Mercury Ball water test

I enjoy cooking. I cook all the time. I get hungry, I need to eat, and it’s fun. I get a sense of accomplishment from it because I’ve made something. I’m not a patient man; I’ve never had time to make plastic model airplanes or anything like that. But cooking? It’s quick and easy and results are obvious and edible.

Last night was pretty cool because apparently for all my cooking life I’ve been adding oil to the pan too soon.  But, I found this video online and I tried it out. It’s the “mercury ball water test”.

It works. And it works well. Extremely well. Last night I made chicken chow mein after making sure the pan was hot enough. Not only did my meal taste awesome, but nothing stuck. I mean nothing. Usually when I make stir fry, the soy sauce that I add at the end gets stuck to the pan and it’s a pain to clean and annoying.  But last night? Even the soy sauce balled up. It flavoured the food and didn’t dirty the pan. I must be a simple kind a guy with simple thrills, but I thought this was really cool.

So if you’ve read this far you’re probably thinking, “Tom, seriously. You’re talking about a hot pan here!!” Well, it was awesome!!!!

How does this relate to recycling? Well, I thought of that. For Christmas, consider making your friends, family or loved ones a nice yummy meal!!!!

See? Easy. The “mercury ball water test” is good for the environment!



  1. Wow … brilliant! Thank you for sharing this tip. I’ve always put the oil in a cold pan and heated it up … and ALWAYS end up scrubbing the pan afterward. I’m going to try this (I love learning something new).

    I believe this also fits as a recycling post because, if pans are heated up properly, they’ll be easier to clean and reuse, thereby eliminating the waste of tossing them out when they get too “icky”. 🙂

    Wishing you a great 2010!

    • Awesome! Did it work for you? It’s worked wonders for me. I also just bought a new cast iron pan for$20, which I have to say, if you treat it right, season properly, and rub with a little oil while it’s still warm, it will last FOREVER (and is decidedly non stick). Glad I could help!

  2. I’ve watched enough cookery programmes to know that when cooking Chinese/stir-fry type food, you must always have a ‘smoking pan’. However, I too always added to oil at the beginning of the pan heating process. I shall have to give this a go and see if it makes Wok cleaning any easier!

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