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Engine Cooking

A Test in Trucker Culinary Skills

[A full report on my current driving will be posted in a future blog entry, but this one will outline a test of something that I have heard and read about on the net]

What I thought was an “Urban Legend” is supposed to be true and therefore it is time to test it out.  The idea is that a trucker can use his engine to cook and heat food while driving down the highway, so now to put it to the test and provide the pictures to support the result (or lack thereof)!

It starts out with simple ingredients: Hot-dogs and onions, with support by tin-foil, wire and, of course one Kenworth truck engine.

 

Hotdogs, buns, onion and foil.

 

So the next step was to combine the ingredients, slice the onion and add the weiners double wrapped in tin foil (to prevent any engine oil contamination) and then to find a nice hot place on the engine to (hopefully) cook the meal.

Meal seated on top of engine

 

The next step was to do what I do best, drive down the highway.  I had planned on a trip of about 4 hours and hoped that was long enough to properly prepare the meal.  I departed from Eloy, Arizona (about 40 miles south of Phoenix) and began my cooking trip.  I figured by the time I had driven for 4 hours, I would be well on my way into the famous canyon section of Arizona, but real life always takes turns that you do not expect.  Shortly after arriving in Phoenix, the signs on the Interstate announced that I-17 was closed ahead due to an accident.  What should have been about a 1 hour trip through Phoenix, turned into over 2 hours in bumper to bumper, very slowly moving, traffic.  I could begin to smell a strong aroma of onion inside the cab, coming through the vents, and therefore figured that something was obviously working right!

After finally negotiating my way through the traffic and the accident finally being cleared away, I had done more than enough driving for one night and began to look for a place to park. Not far outside Flagstaff, Arizona (about 2 hours short of my original destination) I decided to pack it in for the night.  So now it was time to open the hood and see the results of my creation.

As it turns out, Engine Cooking is NOT an urban legend, but it is also not an exact science.  My meal was rather warm, although the hotdogs were just not quite completely cooked.  There was no bleed through flavour from any of the engine, so the double wrapping of foil obviously worked well.  The onions were mostly cooked, but still a little bit raw.

Hotdogs and onions

 

So this is definitely an experiment worth repeating and all it will take is a little more time on the “oven” to get a really decent meal.  I tried this with something relatively inexpensive, hotdogs and onions, which if ruined would not break the bank, but I have heard of people cooking roasts, fish and other meals.    I am not sure that I am prepared to tackle something that complicated right now, but am prepared to try again just to allow myself some variety from truckstop cuisine or road sandwiches.

 

 

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One Response

  1. […] So north we went towards Glen Canyon, but first we had to get through Phoenix.  We made a fuel stop at Eloy, AZ and this is where I started my “Engine Cooking” experiment.  For a full report on engine cooking read:  https://paulcroft.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/engine-cooking/. […]

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