off grid cooking methods

Off grid cooking methods
Eight methods for cooking off the grid without power!

"Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice." - Henry Ford

Whether cooking indoors or outdoors, preppers must consider
available fuel sources. The more options to cook your food, the
better it is for your survival. Some cooking methods can also fuel
your electronic devices.

Preppers always have a contingency plan. This article focuses on
how to cook in an off-grid world. There are several prepper
methods for cooking off the grid.










Eight Off-grid Cooking Methods
Discover cooking with no power using a biomass, dutch oven,
solar oven, rocket stove, propane and gas stoves and more. Try
these methods...

Method #1: Wood/Biomass ovens and rocket stoves.
Rocket stoves today are amazing. With a few twigs you can fuel
your cellphone, heat your meal, purify water or warm up! With a
rocket stove, you'll use wood, biomass and charcoal, and there's
no gas or propane necessary.

  • Fire pit with a dutch oven. At the most basic level, preppers
    can dig a shallow trench for a fire to shelter the flames from
    wind. This is the pioneer method with which to cook foods.
    Fuel sources in a fire pit can be charcoal, wood or even dung!

  • Dutch Oven: Essential for this method of off-grid
    cooking is a dutch oven (a cast iron pot with a lid
    pictured left) to place on the fire pit. Use a dutch oven
    to cook pie, bread, cobblers, casseroles, baked beans,
    stew, cakes and more. Learn more about cast iron
    cookware by Lodge.

  • Reflector Oven: With a campfire reflector oven, you can
    bake using an open fire. It bakes by capturing radiant
    heat from an open fire and then reflects the heat
    towards your food. Pictured in green right, pioneers
    baked breads in this way. Scouts also appreciate this
    classic cooking method.

  • BioLite Wood Burning Campstoves. The BioLite wood
    burning camp stoves below power most USB-chargeable
    devices including smartphones. In about 20 minutes of
    charging with a strong fire they will give you about 60
    minutes talk time on most smartphones. During a full burn,
    the CampStove can boil 1 liter of water in as little as 4
    minutes and 30 seconds This CampStove weighs about 2 lbs.
    and is about the same size as a 1-liter Nalgene water bottle.
    Best of all, an internal starter battery helps kick-start the
    fire before the stove begins generating its own power. It's
    that easy! The Biolite Base camp, picture right, has output
    to charge your devices. Integrated 2200mAh Lithium ion
    battey stores energy to use later, even without a fire.
    Choose Biolite Base Camp stove for your bugout location.













  • EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove. Pictured right EcoZoom's
    Versa rocket stove offers the flexibility to cook with wood,
    charcoal, or solid biomass fuel in a rugged and durable
    design. A super-high efficiency portable cook stove, it has a
    fully insulated vertical combustion chamber forces gases to
    mix with flames when in use, decreasing harmful emissions
    while boasting tremendous fuel efficiency. The EcoZoom
    Versa is highly rated.

  • Grover Heavy Duty Rocket Stove. The ultimate prepper
    rocket stove is the Grover heavy duty rocket stove.  It solves
    the problem of cooking when your propane runs out, and you
    don't have large quantities of wood to devote to cooking. Of
    course you need some alternate source of combustible
    material. Wood works great but in conventional wood burning
    stoves you will waste a great deal of wood in heat energy
    that didn't go towards cooking the food. This Heavy Duty
    Grover Rocket Stove eliminated that problem entirely by
    allowing you to use small twigs, leaves, and pretty much any
    dry plant matter will do, such as weeds, dry sage brush, etc.

  • Kelly Kettle. If you are camping and want a convenient quick
    way to heat up your water for hydrating food, a cup of coffee
    or for personal use, the large Kelly Kettle (Base Camp) is an
    ideal solution. It will deliver about 7 cups of ho water in just
    a few minutes.  Backpackers and hikers love the Kelly Kettle
    for its light weight and natural fuel burning ability. Never
    worry about carrying heavy fuel in your backpack again. An
    essential element of any emergency preparedness plan is
    being able to obtain pure water, which the Kelly Kettle does
    brilliantly and effectively! Without access to other types of
    fuel such as gas or propane, it may be difficult to get pure
    water. Since the Kelly Kettle uses only natural fuels, in a
    disaster you most likely will still have access to ample
    natural fuel in order to boil and purify water for drinking,
    cooking and personal hygiene.

