Cooking on your vehicle's engine is fun!

Cooking on your vehicle's engine is fun!

Why not cook food on your vehicle's engine, I ask you. It's fun, there's a fabled tradition, and it can actually save you meal preparation time if you're traveling to a family dinner. Get auto loan financing for your new car.

Get everything you need

To be able to pull off a successful engine-block cooking endeavor, you'll need tin foil, tongs, an oven mitt, plates, cutlery and, of course, the food.

Start by planning ahead. As engine-block cooking is the most costly type of cooking you can do, do not plan a trip simply so you can cook something. Do it if you're already going to be going someplace. As this will be much the same as braising food, cooking times will take longer than a conventional oven, but less than a crock pot.

Roasts, barbeque and other complete meals with potato sides are possible on long trips, but even a quick commute can accommodate a breakfast sandwich or some hot dogs. Google "engine block cooking," read the book “Manifold Destiny” and picks meals that work for you. Be mindful of weights and amounts, as this impacts cooking time. Be wary of attempting stew or other liquid-based foods. Also, do not attempt engine-block cooking during rain and snowstorms, as it can be hazardous.

Cooking during the journey

These are some cooking distances that you may need to go for most driving:

  • Shrimp: 30-50 miles
  • Trout or salmon: 60-100 miles
  • Chicken breasts: 60 miles at 65 mph
  • Chicken wings: 140-200 miles
  • Pork tenderloin: 250 miles
  • Sliced, peeled potatoes: 55 miles

Start by wrapping the food

To begin with, wrap the food completely in heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure to include just a little butter or cooking oil over the inside of the top sheet so the food will not stick. Wrap it well enough that the potential for grease leaking out is minimized. Desired spices should go in before cooking, too.

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What to do next

Next, you'll want to find a suitable spot on the engine block for this cooking experience. Drive for a few minutes to warm up the engine, then pull over and locate a good, flat hot spot. Do so very carefully, as you need to avoid a severe burn. Generally, the very best spot is on or near the exhaust manifold. Stay away from areas like the accelerator linkage, as food blockage could force the engine to stick at full throttle.

Make sure your wrapped meal is going to fit snugly in the engine but not get crushed by testing the height between the surface and the hood. You can make a six-inch high piece of crumbled foil and close the lid to see where it closes. Then, you can secure the food in place, and you can even use a rubber engine hose to hold it down if needed. Never put the food near moving parts.

Just keep driving

Here's where trial and error - plus the estimates of engine-block cooking experts - factor in. You have to drive until the food is sufficiently cooked, then pull over and shut off the engine. If you can, check on the food a bit before it's intended to be done, then reseal and keep going if necessary for the cooking job. Once things are done for sure, use tongs to remove, unwrap and put the food on the plates you've brought along.

Cookies in summer


Manifold Destiny:

Hampton Roads

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