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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Manifold Cooking

By Joseph Parish
The thought of using your car manifold to cook your evening meal on tends to bring back memories of my days in Forward Air Control when we use the engine compartment of our MRC-107 Jeep to heat up water for instant coffee or to warm up an quick meal. Coupled with our C-Rations the system worked perfectly each and every time. 

How many people reading this article have ever considered this process when planning a bug out? Think of the fuel you could save after all you are likely going to be running your engine anyway so why not cook your food while you are traveling? 

The system is not something that I cooked up (pun intended) but rather it is a procedure used for many years in military field maneuvers. It has proven to be so successful that one person has even taken the liberty to write a book on the subject entitled "Manifold Destiny". It’s a trial and error method to determine if the food you are cooking is actually fully cooked or not. I can remember many times having to place the can of food back on the engine because it wasn’t cooked enough. Another downfall of this system is that since you are unable to stir the food it may not always get consistently heated throughout. 

While in the field the foods that I would cook with this method were those which could if necessary be eaten cold. In reality no cooking was absolutely necessary but it was merely a matter of improving the taste. Most were precooked and presented no hazard if not warmed up completely. I did not try to cook any raw pork or chunks of raw chicken. It was however great for one of my favorites selections, “Beans n Franks”. 

Now for a word of precaution, don’t do as I did. Never place unopened cans of food on your engine. I did that once and became extremely involved in calling in an air strike only to forget the can was on the manifold. Believe me I had my favorite food all over the engine compartment and the front of the jeep. These unopened can will explode. I learned real fast to poke a small hole in the can with my friendly government issued P-38 can opener or to open the can using the lid as a handle. 

I did at one time make hot dogs on the engine by wrapping them in some aluminum foil. I must admit that they came out exceptionally tasty. The aluminum foil could also be shaped into a cooking pot or pan and used as a conventional cooking tool. There you have it, a simple method of cooking food while you travel. Try it and see how you like it. If I may recommend please try the “Beans n Franks”. 

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish

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