  • Solo Stove. Pictured right, the solo stove is the #1 wood-
    burning camping stove recommended by Backpacker
    Magazine and serious survivalists including Discovery
    Channel's Matt Graham. The Solo stove usses twigs, leaves,
    pinecones and wood as fuel, which eliminates the need to
    carry heavy, polluting and expensive canister fuels. Plus it
    boils water in as little as two minutes.















































  • Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove. An unbelievably cool cook
    stove,  the Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove takes either
    propane, charcoal, or wood! How's that for versatility?
    Designed in the USA, it's the tri-fuel capability which sets it
    apart from all other outdoor cooking options. This portable
    cook stove collapses to 5” and includes a storage bag. This
    is a highly popular cookstove with preppers.

    The Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove is hands down the  most
    popular camping stove of HappyPreppers.com readers judging
    by sales.



















  • VitalGrill Survival Stove. The VitalGrill Survival Stove picture
    below is eco-friendly. Use any Solid Biological Material
    Available as fuel: wood, paper, cardboard, twigs, straw,
    natural fibers, animal dung, any combustible waste, and also
    charcoal. Best of all, the VitaGrill Survival stove is designed
    to deliver life-saving heat in extreme situations.






















  • Woodgas Campstove LE. The Woodgas Campstove LE,
    pictured below the VitaGrill, burns wood pellets, twigs, pine
    cones, wood chips. This extremely efficient biomass cook
    stove takes advantage of a unique gasification technology to
    cleanly burn with very little smoke. It consumes as little as
    one tenth the amount of fuel compared to open pit fires for
    cooking.











Method #2:  Folding Stove / Hobo stove (with mixed fuel
options - charcoal, biomass, sterno, paraffin wax, Esbit fuel).
Some stoves offer a variety of fuel options. Below are stoves that
accept charcoal, a sterno or biomass as fuel sources:

  • Bushbox Outdoor Pocket stove. Pictured immediate right
    the bushbox Outdoor Pocket Stove, fits into any pocket multi-
    fuel, can be used with wood, organic matter, Trangia and
    fuel tablets.

  • Esbit folding stove. Esbit fuel tabs burn about 12 minutes
    each, more than enough to handle your cooking needs, like
    boiling water. The beauty of this system is that it's a
    compact stove made of durable galvanized steel that fits in
    your pocket. The stove set, pictured below with the included
    fuel tabs is around $10 and with available free shipping!

  • Tin can charcoal stove. You can configure a classic charcoal
    tin can stove from a #10 can in your preps. Also, called a
    hobo stove or a buddy burner, you'll need two sturdy wire
    screens, a roll-type can opener, a punch type can opener and
    wire for a handle, in addition to a #10 can. When you're
    done, you'll need just 3 or 4 charcoal briquettes to operate.
    Here's how to make a tin can charcoal stove.
  1. Remove the top and bottom of the can.
  2. Create circulation air holes with the punch type can
    opener.
  3. Make two holes on the top at either end, then tie a wire
    handle.
  4. Push one of the sturdy wire screens down the can to
    make a grate to keep charcoal near the top for cooking
  5. Place the other at the top to support pots.

    Many preppers have modified the tin can stove method:



  • Buddy Burner (noun). Also called a "Vagabond Burner," a
    buddy burner is a home made fuel source for cooking. A
    popular buddy burner is made with Paraffin wax that's melted
    and poured into a tuna can that's filled with rolled cardboard.
    The device is then placed underneath a ventilated coffee
    can, which serves as a stove to the buddy burner.


