredients for this project: sucrose, which is ordinary table sugar, and potassium nitrate, which is sold as saltpeter in garden supply stores or sometimes as stump remover, which is what I'm using today. The ratio of the ingredients is three parts of potassium nitrate to two parts sugar. This isn't one of those projects where you need really specific measurements, so as long as you're close you should get good results.
Cook the Smoke Bomb IngredientsPut the ingredients in a pan over medium to high heat. As you continue to mix the ingredients, you'll start to see them melt together and brown. This is carmelizing the sugar and the smoke bomb smells a little like candy. You could eat it, as I said before, but I wouldn't. Potassium nitrate is used as a preservative, but it's not intended as a main ingredient in your cooking.
Form Individual Smoke BombsOnce the ingredients are all melted together, you're going to turn the heat off and drop spoonfuls of smoke bomb onto the foil. There's nothing magical about the foil. It's just there because it's easy to peel the smoke bomb off of it and if you can't get the smoke bomb off the foil it doesn't really matter because it's not going to burn.
Okay, I'm just finishing up the cooking. Now, try to get as much smoke bomb as possible off the pan. If you're using a non-stick pan, clean-up is a lot easier. If you have any trouble getting the smoke bomb off the pan or the spoon, use some hot water. Now we're ready to go outside and light these!
I hope you enjoyed the smoke bomb project. To learn more about smoke bombs or to get ideas for other projects, visit me on the Web at About.com. Thanks for watching.