Ted Cruz sizzles up 'machine-gun bacon'

Ted Cruz may have lost the swine vote.

A campaign video posted Monday features the Texas senator and GOP presidential hopeful firing off several rounds from a bacon-wrapped AR-15 rifle, and then eating the bacon. "Mmm, machine-gun bacon," Cruz says after taking a bite from a plastic fork.

The bacon was cooked at the Central Iowa Impact Gun Range in Boone. Two of the three brands bought in the video are made by Tyson Foods.

The state of Iowa recommends that pork products—including bacon—be heated to an internal temperature of 145 degrees to eliminate any pathogens or harmful bacteria. Most bacon recipes recommend a skillet at temperatures from 325 to 375 degrees. Putting aside other questions—like, is a semi-automatic rifle considered a "machine gun" (no) and is it a good idea to eat from a gun barrel (no)—the Big Crunch wants to know how long it would take to cook gun bacon.

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How hot was the barrel of Cruz's gun? How many rounds did it take to reach the optimal cooking temperature for firing-range bacon?

In 1975, the National Technical Information Service—part of the U.S. Department of Commerce—studied the barrel temperature of an M16A1 rifle, a relative of the same AR-15 that Cruz uses in the video.

According to the M16A1 data, firing at one round per second for 140 seconds will heat the section of the gun nearest the muzzle to 613 to 685 degrees Fahrenheit. Another 140 seconds puts the temperature at almost 900 degrees.

At normal cooking temperatures, bacon usually takes five to eight minutes per side, so even without flipping, it doesn't look like Cruz would have to take much time out of his senatorial duties to cook up his breakfast meats.

Competitive shooter Dustin Ellermann posted a video in March with a similar cooking method. Ellermann's "gun grill" fried his bacon to perfection in about three minutes and took about 90 rounds from an M16 assault rifle. In the video, we only see Cruz shoot about 15 shots in about seven seconds, with a scene in the middle cut.

A volunteer answering the phone at Cruz's Texas headquarters said he isn't an expert on bacon and hasn't seen the video. The campaign did not provide comment in time for publication.

In recent polls, around 6 percent of likely Republican voters said they support Cruz. That puts the Texas senator in sixth place among his rivals, just behind former neurosurgeon Ben Carson. It puts him ahead of Lindsey Graham (15th out of 15 in the polls) and Rand Paul (eighth), both of whom also recently put out attempts at viral videos of the candidates smashing, grinding and destroying things.

As of midday Tuesday, the YouTube video had about 290,000 views. Of about 3,400 votes, 63 percent said: "I dislike this."

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