Can You Really Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk?

Here's the verdict on this famous phrase.

So far, summer 2023 is turning out to be one of the hottest summers on record. In fact, this past June was officially the hottest June ever recorded. With more and more scorching summer days, you’ve probably heard at least one person utter the famous phrase: “It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.”

That got us thinking, can you fry an egg on the sidewalk? And if you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, how hot does it need to be to truly fry an egg to perfection? Read on for the answers to these egg-cellent questions.

Can You Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk?

Yes, it’s technically possible. There is, in fact, some truth behind the famous saying. It may be possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk, but it’s not a simple process by any means.

How Could You Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk?

Hot Fried Egg Cooking on the PavementHollyDC/Getty Images

So what needs to happen for an egg to fry on the sidewalk? First, the sidewalk needs to reach a temperature of 158°F. And while hot summer weather may feel boiling at times, the average concrete sidewalk can only reach a temperature of 145°. So close, but not close enough!

The Library of Congress explains that concrete and “pavement of any kind” are poor heat conductors, so it’s likely that the egg will cook unevenly even if it does manage to fry. Think of a frying pan as the ideal heat conductor. Surfaces like the average concrete sidewalk aren’t as effective as a frying pan’s material.

Can I Cook an Egg Outside?

If you’re looking for unconventional, ways to cook eggs, the Library of Congress recommends trying out a car hood. Yup, a car! The surface has similar conditions to that of a frying pan. In other words, frying an egg on a car hood is much more likely than the sidewalk. However, there are better ways to cook an egg. No, sidewalks and car hoods didn’t make our list!

Jessica Kaplan
Jessica Kaplan creates trend content for Taste of Home. When it comes to all things food news, she's an expert. Jessica has previously written lifestyle content for Reader’s Digest, Family Handyman and The Healthy. These days, she loves trying out the latest TikTok recipes and exploring New York eateries and coffee shops.