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How to cook when the power is out.

When power is out, cooking is the most important part of your daily life
While eating items that don't require cooking is an option,
this can get old fast so here are some ideas to think over.

1. Number one on the list is the old stand by Coleman Propane Stove.
This will be first thing you go for but it does have limitations. Unless you buy an adapter hose to use a 20lb tank,
you're going to have to store many small bottles of propane.
Constantly changing them or running out in the middle of a meal is not the best idea.
An alternative would be to buy an adapter that allows you to re-fill the 1 lb bottles from a 20lb tank.
Does have the advantage of being able to run a lantern off the same type small tank.

2. BaroCook: This is a really lazy, flame free source of heat.
It won't do more than heat a can of soup or beans but it does work.
Will NOT bring anything to a boil. Think of it only as a "warming" tool.

3. Alcohol Stove: Another simple way to cook. Although it does have the disadvantage of not being a good idea for inside cooking.
I favor the Esbit listed on my Amazon Links page. Only a "one pot" cook top but doesn't use much fuel.
A gallon of fuel is going to last a long long time. I use mine under my carport.

4. EcoZoom Camping Stove: This is for when it's all gone to hell in the world.
Advantage of being able to use scrap wood, twigs, small branches, even charcoal.
Perfect for cooking with a wok or any pan. Obviously must be used outside but at some point
you're going to want to preserve your other sources of fuel.
These type stoves can even be built for free. Search on You Tube for Rocket Stove.

5. Power Inverter: This works great along with a couple of 12 volt car batteries in parallel.
I have a 750 watt inverter that can power my small rice cooker which is 400 watt.
You can go with a larger inverter but the more power you use, the faster you discharge the batteries
Not a long term solution due to the need to recharge the batteries in some way.
Advantage: The ability to run other 110 volt items such as cell phone charger, laptop, and small LED table lamps.
Example: The equivalent of a 60 watt light bulb in LED draws only 8 watts.

6. Open Camp Fire: I don't think I even have to tell you why this is a bad idea but here goes.
1. Everyone is going to know you're home...FOR MILES.
2. Amount of heat created is less than 10% of the fuel consumed. That's a lot of wood.
3. Needs to be dry outside.

7. Basic Charcoal Grill: Everyone has one I think. Even if it's rusting outside somewhere.
The big disadvantages to a charcoal grill are
1. It wastes heat the same way a propane gas grill does.
2. You'll need a big supply of charcoal briquettes.
3. Will not work for burning wood. No way to control air flow.

8. Absolute worst idea: Using an outside propane gas grill.
Probably 70% of fuel is wasted heating the outside air.
They were never meant to be efficient and they aren't.
There's a reason why there are so many refill stations everywhere. People are always running out.
If your grill has a separate burner for pots, use only that burner and you'll be ok.

9. Note: A good option would be a Coleman Camp Oven for use with any of the above items.
I've found recently there are many bread and muffin dry mixes that only require water.

10. Note: Not cooking related but had no good place to put it.
I did some research on the best option for keeping insulin cool for type 1 Diabetics.
See the Number one rated Alpicool refrigerator. Will run for many days on a couple of 12 volt batteries.
Claims are one 100watt solar panel is enough to keep batteries charged, or recharge them with generator.
Not very big but could also keep some fresh veggies fresh.

11. All items I've talked about here can be found on my Amazon Links Page.

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