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How to make a pocket grill

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There are lots of portable grills out there for camping and other outdoor adventures, but we’ve discovered that ‘portable’ usually means ‘luggable’. But wait ‘coz the one featured here is pocket size and yes… it’s an easy DIY project.

A grill that you can carry in your pocket has to be as good as it gets as you won’t even feel its weight when added to your backpack!

As the title indicates, this really is a DIY grill compact enough to can carry in your pocket, yet it expands to a realistic, usable size! How’s that for packing light?

And what makes the pocket grill really perfect for outdoor activities is that it is easier to clean compared to the regular portable grills. Just disassemble it (which only takes about ten seconds) and clean the parts with ease!

Worried about the materials used? Aside from aircon tubes and gas lines copper is also used to make pots and other cookware, with many people regularly using them to make jams and other delicacies. The ‘grill grate’ on the other hand is made with stainless steel rods… So this pocket grill is totally safe for cooking.

Materials:

  • 3/4″ diameter Copper Tube
  • 5/8″ diameter Copper Tube
  • 2 Copper Tube Caps (size that will fit the larger diameter pipe)
  • 1/16″ diameter Stainless Steel Bicycle Spokes

Tools:

  • Hacksaw
  • Cutting Pliers
  • Drill
  • Utility Knife
  • File (or Sandpaper)
  • Ruler

The materials: Of course these are not mandatory, you are welcomed to improvise, but please wear safety gear and respect work security guidelines (or suffer the consequences of your foolish actions).

Basically you need two pieces of pipe, one must fit in the other, I used 18mm (3/4 inch) and 15mm (5/8 inch) copper tube; any metal should do, but I used copper because: it is relatively lightweight, doesn’t bend much when exposed to fire, it has thin walls and most importantly I had them lying around the house (leftovers from the heating system) so they were free.

Two copper tube caps that fit the larger diameter pipe (also lying around and also free).

Handful of approx. 2mm diameter bicycle spokes (1/16 inch). I can’t give you an exact number, you’ll see why in a bit. Make sure that you use stainless steel spokes, you’re going to eat off of them.

Pro Tip: If you have a bicycle repair shop nearby, you should ask them for broken spokes, you may get them for free (I hacked my old bike tire to death for this).

The measurements are pretty simple since you’ll need to cut everything to the same size (you will get a rectangular grill).

Pro Tip: The bigger you make your grill the more spokes you’ll need, make sure that the number of spokes you intend to use all fit inside the smaller diameter tube.

I made mine 20 cm wide (7.87401575 inches, just make it 8) since I found that about 25 2.2mm spokes fit inside the 15mm diameter tube

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Cut tubes to length: Cut the two tubes to equal length and file the rough edges, as I previously mentioned I made them 20cm (approx. 8 inches).

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Measure, mark and drill holes: Now that you’ve got your tubes cut to length, you need to mark and drill the holes for the spokes. (The only holes drilled through both sides of the tube are the ones where the nipples attach.)

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Cut spokes to length: By now you have the exact number of spokes you’ll need, just count the holes. The spokes need too be the same length (or smaller) as the tubes, since they need to fit inside.

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Pro Tip: You will need 2 spokes with intact threads on one end and 90° bend on the other so cut them about 5 – 10mm (1/16 – 3/8 inch) longer than the rest, please keep this in mind.

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Assemble the grill: I’m not going to lie to you, this is painstaking to do until you do it a few times and get used to it.

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Disassemble and pack the grill: This is a “piece of cake”. Just unscrew the nipples and it falls apart. Packing it up is also pretty easy.

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Final Thoughts: Some of you expressed concern that copper emits harmful gasses when heated, I can’t scientifically refute this, but I couldn’t find any source on the internet proving it…

 

Linked from: http://diyprojects.ideas2live4.com/2016/01/29/how-to-make-a-pocket-grill/

Linked from  stvn.eu

 

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Off Grid Cooking 6 Ways to Cook Without a Stove

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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Freezer Bag Cooking – Cooking On The Go

Freezer Bag Cooking

I’m always looking for ways to crossover my knowledge, skills and equipment between both backpacking and prepping. There are many similarities and pieces of gear that are suitable for both activities, however one stands apart as a great idea if your plan is to bug out and head for the hills, forest or a destination that requires travelling on foot.

What is freezer bag cooking?

Simply put, we are taking the humble freezer bag, adding your own pre-made dried food and turning it into a vessel that will allow us to re-hydrate our meals quickly and easily whilst on the move.

There are many benefits to this method of cooking, but first lets take a look at how it’s done.

Plan Your Meals

First up for any trip or bug out, you need to know roughly how long you will be hiking and how many meals you need. If your aim is to get to your destination in the quickest amount of time, I suggest eating something quick for breakfast, that doesn’t need cooking. Things like granola bars are great for this.

So that leaves lunch and dinner, and my plan is to use a bunch of trail mix, nuts and seeds for lunch. A small back will pack around 2,000 calories and is plenty for snaking throughout the day.

So that simply leaves us with dinner.

What To Pack

My first tip is to pack what you eat. There’s nothing worse than arriving at camp cold, wet, tired and hungry and eating crap you would never eat in a non-shtf situation.

If you’re just staring out, I also suggest packing store bought dried good. Things like instant rice, instant mash potato, couscous etc are all great staples that will allow you to go light and pack some good calories.

How To Pack

Now you’ve decide on your meals you need to get them prepared. This is often as simple as dumping it all into a freezer bag (the actual freezer grade bags, do not use the thinner/cheaper bags).

If you have ingredients that won’t mix well together, you can store them separately, but I have never had a problem mixing all of my dried ingredients into a single freezer bag.

Make sure you mark out the meal on the front of the bag so you know what’s inside and how many portions.

How To Cook

When you get to camp, you should try to get your water on the boil as soon as possible. Depending on what you’ve packed in your freezer bags, it could take 30+ minutes sometimes to rehydrate you meal. I use this time to set up my camp, collect wood, water and make shelter.

So you warm up your water, if using fresh water that doesn’t need boiling then it also doesn’t need to reach a rolling boil, just hot water is fine and will do the job.

Once the water is hot, add your bag of food to your pot or cozy and add the water. Often it is 1 cup of food to 1-1.5 cups of water, however you should add the water a little at a time to gauge the correct amount.

Then zip up the bag, add the lid to your cozy and allow to rehydrate, checking at 5-10 minute intervals and mixing the food and water with your hands by squishing the outside of the bag.

How To Eat

Now for the best bit! I like to unzip my freezer bag once the food is ready and fold over the edges of the bag around my pot so I don’t have to hold the hot bag.

Some people opt for a long handled spoon to save them from getting food onto their hands, however I prefer a normal sized spoon and to just roll the bag down a bit at a time to raise the food up towards the top of the pot.

So what are the benefits?

As I mentioned earlier, there are many benefits to this freezer bag cooking method, such as:

  • Control what goes into your food
  • Control portion size
  • You dictate the meals, not a manufacturer
  • Easy to dehydrate home cooked leftovers
  • Super lightweight and great for a bug out bag
  • East to prepare on the trail
  • Eat right out of the bag
  • No mess and not pot cleaning
  • Left over water can be used for a hot drink
  • Uses less fuel as water only needs to be warmed and food is cooked inside the cozy
  • Many of the dry ingredients you will already have in your home

How To Make A Cozy

In this video by a well know ultralight backpacker, you will learn how to make your own freezer bag cozy to rehydrate and cook your lightweight food.