Indoor emergency cooking

Indoor emergency cooking
Cook safely idoors in an emergency

How to cook off-grid in an emergency inside your home.
Even when the grid is down and it's raining, snowing or whatever
mother nature throws your way, you can cook indoors if you're a
clever prepper. Yes, you can cook indoors without electricity!
Below are your indoor emergency cooking options...

How to cook indoors without electricity
Indoor emergency cooking is possible and you can do it safely
with a few precautions. Below are eleven ways to cook in an
emergency when you can't cook outdoors or it's just more
convenient to cook indoors:

#1 Alcohol Stove with denatured alcohol.*
If you are careful, you can cook indoors with an alcohol stove.
There are many kinds of alcohol stoves. For the commercial
variety, choose only denatured alcohol for your stove.

Denatured alcohol, pictured right, produces a hot, clean, odorless
and smokeless flame in alcohol burners and marine stoves, and
so it is critically important to use it properly. Read all the
instructions specified and use only denatured alcohol in an
alcohol stove.

  • Advantages: Hikers love an alcohol stove. Alcohol stoves
    also have the benefit of being lightweight and you can easily
    put out the fires with water (you can't do that with
    petroleum fuel). Unfortunately, fuels aren't as easy to find
    as other fuels.

  • Disadvantages: The Boy Scouts do not recommend alcohol
    stoves that use denatured alcohol for risk of burns.
    Understandably, it's not safe for kids because the flame may
    be invisible. Use an alcohol with extreme caution to avoid
    injuries. For the same reason, never attempt to fill a hot
    stove or heat source. Finally, always be sure to cook on a
    non-flammable and stable surface and steer clear of cooking
    near curtains or flammable decorations.

#2: Butane stove.*
Single burner butane stoves are usede in demonstration cooking,
hotel brunch omelet stations and table side service carts.
With extreme caution, preppers too can use butane to cook

It's important to remember that while restaurants may use
butane, they do so in well ventilated and large rooms. Misuse by
consumers can result in death from Carbon monoxide poisoning!

  • Advantages. Simplicity is the main benefit. It's easy to use.

  • Disadvantages: Sterno warns against indoor household use
    of their butane stoves and for good reason.  Don't use
    butane stoves in small rooms with poor circulation because
    of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Another
    disadvantage is Butane cartridges generally can't be refilled.
    And when the tank is low, it looses it's efficiency. Use with
    extreme caution! Be mindful of the dangers.

#3: Hexamine fuel tablets.
The Esbit stove uses hexamine fuel in solid form. They do not
liquefy while burning and they leave no ashes. For short periods
in well ventilated spaces you can cook indoors with these kinds of
fuel tablets.

  • Advantages: Fuel tablets do not liquify. They are easy to

  • Disadvantages: Esbit's Material Safety Data Sheet states
    combustion can create formaldehyde, ammonia, nitrogen
    oxide, hydrogen cyanide and ingestion may cause nausea,
    vomiting, gastrointestinal disturbances, and kidney damage.
    [1] When burned, the chemical oxidation of the fuel yields
    noxious fumes, requiring foods being cooked to be contained
    in a receptacle such as a pot or pan, and burned tablets will
    leave a sticky dark residue on the bottom of pots.

#4: Kerosene stove (liquid paraffin)*
Kerosene stoves are extremely hard to find, but under-developed
countries rely on Kerosene stoves in their off-grid communities.

  • Advantages: On the positive side, fuel for a kerosene stove
    costs just a few cents an hour to burn and this fuel does not
    evaporate quickly.

  • Disadvantages: The bad part is that it smells, and because
    it doesn't evaporate quickly, you'll have a residue if you spill.
    Pictured in red, immediate right, the Kerosene Cook and
    Canning Stove holds more than 5 quarts of fuel, and burns
    up to 11 hours per tank. With adjustable heat output, this
    cook stove is great for cooking large meals and will even
    hold large canners.

#5: Canned Heat.
Canned heat is condensed alcohol gel stored into a steel can.
Non-toxic for indoor: The most common way to use canned heat
is for heating party food. However, it's also useful to boil water
and cook food for emergency such as power outage in a winter
storm. Canned heat is something that just takes the strike of a
match or a lighter to activate.
Canned heat is perhaps the easiest and most inexpensive option
for indoor cooking in an emergency. The Colghan's Folding Stove
right, makes cooking with canned heat super affordable and

Sterno is a great beginning camper tool. It is best at heating
things up, or boiling water to make soup, and hot drinks like tea
and coffee. Sterno is a brand name. It has low heating power, so
you'll need more Sterno to cook a meal than with other times of
fuel. Even so, Sterno is a great way to get started in prepping.
Sterno is safer than liquid fuels and you'll find they are easy to
store and inexpensive,and fun! Sterno brand cooking fuel is non-
toxic, biodegradable and water soluble.

Can you use a Sterno in an apartment in the event of an
emergency power outage? Yes! Sterno is a similar fuel used in
chafing dishes to keep casseroles warm in buffets and keeps the
fondue pot filled with melty cheese. Sterno Smores! Pictured right
you'll see how you can roast marshmallows, in the best
party idea ever!

