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October 1, 2009

Off Grid Cooking Options Part 2

Part 1 of this series dealt with cooking with a solar oven. As you read, solar ovens are a great way to cook off the grid. But they require a good sunny day, and you have to have a solution for the day's that aren't sunny. This is where propane comes in. Propane is a prepper's best friend when it comes to cooking off the grid. It's cheap enough to store and lasts pretty much forever.

Propane is useful in the short or long term. It is something that if used primarily for cooking can really be stretched out; especially for emergency disaster cooking. You can cook with propane indoors (granted you have at least a window open for some ventilation) and it's a very stable fuel. For the price you really can't beat it as a survival cooking fuel. For cooking a Coleman 2 Burner Instastart Propane Stove would be perfect for any family's emergency cooking needs.

This stove puts out 22,000 BTU's of heat and will run both burners on high for over 4 hours on 1 gallon of propane.* Granted you're not always going to have them on full blast, so 1 gallon of propane can go a long way. They are designed to be used with the small propane tanks you can get at a sporting goods store pre-filled. It's good to store a few of those in the house so they are easily accessible if you need them in a pinch. An adapter kit with a hose can be purchased to run the stove off of a larger propane tank.

The larger tanks are a lot cheaper gallon for gallon. A 100 pound tank locally is a little over $100. Filled up you're looking at paying roughly $6.00 a gallon for the propane including the tank**. Hooked up with your emergency cooking stove and you've got 100 hours of cook time. That's equivalent to cooking with both burners on high for over 4 solid days. As you can see that's a lot of cook time and in an emergency when cooking with your food storage you're going to be conserving it as much as possible. It would be safe to say that 100 pounds would last you through your 3 month supply no problem.

Supplement that with your solar oven and there's no telling how long it would last. A couple hundred pounds and you could cook your 1 year food supply with little investment. It would be best to keep the larger tanks in the garage, and possibly have a dolly to cart them in when need be. The larger tanks aren't necessary. You can have multiple 20 pound tanks or others. This is just an example to show you how beneficial propane is to preppers. The following parts will include other off grid cooking options so be on the look out!

*This estimate is based on factory specs of the stove running up to an hour with both burners on high on 16.4oz of propane. 64oz of propane in a gallon / 16oz = 4 hours of burn time.

**This estimate assumes the average nationwide price of $2.00 per gallon for propane.

Off Grid Cooking Options Part 1
Off Grid Cooking Options Part 3