Anyone who knows me knows there are two loves my dad handed down to me. The love of cars and the love of the grill. Can you really combine the two though? Yes you can and in fact using the car engine as a grill has been around for a long time. Now I know this is not for everyone but it sure would add some fun to a roadtrip with the children. Just imagine their surprise when you arrive at your destination and your meal is cooked.
The first step is figuring out how much room you have to cook on. This can be done by making a Foil cone. Simply make a cone of foil about 5 inches high. Next put it on the injector housing and shut the hood. OK open the hood. Has the cone been crushed? If it’s has a lot, you will want to make skinny food packets. If it wasn’t crushed at all, you’ll want to add foil to stop your packages from moving around. You can do this by adding foil balls, one on each corner and one in the middle of your packet.
The next step in cooking on your car engine it to make sure your food it packaged well. Use heavy duty foil and place your food on one sheet. Bring the right and left side together and fold over several times. Then bring the top and bottom sides together and fold them several times, this makes a tight seal. Repeat this two more times with more foil, making a thick 3 layer packet.
Now when trying to figure out where on the engine to place your packet. Now is when a little common since comes into play. Do not place the packet close to any moving parts. Make sure to avoid the accelerator linkage, you don’ t need the gas pedel sticking. Look for a hot spot on the engine. Make sure it it Metal as plastic won’t heat as well. If you are not sure what part heats up the best after a little drive sprinkle a few drops of water on flat metal surfaces. If it sizzles you have found your spot. I suggest the exhaust manifold. You can always tie the package But placing it in a tight location in the first place will keep it from shifting around.
Now your ready to grill. The following is recipes I have used in the past from the book Manifold Destiny. This is like the bible of engine grilling.
For a longer trip:
Cruise-Control Pork Tenderloin
1 large pork tenderloin, butterflied
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp dry white wine
1/2 cup red onion, minced
2 tsp rosemary (fresh), crushed
Salt & pepper
Mix all of the ingredients (except the pork) and spread across the inside of the pork tenderloin. Close up the pork, triple-wrap in foil and place on a medium-hot part of the engine. Turn once (125 miles) during cooking.
Cooking distance: 250 miles
Any-city Chicken Wings
18 chicken wings
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp molasses (optional)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
4-6 minced jalapenos
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp honey (optional)
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
Pinch of salt
Fresh black pepper (optional)
Splash of Tabasco Chipotle sauce (optional)
Splash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Blend together all of the ingredients (except wings) and pour over chicken wings. Cover tightly in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Drain wings (save the marinade) and divide into three foil packages. Brush with marinade, then triple-wrap each package tightly and place on medium-hot part of the engine. The time depends on how well done you like your wings.Cooking distance: 140-200 miles
Pat’s Provolone Porsche Potatoes Ingredients:
1/2 pound new potatoes
1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 ounces grated aged provolone (or my favorite, aged cheddar)
Salt & pepper
Peel and slice potatoes to 1.4 inch thick. Place in a saucepan with the milk and water and simmer 10 mins. Drain, then spread onto heavily buttered foil. Sprinkle with your cheese (or cheeses, experiment with flavors) and seasonings. Sprinkle with butter, triple-wrap and place around medium-hot parts of the engine. Cooking distance: 55 miles
Enjoy and remember the miles may differ according to traffic 🙂
This Post was inspired by: www.flipgrillman.com and my dad who loved old cars, road trips and good food.