Emergency Zone Fold Flat Stove with Stable Heat Fuel cells
holding diethylene glycol, are odor free, soot free, nontoxic and
can be burned indoors The Fuel is Mineral oil.

  • Advantages: Fuel cells are odor free, soot free, nontoxic and
    can be burned indoors. This biodegradable, water soluble
    fuel delivers the ideal amount of heat to keep food in the
    safe zone.

  • Disadvantages: Much of the canned heat you'll find is made
    in China. Moreover,  it can be difficult to see the flame if
    there is a lot of light. For example, at an outdoor, noontime
    buffet on a sunny day it would be difficult to see a lit can of
    Sterno. Caution should be used as the can gets extremely
    hot to the touch when lit.
Portable Solar Oven
Solar Box oven
Solar Combo oven - complete kit
folding stove
GasOne GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove
Alcohol Stove
Kerosene stove
Classic Reflector oven used by pioneers and scouts
Sterno smores
------------------------------------------------- Revised 02/17/18
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Happy endings...
Cooking indoors in an off-grid world is possible if you're clever
and think first about safety. Be sure to have a safe platform for
your cooking (a sturdy and non-flammable surface, that's not in
the path of kids and pets, curtains or flammable decorations). Be
sure also to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home and  
fire extinguisher.

Related articles...

Do not use equipment intended for outdoor use
inside your home. Review manufacturer's specifications and follow
the instructions to avoid injury or death.

Prepare to live happily ever after with us at - the emergency
preparedness Web site of prepping, survival,
homesteading, and self-reliance.
Overlooked Prep #1: CO Detector
Fireplace Grill
Herc Tealight oven.
Keystone Ground beef in a can!
Denatured Alcohol
Stable Heat
Above, is Wonderbag. Think of it like an off-grid crockpot ~ food sits and
slow cooks, but you must first find a way to boil your water.

Fire hazards and Carbon monoxide.
In the flameless emergency cooking options above, you won't
have a problem carbon monoxide poisoning, but if there's a flame
then there's a potential for carbon monoxide.

Most preppers don't realize that the cause of death during an
ordinary blackout is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Safety first:
  • Do NOT use propane indoors for risk of carbon monoxide

If it burns, it is emitting carbon monoxide! With an increasing
number of state and local governments passing legislation
requiring CO detectors in homes, it’s never been a better time to
safeguard your family against carbon monoxide exposure than
now. Right, the Kidde CO Detector has a carbon monoxide alarm
with digital display to help provide your home with extensive
protection against the dangerous threat posed by this odorless
and colorless gas.

When the power goes down, deadly CO emits from:

It's also important to note that any non-electrical appliance that
uses heat ~ gelled or liquid fuel, coal, gas, or oil has an
additional risk of fire.

While cooking indoors and off-grid can be a deadly combination
because of carbon monoxide poisoning, not to mention the flames
which could more easily cause a fire in your home because of a
temporary setup that's not stable. It's not enough to have a
carbon monoxide detector, and ignore safety.

To avoid breathing deadly fumes, look for the "Underwriters
Laboratories (UL) for use indoors." Failing to heed warnings about
the proper use of your cooking equipment could result in death by
carbon monoxide poisoning.
Above hot dogs wrapped biscuit dough roast over the fire. Steal this idea for
camping or bring the camping fun home to your fireplace!

Fireplace cooking method: reflector oven.
One way for to how to use a fireplace to cook food in an
emergency is with a reflector oven. Not often discussed in the
prepper forums, the reflector oven method is actually a pioneer
cooking method. As well, scouts throughout the century have
gathered around the fire to cook with a reflector oven, but it has
become a lost art of cooking.
Reflector ovens aren't easy to find.

With a campfire reflector oven, you can bake using an open fire.
It bakes by capturing radiant heat from an open fire and then
reflects the heat towards your food. Pictured in green right,
pioneers baked breads in this way. Scouts also appreciate this
classic cooking method.

#7: Meals Ready to Eat.
Meals Ready To Eat come with a heater! There are preppers out
there who think they can make their own MRE, but they forget
Meals Ready to Eat come with this all important heating
unit. Without the unit, they are just assembling shelf-stable

  • Advantages: MREs are easy and convenient. The heating
    element takes any kind of water, do you can conserve your
    drinking water.

  • Disadvantages: MREs have a limited shelf life of around five
    years. Certainly you can eat them after the expiration date,
    but the food won't be as palatable. The only other
    disadvantage is that you are just reheating food and not
    cooking from scratch.

#8: Flamless stoves and cookers
You may have seen a magic cook flamess cooker on Shark Tank.
Borrowing on the principal of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) you can
cook your own meals in ~ either cooking entirely from scratch or
in heating up freeze dried meals or canned foods.

flameless cooker, right, is a large pot so you can cook hearty
meals for a family or larger group.

