Oreo dunking is a fine art. That perfection of a satisfying Oreo cookie dipped in a quick bath of refreshing milk is a fine way to treat yourself after a tough day at the office. Or a killer workout. Or…just about anything.
But what’s the right way to dunk an Oreo? A quick swim and then you crunch in? A lengthier dip? A full-fledge chill session for your Oreo? And hey, those who love cereal milk and buzzy cereal milk ice cream have never tried the same glory of cereal basking in, yes, Oreo milk.
Well, it turns out, science has a thing or two to teach us about the best way to dunk. In a brilliant new post from Mental Floss, one writer did a deep dive (no pun intended) into the controversial topic.
First, they reveal the “short answer”: Go for three seconds in the milk and you’re good to go. But if you’re curious about the ideal Oreo dunking time, there’s more to it. The argument dates all the way back to the late 1990s — hey, snack science is serious business, people — and then-professor of physics at the University of Bristol, Len Fisher.
Fisher argued the solution for the perfect Oreo dunk could be found using an old mathematical formula, and media went wild. So what’s to thanks for the perfect crunchy-creamy cookie? Something called capillary action, Fisher claimed. What’s this mean for your Oreo? That “capillary action” helps the milk spread through your Oreo.
Oreos are actually delicious little sponges, a related study found. They’ll sop up milk they’re steeped in quicker than other cookies. In 2016 the Utah State University’s Splash Lab conducted a cookie study with Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter and Graham Crackers. They found that Oreos absorbed 50 percent of their potential total liquid weight in only a second. At four seconds, our beloved Oreo absorbed all its possible milk. That means leaving your cookie submerged in milk is a waste of time, the research concluded.
Believe it or not, they did more dunking tests. (We know, we know: Best job ever!) Bottom line: Three seconds is ideal for getting most of an Oreo to soak up the liquid, and you don’t want to go longer than four seconds, unless you want mush.
Now, who wants an Oreo?