Friday, December 11, 2015

Steamy noodles

Since I'm really not creative when I'm cooking, I often resort to making pasta for dinner. As I drain the noodles, a huge rush of steam comes pouring out and is extremely hot and super painful, leading to a depressing mess of noodles in the sink. Having just learned about latent heat, I decided to look up whether steam burns, of which I have been vaguely warned by my mother when desperately trying to teach me how to cook, can be worse than just water burns. Because I have definitely had steam burns that seem to hurt much more than spilling tea or coffee on myself.

It turns out that in fact steam burns can be much hotter, and therefore much more severe than water burns. Since the heat in steam can be increasing while the state of matter doesn't change, it can get much hotter than just the minimum temperature to get to the gas state. Steam can be hotter than water, and in this case the noodle water happened to be boiling. So it can potentially get quite painful without you even knowing it.

Moral of the story: Be careful with ya noodles, everyone.

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