Posted on Jun 25, 2012 in Food & drink, Science & nature
On a really hot day, is it actually possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk?
Yes — absolutely — you can fry an egg on the sidewalk on a hot day. You can also do it on a very cold day. All you need is a portable stove (and perhaps a tent, if it’s raining).
But without the stove, or any other cooking appliance or heat source? Sorry to bust this myth, but the answer to that one is a no. Not in this country, anyhow. (So far.)
We did the experiment for ourselves in the Phoenix area in July of 2009 — the perfect time and place for such an experiment. The NOAA’s national weather service notes that in July 2009 there were 15 days with a high temperature of 110 degrees F or greater, which means it was the hottest month in observed history since 1896.
The photographic results are herewith. We observed on and off for about an hour, and the egg remained runny and messy until a neighbor’s very happy dog slopped up the mess.
We probably would have had better luck attempting to cook the egg on the hood of a car… but nobody we knew was willing to allow us to test that theory (and we sure weren’t going to use our own cars).
While to us it might feel as though the sun might just burn us to a crisp, eggs are apparently made of sterner stuff. The Library of Congress says, “An egg needs a temperature of 158 degrees F to become firm. In order to cook, proteins in the egg must denature (modify), then coagulate, and that won’t happen until the temperature rises enough to start and maintain the process.”
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