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How To Fry An Egg on the Sidewalk

July 5th, 2012 Cooking

As the mercury rises and thermometers continue to jump higher and higher during the summer months, people tend to comment on the unseasonably warm temperatures. One commonly used phrase is none other than "It's so hot you could fry an egg on a sidewalk!" This is why the fourth day in July is also known as Sidewalk Egg Frying Day.

Sizzling an egg on the street may seem like a bit of exaggeration. However, not only is this doable, the activity may also provide you and your friends with a fun and tasty way to spend that sweltering afternoon (aside from viewing fireworks, of course!).

Some like it hot

Unlike a stove that allows you to simply twist a dial and create instant heat, frying an egg on the sidewalk requires a number of factors in order to work efficiently. According to the Egg Farmers of Alberta (EFA), the ideal egg-cooking temperature is about 35 degrees Celsius, which translates to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's a good idea to wait for a completely clear day to partake in this experiment. While temperatures can still soar on overcast afternoons, there's a chance the cloud cover may botch your egg-cooking operation. You may also want to check the forecast to remain on top of any approaching thunderstorms.

Clean the sidewalk

It may be a good idea to give your sidewalk a wash before you begin. You can start by conducting a thorough sweep with your broom to avoid mixing any pebbles into your eggs. Next, apply some kitchen sanitizer, which can be purchased at any home supply store and will help kill any lingering bacteria. The sanitizer can then be washed away with a garden hose.

Add some sizzle

Due to the limited temperature on the sidewalk, it might take a little longer for your egg to reach its sunny-side-up perfection. You can help create an added sizzle and raise the surface temperature with a couple simple tricks. One method that the EFA recommends is using a reflective cooker made from tinfoil. The foil's metal is a good conductor for heat and the material's reflectability is conducive for cooking. When taking advantage of this material, you may want to crease up the edges to mimic a frying pan so no egg slides off the sides.

Not all sidewalks have equally good conditions for cooking eggs. Remember - the darker the surface, the more sun it will attract. For a quicker cook, you might want to find a sidewalk paved with tar rather than a pale cement.

Bill Nye the Science Guy also recommends using some canola oil or butter on your cooking surface. These liquids are great conductors as well, and besides helping to cook your egg more efficiently and thoroughly, they will keep it from sticking on the ground.

If you're on an uneven plane, the source also goes on to suggest using an egg ring, a simple metal circle that can be placed around the frying egg to keep it from running in all directions.

The waiting game

Bill Nye reports that it may take up to twenty minutes to cook your egg, so you may want to make yourself comfortable. Perhaps fill up a kiddie pool with water, grab your favorite beverage and a beach umbrella and create your own piece of a paradise on the sidewalk. You might want to come prepared with the necessary condiments, and if you're feeling ambitious, whip up some sidewalk toast as well!