SHTF Cooking Considerations In A Grid Down Scenario (Article)

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Harper, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Harper

    Harper Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    6,018
    Likes Received:
    39,830
    Source:
    http://www.survivaldan101.com/shtf-cooking-considerations-in-a-grid-down-scenario/


    SHTF Cooking Considerations In A Grid Down Scenario


    [​IMG]

    Being able to eat in a grid down or SHTF scenario is more complicated than just having your long-term food storage needs taken care of. There are quite a few other considerations preppers need to keep in mind.

    How will you cook the food you have stored? How will you get rid of the trash in a disaster situation? And how will you avoid ringing the dinner bell for everyone in the neighborhood? Depending on the types of foods you have in your storage, these could all become issues.

    While there are some aspects of prepping that is complicated, this can be easily remedied with a little foresight, planning, and operational security. Most people would not give a second thought to firing up the BBQ in a disaster, but as preppers, we know (or should know) the dangers that could bring.

    We will cover some of the dangers and precautions we should take when cooking in a disaster scenario, and even some other cooking options along with the solar cooking option.


    GRID DOWN COOKING DANGERS AND PRECAUTIONS

    When it comes to a disaster or SHTF situation, there is more to think about when it comes to food than just food storage. Everything we do from preparing that food to removing the waste (including human) created by eating need to be considered.

    Depending on what we are cooking and how we are cooking it, it’s going to be difficult to mask the fact that we have food, when others may not. Cooking a juicy steak in a SHTF situation may be delicious, but firing up the propane grill may ring the dinner bell for the neighbors.

    A situation like this would also mean no running water, no sewage, and no trash removal. These days we don’t give these a second thought, but in a longer term disaster we need to have plans in place to combat these challenges.

    As preppers we should all be prepared for the dangers and precautions that come with cooking. everything listed above could be indicators to hungry people that we have food, while they are starving.

    This is a bit of a double edged sward because it’s not feasible to think that we can go it alone, but we do need to be careful about what you say, and who you say it to. I talk quite a bit to some people about prepping (more than I probably should), but one thing that never comes up is “how much” I have.

    When I am asked how I can justify turning people away in a crisis, I simply tell them that my responsibility is protecting my family, that I don’t have any insider information, and anyone can do it if they choose to…including them.


    DID YOU SMELL THAT!?

    We’ve all driven by a restaurant or walked in the house and said “that smells amazing!” When you are the last one on the block with food, that’s the last thing you want to happen.

    If you live in a rural area, and the wind is blowing in the right direction it might not be as big problem, but if you live in an urban area, your neighbor is probably 20 feet away, and can smell anything you cook.

    Foods that only require boiling, low fat foods and foods with very few spices are going to give off the least smell. When you grill a steak the juices run off and create a mouthwatering smell, and when you bake a chicken covered in spices, it might taste fantastic, but that smell is likely to travel around the neighborhood.

    Canned Food: Other than the trash buildup, canned food is a great idea because it can be heated easily, but doesn’t require heating. DIY canning and dehydration also falls into this category, but it needs to be done beforehand.

    Long Term Food: Prepackaged food are also great because they give off very little smell and only require boiling water to prepare.

    Uncooked Food: I’m not suggesting you eat raw hamburger, but fruits and vegetables might be available initially, but won’t last long. If you have a garden that would be better, but that might also make you a target.

    (Cont.)
     
    Walking Crow, Barry J and Not Sure like this.
  2. Harper

    Harper Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    6,018
    Likes Received:
    39,830
    IT’S DINNER TIME!

    Another precaution you can take is planning when you cook. Because most of us are active and eat during the day, you might want to do your cooking late at night, or very early in the morning.

    You will also need to give extra consideration to security because you won’t be able to see if someone is on their way over at night, and people feel more embolden under the cover of darkness.

    Our idea of what breakfast lunch and dinner are might (and probably will) change. If you look at what you have right now that doesn’t require refrigeration, and think about how you would cook it, you will see how your diet will change. The odds are you won’t be grilling a lot of meat, you won’t have milk or all the condiments in your refrigerator door.


    TRASH BUILDUP IS A RED FLAG

    One last thing you need to keep in mind is what you are going to do with your trash after you are done cooking. The odds are trash pickup will not be available, and as it begins to buildup you don’t want people seeing empty boxes of cereal, and empty cans of food.

