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130 Responses to “BB Video: The Flaming Bacon Lance of Death, from Theo Gray's book "Mad Science"”

  1. Ceronomus says:

    How does someone come up with the idea to cut steel with bacon? I mean…that must be a pretty entertaining train of thought.

  2. Takuan says:

    next: the bacon bullet proof vest.

  3. BrotherPower says:

    Okay, dibs on the name “Cucumber-Beefstick Lance” for when my porn career finally gets rolling.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pretty sure he said and used BREADsticks. I don’t think Beefsticks are vegan…

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @Anonymous, there are two cucumber variants of the flaming bacon lance of death. One is made with cukes and breadsticks (vegan), one is made with cukes and beef sticks (obviously not vegan). Mr. Gray referenced both in this video.

  5. bardfinn says:



    So. Much. Flavour – Wasted!

  6. David Guerrero says:

    Prosciutto is not bacon, it’s ham. This is The Flaming Ham Lance of Death. With a credibility gap such as this it’s no wonder the scientific community hasn’t taken Theo’s porcine technologies more seriously.

  7. Jerril says:

    “Maverick Spirit” tag, funny.

    First thing I think of is the Bacon Tiara from MAKE: Online.

  8. Takuan says:

    pfft! a trivial matter of bacon sheathing! You know nothing of science!

  9. dbarak says:

    What a waste of food (and yes, animal life). Sorry, it’s the vegetarian in me.

  10. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Where’s my bacon jetpack?

  11. Anonymous says:

    That’s the first time I’ve seen the quote “About the only thing wrong with cucumbers is that they are not made of bacon.” I must concur though.

  12. dr.hypercube says:

    @11 TUS – We have a winner!

  13. bonafidebob says:

    I almost hate to point this out, since a bacon (ok prosciutto) thermic lance is AWESOME, but it’s really the oxygen that’s cutting the steel. The bacon just gets the steel hot enough to burn on its own. and adds flavor.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “Where’s my bacon jetpack?”

    pigs might fly

  15. Takuan says:

    it seems to me that bacon would be a suitable matrix to impregnate with boron-bearing compounds.
    Could we then look forward to eventually seeing the Bacon Moderated Experimental Pile? Little windlasses to raise and lower the bacon to control the chain reaction? Perhaps in brass and oak?

  16. airship says:

    Bacon. Is there anything it CAN’T do?

  17. dross1260 says:

    @bonafidebob – Yep! But seriously, when can I make a LifeSavers IR laser/DVD burner.

  18. SednaBoo says:

    I’d think something fatty like an avocado would work better than breadsticks. Maybe with some steamed rice and nori as an insulator.

  19. Theodore Gray says:

    Thank you for my next column idea. It has now become my life’s work to construct an atomic pile from bacon. Its application as a moderator is obvious, but using uranium fuel would be cheating because uranium is not made of bacon. I could use neutron irradiation to convert a fraction of the sodium atoms to Na-24, a well known marker for neutron exposure. It would still be bacon because the chemical composition has not changed, only the isotopic mix. With a half-life of 15 hours this would make for some pretty hot bacon, but the beta particles are not useful for generation a spontaneous nuclear chain reaction. Further research in this area is required to determine what fissionable element can be created in-situ.

  20. Theodore Gray says:

    Concerning avacado, thought of that, but it won’t work because there is too much moisture. You need something fatty and dry. And for the insulator you need something wet and airtight. I considered wrapping the cucumber in tightly stretched collard greens, but this turned out to be unnecessary as the pressure containment capacity of a standard cucumber is quite remarkable.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The way those bacon tubes come out reminds me of those cereal straws for kids: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/frootloopsstraws2.jpg

    I wonder what beverage/liquid would be best enjoyed with a bacon straw? Split pea soup?

  22. David Guerrero says:


  23. Bugs says:

    @ Theodore:

    Firstly, that’s a fantastic video and I’m looking forward to reading your book.

