bompas & parr sear steaks in seconds with lava and lightning
photos by sam bompas / courtesy of bompas & parr
a BBQ like you’ve never seen before: london-based creative duo bompas & parr has staged a cook out on an artificial volcano and within a high voltage laboratory, searing their steaks in seconds with lava and lightning.
for their ‘cooking with lava’ project, bompas & parr use 2,100°F molten hot liquid. together with help of professor robert wysock at syracuse university in new york (whose particular expertise lies in creating streams of man-made lava), the team fired up an industrial bronze furnace beside an icy crevasse. using a traditional grilling surface laid on top of the tunnel walls, bompas & parr were able to situate 2 steaks and 2 cobs of corn just above the fiery liquified matter, whose ultra-hot properties nearly instantly roasted the raw meat and veggies. see what happens when the liquid rock meets a a 10 oz ribeye in the video, below.
raw meat and veggies ready for roasting
a raw ribeye sits on top of a traditional grilling surface
molten hot lava pours down the tunnel ramp
the team watches their experiment take place
cooking with lava
roasted steaks from the experiment
if you thought 2,100°F was hot, what about 50,000°F? that’s the temperature a bolt of lightening can reach as it passes through air. at five times hotter than the surface of the sun, the super-hot conditions only ignited bompas & parr’s creativity, urging them to use the fiery matter as a cooking medium.
at the university of southampton’s tony davies high voltage laboratory, bompas & parr worked with scientists to generate an alternating current through a transformer, creating a 200,000 volt electrical arc within an 8 inch gap. steaks were placed into the path of the bolt, searing them in mere microseconds. ‘the recipe came to me in a dream,’ sam bompas describes, ‘perhaps in the future lightning will find its way into every imaginable culinary situation.’
a steak placed within the electric gap
firing up the voltage
frying the steak
an alternating current created through a transformer