Here's How You Cook a Hot Dog Mid-Air With Science

Can you guess which effect is in action here?
Derya Ozdemir

A levitating hot dog cooker that looks straight out of a Harry Potter movie is the invention you never thought you needed: Inspired by science host Bruce Yeany, Ben of NightHawkInLight uses an 80-gallon air compressor and a heat coil to accomplish the remarkable feat of getting the hot dog to dance in mid-air in this video.

Ben uses a nichrome and copper coil and ditches the blowtorch to cook the hot dog, improving on Yeany's compressed air levitation. At first glance, the video might seem bizarre; but before you judge it too quickly, have you ever thought about what sort of weird stuff accumulates on an outdoor BBQ over a course of many years? After all, when you think about it, the grill is rarely cleaned in most cases... Perhaps, levitating hot dog machines will be a staple item for many houses in the future and we are witnessing the start of an era. 

While that's clearly a joke, the interesting science behind the invention could still be a good conversation starter because you'd be seeing the Coandă effect in action, which is where a fluid jet tends to stick to the contours or a convex surface. It was named after Romanian inventor Henri Coandă, who explained it as "the tendency of a jet of fluid emerging from an orifice to follow an adjacent flat or curved surface and to entrain fluid from the surroundings so that a region of lower pressure develops."

It can also be used to make curved-surfaced objects float proving lift using an air gun to offset gravity's effect; hence the flying wieners!

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