During a long-term power outage, you’ll need a way to cook food without electricity. There are a lot of options, from high-tech to primitive. What’s important is that you prepare your emergency cooking method before a power outage occurs, so you aren’t left hungry and staring at your bags of pasta, rice, and beans without any way to cook them.
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Alternate Cooking Methods
Keith Thomas 00:02
Welcome to typical prepping the podcast for those who would like to start their own disaster preparedness plan, or those who have gotten started, but are not quite sure where or how to take the next step. Each week I'll present a disaster preparedness topic with actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to start or grow your personal disaster preparations. Thanks for stopping by to listen today.
Keith Thomas 00:58
Hi, I'm Keith, and welcome to typical prepping in this episode, we'll be talking about your options for alternative cooking methods. During a long-term power outage, you'll need a way to cook food without electricity. There are a lot of options from the high-tech to primitive. What's important is that you prepare your emergency cooking method before a power outage occurs. So you aren't left hungry and staring at your bags of pasta, rice, and beans without any way to cook them. During a long-term power outage, you need a way to cook food without electricity. Before we discuss some of the options that we have for alternative or emergency cooking methods, A word about safety is in order. All of the methods that we'll be discussing must be used responsibly and safely. It would be tragic to cause illness, or even death to family and or friends in the name of survival by simply trying to cook foods. Be aware that most of these cooking methods may produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. The other threat we must be concerned with is the fact that these methods involve cooking with open flames and obviously pose a risk of fire. When possible, it would be in your best interest to cook outdoors. A covered patio or portable canopy can be utilized to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. And in all cases, fire safety procedures should be followed and fire extinguishers should be available. So with these in mind, let's talk about some of the cooking methods that we have available.
Keith Thomas 02:50
First up is the gas camping stove. Gas camping stoves run on canisters of butane, propane, or isobutane. Some can even use multiple types of fuel like unleaded gasoline in a pinch. For long-term preparedness, you want a camping stove that connects to large propane tanks. You'll blow through small canisters quickly if you need to cook things like dry beans or boil drinking water.
Keith Thomas 03:18
Second, is canned heat, also known as Sterno or gelled fuel. Canned heat is made from alcohol turned into a jelly-like an alcohol stove. It's hard to control the flame and the heat. I prefer alcohol stoves over canned heat because it's cheaper and has other uses. However canned heat won't evaporate as alcohol will so it's easier to store long term.
Keith Thomas 03:52
Our third option is a wood fireplace. Just like our ancestors used to do in the past, you can cook over wood fireplace, you'll need some fireplace cooking tools, like a spit, gridiron, and trivet. If you want to roast something directly over the fire, you'll need a dripping pan. Otherwise, the burning grease will create nasty fumes. Just be warned that you cannot cook over a gas fireplace. There is a considerable risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if you open the glass doors. Likewise, you can ruin the fireplace if food drips on the vent logs so don't risk it.
Keith Thomas 04:38
Our fourth option is a wood stove. With a wood stove. You can both heat your home and cook during power outages. The obvious downside is that you'll need to do some serious planning If you want a wood stove. You need to install a flue make sure it's regularly cleaned and have a wood supply on Hand. The good news is that wood stoves produce a pleasant heat and you will get in shape from chopping up all that firewood. Please don't use a portable wood stove indoors without proper venting, a door that seals shut, and a carbon monoxide detector.
Keith Thomas 05:20
Our next option is the barbecue grill. Your barbecue grill is a decent option for cooking during power outages. But only if you cook outdoors. Why? Because barbecue grills especially charcoal grills, emit huge amounts of carbon monoxide. Never use one indoors. Don't even use one in a semi-enclosed place like a garage or patio.
Keith Thomas 05:51
Our next option is cooking on an open fire. Cooking on an open fire can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy to cook on an open fire. For starters, you'll need to have a lot of wood. Ideally, you let the wood burn down to coals and cook over the coals. It takes a lot of skill to cook on an open flame since the flame blows around and varies in height. Don't be surprised if your pot of rice burns to the bottom. The next issue with open fire cooking is where you will put your pot or pan The easiest option is to use a barbecue grill rack. If you don't have one, you can create a stand out of sticks over the fire then hang the pot from the stand.
Keith Thomas 06:45
Number seven is kind of similar to the open fire method and that's Ember roasting. With Ember roasting, we make a fire and get some serious embers going then let the fire burn out or keep the fire to one side of your pit only put some food on the embers. Go ahead and bury it in the embers and the embers will cook the food. Since the outside of the food will get covered with ash, this method is best for foods like corn on the cob and potatoes. But you can cook almost anything like this if you put it in tin foil first.
Keith Thomas 07:26
Our next option is solar cooking. A solar cooker is a box that captures heat from the sun and uses it to cook food inside. There are instructions on how to make your own solar cooker found on the internet. You can also buy solar ovens, which do a good job of intensifying the sun with shiny services.
Keith Thomas 07:49
Our next option is the hobo stove. If you don't want to buy a portable wood stove, you can make your own hobo stove. It's a very basic straightforward stove made from tin cans and fueled by sticks, twigs, or whatever. Well, not the most efficient cooker. This stove can be made from supplies that most people have on hand. The basic design can also be modified and you can find plans to build a hobo stove on the internet with a quick Google search.
Keith Thomas 08:24
Our next cooking method is with a rocket stove. Rocket stoves are very efficient, and like the hobo stove can be used with smaller pieces of wood. If you choose this method, a quick search on the internet for rocket stoves will produce a ton of plans for building one yourself. Or you can take the plans to someone to fabricate a stove for you.
Keith Thomas 08:50
And number 11 is a Dutch oven. It's a method of cooking, but you're going to have to use it in conjunction with some of the other methods such as open fire or Ember roasting dutch ovens are big heavy cooking pots made from cast iron. You set them right on top of the fire and or cover them up with coals. These are especially great for making stews. Obviously, the Dutch oven is not an appliance but learning Dutch oven cooking can be beneficial when cooking on the fireplace or open fire.
Keith Thomas 09:27
I'm sure there are other cooking methods available. But with these 11 you have a starting point for making an emergency cooking plan. Keep in mind you can choose a combination of these methods to cover a multitude of scenarios depending on your situation and living conditions in an emergency situation. Be sure that whatever method or methods you choose, protect yourself and others from carbon monoxide poisoning by cooking in an open area or purchase a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector. Also, make sure you have fire extinguishers or firefighting equipment available and a home fire safety plan in place.
Keith Thomas 10:12
Well, folks, that's gonna do it for this week. Thanks for listening and join me next week for another preparedness topic. And until then, stay safe and be prepared.
Keith Thomas 10:22
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