  • Magic cook: The most versatile lunch box container cooker
    ever. Magic Cook container was designed for cooking &
    heating up food and drinks without the need of microwave,
    stove, fire, propane or electricity. Made of triple layers PC
    with stainless steel inner case. Works as your everyday lunch
    box container with an option to heat up and cook up at
    anytime if needed. Water activated magic heat pack will
    generate heat up to 203 F degree. It enables you to cook or
    heat up food within 10-25 minutes. Magic heat packs are
    made of Quick Lime, Non-Toxic flameless heat generated by
    water activation. Once cooking is completed, magic pack will
    absorbed all water and simply just trash as household
    waste. Magic Cook is perfect for the use of all outdoor,
    camping, survival kits.
Camp cooking experiments by
Mulitpurpose ABC fire extinguisher
Thermal cooker
#6: Fireplace cooking.
Cooking in a fireplace is not a novel idea and yet preppers seem
to have forgotten that this is a way to safely cook your food off
grid and inside without electricity

Below are some innovative off-grid cooking ideas for how to use a
fireplace to cook food in an emergency...

Fireplace cooking method: stick roasting.
By the simplest of fireplace cooking methods, you can roast hot
dogs, marshmallows and even cook biscuits using the stick in the
Flameless cooker
Esbit stove
Indoor emergency cooking options
Wonderbag wonder oven
Emergency Heat Kit Refills
magic heat stove
Super Immunity Boosters
All American Sun Oven
#10: TeaLight Oven (Herc oven).
Cook anything, anytime, anywhere, regardless of the situation
with the
Herc Tealight oven. Bake, cook and dehydrate without
the electricity or gas, so you can cook indoors or out. This oven is
designed to harness the thermal energy from tealight candles
storing it in quarry stones. The Herc tealight oven uses two
methods of thermal energy transfer. Like your conventional oven
it uses convection and electromagnetic radiation (radiant) like the
sun heats you when you step outside. Fueled by tea light candles
makes baking and cooking without the use of electricity or gas
easy, economical and even fun.

  • Advantages: Bake chicken, bread, cake ~ virtually anything!  
    You can use any non-scented tealight to cook! Buy tealights
    in bulk and safely store your fuel.

  • Disadvantages: The Herc Tealight Oven is rather expensive
    and it requires quite a few tea lights to cook your food.

#11: Thermal cooking: Wonder Oven, thermal cooker.
Thermal cooking is heat transfer. With a non-electric thermal
cooker you first boil whatever is in the pot.  After boiling on a
stovetop, a thermal cooker will continue to cook.

Thermal cooker
Right is a non-electric thermal cooker with a large 6-liter capacity
which will continue to cook for up to 30 minutes. This thermal
cooker keeps food warm or cold for up to 8 hours; and it's super
easy to clean.

You need just 10 minutes on the stove, leave for work or play and
return home to a delicious meal. Thermal cooker saves energy
costs and preparation time. Just place the ingredients in the inner
pot, cover lid and bring to a boil on your stove. When brought to
a boil, remove from stove and place in outer thermal pot. Thermal
technology creates a convection effect by using the steam
produced inside to circulate and continue cooking for up to 30
minutes and warms for up to 8-hours food is cooked in its own
moisture and steam, so you preserve the nutrients.

Thermal cooking: Wonder Oven.
It might be a misnomer, but a wonder oven isn't really an oven. A
wonder oven, like
Wonderbag, continues to cook your food after
you've applied another heat source to get going. You might find
someone selling a Wonder Oven on ETSY, but it's going to be a
homemade version of Styrofoam filling.

  • Advantages: You'll never burn dinner again. A wonder oven  
    keeps your food hot or it can keep your food cold. The oven
    is great for transporting food to potluck parties, so you don't
    need to use the host's oven or you can bring along hot food
    to a picnic where you can't cook with an open flame.

  • Disadvantages: It's NOT really an oven! You must find a
    way to first boil your food. For example, for rice you'll boil
    the water first and then let it sit for 45 minutes. If you have
    a copper core pot, you wouldn't really need a Wonderbag for
    this. Radiant heat can continue to cook rice in a quart pot
    with a thick copper core for even heating. Rice will continue
    to cook without a Wonderbag in about 20 minutes  though
    the Wonderbag certainly retains an even cooking in other
    kinds of pots.
Above, see how easy it is to reheat or even cook your own meal from
scratch using Magic Cook, as seen on Shark Tank.

#9: Solar ovens.
If you have a skylight or window with lots of sun, you can cook
with a solar oven. With a solar oven you can bake, boil or steam
any kind of food with the power of the sun. Absolutely no fuel
needed, and there's no learning curve. Create your favorite
recipes as you feast upon natural sun baked treats! Just like your
home oven reaches temperatures of 360° to 400° F!

  • Advantages: A sun oven is totally safe. There's absolutely
    no danger of fire, and you'll never burn dinner again. A solar
    oven will add variety to your meals because you'll be able to

  • Disadvantages: You obviously can't cook at night, which
    means you'll need to plan well ahead of dinnertime. You'll
    need sun through a skylight or window to ensure cooking and
    you may need to move your oven to follow the sunlight.
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