    Secondly, I think we should start pushing for “the pressure containment capacity of a standard cucumber” to be accepted as an SI unit. Or at ISO standard at the very least.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Pffft…we were building hybrid rockets out of pepperoni back in the 90’s. Make me an oxidizer out of Redi-Whip and then I’ll be impressed.

    -Former Univ. of AL-Huntsville, Propulsion Research Center, GRA.

  25. nanuq says:

    I thought John Scalzi owned the copyright on bacon (or is that only when it’s taped to a cat?).

  26. smonkey says:


    Tritiated Water-Cured-Ham.

    all i gotta say.

  27. Ian70 says:

    Mmm, can you eat it after it’s cut steel? Sooo tasty.

  28. Takuan says:

    @Smonkey #27, I imagine such would emit Cerenkov radiation in perhaps the 510nm range. An enclosure of course is required; could you, would you, in a box?

  29. J France says:


    Someone had to.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Gotta know, How’d it smell?

  31. Anonymous says:

    The pepperoni rockets were delish…a big hit at the corporate dog & pony shows when sliced and served on a Triscuit.

    -Former Univ. of AL-Huntsville, Propulsion Research Center, GRA.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Ahh, the mind of a terrorist.

  33. Anonymous says:


  34. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this just a copy of my “Thermic Lance Made out of Pasta” on YouTube 2 years ago?


  35. Takuan says:

    a copy? A copy?!! Pah sir! Pah I say! Animal protein cutting and welding apparatus are long recognized by international scientific convention as being in a distinct class separate from farinaceous endeavors. You can hardly compare the two.

  36. Evil Jim says:

    It’s just a nozzle made of bacon and/or other food items attached to a standard blow torch set up. He’d have safer, better control over the flame with a proper tip.

  37. catfood says:

    @#11: Screw the jetpacks, where’s my bacon flying car?!? DAMMIT. THEY PROMISED US BACON FLYING CARS!!!

  38. Theodore Gray says:

    In reply to EVIL JIM: No it’s not. The bacon is the fuel, notice there is only one gas hose coming in the back. That supplies pure oxygen, no fuel gas (not even I am crazy enough to pre-mix fuel and oxygen in a hose like that, it would be suicide).

    If you find this hard to believe, try burning something, anything, in a stream of pure oxygen. This torch is basically a grease fire pumped up with oxygen, which is a very strong oxidizer.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Forget all that. I got two words for ya:

    Bacon Lightsaber.

  40. Anonymous says:

    What does the bacon and/or cucumber do…….? other than to channel the ignited (thus the cutting ability) oxygen onto the steel…..?it seems pretty stupid…pointless.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I sure am glad that compressed o2 can still cut through a dinner serving pan. you pump enough o2 through anything to get that result

  42. Anonymous says:

    i dont know whats so special about this. he’s just focusing oxygen gas so i can cut steel. i guess its special that the bacon and cucumber dont burn.

  43. Anonymous says:

    what an amazing waste of bacon, cucumbers, time, and energy. i thought we were all supposed to be going green. some dude playing in his garage wasting food and fuel definitely can’t be good for mother earth.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Come on people it is the oxygen gas that is cutting. Oxygen gs is very flammable. He is just trying to make it look cooler by using unordinary items to make it look like they are doing the work.
    The Internet sure can make people believe dumb stuff.

  45. Anonymous says:

    bacon, it has many uses.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Anyway you look at it, he is just wasting food.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Why is this news?

    Then again why is anything…

  48. Anonymous says:

    Is all of the USA retards can no one see he has thorch cutting rods inside the bacon hes just cutting the metal with the same rods you would use any given day damn we are STUPID AMERICANS you ppl make me sick.. Open your eyes and see what is right in front of you. anyone who has cut metal with a torch knows what the hell im talking about.. its just wraped in bacon.. good job a bacon lance. fancy name for a torch cutter lol morons

  49. Anonymous says:

    what a waste of bacon

  50. Anonymous says:

    Even the frying of Bacon sounds like an applause… AHHHHH!!!! Bacon

  51. Anonymous says:

    Step 1 in becoming a permanent professional researcher: find small commercial applications for your product that may fund your research indefinitely.

