Baking and cooking without power or gas

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scepticus's picture
scepticus
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Baking and cooking without power or gas

What is the best way to secure a reliable source of heat for cookery in the event of absence of power or piped gas?

Obviously a camping stove with a gas cannister would be useful, but I'm wondering whether it is possible to obtain a wood and/or coal fired stove which will serve for both frying and baking, so a burner, a hob and an oven. The ability to bake seems very important to maintain a good diet. Ideally this machine will also provide a good source of heating.

If such a stove is not available, how best can baking be practically done on a day to day basis with the minimum of fuss without a modern oven?

james_knight_chaucer's picture
james_knight_chaucer
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Re: Baknig and cooking without power or gas

I don't know if you can get Rayburn ovens in the USA, but their UK website is here:

http://www.rayburn-web.co.uk/

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stpaulmercantile
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Re: Baknig and cooking without power or gas

 http://www.stpaulmercantile.com/store/itemImages/Oven.jpg

The link above shows an oven that can be set atop any heat source for baking.  It will accomodate up to a 10" by 10" cake pan, or a 1-lb bread pan.  It is primarily used on kerosene stoves such as the red one pictured to my left.  Some have used it on campfires as well, by hanging it with wires.

I tried showing the picture in this message using the img src= command, but could only get it to display the command text - perhaps someone can educate me, as the html statement I use on my own site doesn't work here.

10% of any money you spend at my website goes back to Chris in order to help fund this website.  I am the sole importer in the US for the Butterfly brand of kerosene stoves, lanterns and oven.  They are manufactured in Indonesia and Singapore and used worldwide, mostly in third-world countries (and soon-to-be third-world countries).

If you click the link in my sig line below, you will be directed to my website - check out the Family Preparedness items.  I sell many varieties of kerosene stoves, primarily because kerosene is a widely available fuel around the world and it can be stored for long periods.  Kerosene, fuel oil, diesel fuel and some types of jet fuel (but NOT gasoline) are very similar fuels.  I cannot recommend using anything other than kerosene in the stoves, but I can say that people do sometimes substitute fuel oil, diesel fuel and some types of jet fuel. 

Kerosene stoves are not as efficient as kerosene catalytic heaters, so should not be used for heating.  Adequate ventilation should be provided, as they do put off some fumes.  Kerosene will go up in cost a lot, along with gasoline, but the amounts you use for cooking will be miniscule compared to the amount of gasoline you'd use driving a car, so even at higher prices, kerosene stoves will be useful for some time.  Many of the survivalists in the US are already using kerosene stoves daily as their sole cooking appliance.

 

 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Re: Baknig and cooking without power or gas

scepticus -

Get a cast iron dutch oven from any camping supply store.  Make sure you season it with vegetable oil before using it.

You can use charcoal briquets or briquet sized coals from a wood fire to use as a heat source.  The thumbrule for charcoal is 25 degrees per briquet so 12 briquets will heat the oven to 300 degrees.

I have cooked everything in a dutch oven from cakes and brownies to pork tenderloin, pizza and spaghetti.  Cleanup is a snap to - fill the oven about halfway with water, heat until boiling and scrub it out with a plastic scouring pad.

Never use soap unless you want everything you cook afterwards to taste like soap. 

Dutch ovens are durable and easy to cook with once you get the hang of things.  The only drawback is they are somewhat bulky and heavy and don't backpack very well.

SamLinder's picture
SamLinder
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Re: Baknig and cooking without power or gas

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:
I have cooked everything in a dutch oven from cakes and brownies to pork tenderloin, pizza and spaghetti

Now we're definitely coming your way. Yum! Tongue out

ceci1ia's picture
ceci1ia
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Posts: 79
Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

When there is good sun, I enjoy my solar oven. I can bake/cook in it
from spring equinox to fall equinox. During the winter, I enjoy cooking
on top of my woodstove with the dutch oven as mentioned above. The
dutch oven also fits in the solar oven so I can make a roast without
heating the house. Wood heat and solar heat seem to really, really
matter in a way I never knew before. The heat source really makes the
flavor better. I don't know how to explain it.

Also, you can use the sun oven or woodstove to boil/sterilize water for drinking.

Obviously, you'll have to do your solar cooking on a sunny day and that won't help at night. 

Woodman's picture
Woodman
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Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

I have a small folding oven made by Coleman that sits on a stove burner or wood stove. During the ice storm in New  England last December we had no power for 5+ days but happily baked christmas cookies and muffins and even a beef stew in the oven, on my gas range or wood stove. 

 

 

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SagerXX
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Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

Concur -- cooking on the woodstove is a fine way to go.  We had no power for 48-ish hours after the Dec ice storm and did just fine.  My advice would be to use whatever your alternate means o'cooking is *before* circumstances force you too.  The practice will stand you in good stead when it's "for real"...

stpaulmercantile's picture
stpaulmercantile
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Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

The Butterfly brand oven is ten times as good as the Coleman.  The Coleman is nice in that it folds up and is light and transportable.  The Butterfly oven, once assembled, is about a 14" cube and it does not fold up.  But the sides, back and top are all insulated with air pockets that make the oven bake at a more even temperature.  I've had many customers who used Coleman ovens before getting the Butterfly oven, and all have remarked how much better the Butterfly brand is.

I'm not aware of any other brands - just the two.

scepticus's picture
scepticus
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Posts: 129
Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

Wow, thanks for all the great replies! I hadn't realised rayburn did wood burning versions. Great to have lots of cheaper alternatives too.

