How to cook hot dogs… with electricity!
[Disclaimerzilla: While we could give you lots of warnings about all the different dangers involved and how to possibly skirt them, the simple truth is that this just isn't safe. If you are foolish enough to attempt this, you will have to deal with pointy things, raw electricity out of the wall, hot steam, and the possibility of fire. If that isn't enough, and you succeed, you are still faced with the possibility of having to eat a hot dog. In summary: do not, under any circumstances, cook hot dogs this way.]
It’s… a power cord! The starting point for all sorts of fun projects that involve electricity and electronics. We’re making this power cable into a “suicide cable.” Sounds safe, doesn’t it?
Get out the wire strippers. Clip off the end of the cord that doesn’t plug into the wall. Peel back the outer insulation to reveal the three cords within. Snip back the green ground cord– we don’t need it. Take the other two wires, white and black in this case, and strip the ends. Next, go put the cable and the wire strippers away because you shouldn’t be doing this. It’s highly unsafe. You’re just supposed to be reading along. Got it?
The next step is to solder alligator clips to the stripped cable ends. Make sure that the other end of the cable isn’t plugged into wall the during this step, m’kay?
*Still* making sure that the other end of the cord isn’t plugged in, clip the alligators to a couple of forks that you don’t mind losing. Put them on a nonconductive plate, and go get out the hot dogs.
And then comes the tricky part: damn carefully plug in the other end of the cord. A much better strategy is to first plug the other end of the cord into a power strip and then flip the switch on. Under no circumstances should you touch either one of the forks, the hot dog, or other exposed surfaces unless you can actually see that the other end of the cord is *not plugged in.* The hot dog cooks rapidly, in maybe one or two minutes. Watch for swelling, a change in surface shape and luster, and finally smoke and/or cracking to indicate doneness. Overdo it, and there may be a nasty smell to go along with it.
Eww! Common problem with this method that I haven’t seen much documentation about: The steel forks leave a black chemical stain in the ends of the hot dogs, so cut the tips off.
If you’re *not* going to eat the hot dog, a neat trick is to stick a bunch of standard LEDs into it. (Yes, this really works!) Apparently the voltage between nearby points on the hot dog is fairly low, since the LEDs don’t seem to burn out.
As the hot dog cooks, the resistance of the hot dog increases and the LEDs get dimmer since less current can flow through them. If you look *very* closely (or take a time lapse movie) you can see the LEDs move further apart as the hot dog swells during cooking.
FINAL NOTE ADDED:
YES, THIS CAN KILL YOU.
Lethal current, voltage, and fire can result from attempting this project. Just because we lived to tell about this doesn’t mean that you will. That cord is called a “suicide cable” for a reason– building one is asking to be killed by one. Do not, under any circumstances, cook hot dogs this way. We mean it.
Have a nice day. =)