Thursday, September 2, 2021

How To Keep Cooking Without Power

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

A friend asked me for ideas on how to cook in the off chance we have a really long power outage. The follow-up question on how to keep the lights on was a bit more difficult, and I dodged it for reasons I will explain later in this article. 
Getting Hot
Stealth Gas Grill in a Condo

"How will I cook if the power is off?" is an easy answer for most people people here in California, as barbecue grills are everywhere. You'll even find them in apartments and condo communities where they aren't allowed! The grills that are most often outright banned are charcoal, but some areas do prohibit all grills. Even so, grills are still in use.

Many homes here are equipped with gas stoves which might be used without power (your gas stove may need electricity to work the valves or generate a spark, which might be a problem), but only so long as there is adequate ventilation when the stove is used! Since there is no electricity to operate exhaust fans, operating anything that burns any fuel indoors should not to be done! I recommend cooking outdoors only, no matter what your cooking source happens to be. 

Another option is one which many people grew up using: The classic Coleman stove! From the Amazon ad:

  • One 7,500 BTU burner and one 6,500 BTU burner
  • Runs on Coleman Fuel or unleaded gas
  • Boil a quart of water in four minutes
  • 2 Burner, 14,000 BTU Cooking Power
  • Limited Lifetime
There are many different sizes and shapes of Coleman stoves, so this may not be exactly what you own or remember, but it is a good representation of the type. Obviously you need fuel to run this stove, so I'm hoping there is some already stored for emergency use, and per the ad copy this will use either Coleman fuel or the same unleaded gas you use in your car. Chaplain Tim discussed how to retrieve gas in a serious emergency; read all of his post before thinking about, much less trying, his suggestions.

As another word of warning, don't use two cycle gas/oil mixtures in your stove! Certain types of motors don't have valves, and to lubricate them motor oil was mixed in with the gas, which is known as two cycle. If you store gasoline, be sure to label the cans correctly!

A variation of this stove uses the same propane as in your gas barbecue, either in smaller canisters or with an adapter for your full size tank. There are too many models to list, so check your exact stove model number for proper fit. 

Backpacking Stoves
There are many different types of these as well, but there is one in particular that all of us seem to recommend: The Solo Stove!

  • PATENTED DESIGN - LESS SMOKE. The patented design features a unique double wall that creates ultra-clean gasification and a secondary combustion. This allows fuel to burn more completely and with less smoke.
  • COMPACT SPACE SAVING DESIGN. The Solo Stove Titan is designed to nest inside the companion Solo Stove Pot 1800 (sold separately) leaving you with more room in your backpack.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & FAST BOIL TIME. Boils water in 4-6 mins (34 fl oz. water). 5.1" Diameter, 5.6"/7.9” tall (packed/assembled). Weighs only 16.5 oz. Made of premium stainless steel and nichrome wire. Nylon stuff sack included.
I believe all of us here have at least one Solo stove. I am a late convert to this wonderful piece of equipment, but now I own two. One is in my gear and one is being kept for the Purple Pack Lady, as soon as she is convinced it is useful.

What About Electrical Appliances?
There are ways to safely run electric appliances, but first: I am not an Electrician or a licensed contractor, so I will not be giving advice on how to power up your house!

If you care to read posts from our other bloggers on how to do this, I suggest starting with this post by Lokidude, who is a licensed electrician and who speaks from experience. After that, please use the 'Search' box in the upper left corner of the blog and enter, 'Generator' to see everything else.

Recap And Takeaway 
  • Plan ahead for your cooking needs, either with a spare propane tank or the proper fuel for your stove.
  • Remember, No Burning Of Any Type In Enclosed Spaces! There are too many deaths every year from improper use of grills.
  • Nothing was purchased this week but as we get closer to Christmas, keep your eyes open for sales! That's how I scored my nifty Solo Combo kit!
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Just a reminder: if you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

1 comment:

  1. The Coleman 2 burner propane powered camp stove I have had for decades is my replacement during a power outage. We have an electric range/oven that can not run on our generator. My Weber gas grill with side burner also fills cooking duties. The microwave oven runs fine on generator. Between the three we have made it through several long term power outages being able to cook almost normally.


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