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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
Question 890

I'm doing a science fair project on electricity and I need to know how to make a homemade hot dog cooker. - BE
Although I have never done it myself, I understand that it is possible to run electric power directly from the power line through a hot dog and to use the resistive heating that occurs as electric current struggles to pass through the hot dog to cook that hot dog. While I can't recommend doing this and caution anyone trying it to be extremely careful with the electricity (i.e. seek adult supervision from someone who is experienced with the safe handling of electricity), I believe that it can be done. My understanding is that you should carefully connect each wire of an electric power cord (unplugged!) to its own nail (choose an uncoated steel nail to avoid toxic materials). You should then insert one nails into each end of the hot dog and place that hot dog on a safe, nonconducting surface where no one and nothing can touch it. Finally, you should plug the electric cord into an electric socket that is properly connected to a working circuit breaker. I would recommend using a socket protected by a ground-fault interrupter (GFI) such as are used in modern bathrooms (the ones with a "test" and "reset" button). (As you can see, I don't want anyone hurt!) I'm not sure how quickly the hot dog will cook, but I'd expect it to be quite fast. Be sure to unplug the cord before getting anywhere near the hot dog.
         

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