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  1. #1
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    Default Alternative cooking methods

    Manifold cooking Estee?

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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Splitpin's underground oven on IAT is sparking a conversation about alternative cooking.

    How we miss RvW now. He would have LOVED this discussion. We often exchanged links on obscure methods of cooking things.

    I know the majority of you are not into exploring all these strange cooking paths, but they can be surprisingly interesting.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    I became interested in other baking methods first. When I was a newish baker I got very frustrated because recipes are somewhat vague and limited guidelines often.

    I remembered my grandmother sticking her hand in the coalstove oven to feel if it's ready for bread.

    And I realized I want to understand the chemistry of cooking and baking on a more foundational level so that I can compensate appropriately for less than ideal recipes and cooking instruments.

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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    I wanted to understand what happened in less controlled environments (not turning my oven's button).

    How to maintain heat. How things respond in those changed environments etc.

    Sadly I am not a natural chef or baker. I don't pinch this and handful of that other than what painful experience has taught.

    But, none the less, alternative cooking methods are of more use than I originally thought.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmie L View Post
    Manifold cooking Estee?
    Sounds like its involving a vehicle engine.
    Current - 2009 Mazda BT50 3.0CRDi 4x4 d/c
    Previous - 2005 Ranger 2.5 tdi 4x2 d/c (277 422km)

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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    The wonder bag for one. I bought it many years ago when the concept was still quite new.

    I was in a time of little and basically just earned enough for petrol, food, and barely enough car maintenance to get to work.

    So saving electricity appealed to me. The principle the wonder bag works on is that of retained residual heat.

    You cook the food partially on the stove or in the oven and then transfer it to the wonder bag where it continues cooking.

    If rice is a staple in your house and you cook it almost daily, it will actually make an impact on your electricity bill. Rice takes 20 minutes to cook. With the wonder bag you cook it for 10 minutes and then transfer it to finish cooking.

    Unlike on the stove, if you get distracted, it won't burn the rice.

    There used to be all sorts of recipes floating around for the wonder bag. I haven't checked for any in ages.

    But I definitely think it does have its place in a South African kitchen.

    I have taken it along camping. It was surprisingly useful. But you will have to decide whether it's worth it's space to you. It weighs almost nothing, on the plus side. It's a cloth bag filled with styrofoam balls.

    One tip I do have is to keep 3 dishtowels for dedicated use in it underneath and on top of your pot.

    The other function I use it for is for dough proofing. Dough wants to be tucked into a warm cozy place without moving air. This is perfect.

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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiceman View Post
    Sounds like its involving a vehicle engine.
    Sounds... dusty.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Done it! Mazda Manifold Meatloaf!

    Me and my dogs enjoyed the hot padkos dinner-at our service station overnight rest stop.

    On a non-stop ( few hours sleep at petrol station parking) drive from Durban to CT with my 2 dogs

    - prepared a meatloaf in an alu tray, covered with several layers of foil, wired it above manifold ( ensuring no possible movement/interference with engine bits!)

    -checked it whenever I stopped - never got extremely hot - could smell it a few hours in- after about 10hrs we unpacked it, and it was perfectly slow-cooked -delicious and juicy -and no trace of any strange auto-flavours!

    A salad and rolls,- and some kibble -and we were happy!
    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski

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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Very interesting.

    Low and slow making use of residual engine heat.

    A slow cooker effect as one assumes the engine never heats above a certain temperature, meaning an even cooking temperature.

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  12. #10

    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    This is my cooking method for the cast iron today. The wonderful pizza oven!!

    Excellent for heat saving and efficiency.

    For anyone interested, look on YouTube for the wood fired oven chef for some inspiration.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #11
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    THIS one I'm definitely subscribing to!
    Ettienne de Kock

    "ASK YOURSELF HOW OLD YOU'D BE IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW THE DATE YOU WERE BORN" - Toby Keith


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  15. #12
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Therackermann, it's not not nice to make other children jealous.

