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How To Be Prepared To Cook Emergency Meals


Staff member
Feb 16, 2024
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Dutch Oven Cooking Over Some Logs

Today’s post is to help people prepare to cook emergency meals outside. If and when we have a power outage, and we will, we need to be able to cook emergency meals. Some of you may have purchased packages of food to which you just add tepid or boiling water. Well, you will need a way to boil that water in an emergency.

I’ll give you the recommended choices because I have used all of these and stored them ready to cook food for my family. Here’s the deal: you also need fuel, so I’ll suggest some fuel options for you to use with your cooking devices.

How To Be Prepared To Cook Emergency Meals

I’ve taught classes for several years on using the following cooking devices. I will say this: I have cooked inside buildings (for classes) and in my own home with a butane stove. I recently saw a box at a store containing a butane stove that stated, “designed to cook outside.”

So, I’ll leave the decision to you whether you feel safe using one inside your home. I gave all four daughters a butane stove with butane canisters. Here’s the deal: You would never cook for several hours on a butane stove. It’s designed to boil water, make coffee, heat up a meal, make some hot chocolate, or warm up a can of beans in a pan. I made sure I had good ventilation when using the butane stove, and things seemed to work fine.

Cook Emergency Meals​

Butane Stove​

Butane Stove UPDATE: Butane/Propane Duel Fuel Stove

Pro: Inexpensive, uses very little fuel to boil water, and you can cook emergency meals.

Con: It can only hold a small pan or pot.

Fuel: Uses butane fuel; once the fuel is gone, it can’t be used with any other fuel Butane Canisters

Kelly Kettle​

Here’s my post on how to use a Kelly Kettle.

Pro: It uses pine cones, leaves, or dry twigs, basically free fuel.

Con: You may say it’s a little pricey, but you can usually gather free fuel, so for me, it’s cost-effective.

Fuel: Pine cones, leaves, or dry twigs.

Dutch Oven​

I prefer a 6-quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven or smaller because of weight. The 8-quart size is too heavy for me to handle, but I know they’re popular. I also like to buy Dutch ovens with lids with a lip like this one: Dutch Oven because you can stack them when cooking meals.

Pro: They will last forever if treated and stored properly, are fairly inexpensive, and you can cook emergency meals effectively.

Con: They will rust if not properly stored and cleaned (but you should be able to salvage any cast iron pot, within reason). Like any quality cookware, you need to give them proper care after each use.

Fuel: Fire pit, wood stove if it has a cooking shelf, directly on charcoal briquettes, or lump charcoal or wood.

Lodge Cast Iron permitted me to print this cooking sheet for Dutch Ovens: Dutch Oven Chart.

Volcano Stove​

Here’s a post on how to use Volcano Stove: Volcano Stove Pictures by Linda

Pro: You can boil water and cook on a grill; you can also cook emergency meals in one of these with a tent; if desired, you can use a medium-sized cast iron pot on this stove.

Con: Fairly expensive, but it uses three different fuels: wood, charcoal briquettes, and propane (make sure you have the right adaptor for the small tanks of propane and/or the larger propane tanks).

Camp Chef Stove/Oven Combo​

This stove is great because I can bake a casserole or bread in the oven if I remove one shelf for the bread, anyway. Camp Chef It’s useful for more than just camping. They can prove handy when you want to cook outside for family get-togethers, neighborhood parties, and church group outings.

Pro: You can bake, fry, boil, and make just about any meal on the top of the stove or inside the oven.

Con: Uses propane; you can’t use this stove with other fuels once the propane is gone.

Fuel: Propane only; make sure you have both adaptors for the large propane tanks or the small canisters.

Camp Chef Two-Burner Stove​

I love this unit because you can cook with relatively large pans. I picture boiling water for spaghetti with this baby when our neighborhood has a grid down. Camp Chef two-burner stove

Pro: Extremely sturdy and somewhat expensive, but uses fairly large pans to cook emergency meals.

Con: When you run out of propane, this unit will not work; it is relatively expensive.

Fuel: Propane only


Gas barbecues are a popular backyard cooking option, but they aren’t great for general meals. That’s especially true if you’re preparing meals from your emergency food supply because boiling water requires so much fuel, but they are an option.

Pro: Just about everyone has a gas barbecue.

Con: Once you run out of fuel, the barbecue is less attractive; although briquettes can be used, they are just not as efficient for general use.

Fuel: Propane and briquettes, unless you have a pellet one, but once the fuel is gone, you’re out of luck.

Fire Pit​

I bought two fire pits, one from Amazon and one from Lehman’s. Lehman’s had a great sale on one, and I had to wait to have it crafted and shipped, but it was so worth the wait.

Firepit With Kids Roasting Hot Dogs

Pro: You can buy different sizes in so many other materials; I opted for copper and steel. You can build one reasonably inexpensive with bricks and add gravel inside the pit

Con: It can be expensive if you buy one premad.

Fuel: Depending on the pit material, you can use wood, charcoal briquettes, and lump charcoal

Sun Oven​

I have two Sun Ovens. The manufacturer gave me one for doing a review after using the product, and then I purchased a second one because I love them so much. I lived in Southern Utah, so our area’s sunshine was pretty consistent. Sun Oven

Pro: Sunshine, if available, is free to cook emergency meals.

Con: Fairly expensive, and I don’t recommend these if you have little consistent sunshine in your area.

Fuel: Sunshine

I hope this post today gets you excited about being prepared to cook emergency meals after a disaster. Please practice now with any cooking device you may have purchased. If you haven’t already, please get them out of the box and learn how to use them. Practice cooking with them today before an unforeseen emergency hits your neighborhood. May God bless you for being prepared.

My Book: “Prepare Your Family for Survival” by Linda Loosli

Copyright Images: Firepit: AdobeStock_11610595 by Acik, Dutch Oven: AdobeStock_57870160 by svetlankahappy

The post How To Be Prepared To Cook Emergency Meals appeared first on Food Storage Moms.
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