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Cooking Alternatives You May Not Know About

There are a variety of ways that exist to cook when an emergency precludes you from using the cooking appliances you have grown accustomed to using. Prior to the industrial revolution, which positively transformed the way we all live in the developed and developing world, people cooked their food on wood stoves, and over fires. Our self-sufficient ancestors should serve as a model to follow during times of disasters when we too need to rely on ourselves and our knowhow to get by.

Cooking Using a Woodstove

A stove is primarily an enclosed heated space, which either uses coal or wood as its fuel source. Enclosed wood stoves hold out the greatest possibility of maximum efficiency, controllability and lessen smoke emission than simple open fires. For generations our ancestors utilized these wood stoves to keep warm, bake, and, of course, cook.

The Dutch Oven For Outdoor Use

A Dutch oven is a cooking pot with thick walls (usually cast iron) and a tight-fitting lid. Dutch ovens have been used as cooking vessels for countless generations. In addition, Dutch ovens are one of the best ways of cooking outdoors. One can use charcoal or wood as burning fuel.

Dutch ovens are generally called cocottes in the French language, and are referred to as "casserole dishes" in British English. They are analogous to both the Japanese tetsunabe and the Sač, a typical Balkan cast-iron oven, and are associated to the South African Potjie and the Australian Bedourie oven.

A camping Dutch oven, which is what is commonly used, has three legs (a tripod) that acts as a base, a handle, and a somewhat concave, rimmed lid so that charcoal briquettes or coals from the cooking fire can be placed on top as well as the bottom. This allows for more uniform internal heat and makes the inside act as an oven.

Solar Ovens

A solar oven or solar cooker is a nonelectrical appliance which uses the sunlight as its only energy source. Solar ovens can be used whenever the Sun is out, and because they use no fuel and they cost absolutely nothing to operate, humanitarian organizations are advocating their use around the world to assist moderate deforestation and desertification, caused by excessive use of wood as fuel for cooking. There are various types of solar oven cookers available: Box cookers, panel cookers, cookers with parabolic reflectors, and finally hybrid cookers.

Casting the obvious advantages of solar cookers aside, one of the disadvanteges of solar cookers is that they provide hot food during the warmest part of the day, usually when people are less motivated to eat a hot meal. Morever, they take longer time to cook food compared to a standard oven. As a result, utilizing a solar oven requires that food preparation be started a few hours prior to the meal. Nonetheless, the advantages of solar cookers outweigh not using them at all. They can save you money, and can be fun for the whole family to use.

Should you choose to, you can build your own solar oven using one of the many plans available on the internet.

Alternative Fuels To Use During Disasters

Coal and Wood are in my experience the most practical of all types of fuel to store. The availability of standard types of fuel such natural gas, petroleum, propane, butane and kerosene will be severely limited in a serious emergency situation. You can if you wish store several small tanks of propane and butane to be used with their respective stoves during short term emergencies. To be beter prepared for protacted disasters requires that you store, as mentioned above, coal and wood.

There is one thing, however, you have to keep in mind when storing coal and wood. It is best to keep these long trusted sources of energy in a dry shed, which will make certain that either fuel will burn when their use is called upon.


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