Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Erupting Hot Cocoa
Those of you that know me know that peacocks, the color orange (yes I too love the color orange, yet another reason Marquette and I are best friends!), hedgehogs, and glitter are all on my list of favorite things on the planet earth. Anyone who compiled this list would also know that something is missing, well a lot of things actually, I say "Favorite thing on the planet earth" at least eight times a day, and always about something different, I am a very passionate person.
That missing thing I am referring to today though is, hot cocoa.
The second the end of September hits I am on that train like nobody's business. I can't WAIT for hot cocoa time, which is ironic because I hate cold weather, but that is besides the point. On most days of "winter" I have hot cocoa twice a day. I pop cocoa like Tick-Taks people. I may or may not need a 12 Step Program. I am a serious addict.
However when it comes to making cocoa I have found the fastest way to do so is to boil the water in the microwave in my ceramic tea kettle. I have been doing this for years! Not until recently have I experienced the phenomenon that I had never even heard of happening before though.
I was at my parents house over Christmas, making my hot cocoa per usual, and I put a ceramic mug into the microwave for 2.5 minutes (something I have done a million times before). When it was done I took the cup out, and poured the cocoa mix in.
I usually have a kettle to warm the water in but my parents don't so I improvised.
I poured the cocoa into the water, and it exploded! All over my hands, all over the kitchen counters, the floor and what was the last of the coca mix was gone forever.
Now I am one of the lucky ones in this instance because I didn't get hurt. The water didn't burn my hands and it didn't go up into my face, but what the heck had happened?!
This had never happened before!
Fast forward a month and I am at home, I wake up, go into the kitchen fill up the kettle, put it in the microwave for 3.5 minutes (it's bigger than a mug, and this is the amount of time I have always done), and when it is done I take it out.
I have a mug with cocoa powder mix already in it, all ready to go, and I pour the water in.
It explodes again!!!!
This time, all over the counter and the flour, but thankfully not my hands because it was much hotter this time,and probably would have burned me.
What is going on here?!
I went into research mode.
Now perhaps I am one of the only people left on earth that didn't know about this. But in case I am not, I thought it might be wise to share the warning. Especially if there are children microwaving water who could potentially get hurt.
I found this awesome video from an episode of Mythbusters.
It explains some things, and then they have some exploding stuff, a must watch:
So what I can get from here is that I was accidentally super heated the water. I was heating it past the boiling point, and as soon as something interferes with the water ( it could be anything from putting something into the water like above, to moving the cup I have read), it will explode if it has been super heated.
So let this be a warning!
Please be careful! I now only warm my water for about 2 minutes in the kettle and if I feel like I need it warmer I put back in the microwave for short periods at a time to make sure I don't over do it and cause an explosion.
Another suggestion was to put a wooden stirring stick into the water to prevent it from boiling. If you usually use an open mug to heat your water, you might start using a kettle just in case.
I also read that the exploding phenomenon is very rare, and the fact that it happened to me twice is beyond me ( does that mean I am at a larger risk of being struck by lightening ), did I mention I was using tap water in both instances?
As for all of you thinking "But the Mythbusters just said that tap water can't explode?". I did some more research and found that if the tap waters dissolved minerals aren't large enough to act as nucleation sites for the bubbles, it too can boil (Where I found that info).
I hope that this can prevent anyone from being hurt and maybe even you learned something today!
I know I did!
Has anyone ever had this happen to them?! Tell us about it! We love to hear your feedback!
Happy Wednesday Pinstrosipeeps!