The Madeleine Brand Show for August 9, 2012

Can you fry an egg on sidewalk pavement?

Michael Sussman/flickr Creative Commons

An attempt to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

Just how hot was it yesterday? Hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement? KPCC's John Rabe braved the triple digit heat in the San Fernando Valley to find out, and, well, it didn't exactly turn out as well as he planned.

According to the Library of Congress, it takes a temperature of at least 158 degrees to cook an egg. The average concrete sidewalk can only get up to about 145 degrees, and the very act of cracking an egg on the surface cools it off even more.

But that fact hasn't stopped the citizens of Oatman, Arizona from trying. Every year, the town holds an annual Solar Egg Frying contest on the 4th of July. Contestants get 15 minutes to make an attempt to fry an egg without a stove, but they are allowed to cheat a little, contestants use mirrors and magnifying glasses to intensify the sun's rays.

Now, if you truly want to fry an egg in this heat, you might have better luck using the metal hood of your car. Provided, that is, you like your eggs sunny side up and motor oil side down.


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