Ways to Cook When Off-Grid

Many people are trying to live off-grid. It is exciting but at the same time, challenging. Living off-grid is like training for emergency and survival situations. If you want to live off-grid, one of the important things you need to learn is how to cook and to have a list of survival foods you can regularly obtain. Most of us are used to cooking using our electric stoves, ovens, microwave, and food processors. However, incidents like storms and other calamities might cause these appliances to malfunction, or there might be a power outage, causing these things to be useless without electricity. 

If you want to be prepared and don’t want to experience having no food to eat for days because your electric stove or oven won’t work, then you need to learn alternative ways to cook for survival. There are actually lots of ways to cook when off-grid that you can quickly learn. Here are some of the best ones you might want to consider.

Cooking on an Open Fire 

Cooking on an open fire is the most popular way of cooking done by primitive people. Most people who love to go camping and hiking also know this way of cooking. If the power goes out during an emergency or calamity, or if you simply want to live off the grid, then cooking on an open fire can be your permanent cooking option. 

However, when cooking on an open fire, you need to have a designated space and plan. You can’t just go out and start a fire in a random location as it can be dangerous. Having a plan laid out as to how you will cook outside is more convenient. 

When cooking on an open fire, a fire pit is needed. Then, you can have a barrel in place to start a fire inside it. Aside from that, you can also make a fire ring. It is a space that has sand in the bottom and stones around the outside to enclose the fire. You just need to make sure that you have all the required items to start a fire when and if needed. Your main goal is to have a good spot to cook where you can enclose the flame of an open fire. 

Cooking in a Solar Oven

A solar oven works by attracting the heat from the sun. Meaning, this cooking option will enable you to cook your food using free fuel, which is sunshine. Most solar ovens are an insulated box with reflectors attached to the lid. Those reflectors direct the sun’s heat into the box to cook the food in the oven.

Solar ovens are great to be used when slow cooking your lunch or dinner. It may take a bit longer for foods to be cooked in a solar oven since it only depends on the heat of the sun. If you would be cooking rice in it, it may take a few hours, unlike when cooking on a stove that only takes about 20 minutes. 

But if you are looking for a survival coking option that is affordable and easy to use, then a solar oven is perfect for you. You can use it as long as you have some sunlight.

Here are some good solar ovens you might want to check out:

Where to Buy
Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven
ll Season Solar Cooker Camper
All American Sun Oven The Ultimate Solar Appliance

Cooking on Patio Grills

Most of us have patio grills at home, which we use in grilling steak, ribs, and chicken briquettes. But did you know that your patio grill can also be useful in case of a power outage? Yes, because you can also use it for cooking other foods. There are two types of patio grills. It can either be propane or charcoal.

If you have a propane patio grill, you just need to make sure that you have plenty of fuel in stock. If your grill uses a gas tank, you can have at least one or two full tanks ready, in addition to the gas that is hooked up to the grill. 

If you use a charcoal patio grill, then you need to stock up on charcoal in case of an emergency. It’s always a good idea to have at least four full bags of charcoal at all times. Charcoal is very useful in cooking, even if you do not have a charcoal grill. 

Here are some of the best patio grills in case you don’t have one at home:

Where to Buy
Portable Charcoal Grill by BEAU JARDIN
Heavy-Duty Charcoal Grill by Expert Grill
Classic Liquid Propane Gas Grill by Master Cook
2-Burner Propane Gas Grill by Char-Broil

Cooking on Alcohol Stoves

It is also a great idea to use alcohol stoves when cooking off-grid. They can provide you with a steady flame, which is great if you are not used to cooking over an open fire. However, alcohol stoves can be a bit unpredictable compared to other options. It can be challenging to use during cold days. You can prime the stove, which is a process of warming the fuel before lighting it. However, in some situations, it becomes a case of starting a small fire to warm your fuel to be able to light the stove. 

You can use rubbing alcohol in your first-aid kit as a fuel. However, it is not the best option. If you want a more reliable fuel for your alcohol stove, you can get a bottle of HEET from an automotive store. Choose methanol, which is usually in a yellow bottle. That can light faster and burn hotter and cleaner compared to rubbing alcohol. You can either buy an alcohol stove or make one yourself using soda or beer cans. 

Here are some alcohol stoves we found:

Where to Buy
Mini Alcohol Stove for Backpacking by REDCAMP
Alcohol Burning Stove by TOMSHOO
Lightweight Alcohol Burner Stove with Cook Set by Esbit


Cooking on Fuel Tab Stoves

Where to Buy
Lightweight Camping Cook Set to Use with Solid Fuel Tablets
ltralight Folding Pocket Stove with Solid Fuel Tablets by Esbit
ioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove
Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove by Vargo
Portable Wood Burning Camp Stove by PSKOOK

Fuel tab stoves use small hexamine tablets for fuel. These tablets are hot and smokeless when burned. There are small tablets but can burn for at least 10 minutes. Each tablet can bring 16 ounces of water to a boil. There are fuel tab stoves that can be folded, making them easier to store and to transport. To get the fuel tab burning, you will also need a match or a butane lighter.

Here are some of the best fuel tab stoves we found that you might like:

Cooking on Biofuel Stoves

Biofuel stoves use sticks, branches, twigs, pinecones, and the likes to create fire and cook food. It is like a controlled and contained campfire. Most biofuel stoves are small. Therefore, only small pieces of sticks and twigs are needed to be used for kindling. They are usually portable, lightweight, and very easy to store. 

The only downside is that they can only accommodate one-pan-at-a-time. You can also use biofuel stoves when cooking or frying simple foods. You will not be able to use them effectively in cooking elaborate meals. But let’s face it, during a disaster, you won’t be able to think about cooking special meals, right? So, a biofuel stove may also come in handy when cooking off-grid.

Here are some biofuel stoves you can check out:

These are some of the best ways to cook when off-grid. Having these cooking tools will make you prepared if ever a disaster comes, and a power outage occurs. With these cooking ways, you no longer have to worry that you won’t be able to cook foods during an emergency.