Post your smokebox cooking recipes here.

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Post your smokebox cooking recipes here.

Post  lynnr on Wed 24 Aug 2011, 7:55 am

Brown trout, butter and white wine. In foil. Slow cook for 30 mins.

Use to do this on the landy manifold. Sausage roll and "scotch" pie for breakfast while driving to the event. Then Trout while the engine is cooling in the evening.

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Re: Post your smokebox cooking recipes here.

Post  Tim Watson on Wed 24 Aug 2011, 5:02 pm

Cooking with Miniature Traction Engines

Introduction
Your traction engine or road locomotive is, in essence, a mobile AGA (or Rayburn) cooker. There are three places to cook on the engine: the firebox, the smokebox and above the chimney. Using boiler steam to power a Windermere kettle is also an option.

In the firebox
Frying bacon is possible if you have a shovel with a suitable insulated handle and there is an angle between the handle and the blade. The heel of the shovel can then rest on the opening of the firebox with the blade over the fire and the doors almost closed. This prevents the fat from the bacon dripping into the fire by pooling at the back of the shovel. The bacon (better with thick rashers or two thin rashers together) may need to be folded over to fit in the small shovel. Half way through cooking it will need turning over, at the same time draining away any excess fat. The second bacon rasher is usually better, as the coal dust seasoning on the shovel has usually gone by then. We have cooked quails eggs on the shovel, but they were more hassle than they were worth. We know of one quite large dedicated frying box made up from stainless steel sheet with a forward facing spike that engages in a boiler tube to stabilize the front end and a double wire handle that rests through the firebox door.

Kebabs can be cooked over the fire, through an open door. Some small copper tube to extending the length of the handles of the kebab will balance their weight over the fire and rest on the man-stand. Better to use chunks of meat, rather than ground meat as this will drop off the sticks.

Smokebox
This cooking area is essentially an oven but with one very hot side. Any food being cooked needs to be protected from the heat blast from the fire. This will obviously vary depending upon how hard the engine is working. The most important component for smokebox cooking is aluminium foil.
• Each item to be cooked will need at least three layers of foil.
• This can be dispensed as a strip and folded over two times and then the three layers wrapped around the object.
• It is a good idea to produce a ‘tinman’s joint’ by wrapping the loose edges over each other and folding them down to seal the food – similar to a Cornish pasty. The ends will also be wrapped over to give a parcel ready for the oven.
• A final minimal fourth layer can be useful as an outer covering which can be removed to leave clean foil beneath: this makes life easier for serving up.
• During cooking it is a good idea to turn your food around in the oven. It is also better to have the thickest foil layers next to the tubes
Tin boxes (‘Tiffin tins’) can be useful or cutting down on the amount of foil as they shield the aluminium foil from the blast – this can be easily shredded! It is amazing how full the smokebox can be before performance is affected sitting quietly on the rally field or trundling around, but if it is very full then the blast may be compromised if you require major output from the engine, or the food burnt or both.

Main course
Potatoes
These should be roasting types, but not too big otherwise there will not be room for other items. The skin must be pierced with a fork or knife. They will take about 45 minutes to cook, but his will depend upon how hard the engine is working.

Oven ready chips can also be cooked in the same way: better that the engine is working hard for these, rather than a slow cook. We are reliably informed that one blast up Engine Hill in Cornwall made a good job of some oven chips.

The smell from the chimney will tell you when the potatoes are ready, and being able to squeeze the soft potato under foil is also a good test. Serve up when ready, but they will keep warm for some time in the aluminium foil.

Meat
The risk with cooking meat in a smokebox is that it will severely dry out: it certainly does not take long to cook. Meat should be put in the smokebox well after the potatoes and does not take many trips round the rally field. Generous use of butter or oil is a good idea. The aroma from the chimney is a good indicator of progress. If you can smell the meat cooking then it is probably ready, or at least needs turning.
Poultry
A complete large roast chicken is difficult to cook in a miniature, but stuffed partridge, or poussin wrapped in bacon and butter fits well into a 4” TE smokebox. Chicken breasts do well, especially with added sundried tomatoes and their oil covering the meat. Season to taste. Better to make reasonable sized parcels of meat, two breasts together rather than individual breasts, as these will dry out rapidly. Duck breast and sliced oranges, with plenty of butter, is also a little exotic.
Pork
Gammon steaks are easily cooked, but definitely benefit from the addition of pineapple rings, stem ginger and again plenty of butter.
Lamb steaks
This is excellent with sun-dried tomatoes, but also mint or redcurrant jelly helps to keep the meat moist and sweet. Butter may be required depending upon the amount of fat on the lamb. Season with mixed herbs to taste.
Fish
Have tried it, but the smell up the chimney was a bit off-putting: it didn’t take long to cook.

