Thursday, June 01, 2006

How to Boil Water with a Chopstick

Face it, you've got bunches of old chopsticks in a drawer. (They make great coffee stirrers, by the way)

A random, quick and useful tip: If you want to use a microwave to boil water, it will go much faster if you just stand a wooden chopstick in your cup or glass. It does the equivalent of "poking a hole" in the surface of the water, letting the water inside heat more evenly.

Not only will the water boil faster, but you'll avoid the dreaded hot geyser effect that sometimes comes when you break the surface of pent-up, superheated water.


Anonymous said...

So, you watch Good Eats, too?


Michael Markowitz said...

Actually I don't, a friend told me about it and I thought I'd pass it along. Did they do it on Good Eats? Maybe I ought to check that show out. I thought it was just a travelogue of, like, the best crab shack in Moab Utah.

Anonymous said...

No, Good Eats is a "science of cooking" show. Recipes with an explanation of the science behind them. Sometimes too cute for it's own good.

They did a satire of MythBusters and one of the myths they investigated was the "water exploding in the microwave" one. They had a "microwave super freak" (I assume some kind of scientist) in who explained exactly how to reproduce the explosion. And of course, how to avoid it (using a stick of some kind).


Sean Tisdall said...

Yeah, pretty much, only water very low in electrolytes can superheat. Fortunately Edmonton is a hard water town, so that never comes up.