How to Cook Food When
the Power Goes Out
Your oven will probably not be working after a disaster due to
lack of electricity. You need alternative methods of cooking. Here are a few:
- Fireplace inserts with flat surfaces make excellent stovetops. Some inserts
even have ovens. If you have a wood burning fireplace, think about buying an
insert that you can use for emergency cooking. Free standing gas and wood
burning stoves with flat tops will also work for stove top cooking.
When you cook with propane you want to cook as fast as possible to save fuel.
The same is true with charcoal, although it is a slower process, and you have
about an hour before you need to replace the briquettes. One of the advantages
of using a wood burning stove that you are using for heat is that you can simmer
or cook food for hours on the top of it.
Propane- You can buy economical propane stoves, and also
propane ovens. You may already have a source of propane with your barbecue.
Thank about getting a backup tank, but be careful storing propane. Fumes can
build up in the garage that can lead to an explosion.
Charcoal and Dutch Ovens - Charcoal can be stored indefinitely. You will need a Dutch oven
to cook using charcoal, as well as a container to put it in, unless you have a
fire pit. You can use an inexpensive grill with a lid, or you can buy a
"volcano stove." It you place the Dutch oven on the ground, you need to
place the briquettes below and on top of the oven. If you use a volcano
stove, this will also heat the sides of the oven.
It can be tricky to regulate the temperature of the oven.
If you use quality briquettes on a warm day, with a 12" oven, you will
need approximately 24 of them to reach 350 degrees. Place 12 on top, and 12 on
the bottom. They should last about an hour. If you have to add more
briquettes, you won't need as many of them, as the oven is already heated up.
Cooking with a Dutch oven is tricky. It is half science and half art.
It takes some time to get comfortable with it. Start small. Watch
some Utube videos and then start practicing.