Powerless Cooking

For preppers, learning how to cook without electricity or gas is a survival necessity. It is also a very handy skill to know. There are plenty of ways that you can go about cooking without any power and still create a great meal. Here are a few ideas of powerless cooking that you can frequently use:

Dutch Oven

This is one of the most common and tastiest ways for campers, preppers and outdoor enthusiasts to cook their food. One of the biggest assets of the Dutch oven is their versatility. You can cook meat or fish or even make biscuits and delicious peach cobbler. I’d suggest lining the oven with tinfoil before you start cooking so that it’s easier to clean afterwards. After you line the oven, put your favorite seasonings in and start cooking. After you’re done cooking, it’s time to clean the oven. If you didn’t put tinfoil on the inside, you’ll quickly realize why I advised you to as you’re cleaning. One of the biggest disadvantages to Dutch ovens is that they are very heavy. They aren’t exactly easy to pack either. If you have room to bring a Dutch oven, bring one. If not, there are other ways to prepare your food.

Solar Oven

If you have the time and resources, it would be a good to invest in making your own solar oven. This method takes a little longer than other methods requiring fire, though you don’t have to waste time collecting fuel for and preparing a fire. Plus, it allows you to cook a wider range of foods than fire does. On the downside, it takes much more preparation than a simple fire and is much less portable than a matchbook.

Meat On A Stick

This is one of the oldest forms of cooking meat, and nearly everybody has experience doing it. If you don’t have pre-made skewers, you’ll want to make your own out of wire hangers without a coat of paint or a cleaned off and debarked branch. Be sure to use a branch that’s still green, which will prevent it from actually catching on fire itself.

Tinfoil Dinners

These are another great meal that you can have while you don’t have any power. Create any combination of meat, vegetables, eggs and anything else you’d like to make a hearty meal for yourself. Prepare the food accordingly, put it in some tinfoil. You’ll want to make sure to put items that will need to cook longer at the bottom followed by quicker-cooking items at the top: i.e., put the potatoes and carrots on the bottom, followed by beef or chicken, topped with spices or supplemental vegetables like corn. If you don’t feel comfortable cooking or storing your raw meet with vegetables, you could even consider using some freeze dried hamburger. All you’d have to do is reconstitute it before cooking, and the fire will do the rest. Throw some salt and pepper on there and lay it down on some hot coals. You’ll want to check on it and turn it every 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to keep a pair or two of pliers handy to grab the pack off the coals and have a cool, clean surface ready on which to place the dinner. Make sure the meat is cooked all the way through; then enjoy your meal.

There are plenty of alternative ways to make food for yourself when you don’t have an oven or a gas stove to aid your cooking. If you haven’t already, start a food storage stockpile that includes the basic cooking tools mentioned above. Learn how to start a fire and you’ll know everything that you need to in order to make some great food for yourself. Take your cooking expertise to the outdoors and you’ll have an excellent experience.

–Lee Flynn


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Lee Flynn