Survival is about saving the lives of your family and loved ones as well as your own. We prepare for everything as best we can, but we never know what exactly the situation will be.
We can only prepare for the worst with survival as our main goal. Whether we will be bugged in at home or bugged out someplace safe, food will be necessary to keep us alive.
Cooking without electricity isn't as hard as you might think, and it is a vital survival skill.
Cooking Off The Grid
Preparing food can be a challenge when there is no electricity. In addition to the darkness making things difficult, cooking without an electric stove, oven, or microwave is challenging.
Eating fresh, raw foods is a good alternative, but some foods, like meat, need to be cooked to be more palatable and safer for the body. This is what makes cooking without electricity so important to learn.
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Cook Without Electricity
If the power goes out (grid down) and the electricity is off for a period of time, you will need an alternative method of cooking without electricity. Even your kitchen’s gas stove might require electricity to operate, so it’s best to consider multiple ways to cook and/or boil water.
Here are a few ideas
One obvious cooking alternative is a wood fire, perhaps with a cooking grate placed over it supported by logs, stones, bricks, etc.
A ‘rocket stove’ is an efficient way of utilizing a controlled burn of a wood fire – a method that uses little firewood to create a quick hot fire. There are several popular varieties available.
A Dutch oven cooker either hanging over an outdoor fire or setting directly in a bed of hot coals (or hot coals on top of the Dutch oven’s cover) – perhaps in your fireplace if you have one. Good Dutch ovens are made of cast iron (they retain heat longer).
The issue with cooking over a fire is that it must be done outdoors. Weather may be an issue. This will probably not be an option for anyone living in the city or much of suburbia depending on your location.
Your barbeque grill is a likely option for cooking without electricity (until you run out of fuel), be it charcoal or propane gas. Always keep a full (large) tank, and preferably an extra tank (filled). If you use charcoal, when it goes on sale buy extra bags.
Again, weather and season may be an issue because you will have to cook outdoors. Preferably you’ll have a protected outdoor area for cooking which will make it a bit easier during bad weather. NEVER cook indoors with a bbq grill.
A solar oven can be very effective during the summer months, during days when there are few clouds – however this will be a limited use option.
Fruits and some vegetables can be eaten safely without the need to cook them. Meat may be enjoyable as steak or barbecue but there is the risk of ingesting bacteria that can make you sick. We all know how important health is in helping us get through the difficult period so there is no point in taking too many risks.
Chicken and other poultry, including the liver, need to be cooked before eating. Pork also needs cooking, so do offal, rolled joints of meat, kebabs, burgers, and sausages. Always remember that there are more threats to your survival apart from fellow human beings.
Uncooked food especially meats do not only make you sick but those with bacteria like salmonella and e. coli can be downright deadly.
Practice good hygiene as much as possible. Even when in the wild, try to clean your hands before preparing and eating food. When you have your family with you at home or in the wild, this becomes even more important. Food is supposed to keep you alive and help you survive.
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on September 25, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.