    Mr. Gray? Repeat after me: Bacon, Zippos.

    First one’s free. Next one’ll cost ya.

  52. Anonymous says:

    May I suggest trying a similiar experiment with Brazil nuts. They make great fire staters on their own due to the high oil content.

  53. Anonymous says:


    I lol’d heartily.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I agree Bacon Lightsaber, but for right now Incendiary Bacon Bullets, that will stop terrorists dead in their tracks, if the bullet doesn’t kill them the sure fact they are tainted by a pork product will.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Bacon is yummy

  56. Anonymous says:

    I bet his workshop smells good!

  57. Anonymous says:

    hey theo, have you considered using peanut butter or peanut brittle? one day after learning that higher calories equals more fire(in simple words), I looked around the kitchen for high Calorie foods. peanut butter has THE MOST… at least in my kitchen. it might require alot of oxidizer though, will pure oxygen gas work?

  58. Anonymous says:


  59. Anonymous says:

    whats the point?

  60. Anonymous says:

    whoa! that cucumber cutting tool is awesome where it just cuts all the skin off in a perfect cylinder. gotta get me one of those

  61. Anonymous says:

    What’s the point? I could make tires out of lettuce, but the car will only travel two feet. Without the internet, people would have to do real things, instead of insanely boring things, and I wouldn’t have just wasted two minutes of my life.

  62. Anonymous says:

    i’m sorry, but this is one of the stupidest things i’ve ever seen.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Only outlaws will have bacon!!! unless you want to wait for the background check…

  64. Anonymous says:

    lol… it’s all because of oxygen!…

  65. Anonymous says:

    What a waiste of good bacon!!!!

  66. Anonymous says:


  67. Anonymous says:

    i don’t get it

  68. Anonymous says:

    why the hell don’t i have a bacon powered car yet

  69. Anonymous says:

    And what did you carry the unused ham away on after you torched the cookie sheet? That grease is dangerous, too. The guys who tested space lab’s components in enriched O2 fires called chapstick a “NASA standard ignitor”.

  70. Anonymous says:

    isn’t it just the heat that is doing it, the bacon and cucumber are just there to make people think this is cool? Our society is so stoopid!

  71. Anonymous says:

    This is so stupid. Its the oxygen that’s cutting the steel. So its a bacon hose essentially…. big deal.

  72. Anonymous says:

    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
    To play with food, the live-long day.
    Intellect-smarts with kiddish fun,
    For with these gags, we all can run.

  73. Anonymous says:

    HOLLY CRAP that is a spicy meat:)jk
    L O freackin L

  74. Anonymous says:

    I bet dried fish would make an awesome lance…a dried herring lance for the Northlanders

  75. Anonymous says:

    Not cool…I mean it would be if you were doing this without oxygen hooked up to it, but as is, it works almost the same way as any other steel “cutting” tool

  76. Anonymous says:

    This is great for when the Food Network options the remake of MacGyver.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Spontaneous combustion of Humans, works well too, for the same reasons.

  78. Anonymous says:

    but why? who need that? mcquiver?

  79. Anonymous says:

    what cuts the steal is the oxygene, not the bacon, come on,do little thinking, oxygene will burn without or with the bacon, you can cut anything with the oxygene

  80. Anonymous says:

    Personally I use my own methane, and a lit fireplace match aimed it the proper direction.

    > < • • [=====]] Boomerfartz

  81. Anonymous says:

    its nothing more than an oxygen fire. he even said he hooked it up to an oxygen tank. nothing more than oxygen passing through a tube of bacon. you can replace the bacon with just about anything cause its the pure oxygen that makes the flame burn so hot it will cut steel. thats why blow torches used in any metal shop have OXYGEN tanks.

