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University of Texas Experiment Cooks Food in a Hot Car

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The experiment, designed to showcase the dangers of leaving children and pets in hot cars during the summer, resulted in baked cookies and cooked hot dogs

It’s like an Easy Bake on wheels
Photo: Kars4Kids

We are currently in the midst of the dog days of summer, the hottest time of the year. In certain parts of the country like Texas and Arizona, that can mean temperatures reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

In fact, Northern Texas is currently experiencing its hottest summer since 2011. While walking outside in this heat can be an uncomfortable experience, that’s nothing compared to the mugginess one encounters when entering their car on a hot summer’s day.

The interior of a car can often feel like an oven. Indeed, a team from the University of Texas at Dallas proved that you can actually cook and bake food in a vehicle’s interior during the summer season.

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For their experiment, the university researchers placed a variety of items on a vehicle’s dashboard. These culinary items included cookie dough, hot dogs, tomato slices, and milk.

The team also placed lipstick and crayons on the dashboard. Next, they proceeded to park the vehicle outside in triple-digit weather with the sun blazing down on the items through the front windshield.

Temperatures within the vehicle rose to 180 degrees Fahrenheit after only a brief period of time. Eventually, the team took the items out of the car to observe the results of their experiment.

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After being exposed to those extreme temperatures, the cookie dough had baked almost completely through, the tomatoes had rapidly sundried, and the milk’s temperature reached 170 degrees. Furthermore, the crayons and the lipstick had melted.

You can view the results of this experiment in the video below:

The primary purpose of this experiment was not to showcase you could bake cookies in your car. Rather, it was to highlight the danger that children and pets can face when left alone in a hot car.

“Leaving things in a car, particularly in the summer, is dangerous,” explains Dr. Mary Urquhart, an associate professor of physics and head of UTD’s math and science department. “Small children and pets are particularly vulnerable. Due to their small size, they will heat up very quickly as the temperature rises inside the car.”

Unless you plan on using your car as a mobile oven, be sure to remove any objects that are vulnerable to heat from your vehicle this summer.

News Source: WFAA