Cookin' with Diesel!

Cookin' with Diesel!

 

Trakka thought Mark was the perfect man to ‘road test’ the Webasto Diesel Cooker in the Trakkaway 700. In only a few days on the road he created some mouth-watering dishes like Spanish Eggs for breakfast; Lamb Mint Burgers for lunch; and an amazing looking Sweet Bangalow Pork for dinner, just to name three. When the guys got back they asked Mark what he thought...“It’s bloody fantastic!”

Tell me how you found the performance of the diesel cooker.

I found it very clean and efficient. I like the fact you could use it as a grill. Really clever. You can put a non stick, silicon BBQ mat over the top of the cooktop and cook chops, burgers and toast on there.

For braising I just simmered all the ingredients in a pot or tray on the element. I also think it’s a matter of time before people are used to it because it’s relatively new. Chefs are of a mind set that they just love gas. But it’s a bit like Induction. When that first came in no-one wanted to know about it. But now people understand it they all rave about it. I think diesel cooktops will be the same. I used it with an open mind and thought it was great.

In fact I felt it was better than an electric stove. With the diesel stove when you set it at the heat, it kept the heat. Where as with electric, if you set it at a particular heat, it comes in and goes out. You can see with the cooktop the red glow coming and going on the element. I didn’t find that happening with the diesel stove in the motorhome at all. Very impressive. I also found the lack of smell inside the van a great thing when you turn on the diesel. Sometimes with gas you get that smell in a controlled environment. The fact you didn’t have to take gas bottles, or keep them topped up or have to worry about whether its turned on was great. And also it’s very safe.


Remember I’d never used a diesel cooktop like this before, so for a 5 day trip it was a great introduction. If you told me we were heading off around Australia and this is all we had to cook on, I’d think great, lets go. It wouldn’t worry me at all. It’s like anything, you learn how it works and get on with it.

So tell me about these BBQ mats?

You get them from the camping shops. They are just a nonstick silicon mat. We use them in the cooking classes at Food Stuff. The beauty of them is that if you are cooking prawns, we know they leave an odour, smell or residue. So you have to go to the trouble of cleaning the surface thoroughly before cooking something else like steak, or bacon, or whatever. With the silicon mats you simply take it off and put on a clean one or one you use specifically for meat.

Do you have any advice for people using a diesel cooktop?

Yeah I just think to choose the right dishes to cook on it. I mean in a normal kitchen you don’t make toast in a frying pan. You use the grill. So you have to think about what you’re going to cook. It’s unique because its flat. It’s very adaptable. The most amazing thing about it is, you can actually fry, poach, boil, BBQ, grill, you can do everything on it, which you can’t do on gas unless you have different facilities to go on there. I found the fact that you could cook directly onto it was brilliant.

Editor’s Thoughts...

I used the Trakkaway 700 fora week last year and found the Webasto diesel cooking system good, with some provisos. As Mark notes, all new ways of doing things seem odd at first and if you’re used to ‘cooking with gas’ this system is very different. The startup lag means if you’re just boiling the kettle for a cup of coffee it takes about 15 minutes, so best to keep a thermos of hot water during the day from breakfast if you’re away from mains power and can’t just plug-in a jug. The cooktop heats progressively across its width, with the hottest area to the left. This means you can ‘adjust’ the rate of cooking by moving your saucepan left or right, as well as by adjusting the cooktop’s thermostat (which takes some time to react).


The only real downside I found was that the cooktop acts as a radiator, so in hot weather it heats up the vehicle’s interior to a degree. Of course in cold weather this aspect becomes a free bonus feature! Also, if you’re cooking with the window open and the wind blows the wrong way you can get a whiff of diesel.


Considering this system provides your cooking, hot water and vehicle heating (apart from the cooktop’s added radiant effect), it’s a terrific system. It also uses minimal fuel from the vehicle’s tank (with a system to avoid running you dry) and completely does away with the need for gas bottles, refills and the on-going annual gas inspection costs at rego time.

To find out more and also watch a video of how Webasto’s integrated system work click on this link: http://www.webasto.com.au/products-and-markets/recreational-vehicles/ena/html/8703.html


For the full article, including photos, download Issue 24 of iMotorhome eMagazine by clicking on the link below.

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 24 - 04 May 2013 iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 24 - 04 May 2013 (10629 KB)


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