How To Cook on Your Car Engine

Unless you own a rickshaw and Emeril owes you a favor, this is as good as a speedy meal can get.


Up next in How to Make the Most of Your Car (10 videos)

Bake cookies on your dashboard? Pick up a girl at a stoplight? Check out all the car fun to be had in this Howcast video series.

You Will Need

  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Cooking spray, butter, or oil
  • Food of your choice
  • And an oven mitt and/or tongs
  • Wire (optional) (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Find engine's hot spot

    Find a hot spot on your car's engine by driving it a few miles and then seeing which sections are the warmest.

  2. Metal sections are best, especially the radiator.

  3. Step 2

    Determine what to cook

    Figure out what you can cook in the amount of time you'll be driving. Based on a speed of 65 mph, shrimp takes about 35 miles; salmon fillets, 40 miles; boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 60 miles; pork tenderloin, 200 to 300 miles.

  4. Fish and chicken are your best bets, as meat takes longer and can get tough.

  5. Step 3

    Stack foil

    Place several pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil on top of each other.

  6. It's better to err on the side of too much foil than too little.

  7. Step 4

    Coat foil

    Spray or spread butter or cooking oil on the top sheet, so that the food won't stick.

  8. Step 5

    Center food on foil

    Place an individual serving in the center of the foil, and top with thinly-sliced veggies and whatever spices you like.

  9. Step 6


    Drizzle the food with a small amount of wine or cooking oil.

  10. If you top your entree with lemon juice or slices, make sure the package is tightly wrapped, because leaking lemon juice can corrode the engine.

  11. Step 7

    Fold up foil

    Fold the foil as if you were wrapping a gift box.

  12. Step 8

    Secure foil on engine

    Secure the pack on the engine so it doesn't end up on the road. Use wire as needed.

  13. Test the pack's security by closing and then reopening the hood. If the top is untouched, add some wadded-up foil.

  14. Step 9

    Remove & eat

    After the estimated cooking-drive time, remove the food pack with an oven mitt or tongs. If you're at your destination but your meal is undercooked, re-start the car in a well-ventilated place and let the engine idle until the food is done.

  15. Car engine cooking is taught in hurricane-prone areas as a way of preparing food during a blackout.