  82. Anonymous says:

    i just want to know if the bacon is edible after all this! =P

  83. Anonymous says:

    to theo –

    my understanding is that the coffee bean contains a large amount of chemical energy , do you believe it would be possible to take , lets say expresso grounds , and form a structually solid tube out of them , then use that ? it would likely smell terrible , but i’m confident vaste amounts of energy could be had with such a design . let me know what you think . c_m_naughton@yahoo.com

  84. Anonymous says:

    beer and bacon for breakfest

  85. Anonymous says:

    Sure it’s ridiculous, but it (and all these comments) made me laugh out loud, and I needed it…

  86. Anonymous says:

    To everyone saying it’s ‘all’ because of the oxygen. Duh, because without oxygen, almost nothing burns. The oxygen reacts with the ‘bacon’ or breadsticks to create the inital flame hot enough to get the pan to burn. Withouth the bacon/bread acting as a nozzle, the 02 would disperse broadly in the air and do nadda
    And just one or the other won’t do squat. Just oxygen will slowly rust the pan. Just bacon will pre-grease it for cooking. Not that that’s a bad thing.
    As for why? Why do you freeze bananas in liguid nitrogen in highschool chemistry? It’s fun!

  87. Anonymous says:

    MacGyver would be clapping

  88. Anonymous says:

    “I am using an engineering grade of Bacon called prosciutto.”
    Bwahahahahahaahaaaaa! love it!
    an engineering undergrad

  89. Anonymous says:

    There seem to be some certain misconceptions about combustion here… Fires require two things: a) something to burn, and b) oxygen to oxidize the reaction. Obviously the O2 hose is providing the oxygen. It’s the *bacon* and *breadsticks* that are burning, though. If they weren’t present, you wouldn’t have fire (or you would, but it would be your rubber hose burning and that would be a bad thing). Oxygen can’t burn on its own. Clearly this clever bacon-based invention represents a vast stride in self-cooking nozzle technology.

  90. Anonymous says:

    people people, oxygen is a oxidizer not a fuel, to have fire u need a fuel AND and oxidizer, therefore the bacon acts as a “solid” fuel. kind of like the solif fuel engines that sent men into space. the oxygen just accelerates the process and heat to the point of being able to melt steel. so this is actually possible. don’t know honestly whether this gut isn’t hiding a torch tip in there, but it’s totally possible “in theory”

  91. Anonymous says:

    7 bacon tubes… wrapped in a big bacon tube… wrapped in more bacon!!!

    that sounds so good!

  92. Anonymous says:

    “I am using an engineering grade of Bacon called prosciutto” – hee hee hee!! Can I quote you the next time I need something clever for class??

    Another engineering undergrad

  93. Anonymous says:

    must’ve been home cured bacon – loaded with potassium nitrate –> KNO3 + glycerine(bacon fat) + 02

    I wonder if this can be outdone by a kielbasa-sparkler stick combo?

  94. Anonymous says:

    its not the bacon or the cucumber its the O2 he hooks it up to thats what burns the steel not the meat or veggies just they are hollowed out to let the air flow thru

  95. Anonymous says:

    Bacon can’t cut anything. Only thing that the bacon did here was funnel the gas (fuel) that did the work. The bacon was the object that directed the gas to feed the flame that did the cutting. Bacon itself did no cutting at all.

  96. Anonymous says:


    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I’m so excited to hear that we can burn oxygen. This will completely end our dependency on fossil fuels. Why didn’t anyone figure this out sooner?

  97. Anonymous says:

    To #95. Yet again, without fuel, oxygen does -squat-. It’s a matter of basic chemistry. You need a tiny amount of activation energy to ignite the bacon in the presence of a lot of 02 (like a venting tank of it). In turn, you need waaaaay more to get a metal pan to -melt-. Exposing the bacon-nozzle to the propane torch is enough to start it reacting with the oxygen, which puts off more energy than it uses once it starts. In turn, that huge amount of heat can start the pan going. Notice that the pan stops burning when the hose is pulled away. It’s not for lack of 02 (the air still is about 20% 02 unless Mr. Grey was an idiot doing it in an air-tight room). It stopped because without a constant supply of -heat-, the energy to keep reacting is gone.

