Posts tagged: emergency cooking

Indoor Emergency Cooking Tips

Here we are with a new round of emergency cooking tips. This time we’ll cover the indoor cooking instruments and techniques.

The first thing you need to take into consideration is the heating source. If a power outage occurs, you can use a propane stove, NEVER something based on charcoal. Why? Because burnt charcoal releases a great amount of carbon monoxide that could poison you and your family.

But here’s the #1 safety rule: whatever you use for cooking, always keep a window cracked open all throughout the process, so you make sure no toxic gas harms you or your kids. Always cook in well-ventilated areas, only with indoor cooking tools (never on outdoor grills or camp stoves). Open doors and windows when you’re finished at let the air circulate for at least 30 minutes.

To get familiar with cooking without electricity, you can even replace your electric cooktop with a gas unit, so as long as you have gas, you can cook.

It’s not very complicated, but you have to keep one thing in mind: if a major disaster crashes buildings down, gas will most likely be shut down, to avoid any leakage. So the best solution is to get a regulator that also handles propane and stock some alternative fuel to use when there’s no gas.

You can also use Sterno Fuel, which is made of jellied petroleum. It’s perfectly safe to use indoors and it’s easily ignited with a match. So make sure you’ve always got matches around, preferably kept in an airtight bag.

Now let’s move on to the next thing on the list: how do you keep items fresh after the power outage begins?

First of all, try to keep your fridge and freezer closed as much as you can. Make a list of everything you need for cooking and get everything out at once. If you don’t open the fridge more than once, it can keep food cold for up to 6 hours. Afterwards, you’ve got just 2-4 hours left to cook everything… or move the items into a cooler, with lots of ice.

A freezer can normally keep food cold for up to 48 hours. But keep some towels under it, as the ice will start to melt and leak on the floor. Also, you can wrap your fridge and freezer in blankets to keep it cold longer. Sounds weird, I know, but it actually works.

My advice is to get an instant-read food thermometer, to make sure the food is still safe for eating. If the thermometer shows above 40 degrees, you should seriously question whether you should eat the food or not.

But it’s better to always be extra cautious and throw out what’s not perfectly safe. A ride to the hospital isn’t worth all the food in the world. Also, when the power comes back, clean your fridge and your freezer thoroughly to keep away bacteria.

One last tip: write down easy emergency cooking recipes and keep them in your pantry, close to your stockpile. Keep your cooking tools in there, too. This will make things easy for you, cause you’ll know exactly what foods and tools you need while you’re in the pantry.

And to make it even easier, next time I’ll start posting The Delicious Emergency Recipe Of The Week. So come back for a collection of the simplest, tastiest recipes you can make with your survival food.

Emergency Cooking Equipment For Survival

Cooking Equipment

If you’re preparing for crisis, then you should know that stockpiling is just part of the equation. Having a pantry crammed with survival food is great, but there are other crucial things you should take into consideration.

For example: if some kind of a disaster strikes tomorrow and you’ll be forced to live off your stockpile in extreme conditions… would you have everything you need to cook nutritious, healthy meals for your family?

Even if you’re 100% certain you’ve got it all in place and ready to be used in case of emergency, there are many things you may have forgotten about. And that’s perfectly normal. After all, you’re not an absolute survival guru and you don’t have the memory of an elephant.

So let’s take one crucial step at a time, so you can rest assured you’re 100% prepared to cook delicious meals with your survival food.

First Step: Cooking Equipment

Golden Rule: Never assume electrical appliances will be available!

I know how easy they make your life, but we’re talking about disasters here. It’s theoretically possible that the grid can go down anytime and stay that way for days or even weeks! The classic example: Hurricane Katrina. The grid was down for 3 whole weeks in the affected area. Now think about your emergency equipment. Could you live for three weeks with NO electricity at all? Could you cook for your whole family?

If you want to have no problems feeding your loved ones, make sure you own manual equivalents to all your electric appliances (can openers, food processors, even bottle openers). See also this clever tutorial on how to open a can without a can opener.

Also, load up on tin foil and plastic cooking bags (they must be heat-proof!). Not only are they good to cover cooked food until it’s eaten, but here’s a great trick you can use: Put your uncooked food in heat-proof plastic bags and then put them in the boiling water. This way, you’ll save the water you’d normally use for cleaning the pot… and you can reuse the boiled water for any other purpose.

• When you’re cooking indoor, you can use a small gas stove. It may seem like it’s gonna take forever to cook your meals, but these stoves usually concentrate a lot of heat and get very hot, very fast.

Another option is to use your fireplace (if you have one). You can buy special cooking accessories for your fireplace that help you grill, cook meat or vegetables and heat water.

• When you’re cooking outdoor, you’ll need a stove, a grill or a solar oven. Or you can light a campfire, but you need to make sure there’s no danger of setting your house (or your neighbors’) on fire.

Whichever you choose to use, remember to load up on the appropriate fuel (gas, charcoal, matches) and keep them in an extra-safe storage place. Make sure it meets all the storage standards (that you can discover here *link*) and make regular check-ups to see if everything is ok.

That’s all for today, but we’ll be talking more about survival cooking soon, so stay tuned!