Most people know the basics of cooking outdoors without electricity. You can make a fire, have a BBQ or use your propane camp stove. But what if it is bad weather or dead of winter. Are you really going to be up for cooking outdoors? Are you prepared enough to cook indoors safely?
I found many ways to cook your food without electricity but had a harder time than I thought looking for different ways to cook without electricity indoors. Most of what I saw had some form of Carbon Monoxide danger in closed quarters. So I did my research to see what is safe indoors as well as the many ways to cook outdoors.
Wood Burning Stove
The most common is a wood burning stove. It could be as simple as a flat surface on top of the stove or a full out wood burning cook stove with a oven with all the dings and whistles. Stoves range from about $199 to Thousands of dollars. With a good wood stove you can heat your home and your water as well as cook on top of it. This could be a problem in the summer time because of the heat as it would get pretty miserable indoors. That is where the outdoor cooking will come in handy. It is best to use thick pans and pots like cast iron or a thick steel on wood stoves. A pot too thin can easily burn your food. It is a great way to heat water as well. Some people have a pot of water on the stove during the winter months to act as a humidifier for their homes but if you have lots of minerals in the water your using, then use a pot that you don't mind having mineral build up in because as it evaporates the minerals will be left behind clinging to your pot and forever marking it.
If you have a wood burning fireplace you can cook with Cast iron in it as well.
One of my favorite methods of cooking that I've researched thus far is the Brick Oven. I found an awesome link here to a video that goes into detail on how to build an earthen oven. There are many looks and ways to build this oven. The key is the Fire brick or clay inside that will retain the heat and the thickness of clay cob, cement or brick insulation that you use. They seem to be decently priced especially if you do it yourself but if you plan to buy one then plan on $1,500 on up. I like the idea of the Brick Oven because I can build one myself, once you have heated it for a few hours by fire it will hold it's heat for up to 8 hours, (depending on how often you open the door on it.) I can bake and cook in it at the same time, It won't heat your house up if your oven is well insulated and it can be built in your home or out in the yard.
So I could stoke it well in the morning with a wood fire checking on it every half hour or so and then the rest of the afternoon and evening I can bake and cook in it without having to constantly stoke a fire. I think this will be the main solution to our cooking needs when we build up our homestead.
The Hay Box
The idea behind the hay box is in the morning you heat something over a stove to boiling hot. Then you take it off the stove and insulate it with at least 4 inches of insulation. (Towels, blankets, etc.) Then you can leave it all day till dinner time and it will cook that whole time and retain it's heat. So it is a crock pot without electricity...Brilliant! I came across this site that gave me the information and thought it was a neat idea especially if it works. It also has some really great ideas and information on living a providential lifestyle.
A Pressure cooker works well in the Hay box because it seals in the heat better and will cook things like a roast better than just a pot. It also retains more flavor and nutrients in your food while cooking and is faster which saves on fuel and energy.
Or there is the Pressure Canner which you can cook in as well as can in. There is a good comparison here for the difference between pressure cookers and canner's and how to use them and what to use them for.
Is what caterers use for keeping dishes warm at banquet halls but you can use them to cook with if you use about 4 at a time. It can be burned indoors without giving off any harmful gases. They run usually just over a $1 each and usually are shipped with 24 in a case that will burn for about 4 hours. So that is going through about 6 of these cans per hour.
Here is a EcoQue Portable Grill that can use many forms of burning fuel. The one kind that is safe for indoors is using the canned heat with it.
Anyone in the military should be fairly familiar with the MRE or Meal Read-to-Eat. The heaters inside of them can be used to heat up food or even cook with. So that can be used as another option in preparing food indoors or out.
If you know of some more creative safe ways to cook indoors please let us know. We always love to hear your comments.
Camille Loves being a Mother of five, wife to an amazing cowboy, A photographer, blog writer, and an Adventure seeker.
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