Can we as a forum bust a survival TV show myth? – Cooking an egg in toilet paper
On the Bear Grylls TV show Running Wild, actor Terry Crews tags along with Bear in the Icelandic Highlands of Season 6 Episode 2 (available on Disney+ for streaming). One of the main points of this episode is that Terry has to carry an egg around with him and on the second day of their adventure they eat it. Bear introduces Terry to a cooking technique where they wrap the egg in toilet paper and light it on fire. With magic of editing, the egg is perfectly hardboiled in 2 minutes.
Ever since seeing this scene, I wanted to test that out for myself. I tried to look online for anybody else attempting this and could not see a single mention of this technique. So going back to the original episode, I analyzed it to see if I could pick up on any tips or tricks.
- Terry rolls up the egg in toilet paper and seems to do it moderately tight
- Bear says that to prevent the egg from exploding, you need to poke a small hole in it.
- It seems like they may have used another tinder source behind the wad of toilet paper because it takes off very forcefully, there is a loud hissing sound from the flame, the toilet paper doesn’t seem to be on fire and charring enough to equal the amount of flames coming off of the wad, the flames look an unnatural red color, and personally I haven’t been able to easily light toilet paper like that with a ferro rod before.
- They do cook a gull egg, but it doesn’t look to be too different in size than a medium chicken egg.
On my first attempt, I took a free range chicken egg from my neighbor’s chickens and wrapped it tightly in over six feet of toilet paper.
Taking it outside, I doused it with lighter fluid (for extra help) and set it on fire. The lighter fluid gives off big orange flames for a few seconds and then the wad of toilet paper is extinguished and it smolders. I let it do that for a few minutes thinking that it would still give off heat and cook the egg. But when even the smoldering started to die down, I drenched it in lighter fluid twice more and waited for it to die down again.
All of the toilet paper didn’t burn off because I wrapped the egg tightly and the toilet paper wasn’t able to get enough oxygen.
When I cracked the egg open after 13 minutes, only a very small sliver of the egg white was cooked.
I attempted the experiment again with a very small chicken egg that is much smaller than the gull egg used in the episode. I wrapped it in the same six feet of toilet paper, but very loosely and lightly this time to have it burn more completely. I also stayed away from using lighter fluid this time to see if that was causing it to burn too quickly last time. After 13 minutes, the toilet paper was more thoroughly consumed, but the egg wasn’t any more cooked.
My guess is that the egg used in the TV show had been hardboiled the entire time and this toilet paper technique was just to show off for the audience.
I know that many survival shows are staged and edited to show various techniques, but if this is a hoax and you can’t actually cook an egg from raw to hardboiled with toilet paper like is shown, then it needs to be known that this is not a real survival technique. I am not dogging Bear at all, he is a great and genuine guy and I look up to him as a person in many ways.
So here’s where the challenge comes in. Can we as a community prove or disprove that this works? Try it on your own with your family and see if you can figure out what steps need to be taken to hardboil an egg using toilet paper.
Want more Bear Grylls? Drinking your own pee for survival: does the science bear it out?