Monday, December 8, 2008

Cooking without power

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” - chef Julia Child
The recent Survival Encyclopedia blog post got me thinking about cooking at home without power. We have an electric stove so if the power goes out, no stove! If you have a gas stove, it could be risky to use post earthquake and other emergencies where the gas lines might have been damaged. So what are your options?
  1. Don't Cook: Keep a food supply of peanut butter, tuna fish (with a manual can opener), crackers and other foods you like to eat uncooked.
  2. Use your fire place: If you have a fire place learn to use it for more than roasting hotdogs. Buy a dutch oven (a cast iron pot) and practice old fashioned cooking. Remember to cook over the coals, not the flames.
  3. Use your BBQ grill: a grill (either charcoal or gas) is a great emergency backup to your stove.
  4. Use a portable stove: these come in at least four varieties.
  • Solid Fuel Tablets - good for boiling a cup or small pot
  • Pressurized Liquid - Coleman fuel stoves
  • Alcohol Fuel - safer but not as hot
  • Pressurized Gas - Grocery stores now sell single burner Butane stoves that are just like cooking on a gas stove. This also includes a propane gas grill.

Bottom Line

For the next week I'll go into more details about these cooking methods. Try them out!

For more ideas on cooking without your stove see,

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