Dr. Christopher Cramer, fellow of the American Chemical Society, has called the recent TikTok video of deep-frying water ‘somewhere between insane and suicidal.’
This trend began when user @trendychef_ on TikTok shared a video showing how to deep fry water. The video has since been taken down, but a 2016 YouTube video shows the process that inspired the TikTok.
In the video – which should not be tried at home – viewers can see how to deep fry water. The process includes combining regular water with calcium alginate. This allows the water to form a spherical shape, which can then be coated in egg and breadcrumbs. Then, into the deep fat fryer.
Deep-fried water, whilst a cool gimmick for a short TikTok video, has no nutritional value, and tastes of nothing. Plus, it’s incredibly dangerous to make.
TikTok user @trendychef_ makes it look simple, with their short time allowance and the catchy background sound ‘It’s just water,’ repeating. In truth, there’s a definite danger if the membrane of calcium alginate splits when in the fryer. In this case, the mixing of water and hot oil will cause some damageI.
Dr. Christopher Cramer explained why
“The way deep frying works, of course, is that the ‘nugget’ is immersed in a hot oil – typically about 400°F or warmer. The exposed breading fries quickly to a crispy texture, while the heat works its way inward to a cooler centre, raising the interior’s temperature more slowly.”
“So, the main issue here – aside from the fact that it’s really dumb – is that the oil inside the deep fryer is significantly hotter than the boiling point of water.
“Water boils (turns into the gas we call steam) at 212°F [100°C]. And, when that happens, it will expand in volume by about 1,500 times. That will happen pretty much in an instant, as the first portion to boil will break the nugget, and the resulting exposure of all of the remaining volume to the hot oil will flash it to steam immediately.
“So, that’s basically an explosion in a vat of hot oil – and heaven help you when that oil begins to rain down onto the gas flame or hot electric burner.”
Does that sound like something you want to do? I hope not. For other crazy accidents, why not read about this Italian priest who turned on filters during a live stream?