As a matter of fact, it was not hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk yesterday
It was so hot yesterday, conventional wisdom holds, that you could have fried an egg on the sidewalk. Oh how that well-worn cliché hands people a laugh when they repeat it like it’s never been used before.
Turns out, despite 100+ degree temperatures, it wasn’t actually hot enough to fry an egg on pavement.
I know this because I tried it. Several times.
It is technically possible for pavement to radiate enough heat on very hot days to literally cook an egg, at least Bill Nye says so. But it wasn’t happening yesterday afternoon. Not on my driveway anyway.
With temperatures hovering around 99 degrees in my neck of the woods, I made five attempts to fry an egg on a sunny patch of Royal Oak concrete, but nothing doing.
The first couple tries involved cracking the egg directly on the pavement. Per Nye’s instructions on this matter, I used a little solar-heated olive oil as a conductor. It didn’t help. Fearing the white concrete wasn’t absorbing enough heat, I then used a piece of tin foil in the hopes that it would better capture and radiate heat. It did not.
I also tried a frying pan with a heat-absorbing black coating, thinking that might better fry the egg. The pan seemed to help, but only slightly. After leaving the pan to sit in the sun for a half hour before adding the egg and then letting it “cook” for over an hour, all I had to show for it for was a rank mess of very raw (and probably rotting) egg.
So yes, it was pretty hot outside yesterday, but stop complaining. It’s not like it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk or anything crazy like that. -- JTW
To read a Detroit News account of how Tuesday's 101 temperature in Detroit tied a 125-year-old record, click here.