10 Delicious Foods That You Can Cook or Bake With Your Car
By Mark Mancini
When there’s no kitchen to be had, resourceful chefs can transform their cars into one. Don’t believe us? Here’s a sampling of otherwise ordinary foods that any auto-lover could turn into an unforgettable treat. And make sure to cook carefully! Nobody wants food poisoning.
1. Baked Potatoes
“Carbeque” expert Alfred Cary recommends double-wrapping the potatoes in foil. Same goes for any other food items you might slap on the engine. “It protects food from fumes,” he says, “and helps to stop the package from splitting … I’ve only had one package tear open, and that’s because it was single-wrapped.”
2. Chocolate Chip Cookies
You’ll want to wait for a hot, sunny day before laying the dough out beneath your windshield. Also note that, as the video above explains, the finished product will “look paler than those baked in a conventional oven.” They'll still taste just as good.
3. Hot Dogs
After wrapping the dogs up in aluminum foil and gently placing them under the hood, drive around for 30 to 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the engine temperature guage, making sure the little arrow hits the halfway mark throughout.
4. Roast Beef
In 2010, British chef Tom Skyes calculated that, by cruising along for 3.5 hours at 60 mph, he’d be able to make himself a 2.5-pound roast beef dinner with a cooked veggie side dish. Skyes described his entrée as “rarer than some might like, but no pinker than it would be in a good French restaurant.” Meanwhile, his veggies were “perfectly done.”
The internet loves pizza. So, naturally, some wonderfully inventive recipes have turned up on the world-wide web—including recipes for dashboard pizza. Making pizza this way calls for a summer scorcher, and beginners should consider using pre-made flatbread instead of raw dough.
6. Chicken Breast Tortillas
You’d be hard-pressed to find two more beloved public radio personalities than Ray Magliozzi and his late brother Tom, hosts of the hysterical show Car Talk. During a crossover with restauranteur Ming Tsai on his hit TV series Simply Ming, they chopped some zucchinis and chicken breasts before whizzing off on a 20-minute trip in Tom’s ’52 MG. En route, lunch was warmed up on the manifold.
The “Exhaust Burger,” a prototypical, vaguely bun-shaped device, latches onto your car’s tailpipe. During a drive, the expelled heat will ready a single burger patty. Bon appetit!
8. Salmon en Papillote
Salmon doesn’t overcook very easily—making it very well suited to any engine-based kitchen. Honda Accord owners can expect a 40-minute cook time.
With this cocktail party staple, recipes can be as simple or complex as desired. Here’s one that involves bay leaves, lime juice, and just 90 minutes of driving.
To help publicize a nonprofit named Feed the Children, Phoenix resident Clay Villanueva recruited Arizona’s August weather. With the blessing of a professional chef, Villanueva left six steaks (plus assorted herbs and veggies) on his dashboard. The meal was apparently delicious, though the activist jokes that his vehicle “doesn’t have the new car smell anymore.”
FURTHER READING: Manifold Destiny: The One, The Only Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine!; Carbeque: The Complete Guide to Cooking On Your Car Engine .