Tips For Cooking When The Power Goes Out
Can you use some tips for cooking when the power goes out? If you are lucky enough to have a gas stove in your kitchen, you will probably be okay. Do you sometimes get overwhelmed thinking about cooking devices to use after a disaster hits your neighborhood? You are not alone, I promise.
Let’s break this down by discussing each device I have personally used. These are all in my emergency preparedness preps stash located in my home and garage. I wanted to update this post so you are reminded of your options Before a disaster or unexpected event affects your location. Plan ahead and sleep better at night knowing you’re prepared.
During the winter months when we get heavy snow and ice storms, in the summer and fall when we experience those heavy winds, rains, and hurricanes, and just about any time during the year when earthquakes and tornados hit, different parts of the country go through periods when communities and your neighborhood are likely to lose power. We all need to plan ahead and have options available for cooking both indoors and outside. In case you missed this post, My Favorite Emergency Fuel To Store For Survival
Tips For Cooking
1. Butane Stove w/Butane Canisters
What Can I Cook On A Butane Stove?
I actually used a butane stove indoors for several weeks, along with a Sun Oven outdoors, while Mark and I waited for our gas line to be run for the gas stove in our kitchen to be installed. It worked great and I used very little fuel.
When I taught classes at specialty outlets, some of the stores had a butane stove for me to use. The instructions say to use them outside, I use mine inside with a window cracked nearby. Please use your own judgment when using yours if you decide to go in this direction.
You may remember me telling you I gave these stoves to each of our daughters for Christmas one year. Here’s the deal, they can cook any meal if they have fuel stored, which they do. Here’s one like mine: BUTANE STOVE
- Boil water.
- Scramble eggs.
- Chipped beef on bread.
- Grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Cook soup in a saucepan.
- Make coffee or tea.
- Cook anything you cook in a small to medium saucepan on your stovetop.
- Cook rice.
- Boil macaroni.
- You can cook just about anything out of a can if the pan fits on the burner.
What Fuel Do I Need?
- Butane BUTANE FUEL
- You can’t cook large pots.
- Cooking quick meals only.
- Once you run out of fuel you are done cooking with this unit.
- May have to use outside.
2. Kelly Kettle
What Can I Cook On A Kelly Kettle?
If you missed my post on how to use a Kelly Kettle, you may want to see it. It shows pictures of how to use it step by step. KELLY KETTLE TIPS You can boil water, and cook just about everything you can cook in a small saucepan. KELLY KETTLE
- Boil water.
- Cook soup.
- Heat anything you can fit in a small saucepan.
- Make coffee or tea.
- Fix a small meal.
What Fuel Do I Need?
- Wood chips
- Dried leaves
- Dried twigs
- Newspaper or magazines, mainly to get the fire started.
- It comes in a compact bag and takes up very little space.
- You can cook a meal quickly.
- Uses fuel that you can find just about anywhere for free.
- Heats up liquids easily and quickly.
- I hesitate to say it’s expensive because the one I bought came with a rocket stove, saucepan, plates, and cups.
- The only con would be you can only fix small meals.
3. Camp Chef Stove/Oven Combo
What Can I Cook In A Camp Chef Unit?
This is a great unit, I have seen it at Costco a few times for about $300.00, or so. I have taught several classes using one of these. Camp Chef Stove/Oven
- Bake bread, yes I have done that, it works great.
- Grilled cheese, if you get the griddle that goes on top.
- Pancakes, here again, if you buy the griddle.
- Cook on top of the stove with a small to a medium-size saucepan.
- I do not recommend canning on this unit (you need constant heat).
What Fuel Do I Need?
- Propane: please check the unit you purchase, it may only come with the smaller connect attachment for the small canisters. I highly recommend getting the larger tank connectors that go with it.
- Inexpensive to purchase.
- Cooks many types of meals.
- Once you run out of fuel, you are done cooking with this unit.
4. Lodge Dutch Oven
What Can I Cook In A Dutch Oven?
If you have one or more Dutch ovens you already know how versatile these gems are. These are probably the cheapest cooking device you can buy. Plus, it can be used to cook so many things. Be sure and check out thrift stores and garage sales for a used one. They are really easy to clean up. Lodge 6-Quart Dutch Oven
- Boil water
- Make biscuits
- Bake bread
- Make casseroles
- Great for breakfast casseroles
- Pineapple upside-down cake
- Cheesy potatoes
What Fuel Do I Need?