    Burning it will probably not be an option, but burying it might be. At the very least, you can put it in black trash bags that are hidden…out of sight, out of mind.


    THE “INCONVENIENT” TRUTH

    There will be no more fast food, no more convenience stores or prepackaged frozen meals to cook. For most people this is going to be a huge adjustment, but as preppers we should be ready for this. Having food storage is one thing, knowing how to use it is another.

    Below is a list of off the grid cooking options we might have available, but the most important part of this is knowing how to cook it. Knowing how to make bread, or knowing how to put together a soup is just as important as having these ingredients stored.


    EMERGENCY COOKING OPTIONS

    Gas Generators: These might be an option early on, but most are really loud, and require fuel storage. We have an 8,000 Watt generator which will be useful for power outages and natural disasters, but not a full blown SHTF event. With proper ventilation you could even run a generator from your basement.

    Solar Generators: You can purchase a solar generator, but this would cost you thousands of dollars. A DIY solar generator like the one I am working on is a little more cost effective, and will eventually turn into an all-out solar powered battery bank.

    Gas Stoves: If you have a gas powered stove you are one of the lucky ones, we are not so lucky. These will operate even when to power grid goes down, although you will need to use a lighter to light the flame.

    Wood Fire: A fireplace or wood burning stove are great to have, but this is another method I would think twice about long term, because you are basically giving off smoke signals to the neighborhood. That being said, we are still looking to get a wood burning stove insert for our fireplace.

    Sun Ovens or Solar Cookers: We have a Sun Oven, and we love it! It gives off very little smell, and can cook almost anything. The downside is that they need to be outside with plenty of light, and are hard to camouflage. There are plenty of DIY ideas for solar cookers, but they won’t be as efficient as an All American Sun Oven.

    Propane Grill: Most of us have an outdoor grill, but the only part of that grill I will be using in a SHTF scenario are the side burners. This could be the biggest dinner bell you can ring, because I always know when my neighbors are cooking hamburgers and ribs.

    Coleman Grill: A good camp grill is a little better option because the fat and juices stay in the pan rather than getting burned off. These can also be used indoors in an emergency, although you do need proper ventilation…and a fire extinguisher just in case.

    Hot Plate: The average hot plate takes about 1200 watts to run (that’s quite a bit) but you will need some way to generate power to use it. If you have a way to generate power these are a good option, if you don’t, there are plenty of other options.

    Sterno Cooking: cooking with Sterno canisters might not be the most efficient, but it can be done indoors, just as caterers and restaurants do all the time. While these would take a while to boil water, they can be used to heat food up, and even heat yourself up.

    Oil Lantern Cooker: A friend on Facebook mentioned an Oil Lantern Cooker which seems like a great idea because not only can you cook or heat something up, it’s also another source of light and heat.

    DIY & Rocket Stoves: Whether you are talking about a folding camp stove or a DIY rocket stove, these are great because basically smaller fuel = smaller fire = less smell.

    SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

    Whichever method of emergency cooking you decide on make sure you have everything else you need to get the job done. Make sure you have plenty of fuel, this includes wood, propane, gasoline and even sun for solar.

    You should have these anyway, but make sure you have lighters and matches or you will be rubbing sticks together. Also, whatever you do, don’t forget to have a manual can opener, that fancy electric can opener will be useless if the power is out.

    I would be remiss if I failed to mention safety one more time. Make sure you have fire extinguishers (certified) and proper ventilation if you plan on cooking inside, an accident could cause more problems than just eating dinner.

    As I’ve said a couple of times, there is more to food storage for preppers than just having it. We need to take into account, how we are going to cook in, who we are altering, and how we are going to hide the fact that we have food when others don’t.
     
  3. Uncle Duke 520

    Uncle Duke 520 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    Chunky Soup to the rescue! My Esbit Stove and Canteen Cup will prove to be priceless, I think ...
     
    Harper likes this.
  4. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,964
    Likes Received:
    17,226
    Location:
    Northern Adirondacks
    I think this will affect different people in different areas much differently. (I know a lot of different in that sentence)

    As stated in the article.
    The smell of food will difinitely permeate a more dense urban area and attract way more folks than in a more secluded rural area.
    The smoking of a cigarette in a hostile environment is another great example of this.

