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Challenge: Slow Cooker to the Rescue

Reuben Sandwich Bowl

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This is your "SUMMER" slow cooker, cooking on your car's engine. Besides being a TODAY Show Food Contributor, I am also a Jeep Talk Show Food Contributor. Here is my latest food segment for JTS, it's my Reuben Sandwich Bowl. The best part of a slow cooker is you don't have to tend to the food while it's cooking, you simply gather your ingredients and let the heat do its job. This is the same concept of cooking with the heat from your vehicle. I cook this way in the summer on my Jeep at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and in the fall and spring out in Colorado and Utah while Jeeping in the mountains. I also cook this way in the winter on my snowmobile while up in the mountains near Jackson Hole, Wy. Sometimes we need to get out of the kitchen and go outside and enjoy all of America's great adventures and food. Happy Picnicking!

Reuben Sandwich Bowl

  • Servings: 1 slice
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cooking Time: 2 hr


  • 14 ounce bread bowl - white, rye, wheat or pumpernickel
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded or sliced, divided
  • 8 ounces sliced pastrami
  • ½ cup sauerkraut, drained
  • ¼ cup thousand island dressing


  1. Cut top off bread bowl and set aside. Scoop out bread from inside, use inside bread for another recipe.
  2. Add caraway seeds to bottom of bread bowl.
  3. Layer on half of the cheese, followed by the meat.
  4. Add sauerkraut, then thousand island dressing.
  5. Top with the remaining cheese and add top back on.
  6. Wrap tightly with 3 layers of aluminum foil.
  7. Add foil wrapped bread bowl to a hot spot under vehicles hood, making sure that it is being compressed by the hood. You don't want it to be sliding around. The best place is usually near the exhaust manifold. Use common sense and don't place it near moving parts under the hood.
  8. Go for your summer drive and in a few hours, you'll be ready to stop and have your picnic.
  9. Remove your bread bowl (be careful it will be warm) and remove from foil and cut into quarters.

Recipe Tags

For this size bread bowl, I found that 2-3 hours was perfect. One hour wasn't enough to melt the cheese, but over 3 hours it was starting to dry out. I like to dip my sandwiches into extra thousand island dressing. Play around with different foods, this is a great summer slow cooker hack.

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