I Made Breakfast Tacos Under the Hood of a Pickup

Breakfast Tacos in a Tacoma
Aaron Miller/Thrillist

Breakfast tacos are kinda the perfect food, since they're just the right combination of nutrition and grease, and they're pretty good on the go. In fact, even if you're in the middle of freaking nowhere, you can cook 'em under the hood of a car or truck and have absolutely perfect tacos the instant you're ready to eat.

It's called engine cooking -- not exactly a new phenomenon, but everyone I talk to about it looks at me like I'm insane. So I cooked up some breakfast tacos in a Toyota Tacoma, partly because that meant I could cook them while having some serious fun on Texas' myriad dirt roads, and partly because I can't resist a cheesy pun like tacos in a Taco.

Ingredients for breakfast tacos
Aaron Miller/Thrillist

What you'll need

Obviously, most of the food here is the same as any breakfast taco, but you do need to get a little creative for the cooking process.

2 eggs
1 handful of tater tots, thawed
1 breakfast sausage patty, diced
Zip ties
Aluminum foil
1 tin can, opened carefully so you can reseal it

Toss all your ingredients together

If you've gotten the requisite ingredients gathered, putting them together is ridiculously easy -- crack the two eggs into the can, then toss all the other food (sans the tortillas) in there too, and put the lid back on.

Wrap up your tortillas
Tara Miller

Wrap the tortillas in foil

You don't have to do this step, but there's probably something wrong with you if you're doing all of this and don't take the extra 30 seconds to get nice, hot tortillas at the same time.

Seal the top of the tin can
Tara Miller

Seal the top of the can very tightly

The one really annoying thing about eggs is that they'll go everywhere if you don't have a perfect seal, so in addition to the lid, I took the extra step of wrapping some tin foil over the top, and cinching it down with a zip tie. As you'll see in a minute, you'll need that zip tie anyway.

Shake the ingredients together briskly
Tara Miller

Shake it all together very vigorously

Since those eggs are just cracked into the can, you risk having a sunny side-up taco if you don't scramble them; shaking is a crap-load more fun than whisking, just FYI. Bonus: shaking like this also lets you know if you've successfully sealed it all up. You don't want eggs cooking all over your engine.

Tie your food under the hood
Aaron Miller/Thrillist

Tie it down under the hood

This is where it gets tricky, because where you put your food depends on how hot it needs to get to cook properly, but also on how long you plan on driving. If you're only going on a 30-minute jaunt, you should find a spot much closer to the engine than I did here, because it'll take the engine up to 20 minutes to get nice and hot. The best course of action is to feel around (carefully!!!) under your hood after you get home from work someday. See how hot different sections get -- the exhaust manifold is a sweet spot for engine cooking.

Wedge your food so it won't get dislodged during your drive. Hot dogs, for example, won't leak all over the place if you put them sideways, but for eggs? I took no chances, because I could already imagine the phone call with Toyota's reps. "No no, the truck was great. Yeah. That's egg. I'm a klutz."

Pro tip: zip ties are second only to duct tape in the most useful invention ever department. Use them to your advantage here and your food won't dislodge no matter how crazy you drive.

Go have fun

Remember how long your food needs to cook, and how far away it is from your engine-slash-heat source. Now, go do whatever it is you do that's fun. To cook tacos in a Tacoma? I hit dirt roads, naturally.

Breakfast tacos in a Tacoma
Tara Miller

Pull your food out

Amazinly, I get to say something here without even the slightest hint of sarcasm: "Caution: Contents and Container Will Be Very Hot." If you're not used to poking and prodding around under the hood of your car, just think of it this way: it's hot enough to cook your food. If you wouldn't just grab food off the skillet, don't reach in without a rag or a glove to insulate you from the heat.

Cut the zip ties and/or de-wedge your food, unfurl a tortilla, and just dump the contents of your can straight on there. You're basically done now.

Eat your breakfast tacos
Tara Miller

That's it. Eat!

Eating tacos you made with a Tacoma is a wonderful thing, even without the pun.

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Aaron Miller is the Cars editor for Thrillist, and can be found on Twitter. He's very relieved he didn't spill eggs all over Toyota's Tacoma.