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ERIC Number: EJ863177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Spattering and Crackle of Hot Cooking Oil with Water: A Classroom Demonstration and Discussion
Pinto, Gabriel; Gauthier, Carmen V.
Journal of Chemical Education, v86 n11 p1281-1285 Nov 2009
Any student that has spent time in the kitchen knows that hot vegetable oil will pop and spatter violently after coming into contact with water such as that on the surface of foods (meat, fish, potatoes, etc.). This well-known effect can be used as an instructional resource to promote cooperative, active, and inquiry-based learning about central concepts of chemistry including boiling point, miscibility, and density of liquids. The starting point of the learning activity is a demonstration of (i) the effect of adding a drop of water to hot (as for cooking) vegetable oil and (ii) the effect of adding a drop of vegetable oil to hot water (near its boiling point). Intermolecular interactions, properties of vegetable oils, and a variety of other topics, such as the importance of other heat points (smoke, flash, and fire) for oils, the fundamental of the crackle test for checking the presence of water in oil, and why an oil fire (for example in a kitchen) never should be put out with water, can also be addressed using this approach. Students have expressed keen interest in this type of everyday chemistry. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures, and 4 notes.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A