 Now, just need to persuade the wife...

ceci1ia's picture
ceci1ia
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Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

Also, it's good to be flexible about food. When I visited China, I
noticed they had an excellent and advanced cuisine nearly all based on
stove-top cooking. In other words, when their society was developing,
they did not have ovens. Their early cooking was done over a fire built
in the center of the house. When I visited homes, I saw that they had
burners that sat on top of the counter, with a small tank of propane or
some kind of cooking gas. Some homes only had one burner. So baking is
not the only way to go.

Word of warning on the solar oven. Mine
is the model that has hard sides and folds up like a suitcase. There
are limits to how big a pan will fit. I tried to jam a too-large pan of
chocolate batter in there to make a sheet cake (I was a determined
little chocoholic) and there was a tragedy. So measure your pans and
baking dishes, etc. 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

If you're going to burn wood for cooking, make sure you grow your own....  if everyone heads for the hills with chainsaws for firewood, our forests will disappear in 5 seconds flat.

We have a 50 year old AGA (now known as Rayburn I believe) which I converted to wood.  I'm yet to make the flue for it, so haven't tried it out as yet....  but I have planted three Eucalyptus trees JUST for a source of firewood.

The other project I have for this year is to make a bio-digester to make our own methane for the current gas stove.  Having TWO cooking heat sources is not a bad idea to hedge your bets.

Mike 

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goes211
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Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

Does anyone have an opinion on a Portable Camping Wood Stove like this?  My primary goal would be short term cooking in a no gas or electricy situation.

http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Military-Camping-Heater-STOVE-2346/dp/B00...

I was trying to find something like the stove that is included in a shelter box.

http://www.shelterbox.org/about.php?page=9

This style stove looked more conventional, and therefore easier to use, than a dutch oven.  Maybe they just don't work that well but I thought I would check.

ps.  Shelterbox.com seems like a very good charity.  I only heard of them recently when a woman that was sitting next to me on a flight  told me about it and said that she worked for them.

kennyq's picture
kennyq
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Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

I got two frensnel lens for cooking (Solar).

http://www.greenpowerscience.com/SOLARCOOKING.html

Started at age of 6, I used to collecting wood and leaves for home cooking. We did not have electricity and coal at the time. Not all woods are fit for cooking, some generate too much smoke and less heat. Wood and leaves need to be very dry in order to heat up.

Personally, Peak oil will push the USA back to 3rd world living standard. And the 3rd world will be push back to 4th..5th world?  Everything will be settle down later. I don't think we need to use wood for cooking in daily life. If we do, I 'd use frensnel lens. ($200)

Brainless's picture
Brainless
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Posts: 149
Re: Baking and cooking without power or gas

You could build a rocket stove, google/youtube it for many samples.

I liked the ones made from bricks. My father in law even used to make one in the small dikes between rice fields. Small hole on the side, larger hole on the top and ready. Principal worked for thousands of years.

even with six brick and some wire.

synonym's picture
synonym
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Joined: Aug 28 2010
Posts: 5
Portable wood burning stove

Hi all

great thread.

I live in rented accomodation in an very urban area (i sold my house some time ago, when i saw the real estate crash coming). Unfortunately for the time being this is where i need to live for work. Being very urban area, self sufficiency is not a concern of many people. So the vast majority of homes are completely reliant either on mains electric and/or mains gas. I am trying to find off-the-grid cooking and heating solutions, which i can take with me from one home to another. As i rent i cannot start making any major changes to the house.

Where i live in the winter it is cold and often very wet. I was looking at the frontier stove, http://www.campingsolutions.co.uk/stoves/frontier-stove/  as it seems to have pretty good potential for a solid fuel cooking option, which could be used to give out some heat too. Trouble is what you do with the flue. Has anyone any experience with solid fuel stoves like this and if so can anyone tell me if it would be possible for me to make some kind of flue fitting that i could fix to an open window or something, given that i can't start making any changes to the house i live in?

If not, i'd really appreciate any other ideas people have for off grid heating (the hardest problem to solve) and cooking in the kind of position i've outlined.

synonym's picture
synonym
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Joined: Aug 28 2010
Posts: 5
Portable wood burning stove

Hi all

great thread.

I live in rented accomodation in an very urban area (i sold my house some time ago, when i saw the real estate crash coming). Unfortunately for the time being this is where i need to live for work. Being very urban area, self sufficiency is not a concern of many people. So the vast majority of homes are completely reliant either on mains electric and/or mains gas. I am trying to find off-the-grid cooking and heating solutions, which i can take with me from one home to another. As i rent i cannot start making any major changes to the house.

Where i live in the winter it is cold and often very wet. I was looking at the frontier stove, http://www.campingsolutions.co.uk/stoves/frontier-stove/  as it seems to have pretty good potential for a solid fuel cooking option, which could be used to give out some heat too. Trouble is what you do with the flue. Has anyone any experience with solid fuel stoves like this and if so can anyone tell me if it would be possible for me to make some kind of flue fitting that i could fix to an open window or something, given that i can't start making any changes to the house i live in?

If not, i'd really appreciate any other ideas people have for off grid heating (the hardest problem to solve) and cooking in the kind of position i've outlined.

synonym's picture
synonym
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 28 2010
Posts: 5
Another portable solid fuel stove

Here's another, more expensive though this one - http://www.ozpig.co.uk/

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