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Emergency Cooking

How to Cook Food When the Power Goes Out

Cooking Methods

Your oven will probably not be working after a disaster due to lack of electricity. You need alternative methods of cooking. Here are a few:

picture of a wood burning fireplace with a cook topFireplaces - Fireplace inserts with flat surfaces make excellent stovetops. Some inserts even have ovens. If you have a wood burning fireplace, think about buying an insert that you can use for emergency cooking. Free standing gas and wood burning stoves with flat tops will also work for stove top cooking.

When you cook with propane you want to cook as fast as possible to save fuel.  The same is true with charcoal, although it is a slower process, and you have about an hour before you need to replace the briquettes. One of the advantages of using a wood burning stove that you are using for heat is that you can simmer or cook food for hours on the top of it.

Propane- You can buy economical propane stoves, and also propane ovens. You may already have a source of propane with your barbecue. Thank about getting a backup tank, but be careful storing propane. Fumes can build up in the garage that can lead to an explosion.

picture of a propane stove

picture of a propane oven


Charcoal and Dutch Ovens - Charcoal can be stored indefinitely. You will need a Dutch oven to cook using charcoal, as well as a container to put it in, unless you have a fire pit.  You can use an inexpensive grill with a lid, or you can buy a "volcano stove."  It you place the Dutch oven on the ground, you need to place the briquettes below and on top of the oven.  If you use a volcano stove, this will also heat the sides of the oven.

It can be tricky to regulate the temperature of the oven.  If you use quality briquettes on a warm day, with a 12" oven,  you will need approximately 24 of them to reach 350 degrees. Place 12 on top, and 12 on the bottom. They should last about an hour.  If you have to add more briquettes, you won't need as many of them, as the oven is already heated up.

Cooking with a Dutch oven is tricky.  It is half science and half art.  It takes some time to get comfortable with it.

Here are some links to learn more about Dutch Oven Cooking:

Cast Iron Cookware
Introduction to Dutch Oven Cooking
Byron's Dutch Oven Cooking Page
7 Secrets of Dutch Oven Cooking
How to Cook with a Dutch Oven

picture of a paper charcoal starter

picture of a cast iron oven

Frugal Pantry and Canned Food Recipes

woman with cookbook

Many of the foods that we purchase in the grocery store, such as rice and noodles,  are already dried and last for years.

Combine these foods with canned meat, vegetables and fruits, and you can accumulate a frugal, emergency supply of food. 

Here are some recipes to help.  FRUGAL RECIPES







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