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Cooking with your Car

quonquon Member Posts: 7
edited March 2014 in Subaru

I know that this sounds like a strange topic,
however, it has some practical implications.
Imagine, you're driving late at night to a campsite. Why not cook while you drive?

I was browsing the web and discovered some
interesting links on how to use your car
to cook.


There's even a book on it:

Manifold Destiny by Chris Maynard

Just wondering if anyone on this board has had practical experience trying to cook with their car. Has anyone developed any jigs or aids to help them with the process -- in particular for a Subaru Forester?




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    andys120andys120 Member Posts: 23,400

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

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    protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    "Has anyone developed any jigs or aids to help them with the process -- in particular for a Subaru Forester?"
    by Ken

    I never ate a Forester, however here is a recipe for making PT Cruiser Stew.

    PT Cruiser Stew

    2000 gallons of chix stock.
    400 lbs of carrots
    1 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    200 lbs of onions
    150 lbs of lentils
    *1 rabbit (optional)

    Put all the ingredients in a HUGE stockpot and simmer for several days, or until the PT Cruiser is tender. *Always check with your guests prior to adding the rabbit to this recipe. As you know, many folks object to hare in their stew. :-))))
    -Love train
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    rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Warning: The following is very hot—but delicious!

    1 Subie STi
    1 Curvy mountain road
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    This would be very handy for driving through Nevada, where there is no good food readily available on the road. I'm not really a Two Corn Dogs and a Big Gulp kinda guy.

    Main challenges are, as you say, the engineering of a "hot box" to attach to the exhaust manifold; how to keep fumes out of the food; how to regulate temperature.

    Maybe cooking off the catalytic would be better, but this seems quite awkward. I'd hate to go over a speedbump and lose the whole casserole.

    I think the Manifold Destiny Book has a lot of this worked out, but it was written some years ago before our more complex engines and their elaborate engine covers.
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    ducktapeguyducktapeguy Member Posts: 115
    I wonder if a pork chop in my intake will be covered under warranty.
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    windblownhairwindblownhair Member Posts: 7
    as a former tour bus driver,knew of one econo-tour operator who served fried chicken(pre cooked and breaded),would use several layers of foil,and left it in the engine compartment..after two hours at normal operating temp (220%f)not on the manifold,but just inside,anyplace flat,away from the battery,it should work!!..a friend would use some of his barbecue/foil recepies..2 chicken breast ,2/c ,rice,mushroom soup,(not THOSE kinda mushrooms;-)two hours or so-enjoy!!
    --even heard one idea to put a still under the hood,and have the wasted heat go towards making it's own fuel!!??!..could work!?!..use the a/c condenser to cool the vapors..but i know some hate the idea of alcohol in the fuel,but..if you made it for 40 cents per gal..wouldn't you??
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    swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    I'm sure the local constabulary would pick up the odor. you would have a fun part-time job making gravel.

    I picked up a campstove-topper oven today for its intended use, if I cut a big hole in the hood on my SUV, it might work... but if I hit a pothole, the souffle would collapse! and no doubt it would be distracting setting my gear and speed so the oven stayed right at 325 degrees.....

    best idea would just be to foil something and set it on the headers. or, if you have something like the V8 exploder 1999-2000 with twin cats behind the lower right side of the engine, strap lunch over the cats with a little mechanics wire and have it well-done later.
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    jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    You can use youd oil dipstick as a skewer for the stuff and just wrap it up and set it on the manifold!
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    ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    ...an Igloo cooler full of hot dogs and a hibachi or smokey joe to use once at the campsite? I dunno, I'm all about camping out in an a/c'd motel/hotel room myself when I travel, especially in the summer. Food? Well, whatever fast food we don't have here in Chicago that exists on my travels seems slightly more exotic than your 'every day' meal.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well in Colorado right now for instance you can't light a match much less a campfire without being set to the chain gang.

    But a nice charcoal pit in your room at Motel 6, that seems harmless enough.

    I do like,however, the idea of arriving at your motel with dinner already piping hot, just sizzlin' on the catalytic.
    And anyone remember those gas heaters in old VWs. Why couldn't SUVs have an optional gas-fired oven. Plenty of room. The kids could do s'mores in the back seat.
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    opera_house_wkopera_house_wk Member Posts: 326
    the Stanley Steemer trucks up close, you will see that they run hot coolant from the engine to a heat exchanger tank in back to heat water for cleaning carpets. It wouldn't be too hard to configure a "Hot Box" heated by coolant diverted from the heater. Only about 200 degrees but good enough for crock pot dishes. I used to cook on long trips but newer engine designs don't lend themselves to cooking on the exhaust. Not much of a shelf anymore! I'm reduced to keeping things warm in aluminum foil like pizza and chicken on top of the engine when I go to the drive in movies.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'd be kinda worried about sea gulls following me around. They are pretty vicious where I live and often will flock in numbers of 35-50. I've even seen one not only steal the hamburger of a tourist but peck him smartly when the tourist tried to rescue his own lunch.
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    idahodougidahodoug Member Posts: 537
    I've never cooked something that actually required a temperature or time to work, but I've warmed a few sandwiches in foil. Seems like the trick is to find a spot away from the serious heat just to get cheese melted on a sub. Anywhere underhood will work for that, so it was simple and worked easily. Be mindful that there's likely to be some vibration, so don't rest it on a metal edge somewhere that will saw through foil easily. To seriously cook seems like a bit of work to me, as you're exposing the food to some pretty high heat areas to accomplish the cooking, yet you really don't have a good idea of the time and could end up with a real mess.

    I can say I felt like I'd kinda accomplished something out of the ordinary the few times I did it, but the folks you can tell about it who'll appreciate that accomplishment are few.

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    strider98strider98 Member Posts: 89
    about soldiers that would cook their MRE's somewhere on the engine of a Hummer. There is even a place that is great for cooking torillas.

    By the way, an MRE is a Meal, Ready-to-Eat. Three lies in one: it ain't a meal, it ain't ready, and you can't eat it ;~)

    Shifty: My friend has a 74 VW "Thing" with one of those gas heaters that doesn't run. You wouldn't by chance know how he might be able to fix it, wuddya?

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    swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    a modest profit maker for years for Stewart-Warner, nowadays called Borg Warner Corporation. occasionally they would burn a car out. mostly they heated them. not sure if they were a wick heater or a drip heater, never had one, but first I would check for rust and other obvious damage, then I would check the stopcock and the gas line to see if the heater has feedstock.
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