Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Food Preps

Ready-to-Eat vs. Prep-Needed / Alt Cooking Methods

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0degreesK:
In my situation, I have electric oven, stove-top and refrigerator.  If the electricity goes-out, I can't even heat water.  So, my approach has been to stock items which are ready-to-eat only (i.e. primarily canned items).

All the preparation guides I see have listings of dried pasta, beans, rice, etc. but it would do me no good if the SHTF.

Is my approach wrong?  Should I be figuring-out a way to cook if the electricity goes-out?  What would be an efficient way to go (i.e. propane-based hot-plate)?

Also, I just thought of this: Do you think it's possible to buy like a single burner that I could tap into my natural gas line?  Is something like that made AND will the natural gas line even keep providing in a SHTF situation?!?

EDIT: Changed topic title per request - Serellan

firetoad:
The simplest solution for me is a camp stove of some type.  Other ideas would be a BBQ pit and charcoal, propane grill, fire pit, solar ovens, penny alcohol stoves, ez-bit types of stoves, etc.  Your imagination is your only limit.  Remember, if the electric grid is out, you may not have water or the water system could be compromised.  So, water is another big necessity.  Easy way to start an emergency water supply (short term only and to just get you started) are cases of distilled/drinking water from Wally World or the like.  We use humidifiers in the winter for our kids, so, storing loads of distilled water and rotating it constantly is not a big deal for me.  [My approach to all of this is the baby step method.  That is, if I am not spending money on preps I will never use, I don't mind starting with simpler/smaller items as mentioned above and then increase from there.  A little is better than nothihng at all.  Too much at one time will just overburden you.]

One thing you have to keep in mind with many ready-to-eat foods is the high fat content.  If you don't regularly eat them or are not accustomed to a high fat diet, and then subsist on a majority of these items, your poor GI tract will not be happy. 

Hopefully my ramblings are somewhat coherent.  I tried to pack alot into a few small sentences.   ;) ;) ;)

GroundPounder:
You need to consider several ways to cook.  If you settle on a single way of doing something, that will be the one that does not work when you need it.  That goes for anything you do.

At my home I have several ways to cook when the electricity goes out:

1.  My range was converted to gas.  No need for electricity in most cases.
2.  For short duration issues such as a small power outage I can use my microwave on the generator
3.  I can use my BBQ grill or gas smoker.  I store a number of spare tanks that will last me quite a while. You can stick a pot of beans or pasta right on it
4.  I can use a dutch oven with some charcoal I store
5.  I can cook on a fire in my fireplace.  During the last power outage my kids had fun making smoores on the fire.  You can even do that with a gas fireplace.
6.  I have a Coleman camp stove with a cache of propane cylinders.  I also have a PEEK1 stove that will burn white gas or Unleaded.  Just be sure to use outdoors.
7.  Last resort I can start a fire in my back yard.  That would be the very last option I would consider.  If you have one of those fire bowls that would work too.  Just store a little wood if you dont normally burn it in your fireplace.

You can also learn to make a solar oven.  Easy, cheap, and works assuming you have sunlight.

0degreesK:

--- Quote from: firetoad on October 14, 2008, 08:39:37 AM ---One thing you have to keep in mind with many ready-to-eat foods is the high fat content.  If you don't regularly eat them or are not accustomed to a high fat diet, and then subsist on a majority of these items, your poor GI tract will not be happy.

--- End quote ---
I hadn't thought of this, though, when I buy items for my pantry I keep an eye on some sort of balance in the majority of what I get.  To start off, I'm trying not to buy one-dimensional items (i.e. canned tuna is protein and little else).  Unfortunately, I can't tolerate dairy that well, so I can't buy things like canned pasta which are high in carbs, protein and fat... and cheap.  Canned (ready-to-eat) items aren't looking that especially nutritious, either.

What do you think I'd be looking at in converting my electric range to a gas range?  I actually like to cook, so it wouldn't be a bad thing?  My kitchen is in an addition to the house, so a gas line would have to be run in.  I'm just looking for ball park here.  Thanks.


--- Quote from: GroundPounder on October 14, 2008, 08:46:31 AM ---6.  I have a Coleman camp stove with a cache of propane cylinders.  I also have a PEEK1 stove that will burn white gas or Unleaded.  Just be sure to use outdoors.

You can also learn to make a solar oven.  Easy, cheap, and works assuming you have sunlight.

--- End quote ---
I think I'll go with #6 right away and look into the solar oven.

Thanks, guys.  I'd like to be able to prep some pastas and beans (and know I wouldn't be living on cold soup and spinach out of cans)!!!

0degreesK:
So, today I bought a Hurricane Products One Burner Stove along with it's LPG regulator and hose kit.  The unit manual says:

--- Quote ---This appliance is designed to be used and operated on L.P. gas (propane) typically stored in a gas cylinder and commonly used on portable gas barbecues.
--- End quote ---
So my plan is to buy a couple (few?) tanks from the local grocery store, so I can boil water and cook a little if my electricity goes out.  However, I was raised in a charcoal-only grill household and have never dealt with LP gas tanks.  Can any of you guys give me some basics or point me in the right direction.  I'm sure I can do a google search, but I prefer to chat with people.

PS... I won't suffocate myself on the fumes!

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