How to Cook an Egg With Alcohol

Cooking Without Heat

Cook an Egg with Alcohol
If you have alcohol, you can cook an egg without using fire or any form of heat. J Shepherd, Getty Images

Did you know that you don't need heat to cook an egg? Cooking occurs when proteins are denatured, so any process that produces a chemical change in protein can "cook" food. Here's a simple science project that demonstrates you can cook an egg in alcohol.

Materials

What you need for the experiment:

  • raw egg
  • alcohol (vodka, rubbing alcohol if it's a high percent alcohol, any other high-proof alcohol)

If you use vodka or another ethanol, technically the egg will be edible, but it probably won't taste all that great. You can't eat the egg if you cook it using denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or methanol. The egg cooks more quickly if the percentage of alcohol is as high as possible. Ideally, use 90% alcohol or higher.

Procedure

Here's how to cook the egg:

  1. Pour the alcohol into a glass or other small container.
  2. Crack the egg and place it in the alcohol.
  3. Wait for the egg to cook.

The egg would cook a lot more quickly if you boiled it the regular way; you have to wait for the alcohol to work its way into the egg. The reaction takes an hour or more to complete.

Science Behind It

The egg white consists mostly of the protein albumin. Within a few minutes of adding the egg to the alcohol, you should see the translucent egg white start to turn cloudy. The alcohol is causing a chemical reaction, denaturing or changing the conformation of the protein molecules so they can form new linkages with each other. As the alcohol diffuses into the egg white, the reaction proceeds.

The egg yolk contains some protein, but also a lot of fat, which will not be as affected by the alcohol. Within 1 to 3 hours, depending mainly on alcohol concentration, the egg white will be white and solid and the egg yolk will feel firm.

You can ​also ​cook an egg in vinegar.