Surprising What Cinnamon Does in a Fire


The King of Random


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In today's video, we are taking a look at a common household spice, and just how it reacts to fire. Guys, you've probably had cinnamon before. You probably have in your cupboard right now, but did you know that cinnamon is actually highly flammable? To be more specific, cinnamon is actually a dust made from a bark of a tree, and there's lots of different types of it. But dust itself is highly explosive. When you have these tiny tiny little particles of anything that's even a little bit flammable, when they're in air in just the right ratio, the flame can so easily travel from one to the next that it just blossoms out, and can actually just make an explosion. In fact, in a lot of food factories, there are warnings everywhere about potential explosions due to the dust particles in the air. Cinnamon, soy products, everything down to custard powder can cause this. Here's the basic idea. We are taking a look at the hows and whys of cinnamon ignition, and then scaling it up. One of the cool things about cinnamon though is that it doesn't burn quite the same way as a lot of other powders. Lots of dry powders will burn if they get thrown into the air into a cloud, and then come in contact with heat. But cinnamon has something a little bit extra. Not only does cinnamon burn well, and create a fireball if it's combined with the air in just the right ratio, but it also has a cool like magical effect, where it makes the air look like it's sparking, and it's more than just a flame when you burn a cinnamon. So I actually learned this trick years ago at different bonfires with my family. But then, doing some research on it, I realize it's actually pretty dangerous. But we want to show you just how cool it can be under the right circumstances. Cinnamon is actually derived from a tree, like we said. It's actually the inner tree bark. So people will peel back the outer layer of the tree bark, and this is the layer in between the actual tree and the bark itself. That's what cinnamon is. It's wood, basically this is sawdust. Delicious, delicious sawdust. But it's also very flammable, just like most wood products are. So to begin with, we're going to show you a couple of really small scale experiments just to give you an idea of what cinnamon will do around a fire. Now, we're not saying that it's going to be explosive. But this isn't something that's going to detonate if I put a flame on it. Be really hard to bake with, if that was the case. But you can see that it does burn and catch fire. [Music] And it makes the house smell amazing. [Music] So powdered sugar, kind of the same as cinnamon where it is technically a dust. So it is explosive, but it's not going to do the same thing over the flame. I'll show you. [Music] Not much. But if you've ever worked in the kitchen, you will know that powdered sugar, any type of sugar, will catch fire. This isn't doing anything over the flame. Look at the-- There we go. They're in tiny bit. Little tiny bit of orange fire. That's it. Maybe 1/4 of cinnamon, compared to what we use with the powdered sugar, and it sparkles. As it jets off, you see the orange flame, and then coming off of the orange flame is tiny little sparks, and it looks so freaking cool. So what Nate was doing before at the powdered sugar? You can see the difference immediately. So much more of a cinnamon. Let me try and use our cinnamon container to sort of make clouds. [Music] And while it is explosive, we're not doing this in large enough quantities for auto ignition. What's happening here is very very small clouds. If we have these clouds of cinnamon rising up so thick that we couldn't see 6 inches from our face, then we would technically be in a danger zone. Cinnamon dust is highly flammable for a couple of reasons. Like we said, this is basically finely ground tree bark. It's made of wood. It's flammable, but it also contains some other chemicals. There are two chemicals in cinnamon called cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, which are also both very flammable, and it's flammable enough that it's possible that cinnammon is actually giving off vapors that can burn as well. So it's not just the individual particles, but of vapor itself coming off of the cinnamon that might burn. So it's really cool to see these effects, even on a small scale with our torch. But now, we're going to take it to the big level. We want to show you guys what this looks like in a bonfire. With a lot of cinnamon. A lot of cinnamon. So much cinnamon. Too much cinnamon. There's no such thing. Alright guys, we are out in the middle of the desert now, because we want to scale up cinnamon in fire, and show you just how cool