Hold your cookie in milk for too long, and it disintegrates into a mush pile. Dunk it too fast, and it remains dry and pointless.
It's tricky, but there's a delicate balance when it comes to The Dunk. You have to have the touch, and it can be a real dilemma to get it just right.
If you find yourself unsure of how long exactly to drown your biscuit, you're not alone -- that's why we have turned to science to find the optimal dipping time. They did not disappoint.
"We've always had, like, these crazy ideas, I guess you'd say," explained Dr. Tadd Truscott, part of the Utah State University team who conducted the study, according to KSL. "We were always saying, 'We should be always curious, asking as many questions as we can.' … That question kept coming up, like, 'What is the best dunking time?' And everybody kind of argued about it."
It took them about two weeks, but they got to the bottom of it. Turns out that most cookies ought to be dunked for about four seconds.
"I guess for the serious cookie drinker, they really want to know," said Truscott.
The team experimented on a variety of cookies, from graham crackers to Nutter Butters to Oreos, to learn exactly how they absorb liquid and at what point they soak up the highest amount of milk. And they found that each cookie "draws in milk at roughly the same rate."
An Oreo, they discovered, absorbs about half the possible liquid after one second. At four seconds, it has absorbed about as much as it ever will, making it the perfect dunk duration. After five seconds, you're getting into mush territory.
"What's happened is the sugars are starting to break down as well as proteins and the more complicated structure within," Truscott explained of the five-second mark.
In a similar, very important but less scientific experiment conducted by HuffPost in 2014, testers noted that Oreos will disintegrate after a minute and suggested dipping for 2.5 seconds if you like your Oreo crunchy.
Of course, each type of cookie varies somewhat.
"What it means for you and me is that if you have a graham cracker, you've got to hurry and shove it in your mouth. If you have an Oreo, you can finish your sentence," said Truscott, according to KSL.