We recently tested an virtual meme that claims you have the right to turn an orange into a candle. That additionally led to trial and error a comparable meme around using Doritos to begin a fire.

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Results:

Doritos burn yes, really well and slower than I would’ve expected — a single chip stop a kind flame for 30-60 seconds!Stale chips from bags that had been open up a couple of days quiet burned, but not and fresh chipsCrushed Doritos burn as well as whole onesOther corn-based snacks prefer Cheetos and also Fritos also burn well

Does this have actually a handy application, or is it simply a succinct party trick? I’m not going to start carrying chips in mine go-bag, i m sorry has far better sources the food and far better fire starters.

However, if you’re on a hike or a campout, you could want to carry some Doritos or other oily corn-based snack as a dual-purpose survival item.


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Why perform Doritos and also Cheetos burn?

We can not find any kind of scientific research studies on the flammability of chips, yet there are plenty the amateur explanations online. The chip itself is make from corn, which includes tons of power in the kind of carbohydrates, so lot so that we have the right to turn it into fuel. (Or high-proof moonshine. Same difference really.)

That corn chip is deep fried in oil, which totally penetrates the chip. If did you do it ever collection a Dorito on a napkin, you’ve more than likely noticed a grease point out form. These chips are absolutely saturated with fuel. On optimal of that, they also have a generous dusting of fat powder top top the outside.

Another aspect not often questioned in explanations because that Doritos flammability is the salt content, i m sorry preserves the chips indigenous moisture and also helps keep them dry.

Doritos can make for some pretty superior fires. A male in Spokane, Washington obtained into legal problem in 2019 after ~ lighting a convenience save on fire through Doritos (among various other things), causing a standoff through police.

Nick Uhas demonstrated utilizing bags of Doritos to cook a steak. The result fire was so huge that he had to wait for the Doritos to burn down to coals prior to throwing the steak on the grill.


A pair of year later, Nick used a truly impressive amount the Doritos to cook a chicken breast. This experiment revealed exactly how gross Doritos are as a firestarter: the chicken was coated in a monster smokey layer and also the grill dripped out black oil as the Doritos burned. Ns noticed this in my very own tests. Together the Doritos burned, grease seeped the end of the chip. And also the smell was horrible, like burnt hair.


We had actually plenty of lay hypotheses and also YouTube experiments, yet not lot in the way of science, so i took matters into my own hands. Ns tested part other foods from my cabinet to see if they’d burn: a Cheeto, a Lay’s Stax (an imitation of a Pringle), and also a bit of a ration block indigenous previous experiments.

The Cheeto melted impressively well. The Stax readily caught fire but went out after a few seconds. The ration block did not burn in ~ all in spite of being pretty lot nothing yet fat and sugar.

I to be curious why the ration block didn’t burn, therefore I chose to try an ext tests. I began with taking a bit of a block and a heap of crumbled block and also applying a lighter to them. No fire. Ns then damaged out some stormproof matches, light one, and set it ~ above the crumbles. No fire, simply blackened ration bar crumbles.

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I then determined to an episode the huge gun: a propane torch. I applied the torch to the ration bar chunk and also the crumble. Ns eventually completed a tiny flame native the crumble, yet it only lasted seconds.

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I then tried torching Cool Ranch Dorito, and it lit appropriate up simply as expected.

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I determined to shot a continuous tortilla chip. That lit up just like the Dorito. Apparently, Fritos work specifically well. A pair of Reddit users discussed using Fritos to begin fires while hiking.

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What around a half of one Oreo? No fire, but I may have invented a new dessert.

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I make the efforts torching a crouton. Again, no fire.

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I climate tried an almond and also a pistachio, thinking maybe the oils would certainly ignite. No dice, however I did obtain a pretty glow. You could maybe create with almonds.

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Based on this experiments, us can create a couple of theories about flammable snack foods:

A corn core seems essential. The non-corn snacks nothing burn as well.Fat likewise isn’t enough. The snack needs to be infused through oil.The effect of the powder coating is overstated due to the fact that a continual tortilla chip burns together well. The real key is corn + oil.Moisture is a factor, possibly mitigated by saltTesting

This is in reality a pretty straightforward myth come test: simply grab a Dorito and also light that on fire.

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Don’t execute this in ~ home, kids.

I questioned over the best way to check the flammability of Doritos. I decided to execute the tests indoors to mitigate variables prefer humidity and wind. I supplied an old neglected cast-iron pan come burn, in due to the fact that it’s deep and also has a lid that I might put on height to snuff out fires.

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It takes a few seconds of using a flame to the chip before it records fire. It likewise works much better with fresh, dry chips. Ns tested Doritos from one bag that had actually just been opened up alongside a bag that had been open up a couple of days. The staler bag took much longer to light.

The fire developed is surprisingly large and hot, akin to a candle flame. Ns have little doubt that you can start a legit fire v a Dorito.

We made decision to shot a few other things to test part Dorito myths.

Do Cool Ranch Doritos burn blue?

OK, this is admittedly dumb, yet someone suggested to me the Cool Ranch Doritos might burn through a blue flame rather of a red flame. I never ever for a 2nd thought that would be true, but it to be an excuse to buy Cool Ranch Doritos.

The brief answer is: no castle burn precisely the very same as consistent Doritos.

Can you irradiate Doritos through a ferro rod?

There are particular qualities i look for in tinder. Does it burn long enough to provide me time to construct a fire? Does the burn hot enough to get over slightly wet kindling? and can i light it with a ferro rod?

I make a generous pile of Doritos in my cast-iron pan, ordered the ferro rod from mine go-bag’s fire kit, and the observed from mine Leatherman Wave. That small saw is mine favorite device for to mark ferro rods since it throws turn off a generosity shower of sparks that gets a fire started fast. Ns can typically light a cotton ball soaked in petroleum jelly (my tinder of choice) in one or 2 strikes.

I made number of attempts at lighting the heap of Doritos, but despite throwing warm sparks all over them and also my kitchen (frightening my negative wife), naught happened. I chose to try another approach.

Will crushed Doritos light?

I believed it might aid if ns crushed the Doritos, offering me an ext surface area come hit v the sparks, through the really hopes that a spark might light a smaller Dorito particle an ext easily than an entire chip.

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I determined to rebuild my Dorito crumble pile and see exactly how well the would require to a lighter. The pile melted incredibly well, creating a big flame that shed for a couple of minutes until I go out it out.