Nevada Northern Railway
National Historic Landmark        Ely, NV

Iron Horse Cook-Off Challenge

Come Cook with FIRE!
Lots and Lots of FIRE!

September 6, 2020
East Ely, NV

Try one of traditional favorites of road crews - Fireman's Hash
Correct, this is your oven!  Otherwise known as the firebox of a real, working, coal-fired steam locomotive

Come to Cook!       Come to Watch!

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 Good Grub"

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 our 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.

Brakeman's Breakfast

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.   

Shovel Steak

It's all about timing. A nice pink center is very achievable in the firebox.

Dispatcher's Chili

Let's go back to the caboose and do some cook'n on the cabooses iron belly stove in a Dutch oven. 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 Cooking series. 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?

Switchman's Tacos

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 returns?

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