How to Cook Without Electricity

22 Safe Indoor Cooking Options when the Power is Out

During a long-term power outage, you’ll need a way to cook food without electricity.

There are a lot of options, from the high-tech to the downright primitive.

Gas Camping Stove

Gas camping stoves run on canisters of butane, propane, or isobutene. Some can even use multiple types of fuel, like unleaded gasoline, in a pinch.

Alcohol Stove

Alcohol is a great fuel for stoves because it burns very cleanly.  Unfortunately, cooking with alcohol can be a bit tricky because it is hard to control the heat.  Once they get the hang of it, though, many people prefer alcohol stoves over gas stoves.

Canned Heat

Also known as Sterno or gelled fuel, canned heat is made from alcohol turned into a jelly.  Like an alcohol stove, it is hard to control the flame and heat.

Tuna Can + Toilet Paper Stove

This one I learned while hiking with a former Israeli Special Forces soldier. Apparently, the Israeli army gets fed a lot of canned tuna. The “stove” also serves as a great emergency light source and emergency heat source.

Hay Box Oven

A hay box oven is a box that traps heat.  To use one, you first have to heat your pot of food (which can be done outdoors on a fire). Then you put it in the hay box oven, surround the pot with hay, close the box, and wait 8-12 hours for the food to be done.

Wood Fireplace

Just like our ancestors used to do in the past, you can cook over a wood fireplace.  You’ll need some fireplace cooking tools, like a spit, “gridiron,” and “trivet.”  If you want to roast something directly over the fire, you’ll need a dripping pan.