In a crisis, the first thing to go is often the electricity. Most of us have electric stoves, which becomes quite a cooking crisis during an emergency! Personally, I don’t really care for most ready-made meals, so a working stove is essential for me at all times!
If you find yourself without a traditional stove, whether during an emergency or while camping, prepare yourself by stocking one or more alternative fuel sources.
Alternative Cooking Methods: Build a Rocket Stove
A rocket stove sounds like something from the future, but it is actually something that cavemen cooked with thousands of years ago. A rocket stove is simply a mini high-temperature combustion chamber. A vertical chimney gives the heat direction. Usually, a rocket stove is fueled by wood. You can actually make your own rocket stove from an old can (a large can, like a coffee can, is ideal) If you are interested in learning more about making your own rocket stove, you can read about it in Rocket Stove 101.
Alternative Cooking Methods: Conserve Wood with a Single Log Stove
Don’t want to waste fuel when you are camping or during an emergency? One inexpensive solution is the single log stove. This simple stove simply uses a unique method of chopping a log with an axe to create a stove-like surface from a single log. The log burns from the inside, which creates a lasting heat source that is efficient and shoots flame into the air. You can easily cook meals in a pot suspended over the flames using this method. You can also try heating a pot directly on the surface of the wood, but the heat will be too high for most foods.
Alternative Cooking Methods: Mini Propane Grill
Most grillers probably have a propane stove on the porch, or something similar, but these larger stoves require too much fuel for storing long-term. The best emergency grill is a mini propane grill that uses small propane cans and is easily stored in an outdoor closet or garage. Alternatively, you can also use an alcohol stove, which uses even small fuel packs. A small camping stove is usually large enough to cook most food items, although it might take longer than a traditional stove.
Homemade Oven with Solar Power
A solar oven is an excellent fuel source. It is possible to cook nearly anything in a solar oven, and some models are as efficient as a traditional oven. Solar ovens can be purchased, but it is just as easy to make your own. Create a solid wood box and coat the inside with foil. Cover the top with a sheet of glass. Surround the oven with cardboard reflector covered in aluminum foil to capture the sun’s rays. The light will bounce off the foil and get trapped under the glass in the box. This will create enough heat to cook almost anything, from simple bread to pieces of meat.
Preparing for Any Crisis
As you prepare for emergencies, it is wise to keep a multitude of alternative cooking methods on hand. That way, if you run out of wood, or can’t find propane tanks, you will have some way of cooking your meals and you won’t have to rely on ready-to-eat meals.