We were looking at houses last week, and I think I surprised our realtor when I told him passionately that cooking on a flattop, glass, electric stove makes me want to throw frying pans out the window. I’m usually much more mild-mannered, but get me going about how I love to cook over a gas stove, and the fire is in my eyes!
We real foodies like to cook, yes?
I can’t imagine having no cooking source. That has to be one of my worst nightmares. In an emergency situation, however, that nightmare could quickly become reality. (photo source)
An important part of being ready to eat (and drink even, if you have to boil your water) is having cooking fuel or an alternative method. Here are some ways to make sure you’re ready, in order of the simple baby steps to the advanced stuff:
- Make sure you have at least one extra propane tank on hand for your grill
- If you have a small travel grill or camp stove, keep the little bottles of propane on hand too. If you have to evacuate quickly, you might be able to take these with you.
- Don’t toss your pressure cooker: even though Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions fame does not recommend a pressure cooker for everyday cooking, I’m recently thankful that we received one for our wedding and I never garage saled it. Why? In an emergency, wouldn’t you rather cook dry beans in 30 minutes rather than use 4-8 HOURS of precious cooking fuel? Keep your pressure cooking guide handy, too- you can make just about anything in there in a fraction of the time traditional cooking takes. I’d be willing to lose a few nutrients if it meant extending my fuel supply by 2-4 times, wouldn’t you?
- UPDATE: check the comments for some fuel-conserving cooking ideas, too.
Making Strides (a Bit More Effort)
- Amy’s list of frugal fire starters
- Alternative cooking fuels
- Buy cooking fuels or cook stoves at Emergency Essentials – search for cooking stoves or matches (for waterproof matches)
Leap of Faith
Want to make a homemade stove or make a big investment in a new appliance for preparedness? Here are your sources:
- How to Make a #10 Can Stove (tutorial)
- How to Make a Carboard Box Oven (tutorial)
- Make your own DIY Solar Oven
- DIY Solar Funnel Cooker
- Buy a solar oven
- Make your own Dehydrator
Don’t Forget Light and Heat
I’d be counting on the few candles we have in house for light, but there are plenty of other options.
- Just think old-fashioned: wood stoves, corn stove or furnace (especially if you live in the heartland and would have corn fields to glean from) Whoops – apparently corn stoves need electric to run. Thanks to a reader for the correction!
- Kerosene lanterns can also be pretty handy in a pinch. They’re a little less messy than candles, and give a better light.
Why Cook with Real Food?
Why have I been making such a fuss about stockpiling real food instead of processed stuff? Your family’s health and nutrition are an important responsibility. If you are interested in learning more about why traditional foods are the way to go, or if you have a junior high or high school aged student in your home who should, you’ll love Food Renegade’s Real Food Nutrition and Health home study course.
For the summer, she’s opening up the course in a work-at-your-own-pace style and offering $20 off (coupon SUMMERSAVE20) so you can try it out. See more HERE, and you can even download a free chapter of the eBook you’ll be using in the course. (Registration closes June 16th.) Let me know if you have any questions!
As usual, I’ll update this post with reader ideas so it’s an even more comprehensive resource. Got anything good for me?
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Emergency Essentials and Food Renegade and will earn a small commission on sales made starting here. See my full disclosure statement here.