Emergency Cooking Basics

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Learning how to cook in an emergency can help make your time during it more comfortable

Imagine having to prepare and cook meals for your family from scratch, outdoors, and without electricity. Is it hard to imagine? What if you added the stress of natural disaster to the scenario? Would you have the knowledge, skills, and equipment to make meals without the modern conveniences you now enjoy? Long term storage foods range from the most basic items like wheat and beans (which take more time and energy to prepare) to just-add-water freeze dried meals. Likewise, emergency cooking can be as basic as boiling water over an open fire to rehydrate a freeze-dried meal or as involved as hand-grinding wheat for baking bread in a Dutch oven. How you cook during an emergency will be limited to the types of foods you have stored, your knowledge and skills, and your equipment. But don’t worry. We have articles that cover a range of emergency cooking topics. For now, here are some basics:


All the food storage and equipment in the world won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use them. What and how you cook will determine what kinds of food you’ll store and what skills and equipment you’ll need. So, it’s important to first know yourself and your family. Once you decide what types of food storage you’ll store and use, it’s important to learn all you can about it. This might include reading cookbooks, product information, other books and articles about food storage and emergency cooking. The more you learn, the more prepared you’ll be.


Knowledge is invaluable, but you should also practice what you learn. Learning how to prepare your food storage items, trying recipes, and using your equipment will familiarize you with emergency cooking before a crisis. It will also help you fine tune you food storage plan.


Again, depending on the types of food you store and your cooking style, you’ll need different kinds of cooking equipment. If you plan to stick to basic food storage items like wheat, beans, oil, etc., you’ll need a grain mill, baking equipment, etc. If your storage is mostly just-add-water foods, you might not need more that a camp stove and a pot to boil water.

It’s important to explore your options by learning about and trying a variety of emergency cooking methods for different types of storable foods. The Emergency Cooking Insight Articles linked below will get you on your way:

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