Can you cook chicken by slapping it?

Screenshot of the reddit post (From: https://www.reddit.com/r/NoStupidQuestions/comments/aqk9la/if_kinetic_energy_is_converted_into_thermal/)

Can you cook chicken by slapping it?

This all starts from a reddit forum post in the subreddit, “NoStupidQuestions”, a reddit user asked a question, “If kinetic energy is converted into thermal energy, how hard to I have to slap a chicken to cook it?” This question sparked a journey lasting for three years, and professionals from different fields, physicists, engineers and a youtuber who made the chicken meal possible.

How it begins

Right after the question was posted, it spread to other social medias in lighting speed, of which a physics major student at the time Parker Ormonde did the math. By using the simple kinetic formula of 1/2*m*v^2 and the thermal energy formula of m*c*dt.

In theory the calculations are really straight forward, and yet the calculations need to have numbers of assumptions, such as the temperature of the chicken and the mass of a human hand. It turns out from calculations, it would require 23034 normal slaps for the chicken to be cooked. If you have a “massive slap”, with a velocity of 1665.65 m/s or 5994 km/hour, you can cook the chicken in one slap.

Science behind

The science behind this are straightforward when you only have one big slap only accounting the converting kinetic energy and thermal energy, which was proven by a twitter user aden (@adenoir_) that it was not possible, by creating a 3D simulation of an 1665 m/s slap. The force will decimate the entire structure of the chicken, causing an explosion, and also possibly breaking some your bones. Now that a one big slap was not possible, as mentioned above, by adding the total energy generated by a fair amount of slaps, it is still possible to cook the chicken by slapping.


By having a series of slaps, more factors have to be considered. The energy loss during each slap can affect the amount of heat able to cook the chicken. This can be avoided by wrapping the chicken with insulation in vacuum. Heat transfer are minimized by eliminating the cooling effect from the ambient air and using insulating material.

The execution

The final challenge will be engineering of a working rig, a perfect theory is not useful if it cannot be implemented. People have been trying and finally, youtuber Louis Weisz, have made slap-cooking possible. Weisz spent over two months with viewers consisting of engineers, ended up creating a rig consists of a cutting board as the impact surface, a dual motor setup and monitor devices. In the final run, the device successfully heated the chicken to 55-60 degree celcius for an hour, simulating a cooking process of sous vide. The chicken was slapped 135,000 times and in the 6-8 hour process, the rig will consume around 7500 Watts of energy, about two to three times of a conventional oven. (Video link)

 

The whole discussion of slapping a chicken to cook it lasted for three years, and a lot of money from Weisz, which is why we probably should not try this experiment at home, but again, the internet have again proven to us how much science actually can relate to our lives.


One Response to “Can you cook chicken by slapping it?”

  1. James Harley says:

    Thanks for the laugh. I’m impressed they sort of managed to pull it off in the video. I also think it’s interesting how much the real number of slaps required differed from the calculations. Shows how much information can be lost in the assumptions we have to make sometimes.