The Reason Someone Was Able To Cook A Steak Just By Slapping It

The internet can be our favorite teacher, answering our burning questions, like the best snacks to nibble on this month or the TikTok hack for keeping lettuce crisp. At other times, the internet acts like the thought you chase while you procrastinate — a lost pilgrim in search of answers to questions never asked. But once the question presents itself, we are dying to know the answer. 

Enter the eternal question of our time: How many times would you have to slap a piece of raw chicken or steak to cook it? (via Wired) It came about because of a meme that asked a different eternal question: "How hard would I have to slap a chicken to cook it?" Wired came up with an official-looking formula to figure out exactly how many slaps it would take to cook a chicken. The answer, it seems, is 491,000 — but that's "assuming a very high slap speed."

That's all well and good, but why does prolonged slapping of meat cook it to human-safe temperatures? How does this happen? Science.

Cooking involves heat

Name a method of cooking steak. Grill, broil, bake, pan-fry, boil (yuck), steam, microwave, Instant Pot ... whatever you come up with, heat is involved. And such is the case with a slap.

This Reddit thread (explained by a very friendly physics major) pointed out that the heat generated by an average slap produces a temperature difference of +0.0089 degrees Celsius. The user went on to explain that in order to cook a chicken from frozen in one slap, your hand would have to travel "1665.65 m/s or 3725.95 mph." Another user replied in the comments, that for reference, Earth spins at 1,037 miles per hour. We're sorry to inform you that you'd have to be slapping at more than double the rate the planet is spinning.

One-slap cooking aside, the Wired article brings up some very salient points. For example: If you wanted to sit down for dinner at 6 p.m., what time would you have to begin thrashing the meat? And another very important question: How would you prevent your hand from getting roasted alongside that chicken during all those slaps?

Will we get ever get answers to the slapping question? In the end, one guy came close. The idea of slapping a steak until it was cooked was just numbers on a page until science YouTuber Louis Weisz decided to unwrap the mystery of cooking via slapping.

Tech can fix everything

Weisz achieved this kitchen accomplishment through good, old-fashioned science and robotics. Using the principles outlined in the Wired article, Weisz put together a piston-driven meat-slapping machine and a cutting board to hold the meat during the slapping process, with the addition of a gel substance for insulation (via Foodbeast). For us non-techies out there, the insulation kept heat generated by the machine slapping the meat within the food, ensuring that it wouldn't escape into the air around the protein.

Weisz tested his contraption on a whole chicken and a steak. The process of slapping broke through the protective covering over the chicken, so Weisz wasn't able to try it, but the YouTuber was able to nibble on the steak, which was successfully slapped to medium rare. His conclusion? Not bad, considering that the meat had been slapped numerous times.

At the end of his video, Weisz warned viewers that they shouldn't try the machine-slapped meat endeavor in their own home kitchen, since the energy required is more than an oven would use. Even if your hopes of enjoying your very own steak dinner cooked entirely by robot-slapping power have been dashed, you can rest assured that Weisz has lived the dream for us all.