Mental Floss

Cooking with Tools

Miss Cellania
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What we call Southern Ingenuity is a tradition of using what you already have to get the job done. My father would warm his coffee with a propane torch in his workshop to save a trip into the house for a warmup. He wasn't above stirring it with a screwdriver. I also remember him holding a can of beans over a campfire with a pair of pliers. You can do amazing things with tools, including cooking your food.

Drilled Chilli Beef.

When you want to infuse the inside of your roast with flavor, the basic rotary drill makes it so much easier.

Cooking an egg with cellphones.

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I was surprised and a bit skeptical when I heard you could

cook an egg with two cellphones

. It takes quite a bit longer than the conventional methods, but it illustrates the power of things we cannot see.

Update: Don't try this because it won't work. (Thanks, Liz!)

Poached Salmon in a dishwasher.

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An urban legend? No, maybe at one time, but there are reports all over the web of people who have

poached their salmon in a

dishwasher

and photographed the results.

Cooking chicken with a volcano.

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You have to love a recipe that begins "With a shovel you don't plan on using again..." Cooking

chicken or pork with molten

lava

is an activity restricted to certain locales. This demonstration was done in Hawaii outside the limits of Hawaii Volcanos National Park.

More cooking weirdness, after the jump.

Chili made using a blowtorch.

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To be fair, the blowtorch is only used to

peel the peppers in this recipe

. Going beyond Creme Brulée, I'm sure you can find more uses for a blowtorch in the kitchen if you use your imagination.

Grilled cheese sandwich made with a steam iron.

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Surely you remember Johnny Depp making grilled-cheese sandwiches with a steam iron in the movie

Benny and Joon

. Roy and Laura wanted to see if this would really work, and they posted

a photo essay of their efforts

.

Prison wine made in a toilet.

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This is an experimental re-creation that you really don't want to see a picture of. If you have a weak stomach, you won't want to read the entire description, either. Its not the toilet that might make you queasy, its the

fermenting garbage in the bag

.

Ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.

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Rocket scientists at MIT

made ice cream with liquid

nitrogen

at their ice cream social one summer. I'm sure this is faster than hand-cranking with rock salt, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you, too, are a rocket scientist.

Beer in a coffeemaker.

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You brew coffee, don't you? You can

brew beer in your coffeemaker

, too! These instructions bring the process down to a small scale so it's easier to understand.

Canning tomatoes with a solar cooker.

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A

solar cooker

is actually a cooking tool, but this is so cool I wanted to include it. Canning bushels of tomatoes with boiling water in the kitchen in August is like working in an oven. With a solar cooker, you

move the operation outside

!

Stew made in a car engine.

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Cooking with a car engine is rather well known, thanks to the book Manifold Destiny. I found a Australian with a webpage that illustrates the use of a manifold oven. This gives a whole new meaning to the term "fast food"! Here's a recipe for Manifold Stew.

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