7 Ways To Cook When You Lose Power

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Today it’s all about 7 ways to cook when you lose power. Yes, we will all lose power at some time or another. It may be a day, three days, three weeks or three months. I told you a few days ago I hired a professional photographer to take pictures of some of my preparedness items so I don’t have to haul them when I speak or teach classes. The pictures are large so people in the back of the room can see them. I also had her make a slide show. I’m not real keen on power point presentations, but one group requested one, so I will use that one this week. You may know September of every year is National Preparedness Month, so September is always a busy month for me. Please feel free to share these tips with other people so they can be prepared when they lose power.

Here’s the deal, there may some items today you can use and some you will not be able to use, for instance, the Sun Oven. If your location has limited sunshine you would not want to purchase a Sun Oven, it needs a lot of sunshine. Here in Southern Utah, I think we have close to 350 days of sunshine a year, it’s a perfect place to use one year-round. Here are my favorite cooking devices when we lose power.

Cooking Items When You Lose Power

Sun Oven


No fuel required, only sunshine is needed. You can bake anything in a Sun Oven that you can bake in your conventional oven if you can get the Sun Oven up to the temperature required to bake your meal. I gauge my cooking around 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. I have the most consistent sunshine during this time period where I live. No special recipes are required, if the pan fits inside the Sun Oven, you can bake it. It will pay for itself very quickly because you need zero fuel to cook a meal.


It won’t work without adequate sunshine. Make sure you use glass baking pans or dark pans. Shiny pans will reflect the heat away from the item being baked. It will not fry chicken, actually, it will only bake, it will not fry anything. You can use other cooking devices if you want to fry some food. Some may think it’s a bit pricey, but you may want to consider buying the Sun Oven without any accessories. If you have pans that fit inside the oven you don’t need to buy the package that includes baking pans.

Volcano Stove


The great thing about a Volcano Stove is the fact that you can use wood, charcoal, and propane. Please check if you decide to buy one because there are two different adaptors for using the Volcano Stove. The unit will come with either the small propane canister adaptor or the large propane tank adaptor. I have both, but I prefer using the large adaptor. So, just check on the package to see which size comes with the one you are purchasing. I love buying things I can use for emergencies like when we lose power or if we go camping.

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Mine came with a zippered bag and other handy items, but the fuel fits compactly inside the larger heavy duty bag if you want more options for transport and storage. This is a perfect camping item because you can cook on top of the picnic table if it’s sturdy. Adaptor for Volcano Stove


The Volcano Stove must be used outside because it uses propane, wood, and charcoal.  I guess it’s really not a con, but I want to make sure you realize it’s perfect for cooking outside only. Some people may think they are a bit pricey, but I see it this way, it can use three different types of fuel. Until you run out of fuel this is a great stove.

Thermal Cooker


It uses very little fuel, once you bring the food to a boil (I use a butane stove) using the inner pan for four full minutes, then quickly put it in the outside Thermal Cooker and lock it closed. It now becomes like a slow cooker. Please do not put frozen food in this gem, it will not defrost AND cook the food. You don’t need any particular recipe because it works similar to a slow cooker. It’s great for frying sloppy joes and it will keep them warm for 4-6 hours, after the four full minutes of boiling. You can make chili as you do now with cooked beans, fried meat and bring it to a boil for four full minutes. Place the inner pan inside the outer thermal cooker, set and forget. It will keep it warm for 4-6 hours.

Bonus, if you make a salad, place the salad inside the inner pan and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, place the inner pan inside the thermal cooker and lock it closed. It will keep your food cold for 4-6 hours. Perfect for family reunions.

It’s perfect for ball games, busy families and traveling. It uses very little fuel. I love it for traveling and for those times we lose power.


Do not use a tough piece of meat because it may still be tough after you use a thermal cooker. I have a friend, Kendra, who made a small pork roast that turned out delicious. But it was a small roast and she added potatoes, carrots, and onions. She covered it with liquid to within one-inch of the top of the thermal cooker. You need some type of stove (I use a butane one) to bring the roast, carrots, potatoes, and onions with some liquid to a boil for four full minutes. Then place the inner pan inside the outer thermal cooker and lock it shut. Buy tender meat, just giving you the heads-up here. It will be cooked in 4-6 hours.

Kelly Kettle


I love my Kelly Kettle because you can use twigs, dry leaves or pine cones to cook with this awesome stove outside. The fuel is practically free if you have some pine cones near where you live. I store them in buckets. It boils water and food very quickly. Mine came with a bag that I can use to store it.


I have to give a con only because you can only use it outside. It will not hold a heavy pan on top, it would be a little unstable. But, you can make small pans of soup or boil water within minutes, literally.

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Butane Stove


I like my Butane Stove because I use it indoors. I’m a Nervous Nellie, so I crack a window. Now, the box on some butane stoves says they must be used outside. Please refer to the instructions on the one you purchase. I taught so many classes inside stores with a butane stove and every thing was fine. Just use your own judgment. I gave all four of my daughters one of these so in case they lose power they can still boil water or cook a meal. Butane Fuel


I love these so the only con I can give it is once you run out of fuel, you can no longer cook a meal. I used one canister of butane for six weeks, cooking one meal a day. Now I only cooked food for two, so keep that in mind.