Method # 3 Sterno (alcohol) Stoves.
Sterno is a great beginning camper tool. It is best at heating
things up, or boiling water to make soup, and hot drinks like tea
and coffee. Sterno is a brand name. It has low heating power, so
you'll need more Sterno to cook a meal than with other times of
fuel. Even so, Sterno is a great way to get started in prepping.
Sterno is safer than liquid fuels and you'll find they are easy to
store and inexpensive,and fun! Sterno brand cooking fuel is non-
toxic, biodegradable and water soluble.

Can you use a sterno in an apartment in the event of an
emergency power outage? Yes! Sterno is a similar fuel used in
chafing dishes to keep casseroles warm in buffets and keeps the
fondue pot filled with melty cheese. Sterno Smores! Pictured left,
Left you'll see how you can roast marshmallows, in the best
Smores party idea ever!

  • Sterno Cooking Kit. Sterno brand cooking fuel is non-toxic,
    biodegradable and water soluble. The Sterno Kit is a good
    entry level option for cooking  outdoors when the power is
    out or for taking your first outdoor camping adventure.

  • Coghlan's Folding Stove (sterno, paraffin wax). Coghlan's
    Folding Stove, pictured right, is convenient and easy to use.
    It burns Coghlan's Camp Heat or any other type of canned
    fuel, such as a home-made paraffin wax fuel made from a
    tuna can. Try also fuel tablets! It folds nicely and is an ideal
    emergency cooking option.

Method # 4: Alcohol Stove (liquid).
With an alcohol stove, unlike the petroleum fuel options, you can
easily put out a fire with water! Alcohol stoves also have the
benefit of being lightweight. Unfortunately, fuels aren't as easy
to find as other fuels.

  • The Esbit Alcohol Stove & Trekking Cookset. The Esbit
    Alcohol Stove and Trekking Cookset, pictured right is made of
    extremely light, hard-anodized aluminum. While aluminum
    has its dangers, the lightweight and compact nature of this
    set makes it hard to pass. It will be a great addition to a
    bugout bag. You can't beat the deal. The set of cookware
    and stove is just $40!

Method #5: Charcoal Stove or Box Oven.
Cooking with charcoal briquettes is the classic backyard or park
cooking option. Another cooking method for charcoal is with box
oven. A box oven combined with charcoal can help you bake
cookies, cakes and pizza.

  • Basic Cardboard Box Oven:
  1. Wrap foil on inside of open box.
  2. Cut a view opening (box bottom).
  3. Place coals in the fire pit.
  4. Position four cans and a rack.
  5. Light the coals.
  6. Place your dish on the rack.
  7. Monitor cooking through window.


  • Coleman Box oven. Borrowing on the idea of the classic
    cardboard box oven is the Coleman box oven, pictured
    immediate left. Place the Coleman box oven, on top of a
    Coleman two- or three-burner stove, which provides all the
    heat you need to bake your favorite dishes. This oven would
    work also on a heat source such as charcoal, though it will
    get soot from the charcoal. The Coleman box oven looks like
    a mini safe, but it's actually a mini oven. Made of aluminized
    steel, you can bake batches of muffins, biscuits or rolls to
    enhance your outdoor cooking experience.

  • Envirofit Charcoal Stove. Envirofit makes the worlds most
    fuel efficient charcoal stove! Pictured right, the Envirofit
    Charcoal Stove has a 63% reduction in fuel consumption over
    traditional charcoal stoves. That's an important distinction
    for preppers. What's more, this stove is "carbon" friendly. It
    has the highest CO2 reduction of any stove on the market.






















  • Lodge Charcoal Grill: The Lodge Coal Grill, pictured right is
    a rugged, charcoal hibachi-style grill has two adjustable
    heights. A draft door regulates the heat. Ideal for anywhere
    you need a self contained cooking source. Coals are
    accessible behind a flip down door. It's seasoned and ready
    to use.

Method #6: Gas (Propane, Butane).

    Propane Stoves
    Propane is a dependable fuel at high altitudes and freezing
    temperatures; however, propane tanks are thick walled, so
    they are too heavy to carry in a backpack. Leave this kind of
    stove in your backyard or take it car camping.

