The temperatures are heating up all across the nation as summer 2012 sees its biggest heat wave so far. Temperatures are exceeding 100 in certain areas this week, however, one part of the country is pretty familiar with extremely high temperatures. They're so used to it that they have an annual event in which they take the age old saying of "it's so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk" literally.
Every year, those who live and visit the gokld mining town of Oatman, Arizona on the 4th of July can participate in Oatman's Sidewallk Egg Frying Contest. The tradition has been going on since 1991 and it makes sense to host it in a town that is expected see 113 degree temperatures this week. The area often faces high heat and low humidity, making it a hot atmosphere to try to fry an egg in.
At high noon, on the 4th of July, tourists and locals come out for the yearly festival. Participants can enter as a team or individually. They are only permitted to use eggs that are provided by contest officials; however they have an advantage as they're allowed to use tools like foil, mirrors, skillets, and magnifying glasses along with the outdoor heat to try to cook the eggs. The only things that aren't allowed are blowtorches and fire.
Participants have a totally of 15 minutes to try to get their eggs to cook. Participants often get very creative with their techniques. Prizes are awarded for best costume and cooking device as well as the best looking egg.
Despite temperatures reaching around 108 degrees this past 4th of July, the contest was a bit of a dud. None of the 15 entrants were successful at trying to fry an egg due to rain.
According to the Library of Congress' Everyday Mysteries Web page, an egg needs to be cooked at a temperature of 158 degrees to cook. However, those is Oatman try every year, no matter what the temperature is.