COOKING

 

Fancy trying this?

Experiment with manifold cooking, in which foil-wrapped foods cook in surplus engine heat whilst underway. It all depends on the size and shape of spaces you have available under the bonnet, and what temperatures are maintained there, and so experimenting will be required before you perfect the pot roast recipe that will work on your engine, in the space available, and the length of time it takes for the journey.

In preparation for your first engine-cooked meal, you must first locate the engine’s hottest areas. Do this after any long drive by turning off the engine and letting the engine sit for 15 minutes. Then lift up the bonnet and quickly tap the various components.

On most vehicles the hottest area is the exhaust manifold cover, but most vehicles have additional nooks and crannies that will generate enough heat to slow-cook your motoring fare.

Stay clear of areas near any moving parts, such as the accelerator linkage, belts or fans, and don’t block any air intakes.

Before attempting any complex recipes, get to know your engine. The sensible way to take advantage of the oven under your bonnet is to cook small portions of lightly textures foods. For this reason, fish is the perfect choice.

When you’re ready to cook: Lay out three equal-sized sheets of aluminium foil, one on top of the other. Proceed as if they were a single sheet.

Grease the top sheet with a small amount of butter or olive oil to avoid sticking.

Wrap the ingredients in foil and seal securely by folding seams to create an airtight package.

Before placing food on the engine, loosely roll up a six-inch ball of foil, and set it on the sweet spot of your engine. Close the bonnet and immediately re-open it and use the squashed ball to determine the amount of clearance space between the engine block and the bonnet.

Place the food on the pre-determined sweet spot, and secure it by placing a ball of foil on top that is equal to the clearance space less the size of the pouch. If necessary, hold the pouch in place with additional aluminium foil bracing.

Most small packets of food should cook in 1-2 hours. To insure that you have fingers left to lick at the end of the meal, always turn off the engine before loading, unloading or testing for doneness. 

INTERNAL COOKING

We do try to avoid cooking indoors if at all possible due to the increased heat and steam it creates. These are the two enemies of comfortable living. Maybe have some convenient, easy and quick meals to cook on standby for those days when you simply have to use the internal cooker.

If your camper is fitted with a microwave oven then don’t be afraid to use it to blast food hot very quickly and with minimum heat and steam.

We carry a slow cooker which is invaluable for preparing meals whilst you're out and about during the day and doesn't require a huge amount of electricity, which is especially important on some campsites in Europe. We never go out without fitting a timeswitch to the cooker. This is a safety feature  to ensure that should your return be delayed for any reason the cooker will turn itself off after having cooked the food. Double check that the cooker itself is turned 'ON' before you leave, as we have made that mistake and come 'home' to a meal that was never cooked.

RECIPE WEBSITES

 www.tinyurl.com/7kabugu

 www.bbqpitboys.com

 www.the-greatest-barbecue-recipes.com

 www.bbcgoodfood.com

 www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes

 

 

OUTSIDE COOKING

Whenever we can we’ll erect a folding table down the side of the motorhome and place either an LPG two-burner cooker on it connected to the exterior barbecue gas point (ours is pricey but better made and more flexible than others we've bought in the past)

https://www.camperite.co.uk/cadac-2-cook-2-pro/

or if we’re hooked up, then two induction hobs side-by-side, plugged in to an internal electrical socket with the flex trailing out of the door. These hobs have come down in price in recent years and are more efficient than conventional hot plates, though do be aware you’ll need to buy cookware which can be used on induction hobs, as I understand it they need to have a steel content rather than pure aluminium.

Quick, easy & mess-free way of smoking meat on the BBQ – use the Savu Smoker Bag. Contains nothing but natural ingredients from Finland. One bag can smoke up to 1kg food. The bags are available with Alder or Hickory. www.nordicoutdoor.co.uk

To avoid the BBQ getting messed up with grease and ashes, line it with tin foil. All you have to do is wrap it up in the foil when you’ve finished.

If using a gas BBQ with a flat hotplate keep the hotplate clean by placing a Teflon-coated oven-cooking sheet on top of the clean hotplate and cook the food in the normal way. They are designed to withstand very high heat without burning. After the food is cooked, remove the sheet and wash it in soapy water – there’s no need to scrub the hotplate.