  • Coleman Two-Burner Propane Stove (propane stove).
    Pictured in green is the Coleman Two-Burner Propane Stove.
    Coleman's PerfectFlow appliances regulate the pressure of
    the propane to provide a consistent cooking performance
    without flaring or flickering. The stove also provides
    windblock side panels. It runs on Coleman Liquid Fuel
    (propane) or even unleaded gasoline.

  • Coleman PerfectFlow InstaStart Grill Stove (propane
    stove), pictured in red, is a top seller and ships for around
    $77 and with free shipping. InstaStart technology means it's
    matchless - This stove packs 10,000 BTUs of cooking power!
    Coleman's PerfectFlow appliance regulates the pressure of
    the propane to provide a consistent cooking performance
    without flaring or flickering. It takes propane bottles. This
    steel grill offers two cooking surfaces to get that meal in
    those hungry stomachs in no time

  • Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven (propane stove and
    oven). Pictured immediate left, the Camp Chef Outdoor
    Camp Oven cooks for up to 5 hours on high heat with one 1-
    pound can of propane. Imagine baking fresh bread and
    cookies, pizza, lasagna and so much more. Certainly, this
    will be a morale booster in uncertain times, and you can
    enjoy it today camping!

  • Solaire Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill (propane
    grill). The Solaire portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill, uses 1
    pound propane cylinders (larger tank with optional adapter).
    This is luxury grill for your bugout location or backyard. The
    shipping weight is 27 pounds and it includes a carrying case,
    so technically it is a portable grill.


    Butane Stoves
    Butane does not do well in below freezing temperatures.  
    Like propane, butane stoves also come in pressurized tanks,
    but butane cartridges generally can't be refilled. And when
    the tank is low, it looses it's efficiency. Unfortunately,
    butane canisters are not always easy to find.

  • Ultralight butane stove. The ultralight outdoor camping
    stove is gas-powered (Butane Burner) and has an
    unbelievable price at around $8! It's an unbeatable price,
    and best of all it gets 1,328 4.5-Star customer reviews! It
    has a PIEZO ignition. (Does not include the gas base.)

  • GasOne GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove. Unlike gas stoves
    from other manufacturers, GS-3000 is CSA approved for
    safety and uses quality materials to meet higher standards.
    This stove uses standard 8oz butane canisters and features
    a piezo type electric starter with safety shut off system, so
    it does not require matches or lighters! Best of all, the
    GasOne stove, pictured immediate right, is around $28 with
    free available shipping.

  • Etekcity Collapsible Butane Stove: Designed with travel in
    mind, the Portable Windproof Butane Outdoor Stove by
    Etekcity, pictured in red, is constructed of water-resistant
    materials and intended to be used outdoors on camping trips
    or other outdoor activities. It was built to take a beating and
    to travel everywhere you do. Safe and easy to connect to a
    butane canister, the outdoor stove has a built-in electric
    spark ignition system and includes flame control. Flame
    control allows operators to change between a powerful flame
    and a lower intensity flame for ultimate control.

Method #7: Kerosene stoves (liquid paraffin).
On the positive side, fuel for a kerosene stove costs just a few
cents an hour to burn and this fuel does not evaporate quickly.
The bad part is that it smells, and because it doesn't evaporate
quickly, you'll have a residue if you spill.

  • Kerosene Cook and Canning Stove. Pictured in red,
    immediate right, the Kerosene Cook and Canning Stove holds
    more than 5 quarts of fuel, and burns up to 11 hours per
    tank. With adjustable heat output, this cook stove is great
    for cooking large meals and will even hold large canners.

Method #8: Solar ovens.
A solar oven (also sometimes called solar cooker) is made with
aluminum reflectors to bake foods using the sun's energy. Used
to either heat food or sterilize water, this outdoor cooking
method concentrates sunlight thereby converting light to heat,
and trapping heat. Solar cooking has been around for centuries,
but up to now, not many people have had the opportunity to try
cooking with the sun.

