Looking for a more hygienic way to roast a hot dog that doesn’t involve it rolling around on a rarely cleaned grill? Taking advantage of the Coandă effect, YouTube’s NightHawkInLight has created a bizarre BBQ alternative that instead levitates a wiener inside a red hot coil.
Even if you’re not familiar with the Coandă effect, you’ve probably seen a video or two online of it in action, and have definitely experienced it in real life. Named after Romanian inventor Henri Coandă, it describes an effect where a fluid jet—either a liquid or gas—has the tendency to cling to the contours or a convex surface. If you’ve ever tried to empty a mug into a sink and had the coffee run down the side and drip off the bottom of the mug, that’s the Coandă effect at work. But it can also be used to make objects with curved surfaces float using an air gun by generating lift that counteracts the effects of gravity, like ping pong balls, oranges, screwdrivers, and now grilling season staples.
In NightHawkInLight’s creation, a current running through a coiled heating element wrapped around a larger coil-shaped structure provides the heat for roasting, while an adjacent air gun nozzle blasts a flow of air up and over the rounded end of a hot dog. The shape of the end of the hot dog is crucial to this working, as it causes the airflow to be bent around and directed back towards the ground so that it functions like the thrust of a rocket, keeping the wiener levitating inside the coil without making any physical contact with the heating elements.
Sure, you don’t get those grill marks, but have you ever stopped to wonder what’s accumulated on your BBQ over the years? Even with regular maintenance using a grill brush? It’s probably best not to think about it, particularly if your BBQ lives outdoors and is frequented by the local wildlife. NightHawkInLight’s alternative doesn’t seem that outlandish by comparison—unless you’re grilling for more than one person, don’t want a red hot heating coil exposed to all of your guests, and would prefer not to have the roar of an air compressor running nearby while everyone’s trying to enjoy a backyard BBQ.