Off Grid Cooking 6 Ways to Cook Without a Stove

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Most of us use electricity to prepare our food these days. Think about it, our stoves, coffee makers, electric frying pans, crock pots, waffle makers and more all require electricity.
In an emergency situation even the gas could stop flowing so a gas stove would only be useful if it uses propane. And then only until the propane runs out.

But when the power goes out we’ll still need to cook our food. Not just for the sake of taste but to kill any bacteria that could make us sick. Especially when it comes to poultry and meat

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrStumbleUponRedditPinterestDiggDeliciousEmail this pagePrint this page


Most of us use electricity to prepare our food these days. Think about it, our stoves, coffee makers, electric frying pans, crock pots, waffle makers and more all require electricity.
In an emergency situation even the gas could stop flowing so a gas stove would only be useful if it uses propane. And then only until the propane runs out.

But when the power goes out we’ll still need to cook our food. Not just for the sake of taste but to kill any bacteria that could make us sick. Especially when it comes to poultry and meat.

6 Off Grid Cooking Methods

BBQ Grill. Most of us enjoy cooking outside when the weather is nice so odds are you have a charcoal BBQ or gas grill, or both! Charcoal and gas grills are are excellent ways to cook without a stove. Some gas grills even have a burner so you can cook with a pot. But if yours doesn’t you can still put a pot on the grill but it most likely will be damaged at least to some degree.

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Most gas grills run on propane tanks but if you’re out of gas you can use them with charcoal or even wood, although this could cause some damage to the grill.

Fire Pit. If you have a fire pit in your yard or on your patio you can use it to cook more than just marshmallow. If you don’t already have a grill to go over it you can buy one, or improvise one as an alternative cooking method.

Cooking over a fire pit is pretty much like cooking over any other wood fire. Just let the wood burn down until it’s charcoal, before you place your food on the grill and then add more wood or charcoal as needed.

You can use a dutch oven in your fire pit or fireplace for baking. You place what you want to bake (bread, cake, pie) inside the cast iron dutch oven, place it on the coals, and pile more coals on top. This is also a great way to cook one pot meals like casseroles!

Fireplace. If you have a fireplace in your home you can use it not only to heat your house, but to cook your food. When America was first settled, using a fireplace to cook was the most common way to prepare food. The temperature of pots could be controlled by either placing them directly on the coals or by suspending them over the fire. Meats can be cooked on a spit, rotisserie style.

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Wood Burning Stove. Like fireplaces, some people have wood burning stoves to help heat their homes. And, like fireplaces, they can be used for preparing food (and boiling water). The flat top makes them perfect for cooking food in pots.

Camp Stove. Obviously camp stoves are intended to be used when camping where there is no electricity. There are several types to choose from that use different types of fuel:

  • Wood burning – These are basically just portable boxes that use wood as fuel and have a spot for a pot on the top.
  • Propane Powered – Odds are that you’ll eventually run out of propane. But this type of stove can also be used with wood as fuel.
  • Dual Fuel – This type of old school camp stove can use both a special kind of fuel or gasoline. And while gasoline may be hard to come by in an emergency situation it will probably be easier to get than a small propane tank.

Solar CookersCooking with solar energy is great and works especially well in the Summer when cooking with a fire in the house might be too hot. Solar ovens do cook slowly, kind of like crock pots, but once you get the hang of it they are a great way to cook without a stove

There are 3 different kinds:

  • Reflective Box. These are the most common. You can buy one but you can even make your own. They’re basically just a box with flaps. The inside surfaces are covered with something that’s highly reflective, like foil, to reflect the sunlight onto the food. You can place the food in an oven bag or cover the opening with plastic wrap to keep the heat in.
  • Parabolic Reflectors. These are usually made out of a large old satellite antenna but they can be made out of plywood and other materials too. The larger they are the more powerful they are. Again, the inside surface is covered with something reflective and then the pot is suspended in the center.
  • Fresnel Lens. They are the most powerful type of solar cookers. These solar concentrate are really magnifying glasses made out of flat plastic panels, or mirrors,  that focus the power of the sun onto a spot. They are powerful enough to scorch even metal and concrete. You can make your own out of an old TV screen set in a frame.

In an emergency situation you’ll want to have more than one way to cook without a stove. Practice with some of these methods before hand, if you don’t already, so you’ll be able to easily prepare food when the power goes out.

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