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Cooking Off the Grid

You gotta' eat, right? Think of our friends on The Walking Dead scooping pork and beans out of a can, cold and old. However, some sources of food must be cooked thoroughly in order to kill harmful bacteria. After TEOTWAWKI, bacteria can kill you.  Cooking over the open fire will be common, but did you know that over cooking off the grid could expose you to marauders?  The key to cooking off the grid is to do it efficiently and safely, while maintaining operational security.

There are several survival cooking methods for when you have to go off the grid.  A big consideration will be availability of power and fuel.  We will examine several methods of cooking off the grid that should be incorporated into your preparedness plan.  In addition to the various methods of cooking off the grid, there are many products to prepare you for cooking off the grid such as cast iron cookware, wood stoves and solar ovens.


Prepping Off Grid

Living Off The Grid

Survival Shelter




Alternative Energy


Open Fire

The lure of the campfire. Romantic, rustic taking in the spectacular scenery of the forest.  Modern camp stoves and specialized cookware may make the camp's cook happy but nothing beats the taste and appeal of a meal cooked over the campfire. Mastering the art of campfire cooking is an essential survival skill for preppers.


We cover campfire cooking in depth in this article:

Campfire Cooking For Preppers

Wood Fired Cast Iron Stoves

This is one of my favorites as it allows for a dual purpose of heating your Bug Out Location as well as providing an excellent method of cooking off the grid.

Wood Burning Camp Stove

An excellent choice for cooking off the grid is a wood burning camp stove, sometimes referred to as a rocket stove. A rocket stove creates efficient combustion by burning wood at a high temperature and its design ensures a good air draft. There are rocket stoves that are solar powered and the BioLite stove shown below has a thermoelectric generator to generate electricity suitable for powering USB devices. This particular stove is portable, weighing only 2 lbs, and is capable of boiling a liter of water in under 5 minutes.

The Hobo Stove

The homeless, formerly known as hobos prior to the days of political correctness, are some of modern society's greatest survivalists. If I were a bettin' man, I'd put my money on a homeless guy to survive TEOTWAWKI over the local bank branch manager. how about you?

In its basic form, a hobo stove is made from a tin can with its top removed. Then punch several small holes near the upper edge and a larger opening on the side of the near the bottom to provide fuel and air. Here is the true hobo version:

Then there is the modern day version:

Sterno Portable Stoves

For cooking off the grid, there is nothing better than having a portable sterno stove in your bug out gear. Easy to store and pack, Sterno burns clean and provides little potential for comprising your location.

Cooking With Charcoal

The classic backyard option. One of the preps that we always recommend is several bags of charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid. We also highly recommend a cast iron grill as it is more durable long term. In a future article, we will discuss how to make your own charcoal once the Kingsford runs out. Here is our choice for a Cast Iron charcoal grill:

Propane Stoves

Even if you don't have propane fueled fireplaces, we suggest having multiple propane tanks to be used as an alternative fuel source post TEOTWAWKI. Propane fuel comes in cylinders as small as 16 ounces to as large as 500 pounds for residential use. If you heat your home with propane, always keep your tanks full.  Also, install a propane grill attached to the tank. This is an excellent method of off grid cooking until, of course, the propane runs out. For bugging out, consider a one burner stove and corresponding propane fuel canisters.  This is our choice.

Blended Fuels Stoves

One of the downsides to Butane Fuel cooking is the fact that near freezing conditions, the butane may not burn efficiently. However, a company called Primus has developed a blended four season mix called "Power Gas". These blended fuel stove include propane, butane and isobutane. They are efficient, safe and easy to transport.

Solar Ovens

A solar oven or solar cooker harnesses the power of the sun to create an off the grid fuel source to power an oven. Using aluminum reflectors to bake foods, a solar oven concentrates the suns rays which converts sunlight to heat, and thus energy. It is a year round method of cooking as it is not effected by falling temperatures.

There are DIY methods of creating a solar oven which will be discussed at length in a future article.  Here are our recommendations for a solar oven:

The method you choose for cooking off grid will be location driven. In my opinion this is yet another factor which should encourage you to move to your Bug Out Location now.

These articles will help.


cooking off the grid campfire


solar oven cooking off the grid