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California98Civic 09-29-2011 12:40 PM

Cooking on your engine?
Do you heat food on your engine during your commute to eat for breakfast? I have read about this and tried it this morning. My bowl was not bad, but its contents were minimally hot, having come from the fridge. Tasted good enough. Have you done this? What did you cook or heat? And here's the weird curve ball: ever try to estimate energy savings versus like prep using your stove, toaster, or your nuke? Hahaha!

botsapper 09-29-2011 01:32 PM

The meals won't be car-B-Q'd but simply steamed. Bon appétit. [url=[/url]

Cd 09-29-2011 05:15 PM

ZZtop did this on a Hot Rod magazine road trip with their CadZZilla customized Cadillac. They cooked some burritos on the engine manifold of the 500 + cubic inch engine.
That can't be healthy !

Cd 09-29-2011 05:17 PM

Yum ! Tastes like gasoline !

botsapper 09-29-2011 05:30 PM

...but bio-diesels give the best 'french fries' diner aroma.

PaleMelanesian 09-29-2011 05:55 PM

Just don't let it break open and leak. :eek:

California98Civic 09-29-2011 06:41 PM


Originally Posted by Cd (Post 263507)
Yum ! Tastes like gasoline !

Okay okay... I asked for it. But think about it again for a second. If your engine is leaking enough of anything--gasoline, coolant, exhaust--into the engine bay to affect the flavor of food in a closed container resting snugly on the head/injectors then you will have far bigger problems than the taste of your burrito.

redpoint5 10-09-2011 01:56 PM

In high school a few of us tried cooking hot dogs in a Ford Ranger. My buddy ran the truck hard in a low gear racing up and down hills trying to get the franks to cook. We ended up using a microwave at Safeway (grocery store) because the dogs never got warm.

Cooking on an engine is a waste of time. Microwaves use little power and they are much more efficient at heating.

California98Civic 10-09-2011 02:13 PM


Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 264833)
Cooking on an engine is a waste of time. Microwaves use little power and they are much more efficient at heating.

I have been having some success heating food on the engine mornings while I drive to work. I wouldn't try to "cook" really, and I wouldn't recommend driving around instead of using a more efficient oven. But I get a warm breakfast when I reach my destination. Kinda fun, actually.

EDIT: Oh, and I tried a crude estimate of energy "savings" in such a heating-up of leftovers scenario. The savings were miniscule. If I remember the rough and approximate numbers correctly it is something like this: if a stove burns on average 15,000 BTU/hour that might be equal to about .12 gallons gasoline per hour in your car. Make it 10,000 BTU/hr and .08 GPH. If 3 minutes to warm-up food on the stove then .004 gallons? My quick math-from-memory probably won't persuade... so correct or debate my estimates as needed/desired--or if there is even interest :)

Conclusion: not a significant energy saving strategy.

JasonG 10-10-2011 09:29 PM

An article in "Road and Track" circa 1990 did a good write up about this.
Welders have been heating their lunches in boxes welded around the exhaust pipes of their rigs for decades.
My wife and I regularly cook on our engines.
On top of everything, it is "free" energy.

What it comes down to is this:
Older, more wasteful V-8s cook best. (The old Cobra cooked the best)
Exhaust is the hottest, then heads, intake is nearly wothless heat wise.
Newer I-4s basically reheat and that's it.
Her old Volvo 240 had a heat shield around the exhaust manifold that with a little tinkering held 2 baked potatoes perfectly.
Veggies in foil work well.
Reheated biscuits will make people jealous, the butter smell carries for a good 20-30 feet.
Pork loin juice will make you loose your mind looking for an oil leak (yeah, wasted an hour on that )

Basically if you can bake it, wrap it in foil and wedge it behind the exhaust. Make a heat shield scoop and dinner will stay put better.

Your double cam cover might hold a bowl of oats or grits......... just have to find a bowl that fits....... one of those silicone ones maybe?

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