This Is How Long You Should Dunk An Oreo, According To Science

It's generally agreed upon that Oreos are best when dunked in milk. After all, the slogan is "Milk's favorite cookie." But whether you use your fingers, the fork method, or have invested in one of those fancy cookie dunking tools, the amount of time you dunk an Oreo can make or break (literally) your Oreo eating experience. If it sits in the milk too long, it begins to disintegrate, and if you're not patient enough, the cookie part will remain crunchy. The good thing is, you don't have to leave it to guesswork, because there's actually a research-proven method to dunking Oreos.

According to a study conducted by British scientist Len Fisher in 1999 (via Reader's Digest), a perfect dunk takes precisely three seconds. This isn't based on personal preference, but rather through a series of experiments in which capillary action was closely monitored. Measuring the amount of time it took the cookie to absorb the liquid without it being too hard or too soggy, the data concluded that three seconds was the sweet spot.

Why do Oreos taste better in milk?

As much as there's a science to dunking an Oreo in milk, there's one behind why they taste better that way. Quartz explains that it has to do with the fact that milk contains emulsifiers. Combined with the fat in the cookie, emulsifiers affect the way your tongue picks up flavor. Milk, therefore, escalates this process, while also evening out the flavor profile of the cookie, resulting in a more "full-bodied taste."

Not only do Oreos benefit from the emulsifiers in the milk, they also benefit from the methylbutanol being released during the dipping process (via The Kitchn). Methylbutanol is the flavor compound that cookies develop when baked. When baked goods get wet, this methylbutanol intensifies and is more easily detected not only by the tongue but also by the nose. By dunking Oreos in milk, you're able to maximize the taste of the Oreo. And if you dunk it for exactly three seconds, you'll achieve the best texture too.