  • Global Sun Oven solar cooker. The Global Sun Oven cooker,
    pictured immediate left, is according to the manufacturer the
    world's most widely used solar oven. Using the most
    advanced materials, the Sun Oven takes all the hassles out
    of solar cooking to create the ultimate solar appliance. The
    sun oven can be used in the winter as well as summer. It
    has been used very successfully at below zero conditions at
    a base camp on Mt. Everest. Measures 19" x 19" with an
    average depth of 11". The total weight is only 21 pounds.
    You can bake bread, make cookies, pizza, muffins, or
    anything you could prepare using a conventional oven.

    Cook for free! Bakes, boils or steams any kind of food with
    the power of the sun. Absolutely no fuel needed, and there's
    no learning curve. Create your favorite recipes as you feast
    upon natural sun baked treats! Just like your home oven
    reaches temperatures of 360° to 400° F! A sun oven is
    totally safe. There's absolutely no danger of fire, and you'll
    never burn dinner again!

    Versatile, Easy-to-use, Portable as a Small Suitcase! Cooking
    in a SUN OVEN® is easy, fun, natural, and nutritious, while
    helping the environment.  Ideal for everyday use in your back
    yard, at picnics, while camping, or in the event of a power
    failure.

    Even though it is called an oven, food can be baked, boiled,
    and steamed at cooking temperatures of 360° F to 400° F.
    There is no movement of air in a SUN OVEN®, allowing food
    to stay moist and tender and flavorful. Sun-baked roasts are
    tastier and more succulent, and sun-baked bread has
    unparalleled taste and texture. The aroma of food sunning
    itself in a SUN OVEN® is sure to please your senses.
    Temperatures in a SUN OVEN® rise slowly and evenly,
    allowing complex carbohydrates time to break down into
    simple sugars, emanating subtle natural flavors. The even
    temperature of the SUN OVEN® prevents burning, so you do
    not need to stir your food while it is cooking.

    There are two ways to cook in a SUN OVEN®. If you refocus
    the oven to follow the sun every 25 to 30 minutes, cooking
    times and methods will be very similar to cooking with a
    conventional stove or oven. Or a SUN OVEN® can be used
    for slow cooking, much like a crock-pot. You can prepare your
    dinner, put it in the SUN OVEN®, point the oven where the
    sun will be approximately halfway through the time you will
    be gone. Leave, and come home to a tasty, slow-cooked
    dinner. If you run late, there is no need to worry; the SUN
    OVEN® will keep your food warm, moist, and fresh for hours.
























Cooking off Grid Prepper style!
You don't need an off-grid homestead, to cook off grid. Preppers
have several options for how to cook their food off grid whether it
be a fire pit, a  
solar oven; a wood / biomass stove (such as a
rocket stove or volcano oven); a hybrid wood biomass stove a
propane or gas stove; a
wood fired cast iron cookstove, or a pot
cooker fueled by a
generator. Your cookstove may also provide
heat for your abode! The Camp Chef Alpine Heavy Duty Cylinder
Stove, pictured in the bottom right hand corner of the page runs
on wood and will provide the comfort of heat.

Preppers always have a contingency plan for cooking with no
power using a fire pit / dutch oven, solar oven, rocket stove,
kerosene, propane and butane gas stoves, and more.

Happy endings...
Setting up your off-grid cooking is fun! Take your collection of
gear with you camping and enjoy baking, grillilng, frying, and
cooking over an open flame. The more you practice for fun, the
more confidence you'll have and less stress when disaster strikes.

Related articles...

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Portable Solar Oven
Sterno
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Coman Intsa Grill
Solar Box oven
Solar Combo oven - complete kit
Cooking wtih sunshine
Lodge camp grill
folding stove
Coleman mix fuel
heavy duty rocket stove by Grover
Classic box oven
Kelly Kettle
Biolite wood burning camp stove
Ecozoom rocket stove
Solo stove
Solo stove
Classic Reflector oven used by pioneers and scouts
Sterno smores
choose Biolite Base Camp stove for your bugout location
Biolite
Solo stove camp oven
Firebox
Volcano Oven
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