  98. Anonymous says:

    only pure oxygen?


    It works by blowing pure oxygen gas through a pipe packed with iron and magnesium rods. These metals are surprisingly flammable in pure oxygen, releasing a huge amount of heat as they are consumed. The result is a jet of superheated iron plasma coming out of the end of the pipe.

    Bacon is fattening because it contains a lot of chemical energy tied up in its proteins, and especially in its fat. You can release that energy either by digesting it or by burning it with a healthy supply of oxygen. The challenge isn’t creating the heat; it’s engineering a bacon structure strong enough to withstand the stress of a 5,000°F bacon plasma flame.

  99. Anonymous says:

    It’s a bacon blow torch!

  100. Anonymous says:

    very challenging.. but he did it!!! now we will be so much more enlightened and we can make more lances out of bacon in the future! (or HAM for the stiffs out there) yay for super high and important technology such as demonstrated here!!

  101. Anonymous says:

    Wow make a nuke out of bacons and bacon condom….is there anything bacon cant do?

  102. Anonymous says:

    Okay, don’t think this will actually cut through anything without some acetylene, but what ever! That bacon isn’t going to provide enough fuel to cut through steel, that is for damn sure!

  103. Anonymous says:

    These comments are stoopid. I agree with all the more literate folk out there who recognize that the bacon is the fuel source.

  104. Anonymous says:

    um… until you PROVE that it was the meat and not the oxygen, by doing a comparison with the control of just oxygen alone then I call BS and say that this is a hoax….

  105. Theodore Gray says:

    I would just like to clear up a few things here…. People who are saying it’s just the oxygen that cuts the steel are partly right, but partly not right. Yes, oxygen alone will burn and cut steel: In an ordinary oxy-acetylene torch you can turn the acetylene off and cut with pure oxygen.

    BUT ONLY AFTER THE STEEL IS HOT ENOUGH. And hot enough is very hot. Watch the video again closely: The point at which the oxygen starts interacting directly with the steel is not until you see a shower of fine sparks coming from the pan, after it has been raised to yellow heat. Before that it’s all bacon burning, generating the heat necessary to raise the steel to its ignition point.

    And since I can’t “turn off the bacon” in the same way you would turn off the acetylene, there’s always bacon burning, not just steel.

    Is this all pointless? Absolutely! Guilty as charged. Unless it inspires one or two kids to think about a career in science, in which case it’s worth every hour of my life I’ll never get back.

    And finally for those who say it’s faked, there is nothing I hate more than fake science videos. I absolutely swear on a stack of bacon bits that there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING fake in this video. The art people at Pop Sci wanted to photoshop some extra sparks into the picture we printed just to make it look a bit prettier, and I said, no way, do not touch that picture because people are going to say it’s fake, and I don’t want any trace of photoshop artifacts for people to jump on.

    It’s about 15 slices of prosciutto from SAMS club, oxygen from a cylinder, and a couple of pipe fittings to connect them, period. The only way I could make it more pure bacon would be to use a pork stomach as a gas bladder and connect the torch to it with a section of intestine. But that would be gross.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Useful ideas for bacon:
    -Feeding myself…yes
    -Feeding others…good
    -Feeding animals…alright
    -Welding torch…needs work.

  107. Takuan says:

    bless you Theo, you rise above the herd.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Only Theodore Gray would come up with something like this…

  109. Anonymous says:

    theo.. you are the man for responding and reading these comments man, really. i wouldnt have the stomache for such criticism (my own included). as for getting people involved in science by making this video, i hope you can. i wish there was more thought provoking (however i dare say useless) info out there as opposed to millions of daily ‘casts on celebrity hookups. you should put that info you gave us IN the video. even though we like to know its bacon (or freakin ham or whatever- its all just a PIG to me lol) I personally would like to know more about the “science” of it and not just the “oh cool that food gets so hot it burns s— up”. im not trying to be a scientist but i would like to be informed just to know. just my ten cents. stay cool theo

  110. Anonymous says:

    “Is this all pointless? Absolutely! Guilty as charged. Unless it inspires one or two kids to think about a career in science, in which case it’s worth every hour of my life I’ll never get back.”

