Getting processed foods out of your diet as much as possible is the best way to better health.
That means cooking at home, with fresh ingredients from scratch. What do you do if it’s too hot to be cooking? Or, if the power is out due to a storm? Do you just run through the drive thru then? Are you forced to subside on cold sandwiches and cans of cold beans?
What about if you need to boil water? Do you know how to boil water without electricity or fire, in times of power outtages or storms?
For these situations, you need to know how to prepare food by cooking off grid. These are the 3 off grid cooking appliances I use most often:
SunOven (get yours here!)
Using only the power of the sun, this oven can hard cook eggs, bake brownies and bread, and even roast a whole turkey with minimal effort! You can brew tea, it’s great for how to boil water without electricity or fire, and make an entire dinner. It’s quite portable as well. The SunOven can go camping or on a road trip and doesn’t take up a huge amount of space.
What I like about the Sun Oven is that it’s affordable (only $300 here), easy to set up, use, and clean. It’s portable, and there is no chance of burning the food. There is also zero risk of fire.
There is one thing that I don’t like about the Sun Oven. One is that it’s hard to use on a cloudy day. Even on a sunny day, you need to keep redirecting the oven as the sun moves (approximately every 30 minutes or so) and these ovens are rather bulky to reach into. I have to have it waist high, and stand on a stool in order to be able to reach into the center and remove food.
Wonder Oven (get yours here!)
This off grid cooking appliance is a bean bag in a box type of cooking method. The wonder oven itself is a cloth bag filled with tiny beads, similar to bean bags. You place the wonder oven in a large, covered Rubbermaid type box to hold the heat in.
Cooking your food in the wonder oven is easy. Just heat the food on the stove to a rolling boil, then place a lid on the pot. You want to fit the liquid and food as tightly in the pot as possible, meaning you will use the smallest pot you can for the food you are cooking.
Once the liquid has been brought to a boil for 15 minutes, cover with the pot lid and set it in the middle of the bottom bag. Add the top bag, close the plastic container lid, and forget it. The wonder oven will keep cooking your food for up to 15 hours, holding the heat in perfectly. Great for soups, stews, rice, casseroles, and even breads!
Things to love about the WonderOven are that it’s very affordable, there is no risk of burning the food while cooking, and it can be used in any weather. The WonderOven is also very portable, easy to store, and will keep food hot or cold for hours. I use this to keep milk cold on a hot summer day when I have to get it from the farm that is 20 miles away.
Of course, to make the WonderOven really work, you need to have it in a large tote with a lid, such as a Rubbermaid box. That makes it really bulky to store if you store them together. It also will take some practice using it in order to make foods beyond simple soups, stews, and rice. Since you are putting in a pot with boiling liquids, you’ll want to be very careful not to spill the contents on yourself. That also takes a lot of practice to get right. Totally worth it, though!
Outdoor Grill (available at any local store!)
Another great way for cooking off grid is with an outdoor grill. This can be pricey or affordable, depending on the model you choose. You can cook with propane or charcoal, making it very user friendly. Outdoor grills can be portable, depending on the size. The best part is that you can make so much more than hot dogs or hamburgers! Try chicken, pizza, fish, and even baking some foods on your grill!
Grilling can be done in almost any weather. If it’s raining or snowing, you can move your grill under a canopy or open garage to keep out of the elements. They are easy to use, and you can often use wood instead of charcoal with this type of grill.
Of course, if you live in an apartment, you may not be allowed to use this method of cooking, and the risk of fire is pretty high. Food can also go from raw to burned quickly. Grilling will require constant attention to be done successfully, unlike the other methods that you can walk away from while food is cooking.
As you can see, cooking with off grid cooking appliances isn’t difficult.
I would recommend that you try all three methods to give you a wider set of skills during your next power outage. Plus, using these methods will keep your home much cooler in the summer time!
What off grid cooking appliances do you use most often for cooking? Be sure to pin this for later!