Now, everyone has eaten in their car before. We’re not supposed to but we’ve all done it...

coffee in a car

Whether it’s scoffing your toast down on the fly while you try to get to work on time or picking at a packet of crisps whilst stuck in nose to tail traffic on the motorway. Some of you may have even gone as far as preparing some food specifically to eat in your car.

A study of 1,000 drivers found that a whopping 70% of drivers admitted to eating behind the wheel. While it may be tempting to chow down on a snack whilst stuck in traffic it is certainly not advisable.

The majority of food related accidents happen in the morning hours, presumably as people have decided to catch some extra zeds in bed and have breakfast on the go.

However, if you are going to insist on eating and driving here are some of the main foods to avoid;

  • Donuts make the list because of what happens when you take a bite and a big splodge of jam lands on your smart work clothes
  • Barbequed food sits in the same camp as donuts
  • Tacos can be very messy
  • Hot soup, imagine trying to eat soup whilst driving!
  • And coffee, whether it be hitting potholes in the road or burning your mouth, the distractions of coffee are endless when driving

However, what about cooking on your car? Yes, you read that right.

The first people to try car cooking were hungry (or genius?) truckers who decided to put a small vent hole in the lid of cans of soup and then place it on the hot exhaust manifold before setting off on their journey. Since then many other people have tried engine cooking and embraced it, especially those who spend large amounts of time in their vehicles.

So, what do people who spend a great deal of time in their cars do they do when they get hungry and don’t want to stop at the next McDonalds or Burger King? The classic camp stove is quite often the weapon of choice for someone who is cooking in their car; however, there are other options…

Apparently, cooking on your engine is an ideal alternative and if you’re up for it, cooking your favourite meal whilst driving is much healthier and cost effective than stopping off at the services for a greasy burger. So in the spirit of adventure, we’ve researched the steps the internet says you need to take if you like the idea of cooking on your engine*…

Decisions, decisions

Experts (a questionable term when it comes to the subject matter) say you need to do decide on the right meal for your journey. Apparently, cooking on your engine takes a little longer than cooking in an oven and slightly quicker than a slow cooker. If you’re taking a long trip you can cook just about anything, all you need is a recipe.


If you have an oven recipe all you need to do is follow the pre-cooking preparation instructions as usual. Once the food is prepped you will need to place it in aluminium foil (it is said that you shouldn’t skimp on this, for obvious reasons), ensuring your food is completely sealed.


Regular engine cookers say finding the right spot to cook your food is the most important part of the process. Apparently the best way is to drive around for a few minutes before turning your car off and popping the hood and lightly and quickly touching parts of the engine. It is said if you can hold your finger down for more than a split second without getting burnt then this spot is not hot enough.


As you can imagine, you need to make sure your food fits nicely in the spot you have found, so if it isn’t a snug fit, you are advised to ball up some extra foil and place it around the food. Alternatively you can tie it down with a wire.

Ready, steady, cook!

So it’s finally time to set off on your journey. Keeping an eye on the time/mileage is crucial and it may be a good idea to check on the food a little before it is supposed to be done. Remember, practice makes perfect and you may not get it spot on first time.

Time to eat

When the time is up or the journey over, turn off your engine and use tongs to remove your meal. Voila! Enjoy a delicious engine cooked meal.

Bon appetite!

*We cannot be held responsible for any engine or food related misadventures as a result of following the information in the above article.



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