    Here HERE!

  111. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Gray,

    As a chef & as a biologist you have appealed to my two favorite worlds – food & science. Thank you!

  112. Anonymous says:

    ok for you people out their try it and see for yourself. it’s as simple as that. propain and other gases can cut metal depends on the thickness and type, but not just by it’s self. but, but, if ou don’t belive it try it. i did and it works.

  113. Anonymous says:

    This is depressing to watch when your REALLY hungry like i am at the moment -_-

  114. Anonymous says:

    WEll a lil late but i agree…..BACON LIGHT SABER! OMG HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?

  115. Anonymous says:

    hmmm, bacon tubes could someday replace nanotubes? Or how about Nano bacon tubes? LOL

  116. Anonymous says:

    could you use Kevan Bacon

  117. Evil Jim says:

    @Theodore Gray, who wrote:
    In reply to EVIL JIM: No it’s not. The bacon is the fuel, notice there is only one gas hose coming in the back. That supplies pure oxygen, no fuel gas (not even I am crazy enough to pre-mix fuel and oxygen in a hose like that, it would be suicide).

    Ohhhhh. In that case, it’s pretty cool. I thought I understood the setup but evidently not. Please forgive my lack of blowtorch knowledge.

  118. grouchosuave says:

    Aha!! So this is why my thermal lance page is getting hit a bit more!
    ( http://grouchosuave.wordpress.com/thermal-lance-project/ )

    We (Fuckin’Jerks MC-Oakland Chapter) started messing around with our own thermal lance design and builds a few years back and ended up taking it to the playa to mess with minds and melt some granite. ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/beckiesworld/sets/72157594271111296/ )

    But let me chime in here and be a dillweed, Theo; [ No, I’m not gonna spout off on thermite and the evil 9/11 fascist interdimensional machine elf conspiracy.]
    Your lance is technically not a “thermal lance” but an “oxy lance” and I do believe someone above has already addressed the misappellation of “bacon” for prosciutto.
    But perhaps, Theo, your lance is a new variant deserving its own name and corresponding study and development! Maybe “Sacrificial Oxyporcine Torch”. Whaddya think?

    P.S. Did you happen to check your cutting tip with an IR/laser temp gun to check out what deltaT you managed?
    We still haven’t managed to get ahold of anything that measures in the 6000F+ range… Ho hum.

  119. Anonymous says:

    The bacon and cucumber are just being used as consumables. Nothing special except this dude is making it smell like burnt bacon and a big oily mess.

  120. Anonymous says:

    I wish I could end internet stupidity with blog comments…

    Anyway, cool stuff… But I would be much happier if you had just sent the prosciutto to me. Mmmm, proscuttio

  121. Anonymous says:

    Nothing special here… except an absolutely brilliant demonstration of just how much energy our food really contains!

    This is so much better than the high school chemistry demo where the instructor burns a lump of sugar with a bunsen burner.

  122. Anonymous says:

    Ok, i bags the name Flaming Bacon Lance Of Death for when i finally get a band together.

  123. Anonymous says:

    Worth it just for all the comments

  124. wallace530 says:

    This is great news. Best of luck for the future and keep up the good work.tiffany

  125. Anonymous says:

    ok for you people out their try it and see for yourself. it’s as simple as that. propain and other gases can cut metal depends on the thickness and type, but not just by it’s self. but, but, if ou don’t belive it try it. i did and it works. evden eve nakliyat

  126. rob says:

    What if you just used a pig? Stick an air hose up the pig’s ass and blow the flame from his lips. Would that be better than prosciutto?

  127. Xeni Jardin says: