Got very lucky just now…

I’m not talking about the recovery of my computer after its power supply failed. That wasn’t just now. That was last night.

No, I’m talking about not burning myself because my hand was wet and my brain was on.

I just finished cooking breakfast in the oven, and our gas oven has a vent that blows across the back of the stovetop. Not an ideal design — it tends to heat pot-handles if you’ve been careless enough to leave them turned towards the vent. It also heats the back of the small Corelle serving tray we use to set spatulas on so their drips are contained.

I was giving a quick wash to the tools I used at breakfast — spatula, cheese slicer, cheese grater, pizza-cutter — and saw that the Corelle tray was full of gunk from my project and the breakfast Sandra made for the kids (French toast and scrambled eggs; there was a big yellow puddle). So I reached out and grabbed it by the non-sticky-yellow end, which happened to be the end closest to the vent.

That noise you hear when you drip water onto a griddle? That came off of my fingers. I could FEEL the water on my fingertips boiling away. In less than a second (what IS minimum human reaction time? Figure that long plus a little change) I had snatched my hand away and stuck it back under the running water in the sink. I checked my fingertips.

No burns. No redness. No sensation of ANYTHING other than normal “hi, I’m your fingertip, touch the world with me” I usually get.

I boiled water off of my fingertips, and didn’t get burned. Whew!

42 thoughts on “Got very lucky just now…”

  1. That’s because it takes 1 calorie / gram to heat water one degree from wherever to boiling, and then 540 calories / gram to change water to steam.

  2. That’s because it takes 1 calorie / gram to heat water one degree from wherever to boiling, and then 540 calories / gram to change water to steam.

  3. This is how magicians dip their hands into molten lead and other stuff. Common trick. Nice to see it get common household use.

    1. Doesn’t that depend on the water not being able to escape? If the water doesn’t run away when it sees the heat coming, you can hold your hand there for a lot longer than half a second.

    2. I’ve heard it’s also how people walk on hot coals – the sweat on their feet protects them – but I don’t know if this is true or not.

  4. This is how magicians dip their hands into molten lead and other stuff. Common trick. Nice to see it get common household use.

    1. Doesn’t that depend on the water not being able to escape? If the water doesn’t run away when it sees the heat coming, you can hold your hand there for a lot longer than half a second.

    2. I’ve heard it’s also how people walk on hot coals – the sweat on their feet protects them – but I don’t know if this is true or not.

  5. Our gas range/stove has the same heat venting configuration, and I’ve experienced the same problem. Except in my case, it was gripping the metal handle of a huge cast-iron skillet. And my hand was not wet.

    Ouch. (It wasn’t that bad, but I did have choice words for the vent designer/engineer.)

    1. Once. Thankfully it wasn’t cast-iron and I realized quickly enough to open my hand and then get it to the sink and under cool water. Sore and red for a day but that was it. It is now de reiguer for me to turn the handles away from the back of the stove. Just as it was de reiguer to turn the handles away from the front of the stove when the smalls were really small.

  6. Our gas range/stove has the same heat venting configuration, and I’ve experienced the same problem. Except in my case, it was gripping the metal handle of a huge cast-iron skillet. And my hand was not wet.

    Ouch. (It wasn’t that bad, but I did have choice words for the vent designer/engineer.)

    1. Once. Thankfully it wasn’t cast-iron and I realized quickly enough to open my hand and then get it to the sink and under cool water. Sore and red for a day but that was it. It is now de reiguer for me to turn the handles away from the back of the stove. Just as it was de reiguer to turn the handles away from the front of the stove when the smalls were really small.

  7. I’m probably misspelling this horribly, but I think you just experienced the Leidenfrost effect. Which can also be carefully used to create much amusement with a verry hot pan or skillet and a few drops of water.

  8. I’m probably misspelling this horribly, but I think you just experienced the Leidenfrost effect. Which can also be carefully used to create much amusement with a verry hot pan or skillet and a few drops of water.

  9. Very glad you avoided a nasty burn (and impressed with your ninja like reflexes!) and happy the computer was able to be saved. We had some power outages a couple of years back due to some nasty snow storms and I ended up coming home from a convention to a fried computer.

  10. Very glad you avoided a nasty burn (and impressed with your ninja like reflexes!) and happy the computer was able to be saved. We had some power outages a couple of years back due to some nasty snow storms and I ended up coming home from a convention to a fried computer.

  11. Seeing how I did grab a 350 degree skillet handle recently and am still having skin peel because of it, I’m glad you’re okay. (‘Cause, you know, otherwise I wouldn’t’ve cared, right?)

  12. Seeing how I did grab a 350 degree skillet handle recently and am still having skin peel because of it, I’m glad you’re okay. (‘Cause, you know, otherwise I wouldn’t’ve cared, right?)

  13. No burns. No redness. No sensation of ANYTHING other than normal “hi, I’m your fingertip, touch the world with me” I usually get.

    I boiled water off of my fingertips, and didn’t get burned. Whew!

    Okay, first off, the quote up there is hilarious. Second…

    This sounds like A SUPERPOWER!!!!

  14. No burns. No redness. No sensation of ANYTHING other than normal “hi, I’m your fingertip, touch the world with me” I usually get.

    I boiled water off of my fingertips, and didn’t get burned. Whew!

    Okay, first off, the quote up there is hilarious. Second…

    This sounds like A SUPERPOWER!!!!

  15. Stroke of fortune

    That was fortunate, especially since burns are painful and long-lasting. Good thing you don’t make your living with those fingers! Oh, wait…

    Really glad things turned out the way they did.

  16. Stroke of fortune

    That was fortunate, especially since burns are painful and long-lasting. Good thing you don’t make your living with those fingers! Oh, wait…

    Really glad things turned out the way they did.

  17. Yeah, water absorbed the heat instantaneously instead of you.

    This is why you can put out a cigarette on a handkerchief-wrapped coin and the cloth doesn’t burn.

  18. Yeah, water absorbed the heat instantaneously instead of you.

    This is why you can put out a cigarette on a handkerchief-wrapped coin and the cloth doesn’t burn.

  19. You always (almost) get hurt in the kitchen! D: There were a few other incidents I recall, where you were injured in some way in the kitchen 😉

  20. You always (almost) get hurt in the kitchen! D: There were a few other incidents I recall, where you were injured in some way in the kitchen 😉

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