Photo: beright (Getty Images)

When I lived in Phoenix where summer temperatures reached 120º Fahrenheit, in between praying for swift death I would often wonder about the cliché frying-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk bit. Could you really fry an egg on pavement? Testing it would require leaving my air-conditioned cave, so I never did it, but it sure felt like you could cook on asphalt. Now a University Of Texas At Dallas experiment confirms a similar hypothesis: It’s possible to cook food inside a hot car.

The video, shared by Dallas ABC-affiliate WFAA, shows a make-shift experiment involving a car’s dashboard and myriad food items including raw cookie dough, hot dogs, milk, and tomatoes. As temperatures outside the car reached well over 100º, sensors inside the car indicate it got as hot as 180º. The cookie dough baked almost completely through; the hot dogs were fully cooked; the tomatoes rapidly sundried; and the milk reached 170º.

The video shows a neat little experiment, but researchers from UTD say it’s meant to highlight the very real danger hot cars pose to children and pets during the height of summer.

According to Dr. Mary Urquhart, head of UTD’s math and science department,
“people can even get burns from the dashboard of a car that’s been sitting in the sun.” So if you plan on parking your vehicle in a Texas lot, leave the dog at home. Unless it’s a hot dog. Then make sure to bring the mustard.