Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dashboard Chilli

Sick and tired of sharing a microwave oven with co-workers at the office? Do you heave a little bit every time you look into one of these?

I have always felt that these ovens suffered from an acute case of microwave diarrhea, as can be seen here. The mere thought of placing my lunch in this putrid box of a thousand freckled meals always made my stomach turn. I needed a better way to heat my chili.

Enter the sun. My most favorite ball of exploding helium nuclei. 
There was plenty of it to harness and go around, but I could not simply leave my chili out in the elements for a would be squirrel or illegal immigrant to snatch up.

It was then that I figured that a simple apparatus fashioned from readily available stuff around the office might work. Furthermore if I could place the apparatus on the dashboard of my van it would protect everything from the elements.

And here is what I dug up in my search.

I scored big with a tin turkey pan I found in the break room.

The plastic bag I made by carefully cutting the wrapping for a package of napkins, and the clips for the bag are just standard magnet clips to hang things up.

I think MacGyver would have been proud. 

After a bit of cobbling, I placed the bowl of chili (without lid) into the plastic bag to trap in the heat of the sun. Then I placed the bag in the tin pan. Finally I arranged the pan on the front of my dashboard facing the sun, and let things cook for about two hours.

The Result?

A perfectly heated bowl of chili that I enjoyed. Mission accomplished even if it was a bit on the white trash side. 

AFTER NOTE: This is a copy of an article I wrote back in 2009 on Instructables that cane be found here.

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