    As soon as humanly possible I am going there.

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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    I had to go give a friend a jump start after she forgot a light on in her car and ended up with a dead battery. The drive gave me time to think about Patrick's manifold meatloaf.

    When you are cooking with alternative methods, the majority of them are some variation of the slow cooker effect.

    The limitation of a slow cooker is that it takes the food a long time to heat up and get to a boiling temperature. Once there, the application of slow and steady heat helps the tissues in the meat break down in all sorts of delightful ways.

    It's that slow run-up to cooking that is the danger point. You want the meat to get above 60°C to avoid unwanted guests activating.

    So that would be my concern with making a habit of sticking something under your bonnet.

    So immediately I think:
    1. Small pieces of meat.
    2. No slinging something frozen in there. Defrost it before the time.
    3. Start it in the stove at home or over the breakfast fire to give it a bit of a hupstoot.

    Estee, did I guess right?
    Last edited by Emmie L; 2021/05/30 at 04:32 PM.

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  19. #14
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Wife's an expert baking bread in a Cobb or black/cast iron flat bottomed pot with coals in hollow on ground and coals on the lid

    Even cake in the Cobb
    Robert van den Berg

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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Emmie, this thread took me back to the late 60's, early 70's when Dad used to pack the car the night before our annual pilgrimage down to Gordons Bay. Dad would cut the Boerewors to size and wrap it in tinfoil. At 04:00 the next we would all pile into the Valiant's cavernous interior and set off.

    At about 13:00 - 14:00 we'll stop somewhere in the Karoo for a roadside feast. Mom would haul out the Thermos and Tupperware and unpack the already buttered rolls, scotch eggs and slice some tomatoes and cucumbers. Dad would make a ceremony of opening the bonnet and taking the boerie package off the manifold.

    He was the one that taught me to take pleasure out of such small things in life. And now I'm sitting "snot and trane", because today it is exactly a year ago that I lost the man who I'll always be proud of saying "I was his son"
    Ettienne de Kock

    "ASK YOURSELF HOW OLD YOU'D BE IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW THE DATE YOU WERE BORN" - Toby Keith


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  23. #16
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    What a beautiful memory to treasure Etienne. And what a gift to have great parents to honour with this story. You are a lucky man.

    I have never heard of this engine cooking phenomenon before. I'm very curious to hear people's experiences.

    The closest I came to roadside food as a child were very soggy tomato sandwiches and blue eggs.

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  25. #17
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    Wife's an expert baking bread in a Cobb or black/cast iron flat bottomed pot with coals in hollow on ground and coals on the lid

    Even cake in the Cobb
    Both mini ovens. I sometimes bake bread in cast iron even in the regular oven. I love the heat retention of cast iron.

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  27. #18
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    I'm still struggling with my coal on the pot technique. I'm still a bit inconsistent because I don't make time to practice it properly.

  28. #19
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    I've built some test camping ovens that can take a muffin tray, 2 full size bread tins or a roasting dish. There is a tray for coals under the oven and you place coals on the top too. This gives heat from top and bottom and you adjust the amount of coals for different heat requirements. The ovens were designed so that they fit into a standard plastic ammo box. Growing up at Scouts we used similar camp ovens for baking bread and roasts very successfully. Click image for larger version. 

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    The humble person makes room for progress; the arrogant person believes they’re already there.
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  30. #20
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    Default Re: Alternative cooking methods

    The only alternatives I have been involved in, are the:

    Pumpkin under the ground (you hollow the pumpkin out, fill it with peas and bacon bits and nick nacks (believe it or not), wrap in foil, hole in the ground, coals in the bottom, cover wit soil and build fire on top.

    The other is solar cooking. Works wonderfully for the veggies and the rice, not recommended for meat.

    The of course there is the "staan rib", rib goes in a grid and placed upright next to the fire, yummie.

    C
    If you ain't livin on the edge, you're taking up too much space!

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