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#290476 - 09/11/18 03:17 PM Cooking when the power goes out
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
The current hurricane (Florence) thread got me thinking about various topics and one was cooking. We use a thermal pot for various slow cooking menu items (stew, chili, whatever). It’s very efficient; put the stainless steel inner pot on the stove burner (electric/induction/gas) just enough time to get it hot and then into the insulated outer container. Web search for “thermal cooker” — lots of manufacturers, primarily Chinese, some Japanese.

We use ours a lot without a hurricane or EQ. But during an emergency, the efficient use of stove fuel might be a concern. The thermal pots pair nicely with a camp stove using your favorite fuel.

Thermal cooker @ Amazon

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#290477 - 09/11/18 03:38 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7447
Loc: southern Cal
It is simple. When the power is out, we are camping out. nothing is-more convenient than a one burner iso-butane backpacker stove, and I also have a two burner camp gas stove, plus a decent supply of fuel for both

This is a natural outcome of my outdoors orientation, but decent camping/outdoor gear is generally very useful when the trappings of civilization fall away.

What do I do when the canisters are exhausted? Time to hunt for firewood or break up the furniture for kindling and cook like the old days....
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#290478 - 09/11/18 03:53 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: Russ]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
I can set up a full kitchen with propane, wood or charcoal. The advantages of being a scout master. In addition, we have a plethora of backpacking stoves, including a universal fuel stove.

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#290479 - 09/11/18 05:52 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: gonewiththewind]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7447
Loc: southern Cal
And then we come to the question of "What's for dinner?"

A lot of people focus on freeze dried food, but while light weight, they require water for preparation. For a situation where I will not be carrying the food on my back, I much prefer canned goods, many of which are essentially MRE capable. After all, potable water is likely to be a critical resource, so dehydrated foods are not so optimum...

While MRE's work, I feel that for the money, I can get more with regular grocery store goods, plus what we can harvest from our garden.

I do have a modest stash of FD items, because you never know.
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#290482 - 09/11/18 08:53 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: Russ]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
You start with what is in the fridge, then move to the freezer, then start on non-perishables. Eat what will go bad first.

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#290486 - 09/11/18 09:04 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: gonewiththewind]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7447
Loc: southern Cal
At last, a valid reason for an ice cream binge.......
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#290489 - 09/11/18 09:16 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: Russ]
albusgrammaticus Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 66
Loc: Italy
When we moved to our new house a couple years ago, we were forced to install an induction type stove.

During the renovation work we had a bedroom converted into the new kitchen, but the main gas lines were on the other side of the building, so it would have been tremendously expensive to bring a gas line to the room.

I didn't like this setup a bit, as an induction stove is useless when the power is out.

I solved the problem, killing two birds with one stone, by purchasing a gas powered barbecue for the porch, a model that has a traditional gas burner on one side, which I could use to cook in case of a power outage. The barbecue and burner are powered by a rather large propane tank, and I could keep using it daily for weeks before the gas runs out. An earthenware pot is good to keep the food warm for a long time.

What really concerns me is the issue of heating if the power goes out. Wa have a modern methane furnace with radiators and a big pellet stove in the living room, but neither would work without electricity, leaving us in the cold. I've been thinking a while about purchasing a gasoline generator to power the pellet stove during blackouts, but I would have to run an extension cord from the generator, set outside on the porch, and the pellet stove on the inside, leaving a door or window cracked open.


Edited by albusgrammaticus (09/11/18 09:18 PM)

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#290490 - 09/11/18 09:41 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: albusgrammaticus]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: albusgrammaticus
. . .
What really concerns me is the issue of heating if the power goes out. Wa have a modern methane furnace with radiators and a big pellet stove in the living room, but neither would work without electricity, leaving us in the cold. I've been thinking a while about purchasing a gasoline generator to power the pellet stove during blackouts, but I would have to run an extension cord from the generator, set outside on the porch, and the pellet stove on the inside, leaving a door or window cracked open.


Pardon the thread hijack, but can you run your main heating system off the generator? It sounds like it is powered by natural gas (methane=natural gas?) to produce the actual heat source. My furnace is natural gas. The electricity is only for the controls/fans/etc., and uses very little electricity to function, so it runs fine off the generator and keeps the house warm. Based on the exact installation and local codes, you may want/need to install a separate electrical box or switch to allow you to connect the heating system into the generator.
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#290493 - 09/11/18 10:42 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: albusgrammaticus]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2959
Loc: Alberta, Canada
[Hijack continued:]

Check the manual for your pellet stove. They draw very little power, and some are now designed with the ability to operate on 12VDC for exactly the reasons you mention.

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#290494 - 09/11/18 10:54 PM Re: Cooking when the power goes out [Re: Russ]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2959
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Russ
We use a thermal pot for various slow cooking menu items (stew, chili, whatever). It’s very efficient; put the stainless steel inner pot on the stove burner (electric/induction/gas) just enough time to get it hot and then into the insulated outer container.


That's very interesting -- I had heard of a traditional "haybox" for that purpose, but had no idea they were available commercially.

Given the cooking pots, insulation and other materials in a modern home, do you think an efficient version could be improvised? When the thawing meat in a freezer needs to be cooked, for example?

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