It doesn’t take long for a car to get dangerously hot, and the University of Texas demonstrated just how hot it can get with an experiment. Cooking food in a hot car usually isn’t the preferred way to make cookies, but it’s entirely plausible in the Texas summer. As it turns out, the interior of a car can substitute for an oven.

Northern Texas is dealing with its hottest summer since 2011, but the triple-digit temperatures don’t quite compare to the temperature within a car parked under the sun.  To conduct their experiment, University of Texas researchers put cookie dough, tomatoes, hot dogs, and milk on the dashboard. Other non-food items included lipstick and crayons.

It didn’t take long for the vehicle’s interior temperature to rise to 180 degrees. Afterwards, the researchers removed the items to see what the heat had done.

The cookie dough was almost baked and the tomatoes had sundried. As expected, the temperature of the milk reached 170 degree and the crayons and lipstick melted. Although it’s pretty interesting that food can be cooked in a hot car, that wasn’t the point of the experiment.

“Small children and pets are particularly vulnerable. Due to their small size, they will heat up very quickly as the temperature rises inside the car,” said Dr. Mary Urquhart, associate professor of physics and head of the university’s math and science department.

Here at Atzenhoffer Chevrolet, we hope you find some safe ways to stay cool in the Texas heat.