    Wind and humidity are also factors. Smells travel better on humid air.

    Also as pointed out. Canned food is a good option. Especially canned meat. It’s already cooked. Heat it if you want. But it’s optional. It also needs no refrigeration. So you win on both ends.

    As pointed out, the gas grill is a great option. And yes the side burner is the even better option. Much more efficient and no smoke from dripping grease. Personally, I see no reason in a grid down situation. Why you couldn’t just drag it inside to help mitigate the odors if it is a problem.

    Another option I did not see in the article is cooking/warming on the dash of a car with rolled up windows. Internal temps in cars easily reach in excess of 140F. The roof works well too.

    Another option I didn’t see is underground cooking. I have cooked whole turkeys underground for out Thanksgiving Day festivities with no detectable odor. Except perhaps the wood smoke prior to burying.

    Some coals on the bottom, bird in, some coals on top.
    [​IMG]


    Fill in and wait four hours. I was drinking beer. But if needed you could be accomplishing a lot of other stuff during a grid down situation.
    [​IMG]

    When beer is gone, dig up.
    [​IMG]

    The stress around here preparing Thanksgiving Turkey is almost unbearable!
    [​IMG]

    I used HD Aluminum foil. But in a grd down situation. The bird would have been broken down and placed in my Dutch Oven, then buried.

    I have been working to simplify my life for a long while now.
    Some of the points made gave me a chuckle.

    These days, we generate less than one 30 gallon tall kitchen bag of garbage every three weeks. I’m trying for one per month.

    The last electric can opener I used, was in my mom’s kitchen in the late ‘70s. I find the small cheap metal crank ones simple enough for household use. It just doesn’t take much energy to open a few cans. I’m cheap, and see no reason to pay an electric company for help with that. For woods life, I have P-38s stashed everwhere, several SAKs and even a plain knife will get you in a can rather efficiently.

    I keep and store a substantial amount of flour. We bake all our own bread these days. In an kitchen oven it’s a simple affair. Only slightly more complicated in a Dutch Oven.

    But as I like to point out, and do so often.
    Most cooking is caveman stuff. We have been doing it for thousands of years.

    You can do amazing things with a hot rock.
    [​IMG]

    ***Safety Hint,
    ***Use dry rocks so they don’t explode!
    [​IMG]

    Here are some rye rolls baking on a hot rock with a chicken frier as the oven top.
    [​IMG]

    Here were the results,
    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]

    In reality our modern ovens are just a more sophisticated hot rock.

    I have toyed with using splitwood as a makeshift oven with encouraging results.
    [​IMG]

    Perhaps not restaurant quality, but even in a non grid down situation they were pretty good.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Barry J, Mjolnir, RavenLoon and 5 others like this.
  5. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,964
    Likes Received:
    17,226
    Location:
    Northern Adirondacks
    I live rural by design, not by accident. It was a decision I made long ago. I gave up a lot to get where I am. But I love it for many reasons. Not the least of which is the privacy and security it provides.

    I agree with a lot of the things in this article. Not all but much of it. And the same can be said for may of the articles posted here in this manner.

    The point I would try to drive home, is this. Practice all of this stuff. Be ready before you need to be ready.

    I’m more Cowboy than Prepper. Or perhaps because of my Adirondack location, maybe Longhunter is a better term. But call it what you want. I work very hard at being self sufficient. Not because I am a doomsayer. But because I enjoy the lifestyle.

    Not much beats a breakfast like this,
    [​IMG]

    It really isn’t that difficult. Chop some stuff,
    [​IMG]

    Heat some stuff,
    [​IMG]


    Add some eggs,
    [​IMG]

    And eat,
    [​IMG]


    Start simple, boil water, toss in an egg,
    [​IMG]

    Peel egg,
    [​IMG]

    Eat egg,
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Barry J, RavenLoon, rsnurkle and 3 others like this.
  6. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    7,487
    Likes Received:
    10,994
    Location:
    New England
    The biggest issue in a grid down SHTF situation is.... how to keep people from killing your egg chickens... no joke. During the ice storms since no one was working and the farms couldnt get the trucks to their places they were dumping the milk and had huge caches of eggs. If you wanted to help them out to reduce the bordom you'd get eggs and milk as payment. It may not sound like much but for an hours work you got half gallon fresh milk and half dozen eggs. It was all easy work moving hay, collecting eggs, helping clean up stalls. It was something for the kids to do. Helped the farmer out so he didnt have quite so many chores to do while dealing with everything else you have to deal with when there is no power and helped keep the animals healthy. We did realize after a couple weeks that someone snatched a few hens. We passed word around that anyone caught on the farm without permission would be shot on sight. Police were no help because the road to the farm was impassable with hundreds of trees down across the road. Took a while to get them cut open... fire wood was no problem though!
     
