The world premier Iron Horse Cookery Cook-Off event
will be held September 6, 2020 at the Nevada Northern
Railway National Historic Landmark. Let's have some fun while we honor the
culinary legacy of our early train crews.
Teams of present-day chefs (that could be YOU!) will compete by cooking three meals, one each
in three different heat sources; the firebox of Locomotive
No. 40, the potbelly stove of Caboose No. 3, and an open
fire alongside the tracks. There will be cash prizes for the
winners, but most importantly is the right to hold the title
of Grand Champion – Iron Horse Cookery Master Chef!
The origin of Iron Horse Cookery started with the first steam locomotives and hungry engineers and
train crews. The crews worked very long days without meal breaks. Having a fire, steam, hot water and
a little ingenuity, the crews cooked their meals out on the line.
In the early days here at the Nevada Northern Railway, crews would work 16-hour days. In the
locomotive, the engine crews had the firebox and the back of the boiler as a heat source. In the
caboose, the Conductor and rear brakeman had the potbelly stove to cook on. During summer months,
when it was too hot to cook in either the locomotive or the caboose, the crews would cook over an
open fire alongside the tracks.
With a little ingenuity and resourcefulness the crews would make themselves great, hardy meals. The
Iron Horse Cookery Cook-Off celebrates these days by replicating cooking in a steam locomotive, on a
potbelly stove, and over an open trackside fire. The real challenge is mastering the wildly different heat
sources. If you’re up for the challenge, come to Ely, Nevada this Labor Day and…
Let’s get cookin’!
Interested in getting a team together and participating?
"It's like a big Chili Cook-Off on Steroids. Lots of Fire, Lots of Fun, Lots of
Only 12 teams can register. Register Today to make sure you have a spot.
....... In the mean time, take a look at a few of the videos to "wet your appetite" for more.
Like what you see? We would love to have you "like" and subscribe to
YouTube channel. There's more to come!
Seasoning Your Shovel
Frist things first. Let's start with your shovel. Just like your
trustworthy cast iron frying pan at home, seasoning a new shovel is a
critical first step.
Cooking Bacon on Locomotive 40
Bacon. Yum! This is a great place to begin.
Not only do we get instant gratification, but it will also help to further season the shovel for all that is ahead on this adventure.
Eggs ala Shovél on Locomotive 40
Eggs can be tricky. Let's see how it is done right!
Our Firebox Chefs have upped the
ante on this one, rivaling the best Egg service this side of Paris.
This Dutch Oven delight is stove-top breakfast that combines all of the
important food groups - Sausage, Hash Browns, Eggs, and of course, CHEESE.
Just wait until you take the lid off the finished meal. Come hungry
and leave satisfied.
It's all about timing. A nice pink center is very achievable in the firebox.
Let's go back to the caboose and do some cook'n on the cabooses iron belly stove in a
Nothing like some good, hot chili in the caboose on a rainy day.
Hobo Stew in the Caboose
We aren't actually going to give any of this fine stew to the hobos.
They are going to have to fend for themselves out in the rain. As for us, we're using the
Dutch oven again
to prepare a stew from fresh ingredients.
Iron Horse Hash
This is the signature dish that is featured on many of the articles on our Iron Horse
Learn how to make it yourself. We demonstrate how to do it on a snowy winter day here in Ely.
Nothing finer than some nice, warm hash for lunch on a snowy day.
Firebox Chili and Cheese Fries
Who says that everything we cook in the firebox has to be healthy? The Chili and Cheese fries are fast to prepare,
quick to cook, and yummy to eat. What could be better?
In this episode, we make Switchman's Tacos. Tacos? Hot and fresh out of the
Firebox? For sure!!
These are the favorite of the switchman because they are warm
and hits the spot after climbing up and down the locomotive all day to throw the
switches. Do you think there will even be one left when the switchman