Saturday, January 06, 2007

The mysterious case of the perpetual-motion pork

No, not graft, actual pork. As in breakfast sausage.

Waking up this morning, I started making breakfast for Vicki. (Note to men: make your girlfriends breakfast. They'll be yours forever.) We have this rectangular teflon plug-in griddle that my mom got from Wal-Mart many years ago, and still works just fine. It's particularly well suited for making bacon, eggs, pancakes, and today I discovered it's excellent for breakfast sausage as well.

So I'm cooking the sausages and trying to cook them evenly, and as I move one sausage, it starts rolling across the griddle. It hits the far edge, bounces off and rolls to the other side. At which point, it bounces again, and keeps on rolling, and rolling, and rolling. This goes on for like a minute before I work up the nerve to intervene.

Vicki says she woke up to the sound of me muttering, and I can only assume I was subconsciously berating the sausage for defying the laws of physics. Now she's angry I didn't wake her up to come see.

We have a weird household.

(I assume the observed phenomenon has something to do with the lubricating effects of pork fat and the energy imparted by the griddle. Anyone else have a better explanation?)


odograph said...

i guess the effects you describe, plus the propulsive energy of steam escaping from the sausage as it cooks

auntiegrav said...

Odograph's explanation, in detail:
The heat reaches the bottom of the sausage (bottom dead center). If the sausage wasn't rolling, it would simply jump and wiggle, but since it is rolling, the expansion of the fat,steam, etc, at the point touching the pan translates into a push to keep it rolling.

Sausage physics 101.