Monday, March 21, 2011
Cooking your Food Storage
Imagine for a moment that your family is without power or running water. This situation will last for an indeterminate amount of time, until the power grid is restored or a disaster is remedied. You are now living off of your food storage. How will you cook your food?
If you are a camper or a Dutch oven-er you probably have some idea how you would prepare food. If you have a cook stove or a stove in your home with a cooking surface or maybe even a baking oven, you wouldn’t worry. Unless it’s 90º outside.
If you know the answer to this question, then you are prepared. If you aren’t sure then maybe it’s a good idea to look at some of the options.
I’ve heard many say that they have a camper that is equipped with cooking utensils and a stove and that they could cook in their camper for a few days. If you fit into this category then that is wonderful. Please make sure, though, that you have enough fuel stored for an extended period of time, not just a few days. And, maybe you could have some other options as well.
Dutch oven cooking is a great option. If you are familiar with the process of cooking with Dutch ovens and can successfully do that at your own home, then that is a great option for you. If you have Dutch ovens and equipment to prepare meals you will do well in an emergency. It’s a good idea to have some extra charcoal briquettes stored for use in the event of an emergency.
Most people today have an outdoor grill that uses either propane or briquettes as well. If you are one of these, then you are probably prepared with extra propane and/or briquettes. Hopefully you know various ways of cooking on your grill and could prepare food for your family to sustain them in the event of an emergency.
There are also various other camping or emergency cooking tools that let you prepare food. Maybe you have a Cache cooker (a propane cooker with 2 burners – or more) just one of several brands.
You might have a Volcano cooker that uses wood, charcoal or converts to propane, and the tools to go with it. And you know how to use it and have experimented and cooked with it.
If you are prepared with any of these various cooking tools, then you probably know that storing 15 – 20 lb. bags of charcoal will be enough to provide 1 hot meal for your family per day. The charcoal should be stored in buckets or barrels to protect it from moisture. Remember this is a minimum recommended amount.
Maybe you just have the small folding stoves that use canned heat or pellets. These are great for a short term emergency but not sufficient for extended use.
If you have a sun oven, you are in good shape for baking casseroles or breads, unless there are lots of clouds and wind. A great option for sunny days regardless of cold, cold temperatures, but not reliable as your only source of cooking.
One of the mistakes many people make is not so much that they don’t have a cooking source, but that they aren’t prepared with enough fuel to last in a long term emergency. Evaluate what you have on hand. How long would it last? Do you have more than one option, such as propane, wood, briquettes’, sun oven etc. Don’t make the mistake of having a great food storage but no way to cook the food over a long period of time.