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The Ten Best Recipes For Cooking With Your Car

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There's an entire book devoted to cooking with your car, but we're too cheap to actually buy it. Thankfully Jalopnik readers provided us with their favorite recipes for cooking in/on/with your car.


Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


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Photo Credit: Adam Singer


10.) Déjeuner chauffé avec la voiture

Suggested By: DukeofBirnam


What you gotta do: We're starting out with the simplest of recipes — turning your leftovers into a hot lunch. All you have to do is wrap your food in tin foil and toss it on a hot exhaust manifold. Last night's cold lasagna will be a toasty delight thanks to your waste heat. This works especially well at work sites, where there's heavy machinery at your disposal.

Photo Credit: Lynda Giddens

9.) Saucisse du Brutus

Suggested By: designit


What you gotta do: This recipe is also simple, but you're going to need a car equipped with a pre-war aircraft engine like Brutus here. Since the engine already belches out flames, just set up a small hot dog roast beneath the short-cut exhaust pipes. The engine'll roast the sausage and toast the bun, too.


8.) Landie Grille Grill

Suggested By: waveridin1959


What you gotta do: New cars have plastic grills attached with some brittle, flimsy clips. When Land Rover was building their first two series of offroaders, the grill was all-metal and held on with a few screws.

If you're tooling out in the wilderness, you can just detach the grill from your Landie and use it as a grill to mount over a fire. Sausages roast best, though they might pick up a slight zinc flavor.


Photo Credit: Adam Trickett


7.) Turbo Chili Dogs

Suggested By: SirNik84


What you gotta do: Turbochargers are an excellent cooking tool, as they are heated up by the engine's exhaust gas, but they don't release any of those pesky toxic chemicals that health nuts hate. Toss a can of chili on there and, complimented by some wrapped hot dogs, you have a delicious meal.

As you've seen before, Chili can be cooked on the turbo. But there is more to a good meal. Start by wrapping some hot dogs (good ones like Hebrew Nationals, or Nathans) in foil.

Stick these between the injector and the valve cover (this holds 5 dogs). Then wrap hot dog buns in foil and stick them between the injection pump and the block (this holds 2 buns).

You can put more buns on the oil filter and on the intake, just make sure they don't get too hot. Drive for 30 min, and then pull everything off the engine, and you have Chili Dogs!

Grate some cheese if you'd like to be fancy! best part of this is all the food is pre-cooked so even if you get hungry before it's done, as long as it's hot you'll enjoy it.


Photo Credit: SirNik84


6.) Foot Well Grinders

Suggested By: Altemus Prime


What you gotta do: Direct engine or exhaust heat would turn a sandwich into charcoal, but every car comes with a built-in engine heat re-distributor, called the heater. One of our readers from Cape Cod grew up on hot sandwiches cooked in the foot wells during winter road trips. The smell, reportedly, is wonderful.

Make yourself and your friends some grinders (hard roll, ham, provolone, salami, lettuce, tomato) before your trip. Wrap them in aluminum foil and when you get into the car, drop them into the foot well and crank up the heat. After about an hour you have warm, melty, tasty hot grinders and your entire car smells awesome. Or at least better than older brother puberty body odor...

Okay, this is probably more practical during the winter, when you want the heat on anyway, but yum!


Photo Credit: jeffreyw


5.) Abgasgekochte Wankel Braten

Suggested By: Pastey, toplessFC3Sman


What you gotta do: This is certainly the most elaborate means of cooking with your car and it takes some engineering to build the setup. It was pioneered by the Texan 24 Hours of LeMons team Sensory Assault on their second-generation RX-7. You build an extra-long exhaust that routes up out of your car like on an 18-wheeler. Then you mount a meat smoker around the pipe and roast tin foil-wrapped meat in there. As you can see in this explanatory video, it works great.

They had routed the exhaust up through the floorboard and brought it out the area where the hatch had been. They had fashioned he exhaust with a meat smoker that encompassed the exhaust for 360 degrees using the heat to cook the meat inside the smoker but not allowing the fumes to touch the meat....simply pass through the middle of it.

