Survival Cooking

January 28, 2013, by Ken Jorgustin

Survival Cooking

Survival cooking is a high priority matter for a prepper or person who is aware of modern day risks, who puts plans in place as contingency against emergency, disaster, or even collapse.

While cooking is not imperative for every survival situation, it is a means to maintain a safe and healthy diet of food and purified water.

We are accustomed to foods being processed for us, already free of bacteria and other harmful substances; for example, canned foods can be safely eaten without cooking.

The food in a survival kit should be selected such that it will not require cooking. On the contrary, survival food storage in your home should consist of a well rounded variety, some of which will certainly require cooking… if not only for health reasons but for your eating pleasure.

For those who have a municipal gas line to your home, you most likely already have a gas stove in your kitchen. During the majority of the more likely disaster scenarios, you will probably maintain gas pressure for some time, if not throughout the entire period without issue. Given the size of the gas pipeline distribution systems, the likelihood of power loss to enough of the systems that provide pressure, is low. However a very large scope disaster, although much more unlikely regarding the odds, could or will present problems.

For those who live in rural areas, many of you already have propane tanks that enable you to cook (and other), and would only run into trouble when your tanks run low. Again, for most of the disaster scenarios that are likely to occur, the recovery period will be short enough so as not to be a concern if you already have propane and an associated cooking stove. Again, if the disaster is a major collapse or worse, then you may have an issue getting your tanks refilled.

For most of the rest, which I believe to be the majority, you rely on electricity for your cooking. Electricity is one of the first things to go out during most disasters. Unfortunately, electricity is the single most important system that we rely upon in our modern world. And as equally unfortunate, most people have little knowledge or alternative methods to keep them going (alive?) for very long without electricity. Herein lies the purpose of this post… to think about what you would do without it as it pertains to survival cooking. Cooking without electricity.

Many methods of survival cooking involve the use of fuels such as propane, gas, and butane. This is all perfectly fine, provided that the disaster does not cut off or eliminate the long term access to obtaining these fuels.

If you already have a a propane stove, butane stove, BBQ grill, or gas stove such as a Coleman camp stove or other similar cooking stove, you will also have on hand some amount of fuel for it. Question yourself as to whether or not you have enough. For the most part, these fuels will not go bad. So long as these fuels are stored safely it will not hurt to have a bit more supply than you think you’ll need.

An important consideration for survival cooking is to have a backup plan for if you run out of petroleum based fuels for your portable cooking stoves.

This basically leaves two natural sources of energy that can be converted to sufficient heat so as to cook food or boil (or pasteurize) water for safe drinking. They are, Firewood and the Sun.

If you had to cook over a fire, do you have what it takes?

Do you know how to build a fire? When is the last time that you tried? Do you have a method to support your pots and pans over the fire? A cooking grate? A tripod stand to suspend a dutch oven? Do you have an adequate supply of ready firewood?

Do you have a wood stove, perhaps for heat or to supplement heating in your home? They could also be used for cooking. In my opinion it is one of the best ‘big ticket’ preparedness items to own…

Do you have a solar oven? Did you know that you could even build your own with some minimal carpentry skills? Did you know that you can cook pretty much anything in a solar oven even though the temperature inside may not reach that of the oven in your kitchen?

Hopefully this has got you to thinking about your own current backup plans for survival cooking if you should lose the means to conventional cook with what you have today…