5 Ways to Cook Food Without Electricity
Nothing could top COVID-19 as the story of the year for 2020. The pandemic has changed everyone’s life to one degree or another.
But when historians look back on this year, they will also make note of something else. I’m referring to the extreme weather and massive fires that have cost American lives, destroyed property and devastated landscapes.
From the record-breaking hurricanes to destructive tornadoes. And the violent Midwest Derecho to the Western wildfires. Millions have lost electrical power due to these violent events.
Despite the power outages, people have to eat. And many have had to figure out how to cook their food without electricity.
Ancestors were better equipped
Part of the problem is that we’re all accustomed to modern-day electronic devices and appliances. We’re not sure what we’d do without electricity for a week. Not to mention a month.
We’re far more “advanced” today than our ancestors were. Yet they were better equipped to handle cooking without electricity than we are. They spent their entire lives without electrical power.
If a power outage lasts for more than a day or two, you and your family will want food that requires heating.
Today I want to talk about five ways you can cook without electricity. Because we never know when the next blackout is coming. And we have no idea how long it will last.
Open-fire cooking and grills
Open-fire cooking is a simple outdoor solution during a crisis. Set a barbeque grill plate over an open fire and cook.
Another option is using a large, flat rock. Place the rock over the fire. Once the rock is hot, put your pan or pot on top. The harder the rock, the less likely it is to crack.
If you’re able to hunker down at home – or you have a grill at your bug-out location – it will come in handy. Grills use gas or charcoal, but charcoal is safer.
This is a great way to grill various meats and fish. As well as large vegetables. Grills have an advantage over open-fire cooking because their lids trap more heat.
Wood and coal-burning stoves
At one time, just about every home had a wood-burning or coal-burning stove. They are especially convenient for use in colder weather. Mainly because they simultaneously heat your home. But you can use them anytime.
You can cook right on top of these stoves, assuming they are flat enough. Make sure the fire is burning strong before you start cooking.
Cast-iron cookware is ideal for this. That’s because it conducts heat but doesn’t retain it. Frying time is similar to using a conventional gas or electric stove. But cooking time will be somewhat longer.
Turn down the drafts if your food is cooking too quickly. Then transfer food to a cooler part of the stovetop. Open the drafts and add wood to the fire if the food is cooking too slowly.
Portable gas stoves
The two best choices for portable gas stoves are butane and propane. Make sure to limit this cooking method to the great outdoors.
Butane stoves are more portable. They generate enough heat to handle most of your cooking needs. But butane canisters can be pricey. And they hold a limited amount of fuel.
Propane is a dependable fuel at freezing temperatures and high altitudes. Because the tanks have thick walls, they can be rather heavy.
Smaller stoves in this same category are single-burner stoves. But there are also two-burner stoves. If you don’t have to worry about portability, larger camper stoves with legs are effective.
Fireplace and fondue pot
If your home has a fireplace and you’re able to hunker down during a power outage, it can be a great cooking option. Make sure to use logs rather than charcoal, which can produce carbon monoxide.
Avoid using treated wood, which can put chemicals into your food. And be sure your flue is unobstructed.
Wrap your food in aluminum foil after adding a little vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Then cook it over the flame. Use tongs to rotate the food frequently. Also, use a meat thermometer to make sure the inside of the meat is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re cooking a small meal, you can use a fondue pot. Just make sure the fuel you’re using is approved for indoor use. A stainless steel fondue pot is your best choice, both for cooking and after-meal cleanup. Make sure the handles are strong and the base is wide.
The canned heat method is safe to use indoors, as long as there is adequate ventilation. It’s also inexpensive and easy. You’ve probably seen this flaming canister used by caterers to keep food warm.
The no-spill, alcohol or petroleum gel-like fuel is flammable. But it doesn’t burn too quickly. It can burn for two to six hours, depending on the brand.
The heat and flame go straight up, which concentrates the heat in one spot. This is convenient, but it does require frequent stirring to avoid burning.
Canned heat can be used with a chafing dish, fondue pot or certain stoves and grills. The cans store nicely.
Bug-out bag musts
As mentioned, some cooking methods are better done outdoors. Make sure to include the following items in your bug-out bags.
- Pots, Pans and Plates. A store-bought mess kit will do just fine. You can find them in a big box store’s sporting goods department. Because they inter-stack and lock together, they’re easy to carry, use, clean and pack.
- Silverware. The big box stores should sell interlocking knife/fork/spoon sets. Don’t choose plastic. You don’t know how long you’re going to be using these utensils.
- Aluminum Foil. Use aluminum foil to wrap vegetables, meat or fish when they are cooking over a campfire. As well as to carry cooked food when you start moving again.
- Coffee Pot. Lash a small percolator to the outside of your bag to keep it from banging around or breaking. To really be efficient, keep small, clean clothing items inside it when you’re moving.
- Cooking Pot. Include a large cooking pot with a lid in one of your bags. You’ll be able to heat up larger quantities of food that way, including stew.
- Serving Utensils. When it comes to getting food from the pot or pan to your plate, items such as spatulas, ladles and meat forks are much preferable to knives, forks and spoons.
- Canteen. Make sure you have at least one military-grade canteen in your bug-out bag. The better ones also include a matching cup (which can double as a boiling pot), an insulated carrier and a utility belt for transportation.
- Water Purifiers. Carry a personal water filter and a small bottle of water purification tablets. Nothing spells disaster for a bug-out experience faster than drinking contaminated water.
- Dishwashing Liquid. To keep your cooking utensils clean, include a non-breakable, spill-free bottle of dishwashing liquid.
Sun Kettle to the rescue
Now more than ever, Americans realize the need to have an electricity-free way to cook food and boil water – especially now with hurricane season in full swing.
That's why we created this incredible little solar gadget: the Sun Kettle.
This revolutionary personal water heater cooks food, purifies drinking water to kill waterborne bacteria, and boils water for first aid or kill germs. It also makes the perfectly piping-hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa.
Plus it does it all without using fire, fuel, or electricity!
It's no wonder why most folks are grabbing these 3 at a time, while they can.