Peep Battle!

29 04 2011

Before Microwaving

We had quite a few marshmallow chicks hanging around and getting stale, so we named them, armed them with toothpicks, and let them battle in the microwave!

Check out the video below to see what happened.

We wanted to know more about what was going on and found a great explanation from the Exploratorium. Marshmallows are basically made of sugar and water (plus gelatin) that are wrapped around a bunch of air bubbles. When a marshmallow is heated in the microwave, two things happen. First, the heat of the microwaves softens the sugar. At the same time, the heat makes the molecules in the air bubbles move around faster, making them push into the walls (of softened sugar). This pushing makes the gas bubbles expand, and that makes the whole marshmallow expand!

You can try this at home with any type of marshmallow (not just ones shaped like animals). Be sure to place your marshmallows on a plate or paper towel, or you’ll end up with a molten mess in your microwave! Our marshmallows were fully expanded in 45 seconds, but depending on your microwave, it should take between 30 seconds and 1 minute.

Note: This experiment should be done with adult supervision.

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4 responses

29 04 2011
Kate

This is so cool! But I have a question: how do the peeps taste after being microwaved? Are they still tasty?

3 05 2011
austinkids

I think the peeps are still tasty after being microwaved, but instead of being light and fluffy, they are crunchy. If you try this out, let us know how you think they taste!

9 05 2011
Jenn

This is an amazing idea/explanation! Will the marshmallows shrink after it ‘fully expands’? It’s good to know that marshmallows can have fun outside of a campfire!

11 05 2011
austinkids

Hi Jenn,
Yep, the marshmallows will shrink after expanding – they might not return to their perfect Peep shape, but close to it.
You should try it!

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