12 Best Ways to Cook a
Hot Meal in a Power Outage

12 Best Ways to Cook a Hot Meal in a Power Outage12 Best Ways to Cook a Hot Meal in a Power Outage

Are you prepared with a survival cooking method so your family will have a hot meal if there is no electricity?

During World War II, the army discovered that men fighting in the bitter cold would do well if they had one hot meal a day. Without it, they would die from living out in the cold. In most disaster situations, your family needs a hot meal also.

Let's list the ways you can provide hot meals when there is no electricity or natural gas coming into your home.

1. Solar Oven Cooking

All American Sun Oven

Solar cooking! This is the most fuel-efficient way to cook - emergency or not.

Use it any day or take it camping. No fuel to pack. No messy charcoal or flammable liquids. It even folds down to the size of a small suitcase - very portable!

Cook every type of food using only heat from the sun. It bakes/stews all meats, poultry and fish; steams vegetables; bakes breads, cakes and cookies; cooks rice, beans, lentils, and pasta.

This particular solar oven, the All American Sun Oven, is specially designed to maintain steady, moderate (360° - 400° F) cooking temperatures that produce tender, tasty and healthy foods. Even if left alone, it will never burn or over cook your food.

Solar cooking is so easy because all you do is place the food in a pot and point the oven reflectors towards the sun and forget it for several hours. TIP: Use black enameled cookware — it works better than any other type of cookware.

Here's my first experience cooking with my solar oven — it turned out delicious!


2. Volcano 3 Collapsible Stove

Volcano Collapsible Stove

This is an awesome set-up. The Volcano 3 Collapsible Stove can use wood, charcoal briquettes, and propane to cook anything. You can even do your canning on it.

It's so versatile that you can grill right on the stove, or use a skillet, griddle, pot, wok, or a Dutch Oven cooker (up to 14"). Kevlar Convection lid included. 


3. Go Sun

If you're looking for solar cooking, Go Sun has that most innovative solar cooker I've ever seen. It's not an oven; it's more accurately named a solar cooker or even a solar stove.

Patrick Sherwin invented this solar cooker in his garage quite by accident as he was working on a solar water heater. He realized the value of being able to cook a meal without any power except the sun and how it could help people in countries where no electricity exists and, smoke from the only cooking method available, has caused over 4 million premature deaths annually due to respiratory diseases directly related to smoke inhalation.  Go Sun has since provided over 2,500 units at substantial discount to NGO's throughout the U.S and the World.

But if you're thinking this company only sells solar cookers, you would be mistaken. Check out their solar coolers (yes coolers!), solar lights, and solar panels, plus many accessories.

Go check Go Sun products now! You won't be disappointed.


4. Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Cooking in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven (or any cast iron pan) has many advantages, not the least of which is how the food seems to taste better than food cooked with other methods. (Am I right?)

Aside from my opinion of the great tasting food, cooking in cast iron is safe, healthy, and needs no electricity, which is our goal here.

  • Healthy - Cooking in aluminum or non-stick cookware can be a health hazard, depending on the coating. Since iron is necessary for human health, getting a little through cooking is an easy way to get this mineral.
  • Most cast iron cookware comes pre-seasoned, especially if you choose Lodge brands.
  • My personal recommendation is to always choose Lodge cast iron cookware (no affiliation). They are a family company (still family owned today!), always made in the U.S.A. and have been making quality products since 1896!
  • I love that the lid has a lip on the lid to keep the coals in place because some recipes call for coals both top and bottom. The lid also flips over to use as a griddle.
  • To facilitate the coals on the bottom, there are little "feet" to hold the Dutch oven up off the ground - just enough space for the coals underneath.
  • Electricity free - The only fuel needed is charcoal briquettes or burning wood ashes from your campfire. (Of course, Dutch Ovens can be used in the oven if you do have electricity.) 

5. Kelly Kettle® Large Stainless Steel Base Camp

Kelly Kettle Large Stainless Steel Base Camp

With an endless supply of sticks, grass, and pine cones for fuel, this handy Stainless Steel Kelly Kettle stove makes cooking while camping or in an emergency quick and easy. It's very lightweight too.

This Large Stainless Steel Kelly Kettle boils approximately 9.5 - 6 oz. Mugs of water at a time. Suitable for base camps, car camping, Scout camps, picnics, hunters, outfitters outposts, emergency preparedness kits, humanitarian aid stations, or anyone working in the forests or the great outdoors.






6. Portable Gas Stove 

This Gas One 10,000 BTU Portable Gas Stove is a little one-burner stove that works with butane canisters and is one of the few types of stoves that can be used to cook (with caution) inside the home.

It is a simple little burner with a Piezo ignition, safety lock and pressure sensor with auto shut-off.

The controls are user-friendly, the flame is easily adjusted from low to high. It measures approximately 13-4/5 by 12-1/2 by 3 inches.

CSA certified for safety; fuel sold separately.


7. Camping/Backpacking Stoves

In a pinch, a backpacking stove is lightweight and easily stored.

Some can be used with either sterno canned heat, solid heat tabs, charcoal briquettes, or even pieces of wood. Others may use white gas or Coleman fuel.

You won't be cooking any gourmet meals on this little stove, but they are capable of boiling water and warming ready-to-eat foods.

Buy several of these for backup storage, along with a couple of small pans to use on top — they are inexpensive and easy to use.


8. Liquid Fuel Camp Stove

If you are a frequent camper, you probably have a camp stove on hand that uses either propane or liquid fuel such as white gas or Coleman fuel. There are several sizes and brands available on Amazon or other camping supply websites or stores.

Camp stoves are worth the investment to have on hand in case of a power outage.

Where to find the best cooking stoves:

  • EarthEasy - Camping, Survival, Stoves and Earth Easy products
  • Go Sun Cookers - Solar Cookers, Lighting, Coolers and Accessories

9. Thermos Cooking

thermos is an indispensable piece of emergency preparedness equipment. Boil some water and pour it into a thermos and use it throughout the day for hot chocolate, soup, reconstitute dehydrated food, a relaxing cup of tea — all without starting up the camp stove or home stove. Save time, fuel, and water. In fact, get a supply of thermoses — different sizes for different uses. Try cooking an entire meal in a thermos.

10. Propane Barbecues

Many of us already have a barbecue in our backyards so the cooking fuel of choice here would be propane, of course. The kind that uses charcoal briquettes would work also. If your patio barbecue is your emergency preparedness cooking choice, plan ahead now and figure out how you'll make it work during potentially stormy weather.

If your barbecue is not in a covered area, you may have to rig a roof or windbreak in order to use it. Are you prepared with a piece of plywood, an awning, or maybe a patio umbrella to shelter it? A heavy tarp held up with a makeshift frame of 2x4s would work, if you have some 2x4s in your storage plan. Being creative is the answer to solving this dilemma.

11. Wood-Burning Stoves

If your cooking fuel of choice is wood, these stoves can be practical, economical and wonderful to have in an emergency. If you buy one, make sure the model you choose allows for cooking on top, as well as heating your home, so it can be used in an emergency to cook hot meals.

12. Fireplaces

If you need to use your fireplace for cooking, a grill or rack is essential, unless all you want to eat is something you can cook on a stick. Hot dogs are fine except they're probably not in your food storage as they are perishable.

Camp grills to use in a fireplace can be purchased in a sporting goods store. They consist of a heavy-gauge metal and most have legs that fold away for storage.

Another essential item would be some thick potholders that protect your arms. Be sure to have a ready place to set hot pans as you remove them from the flames so you don't burn the flooring around the fireplace.

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What do you think?

I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.​​