Cooked Food On A Car Engine

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"Back in the thirties, Caddy offered a V16; find one of those and you're set for a whole Thanksgiving dinner."
--Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller,
Manifold Destiny

Today, we drove out to Truckee in preparation for
Tough Mudder. Because it's a reasonably long drive, J thought it would be cool to try to see what cooking on the engine would be like. We decided sweet potatoes would be a good choice for this project, so we got a bunch of organic ones.
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I washed them and then wrapped them up in three sheets of aluminum that I'd put non-stick spray on.
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I wrapped them up so they'd be ready when I needed them.
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I also made a cone out of aluminum foil to help me test the depth of the engine under the hood.
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I waited for our friend Laurie to bring her car so I could see how tall the package needed to be, and to find out where the hot spots are. When she arrived, I looked under the hood.
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I placed my aluminum cone on what I felt was the hottest accessible spot I could find by touch. I closed and re-opened the hood to find out how tall I needed to make my wrap.
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I put in a little filler aluminum foil inside the package to exceed my newly found target height.
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I placed it on top of my hot spot and closed the hood. My friend Laurie drove us all the way to Sacramento where we made a stop for groceries. I ended up flipping my sweet potatoes there, and then we went the rest of the way.

We had rented a cabin in Truckee and when we arrived, I opened up my sweet potato package in the kitchen.
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I cut them up, and Aaron and I finally got to taste them. Cheers!
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This was a successful experiment, but I didn't find it very practical in Laurie's car. There is a book called
Manifold Destiny that has a bunch of recipes for engine cooking, but from my understanding, it's not that easy nowadays because modern automobiles have more insulated engines (her car definitely falls in this category). The heat is being generated farther away from the hood, and/or the hot spots are covered. That's one of the reasons we had such a small area to work with. It ended up working out, but it might be better on either an older car, or at least one with less insulation on the engine.

Despite that, it was fun, I was excited to try it out, and I was happy with the results. I thought it was cool that I got to leverage the heat from the car and have a tasty, calorie-dense treat the night before
the challenge that lies ahead.

Related Items:
Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine!
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