it looks in the bonfire, but in safe conditions. So Nate's built us an awesome fire. We're gonna light it up. We could like this fire with like matches, but we like these. [Music] It was below 70 degrees, so neither of us were very happy. This is better, because I have a flare too, but while we're waiting for the fire to actually build, we're going to do something else. Maybe ask for adult supervision before trying this. But as we were saying, powdered sugar is also highly flammable, just not the same as cinnammon. But it's a pretty cool party trick. [Music] Also, it's delicious. That's red. I've never seen this be red before. I've never done this with the road flare before. Yum. That's the fun thing to do while waiting for your bonfire to start. All right. Let's see if we can do this with some regular fire. The flare's making it red, which is awesome. I want to show you what it looks like which has a regular flame. [Music] So this is going to be cinnamon and sugar. You guys have seen fireballs just a powdered sugar. Now, we're trying it with the cinnamon. I've never tried to breathe out cinnamon into a fire before. This will be interesting. [Music] That's delicious, and my mouth is so dry. [Music] Oh, that's so cool. [Music] Oh. Good. Good. That's exactly what you're supposed to do. It is. Did you spill it all down the-- That would be a yes. As a side note, Nate might have years of experience of fire-breathing in certain capacities, and we also have taken a lot of precautions. We have a lot of water, and an entire fire extinguisher, and we're in the middle of the desert. So we're being pretty careful. All right, we've got a pretty good fire. I don't think it's gonna get much bigger than this. No, this is perfect. It might be time to start throwing in some larger quantities of cinnamon. So you guys saw in the kitchen, when we were just throwing in a little tiny handfuls, but now, with just a couple of these, after a handful of cinnammon, if you want to grab a handful of powdered sugar, the powdered sugar makes a really really big sort of a fireball, but the cinnamons going to give it that sparkle. 3, 2, 1. So they do react differently. The sugar goes in-- Closer to the bottom. There's a little bit of a flare up. So powdered sugar, if you throw it to the top of the flame like you do with cinnamon. Not much of a reaction. If you toss it directly into the flame. That's when you're going to get a bit of a flare. Now, cinnamons the opposite. If I throw it at the bottom, you get kind of a flare, but it's not going to be quite the same. At the top though. You can get that really cool, really fast fireball. So we did sprinkles, and now, we've moved on to slightly larger handfuls. So one thing I do want to point out. Nate and I are not standing in any sort of dust cloud radius, and we're also standing up wind of the fire itself. So we're not in any danger where we're at, so long as we toss the cinnamon directly at the fire, and not in our line of fire. [Music] 3, 2, 1. [Music] 3, 2, 1. [Music] So I'm finding it interesting to note that yes, cinnamon is flammable. But as you're seeing, if we're tossing it into the embers, it's not doing much. We've actually got a bit of a trail of cinnamon around our fire pit, but it's not lighting. Even though it's not, we are going to douse this entire area with water before we leave. [Music] All right, we've got one container left. So I actually feel pretty safe standing where I am right now as Nate's throwing, because again, we're standing up wind of the fire. I have cinnamon on my clothes. So I'm not going to get any closer to the flames. Although I'm not in a dust cloud, so I'm not in any danger. If you've ever seen videos of people covering themselves in cinnamon. There's one that went viral around the internet not too long ago. That ended pretty badly, but we're being very very cautious here. Another thing to note is this entire area, it smells so strong we are cinnamon, and it's amazing. It's gonna smell that way here for weeks, probably. If you're going to experiment with this at home, make sure you have an adult with you. Make sure you're being very very careful. Don't coat yourself in cinnamon before lighting a flame, or anything like that. That said, it can, as we said, cause explosions. So if you decide to do this, do it in a controlled environment, make sure you have safety precautions, and then, have fun. [Music] Guys, that's not all. You know we've always got more for you to see. This box up here at the top will take you to our latest video. And that box at the bottom is what YouTube thinks you should be watching next. Hit that bomb so you can join the club, and you never miss out on the fun. Don't forget to ring that bell, and we'll see you in the next one. Talk to you then.