Monday, May 25, 2015

Cooking off grid: No electricity

I’ll be the first to admit that our real food plan when the electricity is out is the 25 minute drive to the nearest McDonalds with a play place and free WIFI. Where it is an excellent plan for our usual issue of power outages it may not be so brilliant if we are snowed in or if we have suffered an EMP event. We have discussed some of our options for cooking without electricity. We have several worked out.

One: Propane BBQ grill. Whereas this is great in a short term situation the obvious issue is running out of fuel. Once we decided for monies sake to stop using our oven and our BBQ grill lasted about a month cooking mostly dinners outside. I think there will be huge adjustments in standards and expectations if there goes a full month without electricity. The pros to this are that we have tons of experience using this method and it would feel pretty natural and normal.

Two: Outside rocket stove. I’m not actually sure this is a real rocket stove burning wood gases but I do know that it is built and that it works using a small amount of wood. The benefits of this are that it is fast. But it is outside. We also have 20 acres of wooded land and we are a smaller lot in our area so we should not have too much wood poaching going on.

Two and a half: Inside rocket stove built in our fire place. This has the benefit of being inside and safer from zombies and what not. Again I am not sure if it qualifies as a true rocket stove but it can take us from lighting up to eating ramen in 20 minutes.

Three:  Open camp fire Dutch over, grate and frying pan. This is also great for roasting wieners and marshmallows! We have dug a hole in our front yard built a bon fire and cooked. Only to replace the dirt and grass after the bon fire. Con we need recipes and experience with our Dutch oven.

Four: Solar oven. Our solar oven is homemade and a bit poor looking but the point of it is to warm frozen chicken nuggets between breakfast and lunch to edible temperature then it is a big win. Also make cheese crisps and other simple foods. 

Five: Car battery we recently checked out using a car battery to run our electric crock pot and we feel that this is a feasible option for that cloudy rainy day where you are not able to use a outside cookery method or a very busy day. We still need to check this method for our electric griddle and our electric skillet. * the dc to ac power inverter would need to be stored in a Faraday Cage to have a chance of surviving and EMP event. 

Six: Using the car engine heat to cook. Whereas I am not very skilled in this my husband swears it works and I also know that in Arizona one of my friend’s husband cooked his food on the dash board of his car! Our plan is to run the car to help keep our freezer and fridge cold so we would like to use that residual heat to some benefit. 

Seven: My husband is researching how to build and cook in an old fashioned Italian pizza oven. Right now our plan is to build a deck next spring with the oven as part of the design. If an EMP hit we have the raw ingredients and have seen enough videos to attempt to make a pizza oven on the fly. Again the fuel would come from our wooded acreage.

So here are some of our off grid cooking plans. Some areas that we haven’t explored are camp stoves, which includes many different fuel sources from butane to charcoal. All though we really should think about charcoal as it is something that my husband has researched making and has had some success with creating. We have both used hobo stoves in scouts, which might prove helpful, but that seems more of a short term 72 hour kit type cooking type than a longer term power outage resource.  So what are some of your idea for off grid cooking? Do you have any suggestions for us?

Here is an Alton Brown video cooking steak directly on coals.

Here is another making a grilled cheese sandwich on a BBQ grill.

After, One Second After


No comments:

Post a Comment