- Lump charcoal
- You can stack several Dutch ovens to cook several meals at once, if you have the ones with the lid as shown above.
- Can be used in your oven indoors, if desired.
- Can be used over an open fire when outdoors.
- If you have fire restrictions where you live, you may not be able to start a fire even in your fire pit (this happens where I live in Southern Utah). If you run out of fuel you are done cooking any meals.
5. Sun Oven
What Can I Cook In Sun Ovens?
This is a great cooking device, if you have sunshine at least 200 days a year. If you don’t have a great deal of sunshine I wouldn’t buy one. In Southern Utah, we average about 255 days of sunny skies each year. All American Sun Oven
- Boil pasta
- Any casserole
- Cheesy potatoes
What Fuel Do I Need?
- You can bake anything in a Sun Oven that you can bake in your conventional oven. If the pan fits, you can bake it in the Sun Oven.
- If there is zero sunshine outside, you will not be baking.
6. Camp Chef Two-Burner Stove
What Can I Cook On The Stove?
This is a great stove, even if you are cooking for a crowd. It’s like having your kitchen stove with two burners outside and ready to cook for the neighborhood. This is the stove that a lot of church groups use to cook for large crowds. You will see 4-6 of these going non-stop at breakfast parties. You may even see people flipping hamburgers at family reunions on one of these gems. CampChef Two-Burner Stove
- Pancakes (if you have a griddle)
- Grilled cheese (if you have the griddle)
- You can cook anything you cook on a griddle inside your home.
- You can use larger pots on one of these stoves.
What Fuel Do I Need
- It’s pretty inexpensive, even with a bag to keep it stored.
- Once you run out of propane it becomes useless.
What can I do if I have a natural gas oven in my kithen?
If you lose power, you can’t use your forced air natural gas furnace since the unit uses a fan to push the heated air around your home. But, you can use the natural gas stove in your kitchen since it just requires the gas to heat the oven, and unless you want to use the “convection” feature on your stove, no fan is used.
Note, you will need a match, lighter, or other flame sources to start the burners on top and oven since the igniter needs electricity to work.
Be careful when lighting the natural gas stove. Don’t turn on the gas without knowing where to light the unit, whether the stovetop or oven, and don’t let the gas run for more than a few seconds without a flame or you could experience a large flame or explosion.
I hope today’s post on tips for cooking when the power goes out helps you understand a few ways you can cook when your power goes out for days, weeks, or months. We can do this if we prepare before an event hits our city or neighborhood. It’s all about having the cooking device and the proper fuel for each unit before the power goes out. We can do this, I promise. May God bless this world, Linda
14 thoughts on “Tips For Cooking When The Power Goes Out”
A lot of folks have been commenting that their gas appliances no longer will light without electricity. I’m not sure why but plan on looking into it.
I’ve got a propane and butane stove and a little oven attachment that goes over the butane. I usually fire up the BBQ grill.
There are options with a fireplace or simple fire pit too.
The oven looks cool. I’ve got a nice camper that I can use as well sitting in the backyard. It’s plan B anyway because it’s somewhat self sufficient with the battery bank/solar panels, generator option, propane heat, water heater and gas stove.
Those butane stoves you show are very nice to have for sure
Hi Matt, that’s right you showed me the oven over the butane stove, as I remember. That’s a great idea. If you find the picture, email it to me, I need to add it to the post. Having a camper is a blessing, in my opinion. It’s one more option to preparedness. Great comment as always. Linda
I’ve never heard of a Kelly Kettle before. I’ll have to look into it more. Thanks for all the info!
Hi Lisa, I just shared the post on the Kelly Kettle. It’s really a great option for cooking outside. Linda. https://www.foodstoragemoms.com/kelly-kettle/
Thank you- what a great article on them—the pictures really help you see how it works. I was thinking it was just for boiling water but I see you can cook on top of it too. I’m definitely putting that on my list! I’ve got to get one now!
