Cooking on Car Engines

Posted: 1st November 2013 by Michael Levanduski in Survival Cooking & Recipes
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engineAlmost since the beginning of automobiles, people have been using the heat generated from the engine to cook food.  Today it is a popular way to have a delicious meal ready while you’re traveling long distances.  For preppers, it could be an excellent way to have a healthy meal cooked and ready to eat, even while on the move.  Cooking on car engines is one of many alternative cooking options preppers should have available to them. The heat from a typical car engine can cook anything from fish to a roast, hot dogs or even toast.

There are recipe books out there for ‘carbequing’ or you can just experiment with trial and error.  Like all cooking, it takes a little practice to get right, but it is well worth the effort, if you’re someone who drives a lot.  Before you get started with cooking on car engines, however, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

Keep the Food Covered

There are many different chemicals traveling around under the hood of your car, and you don’t want them getting into your food.  When preparing your food for cooking, make sure it is completely wrapped and sealed so nothing can get in.  The best way to do this is to place the food in two or three layers of tin foil, and wrap it snugly.  Make sure to tuck the opening of the foil over, so nothing can sneak its way in.  In addition, make sure you’re always careful when placing the food for cooking so that it doesn’t get a hole poked in the foil.

Where to Place the Food

Proper placement is essential for cooking on a car engine.  Each vehicle is a little different, so you’ll have to experiment with how and where to place your food.  The first step is to locate the hot spots within your engine compartment.  In most cases, finding areas on or near the exhaust manifold of the vehicle will be perfect.  These areas get very hot, and will provide the steady heat required for cooking just about any food.

Once you’ve located the hot spots in your car, find an area where you can place the food securely.  Make sure that it will stay where it is placed, and not fall out if the car hits a bump or turns a corner.  Securing the food with metal wires may be helpful, but make sure to keep your vehicle’s safety in mind as well.  If the food gets into areas it shouldn’t, it could cause some significant damage.

How Long to Cook

As a rule of thumb, cooking on a car engine will take slightly longer than cooking in an oven, but shorter than a slow cooker.  You’ll need to use some trial and error when learning this technique because each car runs at a slightly different temperature.  In addition, things like the speed you’re driving, the temperature outside and other factors can impact how long you’ll need to drive in order to cook your food completely.

Choosing Foods

You can cook just about anything on a car engine.  It is important to make sure you’ll be driving a sufficient distance to cook the food, however, so a little planning is essential.  If you’re just driving 10-20 miles to work in the morning, for example, you could use that time to heat up some pre-cooked breakfast sausage to enjoy when you arrive at work.  If you’re planning an all-day road trip, you can cook a full roast with baked potatoes and other sides.

Cooking on a car engine is a great way to take advantage of the heat your vehicle makes.  It also allows you to have real meal, even when you’re on the road.  Of course, if you’re going to be driving after you eat, you’ll want to skip the wine with dinner!

  1. Echo says:

    use to do that all the time when i was driving tractor trailer over the road!