Arizonans are cooking in their hot cars – literally

In my home state of Vermont, temperatures rarely exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, even in the summer. But, even temperatures in the 80s and 90s can lead to dangerously hot cars. So when triple-digit hot weather hit Arizona and there wasn’t much else to do, TikTokers turned to new stunts. Videos showing cooking and baking food in hot cars quickly became the thing to do.

Can you really cook or cook food in a hot car?

There are a number of dangers lurking in a hot car, but some people try to find the silver lining in the crazy heat in their cities. You may know the old story of frying an egg on hot pavement (in a frying pan, of course), but what about brownies, cookies, cakes, or steak à la carte?

AZ Central is reporting popular TikTok users who have recorded videos of themselves melting, cooking or cooking things in their cars during heat waves. One such user, Joe Brown, has amassed a huge following for cooking food in a hot car.

“Brown, who was identified by Fox 10 as a resident of Gilbert, has stepped up his food experimentation and now posts two videos a day: one featuring the item that will sit on a baking sheet in his 200-degree car, then a follow-up several hours later. Some items he recently featured were gummy bears, instant macaroni and cheese, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin pie.

-AZ Central

While cooking or baking in your car isn’t as simple or consistent as cooking in an oven, the intense heat from inside a car can actually bring raw foods to a low cooking temperature. You can reheat food in a car if the outside temperature gets high enough.

Can you leave cooked food in a hot car?

Cookies baked in a hot car | Pam Menegakis on Unsplash

In-car cooking has seen a big spike in popularity lately, but what about transporting food in your car when the temperatures get high? Can you leave cooked food in a hot car?

According to MotorBiscuit’s Joe Santos report, leaving food in your car can be dangerous. Hot foods should stay hot and cold foods should stay cold. With temperatures like those seen in Arizona, you can actually be safe leaving hot, cooked food in a hot car for a short time. However, this could lead to the growth of bacteria, so it is always best to keep food in proper storage places.

Foods that need to be refrigerated should never be left in a hot car. Be sure to time your errands so you can get home right after grocery shopping! Get that tray of ice cream, milk, and veggies in the fridge ASAP.

Other Dangers of Hot Cars in the Summer

A child in a blue sweatshirt leans out the open window of an older model year red car

Heat can be dangerous for children in cars | Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Food isn’t the only worst thing you can leave in your car. Laptops and other forms of technology can be destroyed when left in a very hot car on a summer day.

But that’s not the worst. Every year, and sometimes all year, there are reports of hot car deaths. Children and pets can overheat quickly in a car that is not properly cooled on a hot day.

Consider the video above – if the interior of a car can completely bake a cake, then it can cause serious damage to the body of a living creature. Be careful in the car this summer.

Ways to keep your car interior cool in high temperatures

A teal classic car driving along a road next to the ocean on a hot summer day

Car on a hot summer day | Simon Berger on Unsplash

There are many ways to keep your car’s interior cool when parked, ranging from the simple to the technical. The easiest ways to keep the cabin temperature down is to use a windshield sun shade and always park in the shade with the windows cracked. These can help, but your car’s interior will probably still be quite warm.

If you really need to pull out the big guns, consider an Aluminat Sun Shade Car Cover. These breathable covers not only reflect sun and heat, but also provide shade for the car. They come in different sizes and styles. Significant coverage of a car, plus the use of a windshield and leaving the windows rolled down, can actually leave the inside of a car 10-15 degrees cooler than the air outside!

Looking for ways to keep your dog cool while on the go? Scroll down to find out why crating pets in the car has so many benefits!

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