No matter what type of event you’re hosting, safety is always a major concern. Anytime you get a lot of people together in a tight space, the danger factor ramps up. However, things can be particularly suspect when you decide to include sparklers in the mix. In particular, people want to make sure their children are safe when using anything that can cause burns or other injuries. So, it’s only natural to search for a buffer for their hands; including the idea to hold a sparkler with a potato. But is this really a safe alternative to going barehanded? Does the fact that a potato can conduct electricity make any difference at all? Here is everything you need to know.
Which Sparklers Work Best with a Potato?
Choosing the right sparkler for the job is an easy task when the conditions are familiar. However, as soon as you want to remove it from your hand, things change quickly. Generally speaking, you should always avoid anything too long to avoid it bending during the performance. Additionally, it is hard to insert heftier versions like 36 inch sparklers because potatoes are very dense. Instead, choose something made from steel wire and with a smaller diameter. The sparklers will slide in easier, and you won’t have to worry about them flopping around while they burn.
How to Choose the Perfect Potato for Your Needs
When it comes time to decide on the perfect potato for this mission, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you need to consider whether you want it placed on a table or to be held in your hand. If you plan to hold it in your hand, consider a longer variety of fingerling potato so you get some extra length. Conversely, if you plan to use it as an anchor for a sparkler centerpiece, consider a larger option like a russet baker potato. The added weight and size will provide stability, and you can even paint them to make them to match your wedding theme! By choosing the right type of potato, you can have the best experience possible.
How to Hold a Sparkler with a Potato
Once you’ve decided between holding it in your hand and placing it on a table, you can start prepping your potato. To get everything setup, you need to have the right tools and materials for the job. To help, I’ve broken everything down step-by-step below.
Required Tools and Materials
There are a few things you need in order to do the job right. Here is a list of things you’ll need for this project.
- Steel Wire Sparklers
- Potato (chosen by size for your needs)
- Small knife or other precise tool to make a hole.
- A torch for lighting sparklers or other ignition source.
How to Insert the Sparklers into the Potato
Once you have your supplies, get ready to prepare the potato and enjoy the spectacle. Follow this step-by-step guide to assemble everything correctly so you can enjoy the show.
- Choose the Right Potato: Opt for a potato that’s straight and evenly sized. A slightly thicker potato might work better for this purpose.
- Give it a Good Wash: Rinse the potato under running cold water to remove any dirt or impurities. Pat it dry using a clean towel or paper towel.
- Trim the Excess: With a knife or a sharp tool, trim the potato to your preferred length. It should be long enough to comfortably hold the sparkler without getting your hand too close to the flame. Aim for a length of 6-8 inches (15-20 cm).
- Make a Hole for the Sparkler: Carefully carve a small hole at one end of the potato, just wide enough to securely hold the sparkler. Be cautious to avoid any cuts.
- Insert the Sparkler: Gently place the sparkler into the hole you created in the potato, ensuring it stands upright and is secure without wobbling.
- Light the Sparkler: Use a lighter or torch to ignite the sparkler. Hold the potato at the unlit end, away from the flame, to prevent burns. Make sure the sparkler ignites safely.
- Enjoy the Display: Once it’s lit, wave it around and enjoy the sparkling show while gripping the potato handle. Be careful not to let the sparkler touch anything flammable or your skin.
- Extinguish Afterward: When the sparkler has burned out, carefully put out the flame by submerging the burning end in a bucket of water or container of sand. Let it cool completely before disposing of it safely.
Making a Sparkler Centerpiece with a Potato as the Base
If you prefer incorporating wedding sparklers into a centerpiece using potatoes, you can enhance their stability with a larger potato. Use a sharp knife to shave off slices from one side so you have a flat surface. This flat side ensures that when placed on a table, the potato remains steady without rocking or tipping during the display. Next, create holes for the number of sparklers you want to insert into the potato for the centerpiece. Then, insert the wire handle of each one into the respective holes. Once you’ve finished, you’ve crafted a stunning addition to your table decor!
Can Kids Hold the Potato in Their Hands During the Performance?
When it comes to our children, there is no length we won’t go to ensure their safety. Since protecting their hands is an easy enough task, it is very common practice for many parents. The most famous way to do it is by using a carrot to hold a sparkler, but there’s no reason a potato can’t work just as well. If you plan to use it as a buffer for your child’s hand, make sure to use a long fingerling potato. In fact, some parents even choose sweet potatoes to hold sparklers in a pinch! As long as you are separating the sparkler from your child, you are increasing the safety factors that matter.
Does it Work with a Cooked Potato?
One of the weirder questions I get a lot is about whether or not you should cook your potato before you try to jab a wire into it. Not only are we talking about a slightly cooked potato; some people want to know about various things like French fries. Here is a quick breakdown of the viability of the three most popular cooked potato items.
Baked potatoes are a bit more confusing for people. Since they are soft, they can seem like a tip-over risk. However, baked potatoes are great since the softer flesh allows you to insert the sparkler without creating a pilot hole. Sadly, it also means you should limit your choices to 10 inch sparklers instead of anything longer. While it’s easier to hold a sparkler with a potato when it’s soft, it does make it harder to stabilize longer versions.
French fries are among the most popular foods in America. However, they don’t seem like a very logical choice for sparklers. For the huge fans, you can pull it off under the right conditions! The best course to take is to create a massive pile of fries. Obviously, it’s best if they are a bit soggy instead of crunchy. Also, it’s a great idea to add chili or cheese sauce to give it some weight and stability. Just stick a sparkler in the top and let the good times roll!
Lastly, we have the most infamous of all potato preparations: mashed. Almost everyone loves to have a huge plate of mashed potatoes, but it creates some major challenges when it comes to sparklers. Obviously, they are much less stable than other options for preparing this lovely root vegetable. As such, most concepts of adding a sparkler won’t apply to this situation. Of course, you could probably rig a wedding cake sparkler into working; but it’s probably not worth the effort. When it comes to mashed potatoes, you should let gravy be the star and leave it at that.
Is the Potato Still Edible Afterwards?
Finally, we arrive at the question that’s been on everyone’s mind; can you still eat the potato? This particular vegetable is filled with starch and features a very hearty skin. Since the skin protects the majority of the flesh, it is less susceptible to problems like scorching. Additionally, all of our sparklers are free from harmful toxins that could damage your food. If you decide to hold a sparkler with a potato, it will be as fresh and crisp as you it was before the performance.
There are many types of sparklers, and there are many types of potatoes. If you choose a long one, you can safely hold a sparkler in your hand. I you choose a large one and shave off the side, it can become an organic wedding centerpiece. Whatever you choose, I hope you found this guide useful. Good luck and thanks for reading!