Cooking is one of the things that gives me great pleasure because it leads to one of my other favorite pastimes; eating. I learned this skill by watching my Grandmother cook meals on my many visits to her home.
It fascinated me to see her take wild game that I would bring to her as a young hunter and turn it into a meal fit for a king. I loved helping her in the kitchen listening to many stories of her past and learning all I could from her.
Through my time with the Boy Scouts I learned to cook over open fires, then later on I purchased a Coleman stove to add to my outdoor cooking arsenal. I still do the majority of cooking at home from day to day, but I enjoy outdoor cooking the most.
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Food just seems to taste better when cooked and eaten outside. And aside from being enjoyable, outdoor and primitive cooking skills will serve you well in emergency and survival circumstances.
For folks that have never cooked over a fire, or other more primitive modes of heat, cooking a meal for their family can be a daunting task. Many of us do this every weekend, on vacations or hunting trips and call it fun. What is natural for some of us can be very challenging for others. Because I now live in hurricane territory and experience power outages from time to time, I keep alternate cooking sources always close at hand.
Campfire Breakfast Recipe:
I have free standing grates to place over cooking fires. At times, I would wire two of these together if I had a large group to cook for while guiding and outfitting. Cooking over a fire can be the hardest method of primitive cooking because of regulating your heat. Native Americans used what we call squaw wood to adjust cooking temperatures. Squaw wood is small branches that can be fed into the fire to increase heat, or you can pull it out of the fire to reduce heat.
I still own and use a dual fuel two burner stove by Coleman. It runs on unleaded gas or Coleman white gas. I bought this for Y2K because it gives you more options for fuel when it comes to hard times. I also own two more propane Coleman two burners and a free-standing Camp Chef propane two burner stove that runs on large propane bottles.
I always keep several one burner stoves that run on two types of fuel, Propane and a mix of Butane and Propane. The mixed fuel tends to work better at higher altitudes and heat quicker.
Along with these stoves, I pack a coffee pot in my truck tool box. You can use a coffee maker to help prepare a meal, boil water for drinking, or even just enjoy a cup of fresh Joe! Dutch oven cooking is another great way to prepare your meals without power.
I have Dutch ovens in three sizes and can cook full meals and desserts with them. They make the best biscuits you have ever tasted. These are fueled by charcoal briquettes or coals from a fire. You shovel coals under the oven and on top so it cooks from the top and bottom evenly. You can also get these Dutch ovens in aluminum if weight is an issue.
Another type of cook stove that I plan to add to my collection is a hobo stove, or can stove. Some are produced commercially and some are homemade. For step-by-step DIY instructions for your own can stove/heater, check out these instructions from DIY Ready.
They can be fueled by different sources. You can use candles, waxed cardboard, alcohol, or small twigs and sticks. These are great little stoves because they are light, and if you have the type that uses twigs and sticks, the fuel is easy to come by.
To create your own stove, you can follow the instructions from DIY ready, or follow this video for another method.
How To Build a Hobo Stove:
Because these primitive types of cooking are limited with burner space, planning your survival meals is another thing to consider. One-pot meals would be ideal in this case. If you are not familiar with these alternate types of cooking, I would suggest adding them to your survival kit and learn to use them. Don't wait until your life may depend on them. Cook meals outdoors now and it will feel more natural for you to use them when the need arises. Bon Appetite!