Vegetables
Tomatoes can be heated, but don’t forget to score the skin, and mushrooms cook well with loads of butter. These only take a few minutes and can be put in the smokebox just before serving up.

Tinned food
Obviously these can be warmed in the smokebox, but don’t forget to pierce the lid. Failure to do this causes tin explosions, as was found out by a friend who heard two bangs like a double barreled shot gun going off: the baked bean contents never were found.

Dessert
Apples bake very well in aluminium foil, but must have there skins scored in a spiral, or like flower petals, otherwise they explode. It’s worthwhile coring them with sultanas or raisins and brown sugar in the middle.
Bananas cook very rapidly but need to be laced with plenty of butter and brown sugar (rum as well, if available). Good idea if you slice them otherwise they look like anaemic poo, when you serve up. You can put these in the smokebox at the same time as the first course is removed and they will then be ready for pudding. Lychees, stem ginger and brown sugar is also a very tasty combination.

Chimney cooking
If an open trivet is made to fit over the chimney then it is possible to put a saucepan on this (when stationary) and do any pan cooking you would do at home. The pan must not seal off the draft or the fire will be put out very rapidly!

Boiling water
It goes without saying that the engine is boiling water and this can be harnessed and used in a Windermere kettle to provide clean boiling water, without the added bonus of boiler treatment. These kettles consist of a coil of copper pipe, steam-fed from the boiler, immersed in a suitable vessel containing water. Our kettle boils the water as fast as you can get the teabags, milk and cups out of the car.

Conclusion
Engine cooking is great fun and always draws interest from the public at shows. It is also much cheaper and healthier than the food often found for sale at rallies!

Tim & Cecily Watson
St Albans, 2011

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Re: Post your smokebox cooking recipes here.

Post  lynnr on Thu 25 Aug 2011, 12:11 am

Thank's Tim

Anymore?

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Re: Post your smokebox cooking recipes here.

Post  Brian M on Thu 25 Aug 2011, 10:32 am

That is a great post Tim

Regards,

Brian

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Re: Post your smokebox cooking recipes here.

Post  bjwlancashire on Sat 10 Sep 2011, 2:58 pm

Tim Watson wrote:[b]Cooking with Miniature Traction Engines

Lamb steaks
This is excellent with sun-dried tomatoes, but also mint or redcurrant jelly helps to keep the meat moist and sweet. Butter may be required depending upon the amount of fat on the lamb. Season with mixed herbs to taste.


I have to say that when I was looking after Tim's engine at the St. Albans SAC event, Tim had put a couple of these lamb steaks in the smokebox. As I was walking alongside the engine the smell coming at me from the top of the chimney was superb, mouth watering What a Face

Cheers Tim

We have been cooking in the Steam Yachts smokebox daily at Dorset and Pickering and that is what you call a big oven. Chilli superb, stew excellent, joints of meat that just fall apart and tast beautiful.

Brian

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Re: Post your smokebox cooking recipes here.

Post  lloydy on Wed 21 Sep 2011, 12:10 pm

may i start by saying you cant beat cooking on in or any way you can with your engine i drive a friends full size engine and we been experimenting with cooking it can be good fun we managed jacket spud in the ash pan bacon on the shovel and even coffee in a old railways mans tin flask which satys hot all day we found that the spuds are best cooked when we was belted up too the thrashing drum or when we had the roller out doing a very nice chaps farm yard with the roller cant beat haven some nice dinner followed by a cheeky few pints roading the engine back too our yard lloyd Very Happy

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Re: Post your smokebox cooking recipes here.

Post  hippy dave on Fri 23 Sep 2011, 11:11 am

we always cooked jacket spuds in our 4" foster,3 spuds in the smoke box with 3 layers of foil, also used to cook a small gamon joint in a tin with a bit of water to stop it drying out and well wraped in foil,PERFECT Laughing

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