My boss Dan MacLeod and I set out today to answer a question that’s messed with the heads of many a philosopher over the centuries: How many trips across Portland does it takes to cook hot dogs on a motorcycle engine?
We double wrapped four, Maine-made, red snapper hot dogs in foil and wired them to the outside cylinder head. Then, we did the same to four buns on the opposite side of the engine. After that, we put on our helmets and rode to the other side of the city, down the spine of Congress Street.
Once there, a meat thermometer pronounced the core temperature of the scarlet beauties to be just shy of 90 degrees. We decided to flip them and ride back east.
But, once we made it to Fort Allen Park, via Commercial Street, we discovered the temperature had barely budged. We soldiered on, though, and dressed our tube steaks in ketchup and mustard. The final garnish was a sprinkle of celery salt — something my old man always added when I was a kid.
So, the answer to the question seems to depend on what your definition of “cooked” turns out to be. If you can settle for “cooked enough,” the answer is just one trip across Portland will suffice. We did two for good measure, but the dogs reached their terminal hotness in just one trip.
They weren’t the hottest of hot dogs, but they tasted fine anyway. What we missed in heat was more than made up for in our new-found knowledge of meat-to-foil-to-engine-heat theoretical science.
If you’d like us to try and cook anything else on the engine, just drop me a line.