Scientists Figured Out The Perfect Amount Of Time To Dunk An Oreo

It might surprise you to learn that scientists are just like us. They are deeply concerned with finding solutions for the many pressing questions that surround the universe. One of those questions that has been discussed and hypothesized about in every place, from American kitchen tables to elementary school cafeterias, has finally been put to rest with rigorous lab testing. The question: What is the perfect amount of time to dunk an Oreo in milk? It's a real conundrum for cookie fans and purported cookie-dunking aficionados. Dip it too long, and your Oreo — regardless of its flavor — becomes a mushy mess that breaks apart in your milk. Don't dip the chocolate wafers flanking that creamy center long enough and you might as well have skipped the dunking all together.  

Well, wonder no more, because science has the answer to our Oreo wonderings! According to KSL, it all went down at Utah State University in their Splash Lab with several researchers who study liquids. They spent a full two weeks — to be clear, that's 14 days — conducting these clandestine experiments involving milk and a variety of cookies, including Nabisco's beloved and iconic Oreo. It's a tough gig, but someone has to do it. So, what did these scientists discover about the perfect dunking time for Oreos?

Four seconds of dunking equals maximum absorption

KSL shared the goal of the researchers at Utah State University was to gain a better understanding of how a cookie soaks up milk. It took a single second for an Oreo to absorb half the amount of liquid it can hold. At four seconds, the Oreo had reached its maximum point of absorption. And according to Food & Wine, this led one journalist at Mental Floss to proclaim three seconds as the "optimal" amount of time for dunking an Oreo. Why three? Food & Wine noted that, when an Oreo was dipped in milk for two seconds, it reached 80% of its maximum absorption and stayed at this percentage at three seconds. At five seconds, your Oreo will fall apart in your milk, at which point you have ruined a perfectly good cookie.

Food & Wine went on to share that the type of milk you use for your dipping and dunking also matters. They note that if you prefer whole milk, you may want to dunk a little longer since its fat content is higher, as opposed to those who drink watery nonfat. It should also be noted that this is not the first time science has been used to discuss cookies and finding the perfect slam dunk. Nature revealed that a UK researcher used physics and the Washburn equation to calculate how quickly a liquid can penetrate materials based on how porous a "biscuit" is. Doesn't this just make you want to watch "The Big Bang Theory" and eat Oreos?