How to Use a Grill as an Emergency Cooking Option

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Have you ever been put in an emergency situation where the power was out for a few days and you didn’t have the option of preparing warm meals for your family? Or maybe you’ve never been put in that situation, but it’s one you’ve given some thought to in the past? So today, let’s talk about how to use a grill as an emergency cooking option. 

Please replace your old grill cleaners if the wire brushes are bent, they may break off in your food. Swallowed Bristles Article Replace as needed: Weber Grill Scraper

Using a Grill as an Emergency Cooking Option 

The good news is, you can use the grill that is sitting in your backyard to prepare your meals in the meantime. Most people have them, and they are just as easy to use as the burner on top of your kitchen stove. And don’t think for a minute that you have to be limited to eating your typical everyday grilling food. There are so many different types of food that you can slap on the grill that you may have never thought about. Here’s how to use a grill properly as an emergency cooking option.

What You Can Cook Outside

  • Foil dinners (foil greased, add a piece of meat, some sliced onions, potatoes, chopped carrots, salt, and pepper) wrap in two layers of foil, roll the ends to keep the juices from running out. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on how thin you sliced the vegetables.
  • Boil water
  • Grill meat
  • Corn on the cob (in foil)
  • Zucchini
  • Grilled pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Pizza: In case you missed my BBQ pizza post: Make Pizza Dough In Minutes

Charcoal Grill-For Outside Use Only

How to Use a Grill as an Emergency Cooking Option

Maybe it’s just my humble opinion, but charcoal grills make your food taste so much better than a gas grill, but the downside to them is that they take longer to heat up and cook your food. That, and they aren’t as convenient to use when you’re only making a smaller portion of food. But if you happen to own a charcoal grill, it will certainly handle the job during your emergency situation. In case you missed my My Favorite Emergency Fuels To Store For Survival

Just remember that you should never bring a charcoal grill into your home or inside a closed garage no matter your emergency situation. The carbon monoxide that is released has the possibility of killing you even when you can’t smell it. Also, keep your grill away from combustible materials that can make your current disaster that much worse.   

If you plan on using this cooking method, I’d encourage you to spend a little extra by purchasing a Weber Cylinder Chimney Starter. This tool will allow you to start a fire to your briquettes without having to use lighter fluid. Just remember that you’ll need to plan for an extra 20 to 30 minutes for your charcoal grill to heat up before grilling.  

Propane Grill-For Outside Use Only 

How to Use a Grill as an Emergency Cooking Option

When you’re in an emergency situation and limited with your options as far as cooking methods are concerned, your propane grill will also do the trick. Propane grills prepare your food much quicker than the charcoal option. They are super easy to cook with and most people already know how to use them. 

If your gas/propane barbecue has a “stovetop” mini stove on the side, that’s a bonus. It’s better to boil water or cook a can of beans on the smaller stove than using the grill section because less fuel will be used due to the concentrated heat that’s generated.

But just like the charcoal grill, propane grills should never be used indoors, because doing so may cause bodily harm, or even death. Unfortunately this can make this cooking method difficult, especially if you are dealing with flooding conditions or a wintery blizzard outside. 

Be sure to keep an extra propane tank or two set aside for emergency situations that go on for an extended period of time. Your propane tanks should be kept in an upright position and should never be left in your home or the garage. Combustible materials are another thing that you should look out for.

It’s also important if you do decide to store extra propane tanks, that you make sure that the tank does not begin to rust. This can cause a malfunction and possibly cause bodily harm. 

Oh, and one last note about propane grills. This type of grill produces a clean fire that unfortunately often forfeits some of the flavors you enjoy. To help with this, consider grilling using flavored wood chips that will add delicious flavor and aromas. Now you’ll be a true grill master during an emergency and your family will be thankful and amazed at your grilling expertise.  

Final Word

When a disaster strikes, limitations always seem to follow. When the power is out and it’s impossible to prepare a warm meal for your family, remember that the propane or charcoal grill you have sitting out back is one small way you can regain some much-needed normalcy and comfort. 

