Cook large dishes with the motor of the
Ladies, gentlemen, start your engines. But only after you’ve loaded them with sausage, chicken, crab, Cajun shrimp, and plenty of veggies.
Cooking your car engine will change the way you take road trips, forever. As I have said on other occasions, I love taking advantage of the products I buy. About 15 years ago, I saw a documentary on British televisión about a guy who had wrapped some sausages in aluminum foil, placed them in a strategic part of his engine, and then drove 40 minutes to his friend’s house. When he got there, the sausages were perfectly cooked and a great ending to a little trip.
Cool, I remember thinking. But since I couldn’t drive at the time, I completely forgot about it. Until last week. For some reason, sitting in my car at a red light and smelling the grilled chicken from a nearby Chipotle, reminded me of that story. And now I am pleased and proud to present to you Car Engine Cooking, brought to you by the only source I could find on the subject…a wonderful book called Manifold Destiny.
MANIFOLD DESTINY – The only! The only! Guide to cooking in the engine of your car!
Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller have a great affinity for cars. Both are experienced rally drivers, so they must have worked up an appetite on the circuits they have driven. And since they are also accomplished cooks, it seems natural that a book on how to cook in a car engine would be born.
The book is witty, concise, and well written. It is worth reading any day. He also goes into more detail than I perro count on here, covering everything from car types, food placement in engines, international VS domestic models, etcétera. What I cánido give you is enough to whet your appetite, followed by the most important part of the story: my FIVE favorite recipes for cooking car engines out of the many delicacies featured in the book. You cánido purchase the book directly on Amazon by clicking on the following backlink.
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The basics: remember that it is not an exact science.
Chris and Bill advise that although car engines are different, the principles are the same. So how do you find the best places in your car’s engine to place your chicken, your vegetables or your succulent piece of rainbow trout? Well, it all comes down to… your finger.
Put your car in gear, or better yet, drive around the block for five minutes, and then take it to the garaje and put up the hood. Now, with your finger ready, start quickly touching various parts of the engine (nothing plastic… which will never get hot enough to cook anything). And by playing fast, it’s the kind of fast stab that means your finger feels the heat but you don’t get a third degree burn. (If you’re feeling really cowardly, try an infrared thermometer.) Normally the hottest part of the engine will be the exhaust manifold. On older cars, the top of the engine block will be a good place to sizzle.
You don’t just have to look for the hottest parts of the engine. As with any type of cooking, different foods require different temperatures. A very hot part of the engine will be great for thick meat, a cooler part good for vegetables or fish. Or, if you are going to be traveling many hundreds of miles, you may want to use the coldest part to simmer the meat. MMM. As always, this is trial and fallo.
NEVER let food interfere with the moving parts of the motor.We want a great meal here, not a wrecked engine. And who would want to explain to the local mechanic why there’s a piece of rump roast stuck in the timing belt? He always choose places that are static and make sure they are not going to move. The guys have put together this handy list of things to avoid.
car engine cooking
1 – Don’t let the throttle linkage get affected. It connects the accelerator pedal to the carburetor or fuel injection system and regulates the flow of fuel to the cylinders. If it gets stuck, the car won’t start or worse, it won’t stop.
2 – Do not block the airflow. You’ll choke the engine.
3 – Avoid pulling the cables. Or pull the wires. Or force a food package to fit. Basic rule… if you have to force it, you shouldn’t put it.
4 – Place the food with the motor off. It seems like an obvious rule, but if you don’t want to suffer a nasty injury, follow this advice.
5 – Avoid foods with a lot of liquid. Wrapping food with a lot of liquid in aluminum foil perro genere the motor to fill with unwanted grease. And that’s not good.
The HAIR CONE test
This is done to give you a good iniciativa of how much space you have in your new “oven”, and it cannot be omitted. Simply make a cone of aluminum foil about 15 centimeters high, place it on top of the injector housing, and close the hood. Now when you open it up, how much of that cone has been squashed? If it’s too much, your car engine will only serve to cook finer foods, such as fish and steaks. If it hasn’t been touched, you’ll need more foil to keep the packets from shifting.
