Friday Food Math: Eat This!

See that heart attack-inducing picture right above these words? That, friends, is the “homewrecker” dog: 3.5 pounds of Lipitor bait. 1lb of that is hot dog, the rest is bun, toppings (peppers, onions, nacho cheese, chili sauce, jalapenos, mustard, ketchup, coleslaw, tomatoes, lettuce, and shredded cheese), and whatever oil is no doubt absorbed in the act of deep-frying the hot dog. It costs $12.99 at Hillbilly Hot Dogs in West Virginia, but it can be yours for free if you eat the whole thing in under 4 minutes.

Can it be done? Since we are not, currently, in West Virginia (and also we do not, currently, have a death wish), we turn our powers of deduction to the matter.

Let’s start in the obvious place: Champion gurgitator Joey Chestnut won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4 this year by eating 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes. That’d be an average of 5.9 a minute, right? But we were a little suspicious — that’s like saying someone who does a 5-hour marathon is running 11.5-minute miles, whereas in reality the miles are much faster at first, and take longer as the race goes on. So we sat down in front of a YouTube video of this past July’s contest, planning to count Joey’s consumption over the first four minutes.

That failed. So instead, we turn to Gothamist’s liveblog of the eat-off, and with some counting-backwards skills have decided that Joey Chestnut can eat at least 32 hot dogs in 4 minutes.

But what is that in terms of weight? Nathan’s hot dogs are sold in grocery stores in 12-ounce packs of 6, weighing in at 2 ounces per dog. And we’ll assume that Nathan’s buns are more or less equivalent to white Wonder buns, which at 43 grams per bun convert to just about 1.5 ounces per bun. 2 ounces for the dog plus 1.5 ounces for the bun means that a full hot dog, Nathan’s contest-style, weighs 3.5 ounces.

And how many 3.5-ounce dog-and-bun combos do you need to get up to 4 pounds? Just about 18.285 hot dogs — half what Joey Chestnut packed down.

So is eating the homewrecker dog in 4 minutes doable? Totally. Is it advisable? Not so much.

Gigantic horrifying hotdog – 3.5lbs – is free if you eat it in 4 minutes [BoingBoing]
The Mother of All Hot Dogs–HillBilly’s Homewrecker [Al Dente]

[Photo of the homewrecker via Al Dente]

Friday Food Math: Eat This!