Hi Lisa, I love pictures, this is why I take a lot of pictures to show my readers. It helps me understand how to use items when I see images. Linda
I love cast iron cookware. I have found some really nice ones in thrift stores – some didn’t even look used.
My advice when looking at thrift stores or yard sales for cast iron:
1) know what cast iron costs new. Some people will try to sell you an “antique” but cast iron doesn’t wear out so even if a pan or oven is 100 years old, it is probably not any more valuable than one you purchase new.
2) when looking at the used cast iron, don’t worry too much about rust. That can be cleaned off and the pan re-seasoned. What you really want to look at is the surface in general – is it deeply pitted? any visible cracks? if you see either of those, leave them there. It is way too hard to season a pitted pan and cracks are virtually non-repairable (at least to most of us).
Looking at the above, you can then judge whether or not you want to put in the work on used cast iron or if you want to spend a bit more and get new.
My daughter was taking out the family’s trash bin one day a year or so back, saw a man with a cast iron skillet in his hand ready to put it in his trash bin. She asked if she could have it. He gave her the pan and she says it is the best one they have! She only needed to clean it up and re-season it. Best way to get cast iron.
Also, be aware that there are 2 different kinds of dutch ovens – the flat bottomed kind that work really well on top of the stove and in the oven AND the “camp” dutch oven which has 3 legs and a rimmed flatish lid. The camp DO is very versitile in a powerless cooking situation as you can hang it over a camp fire to cook soups and such as well as put hot coals underneath and on top of the lid to bake in. I currently have 3 camp DOs – 12 inch, 10 inch and 8 inch. I can cook in all of them by stacking them on top of each other!!
Hi Leanne, that reminds me I need to add those tips about the oven and the outdoor ones with legs. I have both as well. I also have a red ceramic DO that can only be used indoors not over a fire. Great reminder, I love the ones that we can stack. What a treasure your daughter found!! I have purchased some great used ones and left some not-so-good ones at the thrift store. Great comment! Linda
Re. gas stoves–mine does have an electric “starter,” but if the power is out it will still start with a match or other flame. (I do have a hard time starting the oven, though!)
One book I’d highly recommend for cooking “old-style” is Dorothy Hartley’s “Food in England.” It’s actually a social-historical look at food, but there are excellent descriptions and diagrams of various ways to cook, indoors and outside, the way our ancestors did. If you have a fireplace, you can cook *something.* If you can pile up some rocks or logs, or dig a hole, or use an existing fire-pit (assuming any of those is legal), you can cook, too. That Dutch oven or “witch’s cauldron” comes in handy.
Also pays to look up rocket stoves. You can buy them ready to use, but I’ve also seen direction on how to make them using cans of various sizes. Supposedly you can easily heat up something like soups or stews (smallish amounts) using only small fuel.
Hi Rhonda, I can use a match with my gas stove, I wouldn’t try lighting the oven, I’m too scared to risk it. It’s just me. I like the rocket stoves, I have a few, but I like the heavier duty ones. Yes, they use less fuel which is awesome. I will look into that book, thanks for the tip. Linda
I have been seriously considering one of these: https://www.deadwoodstove.com/
It is a heavy duty rocket stove made right here in Victoria, Texas, where my parents lived in from 1970 until they passed away. It is a little pricey, but extremely well made. Just haven’t dropped the hammer on the purchase since I have so many other options for cooking after the SHTF. See what you think. It might be an option for some.
Hi Harry, I have one very similar to it. It’s in my storage unit until I get my small home built. It’s taking longer than expected to get the house plans, etc. I like the looks of this one, it looks extra sturdy and easy to fill the fuel. I think it’s a great option for the price. I love stuff like this! Linda
Right now it has been so cold here for the last 2 weeks, if I did have a sun oven, I would be in it!!! We have a whole house generator connected to natural gas, plus we have a natural gas connection for our grill. I realize none of that matters if we need to vacate, but our son is 5 minutes away and has a motor home so hopefully he would welcome us, just in case. I admire everyones preparation, while praying to God, none of it is necessary.
Hi Chris, I pray our preparation isn’t necessary every day. But, I can see the writing on the wall. Having a Sun Oven will help you and so will that nice motorhome your son has! It’s all about being prepared before we need to be. Linda