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Cooking When the Power Goes Out

Category Power Outage
Inclement weather often results in power outages. One inconvenience of the loss of power is that cooking may be impossible. This is a guide about cooking when the power goes out.


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May 16, 2012

Can Cooking on the Deadwood Stove

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Save your valuable cooking fuel for winter or emergencies. I saw Polish sausage marked down today to $1 each (from over $3.50) so got one and can cooked it with a pack of beef wieners with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.



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August 10, 20060 found this helpful

I am moving into a home thats total electric which means my stove is electric. Any advice on what I could use as an alternative to the stove for cooking if the electric is out during inclement weather?

Onesummer from GA

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 11, 20060 found this helpful

Consider buying a gas (propane) BBQ grill with a side burner. We used ours when we lost power in Alaska. Admittedly that sometimes meant cooking in a rain slicker or down jacket, but it worked.

Hope that helps!

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 11, 20060 found this helpful

Oh MY!! Did you strike a chord!!! Our power went out just before Christmas last year and was out for four days. The temp went to 10 below on Christmas eve and it was just about as cold as I EVER want to be. If you are out in the country, don't forget that your pump for water is electric, too, and you won't get water for drinking, washing anything....or worst of all....flushing!!! Make sure you stock up on bottled water for drinking and cooking. I usually have several gallons on hand. Just buy the cheap stuff at Walmart and put it in the garage or basement You won't regret it. I also fill 4 or 5 of the pickle buckets with the lids (try fast food places or bulk food stores) to keep water for flushing and any washing...anything but human consumption. I think that not enough water is just about the worst thing about power outage, We also had a power line down across our driveway, so no one could get in or out for the duration. We couldn't leave because we had several pets and about 30 chickens that would have died if we had left without some sort of heat for them.

If you get power out in the winter or when it is raining, a nice fondue pot that uses sterno is very handy. I even made coffee in my fondue pot. I fixed vegetable soup and hot dogs the first night.

A fireplace is a real boon in the cooler times. I made a "stove" by upturning a large bowl and upturning a large iron skillet...I used the BOTTOM of the skillet as I would the top of a stove. For hotter, I pushed the skillet into the fire and used another skillet or a pot on top. To simmer, I pulled the large skillet out a bit. On Christmas day that year, I made sausage and the BEST french toast on that fireplace stove. Later that day, I made probably the best gumbo I ever tasted. Just started to simmer water and chicken, onion, garlic, green peppers, canned tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, and ended up with brown and serve sausage and rice at the end. Our son came up with the idea to think of five things to be thankful for on Christmas, even without electric. We had no problem!!! For more ideas, just email me at jonminard AT

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August 11, 20060 found this helpful

If a gas grill is too expensive just to have around in case of power outage you can use a charcoal grill or Hibachi. Also for outdoors but can be used just inside the (open) garage door. My mother had to do this for 10 days after hurricane Carol in 1953

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 11, 20060 found this helpful

I second a camp stove, but if you don't have one, they are expensive. try the after summer sales or go to camping stores and buy the little portable can stove/heaters.

another thing you could use is the top of a wood burning stove. you can put a pot of soup on top in morning and cook all day , contain heat by covering pan with lid.

and remember if the power is out and it is cold outside you can put refrigerated items on the porch inside something water and critter proof.

we too were all electric, but we bought a gas range earlier this yr when income tax return time came , so now we not only can cook but also can use the oven for heat if the power goes out. which was our intention.

good luck


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August 12, 20060 found this helpful

Yep, I also agree a gas grill is the way to go. We also have an all electric house (I personally would prefer a gas stove but oh well....) Anyway, a gas grill is mighty handy to cook on in the heat of summer here in the deep south but it is a practical necessity after a hurricane for cooking!!

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August 12, 20060 found this helpful

Betsy LT - we used to grill ALL year in ALaska, especially for holidays and Super-Bowl! I keep extra charcoal and fluid through the winter just in case. Unfortunately, we have more rain than snow here in Oregon!

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 13, 20060 found this helpful

what about a charcoal grill.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 14, 20060 found this helpful

I live in southern Arizona and every darned time we have a thunderstorm,our electric goes out..I have a Propane cook stove and a propane heater for the living room .we have lost our electric for 4 days one time in the wintertime when it wea 17 degrees and really cold.I usually keep bottled water in the garage and a 35 gal.plastic barrel filled to flush the toilets.I can cook and stay warm when it's cold and we bought a large Generator[diesel] some years ago from Harbor Freight and this past time when the electric was out-we were the only ones keeping cool in the 120 degree temperature from a small window air conditioner in the room used for tv viewing.were I you-I'd have a propane stove[ small apt.size would do the job just fine] in the garage for cooking and a wood heater in the living room for those days when the electric isn't prepared and you won't get caught with no way to cook or stay warm in the winter.

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August 15, 20060 found this helpful

Gee, all these suggestions and no one mentioned take-out??

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 31, 20060 found this helpful

I know I am a little behind in e-mail, and sure you have receveived a few solutions, but there is always the option to HAVE CHARCOAL & LIGHTER on hand!

In a pinch -- even in winter, a barbecue can be used to cook! (I emphasize winter, b/c many outages occur during winter.)

If you cookout a lot, I'm sure you have an open bag in your garage or storage area. If you do not, make sure you have a full bag, in addition to the started one. That way, in case of say, a 3-day outage, (God forbid) you would have enough charcoal to last you.

PLUS... remember -- the very people who don't keep a supply of charcoal on hand will be the ones at the store, buying the last dozen or so bags off the shelf! Why have to fight 'em for one (or more)???

Yer NEW Hillbilly friend in TN...


PROUD father of an American Soldier

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