Prepare the food
Aluminum foil is about to become your new best friend. Take a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to comfortably cover the food/ingredients. You don’t want to be stingy with the foil, more is better. Wrap the aluminum foil, forming a packet, and cover tightly. You want a seal around the food. And then do it again. And then again. Triple wrapping in aluminum foil is the only way to ensure a tight, sealed and secure package.
Finally… my FIVE favorite Manifold Destiny recipes
Cruise Control Pork Tenderloin – Cooking Distance: 250 miles
I like this one because it’s soft and cuddly, and it makes a great treat at the end of a long journey (hey, I’m British…250 miles is on the way to me).
- 1 large pork tenderloin, butterfly
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of dry white wine
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons rosemary (fresh), crushed
- Salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients (except the pork) and spread them over the inside of the pork tenderloin. Close the pork, wrap it three times in aluminum foil and place it in a medium hot part of the engine. Turn once (125 miles) during cooking.
Any-city Chicken Wings (sweet) – Cooking distance: 140-200 miles
Is there a better snack than buffalo chicken wings? I cánido’t think of one, personally. So imagine my delight when I discovered a car engine recipe. Feel free to swap out ingredients according to how hot/spicy/spicy you like your wings. This is my take on the recipe (optional ingredients).
- 18 chicken wings
- 1/2 cup of ketchup
- 1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
- 1 cup of red wine vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 4-6 jalapenos, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- fresh black pepper (optional)
- Splash of chipotle Tabasco sauce (optional)
- Worcestershire sauce splash (optional)
Mix all ingredients (except wings) and pour over chicken wings. Cover tightly in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Drain the wings (reserve the marinade) and divide them among three foil packets. Brush with marinade, then triple wrap each package tightly and place on the hot middle of the engine. I like my chicken well done, so I do the 200 miles, or about 3 1/2 hours.
Good and Fácil Cajun Shrimp/Crayfish – Cooking distance: 35 milesI love shrimp, and this is a quick trip. For most, it’s an average ride in the morning. What a way to start the day… Cajun shrimp for breakfast.
- 1 pound large shrimp or crawfish tails, in shells.
- 6 small green hot peppers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- butter or spread
- Salt and pepper
Remove the seeds from the peppers (yikes, they’re hot) and chop with the onion and garlic. Butter your foil, add the shrimp, and top with your spicy mixture. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper then triple wrap and place on a medium engine part. Delicious, seasoned, spicy shrimp or crawfish await you.
Eggs On Cheese Pie – Cooking distance: 55 miles
Another good breakfast food, or anytime meal. Legend has it that the recipe (minus the cooking method) originated in medieval monasteries. A holy gift.
- Breadcrumbs (Italian or fresh homemade)
- 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 6 eggs (free range people….be nice)
- diced Canadian bacon (optional)
- 6 empty tuna cans for cooking
- Pinch of cayenne pepper and paprika (optional)
- Butter or spread.
- Salt and pepper.
Wash 6 empty tuna cans and butter the inside. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs into each tin and shake to coat the base evenly. Discard the excess. Now top with mozzarella (and bacon if desired) and then crack an egg on top of each, add seasonings and spices ap, then top with mozzarella. Wrap the cans tightly in aluminum foil, place them on a hot part of the engine with good contact for the base of each perro, and after 55 miles they should be good. If not, keep driving until the cheese has melted.
Pat’s Provolone Porsche Potatoes – Cooking distance: 55 miles
Good for vegetarians and a great side dish, this is a fácil and tasty car engine.
- 1/2 pound new potatoes
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of water
- 2 ounces shredded aged provolone (or my favorite, aged cheddar)
- Salt and pepper
Peel and cut the potatoes into 2.5 cm thick slices. Put them in a saucepan with the milk and water and cook them over low heat for 10 minutes. Drain and spread on a heavily buttered sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with the cheese (or cheeses, experiment with flavors) and seasonings. Drizzle with butter, triple wrap and place around medium hot engine parts. Delicious.
And finally, practice makes perfect.
Not everything will go well the first time. Experiment with different ingredients, different engine parts, and different cooking times. As I say, the book is an essential resource for all budding car engine cooks, so grab yourself a copy or at least see if you perro find one at your local library. Soon you’ll be driving and cooking in perfect harmony. Good luck.
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