Cooking after TEOTWAWKI / SHTF

cooking after shtfWhat is your long term cooking solution post SHTF? We are not talking 2, 3 or even 5 days after the power goes out, we are talking about cooking for the long term – 1 year, 2 years, or even 3 years.

Most of the people that visit the forum know about my long term survival cooking solution, its a pit on a trailer with a cooking surface 6 feet 9 inches long and 29 inches across.  The main pit is built out of a 250 gallon butane tank, the smoker and fire box are out of a 250 gallon tank.  When I built my pit, I wanted something that was big enough to put a whole hog or deer on.  With the smoker, maybe I can even make my own sausage.

Not everyone is going to have a pit with a built in smoker, so what are your choices.

Charcoal grill that can also use wood
Fire ring
Propane grill – but propane will run out sooner or later
Single burner propane or butane stove
Wood stove
Solar oven

Fire ring for Bug Out Location

Cooking after shtf or teotwawkiOne option that I like is a fire ring.  These provide a cooking grate, and a community meeting place for people to sit around a fire, cook and socialize.  Prices on fire rings range in the $150 range.  Or, if you have metal working tools, make one yourself.

In May of 2011, my wife and I went camping with some friends at a local park. While on the camping trip we used a propane grill to cook breakfast and had a sandwich for lunch. For dinner we put some foil on the grill of the fire ring, then put some sausage, boudain, pot of beans and boneless strips of pork on to cook. When everything was done cooking, we had a feast.

While were cooking our meal on the fire ring, I started thinking about how this would work in a long term SHTF survival situation. If someone has access to a remote camp that will be used as a bug out location, why not get a fire ring?  Fire provides more then just a way to cook, boil water, and provides warmth, fire also provides emotional support.  Having a fire relaxes people.  Maybe its something left over from our primal years when early man feared what roamed the nights, but fire has a soothing effect.

Stove for a Bug Out Location

Bug out location stoveFor a camp in a remote location, there is only real solution, and that is propane.

Propane stores well,,,, in fact, it stores forever.
When the power goes out, propane still works.
Propane is efficient – it cooks fast, and it boils water fast.

The drawback, the propane will run out sooner or later. But while its there, make good use of it.

One of the nice things about having a propane stove, it can also be used as a heater.  One winter my family and I were at the camp during deer season.  for some reason the blower of the furnace was not working.  So what did we do?  We turned on a couple of eyes of the stove.  We made sure to crack a couple of windows to let fresh air into the house.  When the alarm went off at 4:30am, the house was nice and warm.

Propane is usually stored in either 150 or 250 gallon tanks.  There are 500 gallon tanks avaible, but I dont know of too many people that use 500 gallon tanks.

Most of the time, the propane tanks are only filled to maybe 75% of the way.  So a 150 gallon tank might only hold 100 or 120 gallons of propane.

A buddy of mine recently bought a 500 gallon tank and plans on using it to power his generator.  Lets say that his 500 gallon propane tank is filled to 400 gallons.  That is “about” the same as having 400 gallons of gasoline.  Instead of having to store 400 gallon of gasoline that needs to be rotated and treated, just store propane.

Smoker for a Bug Out Location

Smoker of a bug out locationWhen I started working on my smoker, I wanted something big enough that I could put a whole hog or deer on.  If the world goes to hell in a hand basket, I wanted something to cook for a whole family on.  That if one of the people in our group got a hog or deer, cooking or smoking the meat will not be an issue.

There is nothing wrong with having a permanent smokehouse.  I just wanted something that I could pull between my house and the camp.

My main  section is made out of a 250 butane tank that was sitting in a cow field for close to 20 years.
The smoker section and firebox are made out of a 150 gallon tank.
The main grill is 6 feet 9 inches long.
The smoker has 2 – 24 inch in diameter trays.
The main grill section has a sliding tray that can hold a 10 pound bag of chicken quarters.

Now for a video about how to make sausage. Special thanks to James at Jasper Quality Meats for volunteering to make this video.

So there ya have it, we have talked about fire rings, propane stoves and smokers.

One of the topics that we have not talked about are solar ovens. Since I take all of my own pictures, and create my own content for this blog, I guess its time to play around with a solar oven.