Camp Chef Stove/Oven


The positive thing for this stove/oven combo is I can make pancakes, bake bread and boil water all with one unit. Keep in mind I use only the large adaptor for the larger tanks of propane. The oven will hold a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan, perfect for lasagna or your favorite casserole.


The only con would be if you run out of propane you cannot use the stove/oven combination.  No fuel, no cooking or baking.

Lodge 6-quart Dutch Oven


You can bake bread, biscuits or make just about any recipe you want if you have charcoal stored. You can boil water, make soups, and make a peach cobbler, to name a few of my favorites. I buy charcoal briquettes without lighter fluid because they will store indefinitely if stored in air tight containers. I prefer a Lodge 6-quart Dutch Oven because they are not as heavy for me to carry or move as an eight-quart Dutch oven.


If you run out of fuel, you can’t bake or cook anything.

I hope today’s post gives you a few tips on how to cook when you lose power, there are many other ways as well. These are my favorites I wanted to show you today. May God bless you and your family to be prepared for the unexpected.

My favorite fuels by Linda

Survival food storage by Linda

Prepare Your Family For Survival by Linda

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  1. sandra mccollum says:

    with a dutch oven you can also use it over a fire and put hot ambers over the top just like charcoal so you can use it all the time

  2. I love my thermal cooker. One of the best inventions, I have found. I also use my wood stove to cook on, in the winter.

  3. What size Thermal cooker do you recommend? And is Saratoga Jacks the best or are other brands comparable? It’s just me but I hope to have a family someday, would it be silly to buy a small only to get a bigger one later? Also what are your thoughts on Rocket stoves? They seem similar to the Kelly Kettle as they use twigs, pine cones, etc but the one’s I’ve found on line look heavy duty and can tolerate a pan ontop. I have a big pine tree in the back yard so that makes it easy to get fuel.

    Also off topic, what do you use to cover /wrap your home made portable washing machine. I finally got two made but don’t know what to cover it with to store in my garage so bugs don’t get in it. And along with that I want to make the homemade laundry detergent and ran across another recipe that has more then yours and wanted to get your thoughts. I”m not sure I need the extra ingredients so wanted your opinion. 76 ox box borax, 3lb washing soda, 4lb baking soda, 60 ox BIZ detergent booster, 2lb Foca and 3.5lb Oxyclean. it makes about 20lbs of laundry detergent.

    Thanks for all the awesome posts. I’m slowly working on adding things to my storage.

    • Hi, Kimmy, I would recommend the larger thermal cooker because you can fill it with more or and it has a better latch. I bought a Saratoga Jacks Thermal cooker only because I got a discount at the store I was teaching classes. I have since seen several thermal cookers that look exactly the same and almost half price. I taught a class last night in fast and the stores here in Southern Utah sells an off brand and I would buy it. I love my Kelly Kettle for boiling water or making a cup or two of soup. if you put a pan on top it would tip. But some of the sets come with a rocket stove, so you score two stoves in one. As far as the recipe for the detergent, I have never heard of Foca. It sounds awesome if you don’t have to grate the bars of soap! LOL! That’s the hardest part. I forgot to mention last night I saw a rocket stove, I guess you could call it that, but I have never seen one that sturdy. It’s stronger than anyone I have ever seen. I better go get one so people can see them. It has a small plate on top for heating just a cup of cocoa, water or coffee. The stove is small but extremely well made. You can even put small pieces of two by fours through a slot. It can hold a large pot as well. The bags I buy to store my stuff in I buy on Amazon or Bed Bath and Beyond. I get two different sizes, one for two sweaters and the larger ones I store my emergency toilets and 72-hour kits. If you can see a know on my portable washer 6-gallon buckets those are clear 33- gallon garbage bags I can tie around them to keep them dust free. I’ll let you know about the stove, Linda

  4. Thanks so much for your quick response Linda. I’ve been working through your book and trying to get more prepared. I love your idea of storing items in the garage because in Vegas there is not alot of room inside , no basements and it is hot outside.
    Thank you so much for the book and all your amazing posts, it’s an ongoing effort but I think I have a good start on my water and food, working on cooking methods (I have a sun oven, Dutch oven, 2 burner camp stove, and a small backpacker cooker that just boils water) I’ve started my first aid kit, have a commode chair and a portable toilet and now working on laundry stuff already have the portable washers. So chipping away trying to check mark off more areas.
    Thanks for the inspiration and knowledge!

  5. Tomas Thumb says:

    learning to use a thermos to cook items like rice, beans, etc. just a thought

  6. Dr.Pat Howden says:

    Kindest Regards – Dinah & Dr.Pat Howden. At 84, I’m somewhat phone-deaf so I prefer E: dhowden78@hotmail.com
    Also try our 1-word GOOGLE: DRPATSAWESOMELIBRARY, 2nd page of result shows FREE Library access + download. Includes our 4,849 FREE Inventions & Discoveries in many fields; formerly countless were patented…
    You can never solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that caused the problem. – A.Einstein. By implication; nor by any thinking that knowingly ignores the problem, or suppresses efforts to solve it.

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