I'll never forget when the car came off track around lunch time...not for a pit stop or a problem...but because it was lunch time and the food was done. I watched with my own eyes, guy take a piece of meat from the smoker and chow down. Greatest idea ever.

Way better than them trying to install a working coffee pot inside the car....piping hot water and racing don't mix (unless it's in the radiator).


Team Sensory Assault also managed to build a moonshine still powered by engine coolant, which is documented in a photo-essay by former Jalopnik writer Murilee Martin on her website.

Photo Credit: Team Sensory Assault

4.) Dash-baked cookies

Suggested By: Nibby4WD


What you gotta do: Another simple, yet slightly time-consuming recipe. It will only work if it's 95 degrees or warmer outside.

Prepare (or just buy) an eggless cookie dough

Divide the dough into small cookie-sized portions on a greased baking pan

Set a towel on your dashboard, set the cookies on the pan and wait a couple of hours until the cookies come off the dish easily. The cookies will be paler than usual, but delicious.


3.) Saumon sur collecteur d'admission

Suggested By: frankiepoops


What you gotta do: Lemon garlic salmon with green beans and spinach sounds tasty on its own, and now you can cook it while you drive! Just get a big engine and drive to a picnic site about 20 minutes away.

1/2 lb salmon
big chunk o butter
1 tbsp garlic
season the whole thing with adobo
pinch o' black pepper, cayenne, basil and oregano
2 slices of lemon over the top of the salmon

put a handful of fresh green beans on one side, stuff a few handfuls of fresh spinach on the other

wrap in foil, flip, wrap again in foil (so that the seams are on opposite sides, doesn't let moisture escape

leave on the intake manifold (I do this on a jeep 4.0L so the exhaust is right underneath the intake) for 15 ish minutes - 20 ish if driving around)

Open foil, don't burn yourself on the steam, plate and eat.

Photo Credit: Alvin Smith


2.) Engine-baked molasses cookies

Suggested By: I Hate American Cars


What you gotta do: Baking cookies on your dash is slow, time-consuming, and you can only use pasteurized eggs, if any eggs at all. It's much better to just make cookies with your engine, and it's a fun activity to share with your children.

1 stick of butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger

1: In bowl A, mix butter, sugar, egg, and molasses
2: In Bowl B, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger
3: Pour bowl B's ingredients into bowl A through a flour sifter
4: Mix all ingredients with an egg beater (old fashioned one with a crank)
5: Leave the bowl with dough in front of running AC for an hour
6: Take out the dough and flatten it as much as possible with a rolling pin
7: Use a circular cookie cutter that's 10cm (~4in) in diameter to cut the dough
8: Put the dough on an ungreased cookie sheet
9: Pop the hood up and make sure the engine is still hot from keeping the AC running
10: Put the cookie sheet on top of the engine to bake for 8 minutes for moist and soft cookies, 10 minutes for dry and soft cookies, or 12 minutes for crunchy cookies. Don't close the hood!
11: Enjoy!
Make sure you do this outside, of course, not in a closed garage.


Photo Credit: listentothemountains


1.) Morue cuisiné sur le moteur

Suggested By: analbumcover1


What you gotta do: Salmon is tasty, but a heartier fish like cod will respond better to tin foil cooking and sustained engine heat. When you pop the hood at the end of the drive to the picnic, you don't want to embarrass yourself in front of your date when the fish sticks to the foil. Presentation is everything.

Two piece of cod, thawed and seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, dill weed, and paprika.


Two slices of lemon. Place one on each fish filet.

Pre-soak a handful of dried shiitake mushrooms for 45 minutes. Slice them thin.

Cut up baby carrots and asparagus into one-inch pieces.

In a double-lined tin foil (15"X15"), combine the fish, mushrooms, and veggies. Wrap up the foil tightly, and place the package on top of the intake manifold. Wad up two aluminum foil balls and set them on top of the food package so it sits tightly after you close the hood.


Drive for at least 30 minutes, hopefully to a picnic. Enjoy your fish!

Photo Credit: anjuli_ayer