But don’t continue to limit yourself by simply cooking hotdogs, hamburgers, and one or two other different meats. Here’s a list of surprising foods that you can throw on the grill to broaden your grilling horizon.  Please keep prepping, we must. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Black BBQ Deposit photos_77684414_s-2019

10 thoughts on “How to Use a Grill as an Emergency Cooking Option

  • June 9, 2020 at 7:39 am
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    Corn can also be cooked directly on the grill if you leave the husk on. Plenty of recipes online, but an easy one is at https://www.thegunnysack.com/how-to-grill-corn-on-the-cob-with-the-husks/

    And for folks with smokers that don’t require electricity you can cook anything you’d put in the oven in the smoker, as long as you don’t mind a bit of smoke flavor or if your smoker is propane powered you can skip the wood chips and hence the smoke. I have a Masterbuilt smoker with Thermotemp and while it only goes from 175F up to 300F it’s as big as my oven so I can fit a lot of food in there if I need to and I have the option of using smoke or skipping it. And it uses a lot less propane than the grill.

    Thanks for all these great articles. Timely given how active the hurricane season has been already….

    Reply
    • June 9, 2020 at 11:42 am
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      Hi DMWalsh, now I want to buy some corn on the cob and grill it on the BBQ! Those smokers look awesome, I may have to look into one very soon! Stay safe, Linda

      Reply
      • June 9, 2020 at 11:56 am
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        Nothing better than some chicken leg quarters that have been brined overnight then smoked at 225F for a few hours. We’ve used apple chips and cherry chips for the smoke so far and both are delightful. So if you have the room for one, it’s well worth adding to your outdoor cooking tools.
        Only problem I had was that the cover for it wasn’t as waterproof as it should be. I “fixed” that by using a contractor trash bag over the top of the smoker section held down by a bungee cord, and then put the cover over that with another bungee cord to hold it in place.

        Reply
        • June 9, 2020 at 7:23 pm
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          Hi DMWalsh, the brand you have is now on my wish list! I have always wanted a smoker!! I love your tips and can almost smell the chicken legs!! Love it! Linda

          Reply
  • June 9, 2020 at 11:56 am
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    I’ve got 70lbs of charcoal and a chimney starter and 2 containers of fluid stored in a large trash can in the shed. I’ve got the propane grill and several hundred pounds of propane. They are just a few of my methods to cook. I find the propane tanks at garage sales then exchange them.

    Reply
    • June 9, 2020 at 7:22 pm
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      Hi Matt, I love hearing how prepared you are, but you know by now I have a LOT of respect for your skills and knowledge! Great comment! Linda

      Reply
  • June 9, 2020 at 12:18 pm
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    Several years ago, my husband, daughter and I moved and had no electricity until the power company could come out to check the hook ups and approve them! We had no option other than living in the house with no electricity! It was like this for 3 weeks! What a thing!! So, a neighbor allowed us to have a heavy duty drop cord to power our refrigerator and a garden hose to get water but that was the extent of our needs being met! We did have a camp toilet that my husband took to the nearby RV park to empty daily.

    So, we had a propane grill that every morning, we made coffee, heated water so I could “shower” to get ready for work, and to cook our meals. It was a real trial but those 3 weeks went by rather quickly and we survived! I no longer have a grill of any sort – not allowed where I live now. But, I do have a camp stove (butane) and can cook and heat water to wash with. I have a stash of butane bottles but I am thinking of getting a propane camp stove and propane in the event that we lose power for an extended period of time and the rules will go out the window!!

    Reply
    • June 9, 2020 at 7:26 pm
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      Hi Leanne, oh the long electrical cord, we had to do that with a neighbor once!! We were waiting for the city to approve the hookups as well. Yes, indeed the rules go out the window in case of an emergency! Great comment! Three weeks is a LONG time!! Linda

      Reply
  • June 9, 2020 at 10:22 pm
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    Here’s a tip that I figured out to use my smoker on cold and windy days. In order to retain the heat level I use a welder’s blanket to insulate the smoker drum. The welder’s blanket is made of fiberglass and is very flame retardant. Just use gloves to protect your hands. These blankets are available at Harbor Freight in various sizes at reasonable prices

    Reply
    • June 10, 2020 at 8:08 am
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      Hi Chuck, oh I love hearing this! I want a smoker so bad!! My son-in-law is a welder, great tip on the welder’s blanket! I love Harbor Freight, we have on where I live. Thanks for the tip! Linda

      Reply

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