Why Does Bologna Curl?

When you fry or nuke a slice of bologna, it curls up like a little soup bowl. What property (properties) causes (cause) this?

Wow. Have I stumped the teeming millions? Maybe this is one for Cecil…

Hey Lib, good to see you around!

Don’t know this for a fact, but my guess would be that it happens this way, more or less. As the bologna is cooked, the exposed surface loses water to evaporation. Then, just like the opposite of when you’re in the shower and your skin gets all puffy from the excess water in the pores (because the skin increases its surface area), the top side of the bologna decreases its surface area due to the evaporation, causing the curling.

Yeah - what Cabbage said.

A day late, a dollar short - that’s me.

My guess is that it curls up for the same reason bacon or many cuts of meat will. The fat renders out before the lean cooks, and as it does, it shrinks, pulling the lean in a certain direction. With bologna, the fat is pretty much evenly incorporated, so it curls in the easiest direction. Steaks and pork chops will do the same curling thing if there is a complete sretch of fat on one side, which is why most cooks will slash the fat at intervals, allowing it to shrink without pulling the meat with it.

I think it is because the casing shrinks faster than the “meat” (and I use that term loosely). Try cutting off the edge before nuking it, and see if the result changes. I would do it myself, but I’m fresh out of b’loney.