Getting emergency food and other long-term food storage is essential to survival. However, what are your options for emergency cooking?
Some emergency food doesn’t require cooking or other preparation. But most long-term storage food requires some kind of preparation, even it’s just adding water.
If your gas or electric stove isn’t working (no electricity) how will you boil the water for your oatmeal or meal that requires you to “just add hot water”?
There are a number of options, too many to discuss, but they can be summarized into three broad categories: home, camping, and backpacking. In this article we'll look at general emergency cooking options.
Emergency Cooking Options
Assuming you don't have alternate electrical power for an electric range, or working natural gas for a gas stove, there are some options for emergency cooking at home. Keep in mind the camping and backpacking cooking options are completely viable for at use at home. The home options are generally those which can't be transported, or which wouldn't be practical to take from the home in an emergency.
Some of the more popular considerations for at-home emergency cooking are propane or charcoal bar-b-que grills. Propane tanks are fairly safe to use and, as long as they remain undamaged, can last for years.
Some homes have fireplaces, wood stoves, or an outdoor fire pit. These options are generally not portable, but they should not be neglected in being prepared at home.
One of the options we have is charcoal. If you have a charcoal stove (or fire pit) you can easily store bags of charcoal—just make sure the charcoal stays dry. The great thing about charcoal is, as long as it's dry, it has a very long shelf-life.
If you have an alternate cooking source at home, such as a wood stove, make sure you have plenty of fuel for it.
Don't rely on a single source for emergency cooking
Large camping stoves often attach to a 20-pound propane tank. There are smaller camp stoves, with smaller fuel tanks. And propane isn't the only fuel option. There are stoves that use liquid and gas fuel. Some stoves use mixes or have dual or tri-fuel options.
The main feature of these stoves are they can be easily packed into a vehicle, but they are too bulky to take with you if you’re on foot. These camping stoves are great options for home preparedness, and if you need something to take in a vehicle with you during an evacuation.
The backpacking category are all the smaller, lightweight stoves than can be easily packed into a backpack.
Other alternative cooking options that can be used in an emergency include:
- Candle warmers
- Chafing dishes
- Fondue pots