5 Ways to Have a Hot Meal When the Power Goes Out
Learning how to accomplish emergency or survival cooking can be quite helpful in power outage situations. Especially when the weather is cold, hot meals can help warm up the entire body.
But, how exactly can you cook your meals when there’s no electric power? Should you power your electric stove with a generator? If you do so, you will be allocating resources unwisely and wastefully. This is because the power consumption rate when stove and microwave are involved is high. There are more practical and economical ways to prepare hot meals for your family even when there’s no electric power.
Here are some great options to ensure you treat your family with a hot meal when power goes out;
#1: Propane Grill – Exterior Use Only
Do you know that a propane grill can serve dual purpose? It can be your mainstay for summer party and at the same time serve as your backup cooker when there’s no source of power for your electric stove. But, as indicated above, it is for only exterior use.
So, as long as the weather is friendly, you can grill hot foods for your family at the backyard or other external spots at your home. You also need to have an extra propane container ready.
Important: Make sure your propane cylinder stays outside always, and in an upright position, and in a safe spot. The unsafe or wrong places to store propane cylinder include close to combustible materials, garage, or inside the house. Also, keep your propane cylinder protected from rust, to avoid the possibility of cylinder failure.
#2: Portable Cooking Bags --- Self-Heating Meals
Food packaging that comes with built-in heating element is a very simple technique for making hot meals available when there’s power outage. In fact, it is one of the simplest methods of cooking in times of emergency.
Wondering how it works? A simple shake, snap or twist causes a chemical reaction to take place in some parts (e.g. the bottom) of the food packaging. Consequently, the heat produced makes the food inside the package warm. This option is available in some Meals Ready to Eat (MREs). If you are an organic food enthusiast, you should ask if there are organic/natural options with this method.
The portable cooking bags for camping are another option in this category. Using this method, you can prepare hot meals when power is out by heating your preferred food in a pouch that has been heated chemically.
#3: Charcoal Grill
Indeed, grilling your food is a handy way to prepare food without depending on electricity. And, charcoal grill is suitable for home cooks and even adds delectable, smoky taste to your food. Just like propane grill, just bear in mind that you will be doing the cooking outdoors.
Grilling is a fun way to cook in times of emergency. You can even turn it to a family fun-fare right at the backyard of your home. But, you should think of buying a cylindrical chimney starter instead of using the regular starter fluid. Your cooking may take longer time with a charcoal grill.
#4: Folding Camp Stove
A mini folding camping stove can come handy and help out when you need to prepare hot meals without depending on electricity. This option is used with canned fuel. One of the desirable features of this source of emergency cooking is easy storage --- the stove folds flat.
Basically, these stoves are built to provide a flatter and huge surface for cooking. The mini folding stoves fit over a round, small fuel container’s top --- the container could be liquid canned fuel or Sterno.
However, cooking a meal from the scratch is not so practical with this method. These stoves are best suited for reheating or warming, since heating output is limited. Another desirable feature is that you can use this emergency cooking option either inside or outside.
#5: Butane Stove
The most suitable for emergency cooking is the portable option that does not need the butane cylinder to function. In addition to being quite handy indoors, you can also take it to just anywhere you have need for emergency cooking or outdoor cooking. Unlike the folding camp stove, the butane stove can cook a meal from the scratch since it generates sufficient heat. You can use it to cook or heat food inside.
But the downside is the high cost of butane canisters, plus the amount of fuel they can hold is limited.
So, go ahead and make your choice of emergency cooking method when power is out.
About the author: Annabelle Short is a housewife based in Alabama. She's a mother of two. In her free time, she likes to go fishing. Her husband is a hunter. She has been working freelance for several years and would like to start home-based food business.