Record heat is apparently the perfect chance to use your car as a makeshift oven.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated December 19, 2019

Once you've hit some of the highest temperatures in recorded history—as Australia has done this week—you're pretty safe to call the weather a "heatwave." But let's be honest, it's not a "fun" heatwave until someone attempts some absurd cooking using only the power of Mother Nature—whether it's trying to fry an egg with the sun or baking cookies inside your car. And this week, a man in Perth made headlines by purportedly cooking an entire pork roast inside his Datsun Sunny.

Over the weekend, Stu Pengelly shared video and images on social media of his "experiment" roasting three pounds of pork in his vintage(-ish) car on at day where the temperatures reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Inside, however, was a different story. "This Datsun is going to be my oven," he narrated in the video. The door of the old automobile then creaked open—which he referred to as "opening the oven door"—allowing him to pop in his pan of pork and a thermometer.

A pork roast on a grill with flames.
foodandwinephotography/Getty Images

foodandwinephotography/Getty Images

"I have been monitoring the temperature by the hour," he later explained in a Facebook post. By 10 a.m., he said the temp in the car had risen to 125 degrees, and by 1 p.m., it was at an incredible 177 degrees. "Things to note," he added. "It has tinted windows, door and window seals are shot, and there is a big rust hole in the roof which stops the car getting as hot as it potentially could. If this was a later model vehicle and painted black, the temperature at a guess could climb significantly higher."

But even under these rundown Datsun conditions, Pengelly claims the pork was cooked through after 10 hours. "It worked a treat!" he stated. In the video he went on to explain, "As expected, there's no pork crackle, but it wasn't getting to a high temperature." When he tasted it, he remarked, "It's actually still hot, and it's good. It's cooked."

On Facebook, Pengelly used this viral cooking experiment as a chance to make an important public service announcement: "My warning is do not leave anyone or anything precious to you in a hot car," he concluded. But when reached for comment by Reuters, he said he wasn't necessarily done with his Datsun cooking experiments either. He told the news outlet he wanted to try roast beef next, before speculating, "A quiche would cook in 2 hours, I reckon." That said, if speed is your primary objective, using a car as an oven probably isn't your best bet.