  7. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    1,790
    Location:
    Pace, Fl
    This is precisely why my coop and run have handles made for locks.

    After reading Selco's articles I soon realized just how fast the local area would be deprived of resources such as game and firewood. The smell of a fire, it's familiar crackling of wood, and plume of smoke can bring unwanted attention from a great distance. A minimum of three months supply of fuel for cooking is not a bad idea in any part of the world to go with your food. I suggest that it be of high btu/oz and as smoke free as possible. A fuel that can double for heating is also recommended.

    Insofar as trash goes we must also remember that in any emergency one of the fastest killers is hygiene. Poor sanitation, a cut from an opened can, etc can put you down faster than starvation. Trash not only brings attention to people but it will bring every known animal to your location such as disease carrying rats, packs of hungry dogs, insects, and feral cats. Low trash producing storage options are a good idea to think on. Speaking of hygiene don't forget a good supply of anti-bacterial soap for washing up before and after meals. Eating off a dirty plate or with unclean silverware can kill you too.
     
    Barry J, Vanitas and Harper like this.
  8. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,964
    Likes Received:
    17,226
    Location:
    Northern Adirondacks
    Even if you can’t/don’t use your gas grills. Salvage the grills themselves.

    My gas grill is long gone. But the grills are still going.
    Stretched between two rocks or logs they still earn their keep.

    Mine had three sections in it. One is perfect for 1-2 people.
     
    Barry J and Harper like this.
  9. Punisher

    Punisher Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    1,060
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    i have pretty much all the things listed in the OP article to use for cooking. i built a fire pit in the back yard and it shouldn't attract attention since that seems to be the rage these days but i had a grate made to cook on. yes there will be smells but i live in an area with neighbors that are like minded and communal sharing/security will be enhanced by making sure everyone is fed. this requires folks to contribute to the pot. less likely to steal and more likely to help defend. the key is to organize elect leaders and develop an us vs them mentality. i for one cant let someones child or old folks starve so id rather go out retaining my morals. long term the game will disappear and the gardens will die. if it goes that long then its bushcraft to the rescue!! God help us.
     
    Barry J, Harper and LostViking like this.
  10. Fiddlehead

    Fiddlehead Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    588
    Location:
    New England
    For my power out SHTF cooking solution I built several Ikea twig stoves. Anyone who has cooked over open fires knows to keep a cooking fire small. A twig stove exemplifies this idea. I have a fireplace I can use for the twig stove, but if I didn't I'd cook just out the back door in a sheltered unseen area. The advantages are a small fire might not draw any attention and I would never run of twigs where I live. I have stockpiled beans and rice and would add to that food based on what's available.
     
    Barry J and Harper like this.
  11. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,964
    Likes Received:
    17,226
    Location:
    Northern Adirondacks
    ^^^Some wise words there^^^
     
    Punisher and Harper like this.
  12. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    4,163
    Likes Received:
    4,741
    I have a tidy stack of bricks at my back patio and have taught my son how to arrange them.

    Once the propane runs out there’ll still be lots of twigs and dry leaves!
     
    Barry J and Harper like this.
  13. Barry J

    Barry J Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,197
    Likes Received:
    2,371
    Location:
    North Texas
    Why not burn your trash and human waste in a 55gal drum, while you cook your dinner inside the home?
    That putrid smell should mask the smell of your cooking.
    And I imagine there will be many people burning refuse in a similar manner. Be sure to burn your food waste at the same time, so that smell will be masked as well.
     
    Dogrobber and Harper like this.
  14. Barry J

    Barry J Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,197
    Likes Received:
    2,371
    Location:
    North Texas
    I have heard that urinating around the perimeter of a camp site will deter some critters. So it might be wise to urinate in a cup and then pour it around your property.
    Not sure if this is good information though.
     
    Harper likes this.

Share This Page