We had a pretty wild snowstorm last week– we got about 2.5 feet of snow dumped on us at once, everything shut down, and our county was in a state of emergency with a travel ban due to avalanches on nearby roads.
Thankfully, our power did NOT go out. But it made me think about whether or not we would have been prepared if it had. With no ability to leave the house, an outage would have made things a bit complicated!
Candles & oil lamp- check. Water bottles- check. Shelf-stable food- check. Extra blankets and layers of clothing- check. Shelter- check. And, happily for us, we also had the ability to cook without power if needed.
Almost four years ago, my husband built us a beautiful mud oven in our back yard. (You can read the post on that process here.) It was made with mostly found materials and runs on small logs and manpower. It’s delightful to use for cooking any day of the week, but it would be especially useful during a power outage.
Of course, power outages don’t only happen in winter, and there are other reasons to use alternative cooking methods besides an outage. Saving money on bills, reducing heat in the house in the summer, or just enjoying the charm of cooking outdoors- cooking without power is a skill for all occasions.
Thus, I present to you: cooking options that don’t involve electricity. (This post contains affiliate links.)
- Open Fire Cooking
Sounds obvious, right? However, I’m often ashamed of how long it takes me to start a fire, and I know I’m probably not alone in my challenges. Here are some posts with tips on cooking over an open fire:
- The Lost Art of Cooking Over a Fire (Hillsborough Homesteading)
- How to Cook Over an Open Fire (Montana Homesteading)
- How to Build a Better Fire (Mother Earth News)
2. Solar Ovens
Solar ovens are what they sound like: cooking with no fuel but the sun! Now that’s cheap power! I have never tried a solar oven, but they are apparently a popular off-grid cooking option. Here are several posts with more information & solar oven recipes:
- How to Bake in a Solar Oven (Homestead Honey)
- Solar Oven Blueberry Muffins (Homestead Honey)
- Goat Roast in the Sun Oven (Imperfectly Happy)
- Slow Roasted Rabbit in the Sun Oven (Imperfectly Happy)
- Hard Boil Eggs with the Solar Sun Oven (Off Grid Homesteader Prepper)
3. Dutch Ovens
Obviously, a dutch oven can be used indoors in a conventional oven. However, its durability lends itself to alternative cooking methods very well. If you’ve managed to find yourself a good cast iron dutch oven, be happy. You can do a lot with it! Here are a few examples:
- How to Bake Without an Oven (Homestead Honey)
- Dutch Oven Cooking: Zucchini Bread (Learning and Yearning)
4. Alternative Stoves
Who says you need a nice cook top to saute something? Check out these posts for some alternatives to the conventional range.
- Baking Without an Oven: Woodstove Bakes (Homestead Honey)
- How to Build a Rocket Stove (Attainable Sustainable)
5. Earth & Brick Ovens
- What Can You Cook in a Mud Oven? (They’re Not Our Goats)
- The Backyard Bread & Pizza Oven Ebook (Homestead Honey)
- Build Your Own Earth Oven (Kiko Denzer)- the guide my husband used to build our cob oven.
- How to Make an Underground Oven (Hometalk)
Jas Townsend– one of our original mud oven inspirations:
Other Inspiring Posts
- 6 Ways to Cook Outdoors (Grow Cook Forage Ferment)
- Solo Pot Review– for those who like fancy gear (Survival at Home)
- 11 Ways to Cook Off-Grid Without Power (Melissa K. Knorris)
What other ways have you cooked without electricity? Share below in the comments!