Food Preparation & Storage

Learn These Five SHTF Cooking Methods

Cooking has changed in our modern times. And, for most of us and most of the time, it’s been a change for the better. Clean and readily available food on demand is the standard. Efficient stoves and microwaves mean meals are ready in a few minutes if not seconds. It’s the best of times.

And it can all crash down. At Freedom Prepper we frequently cover the things that can crash the system and set America back. That’s why you prep. If the grid goes down, then cooking will become harder. But it will not be impossible. There are always old school alternatives.

The Die Hard Survivor site has a great article: 5 Primitive Cooking Methods to Know. All of these methods are ideal for cooking off grid. Have a look:

Five Alternative Ways To Cook

Ash Cooking

Build a cook fire and let it die down. Flatten out the hot coals. Place large (non-poisonous) leaves over the hot coals. Use the leaves to cook food. This method is used the world over even today. Many campers and hunters are familiar with it.


Many folks broil in the oven, electric or gas. This can be accomplished with a fire.

Tie some sticks into a “d” shaped ring. You can add a handle made out of a stick. Place your food on the ring and hold it over the open flames. Keep it far away enough to prevent the ring from catching fire but close enough to cook the food. Monitor the progress as you would on the usual stove-top.

Hot Stone Cooking

This is the easiest method of all. Heat a large, flat stone on an open fire. Then place your food on the stone. The heat does the work for you. For larger meals, use larger stones or multiple stones. Simple and efficient.

Photo by RVC Outdoors.

Steam Pit Cooking

Dig a hole, one to two feet deep. Line the bottom with charcoal. Let the coal burn as with the ash method, above. Once the fire has died, place the food over the top of the coals. Cover the food with leaves and then cover the leaves with earth. Let it all simmer for a few hours and then carefully dig out the prepared meal. Easy.

Spit Cooking

This one is almost like broiling. The difference is the rotation. Tie or spear your food to a stick or rod. Hold the stick above an open fire and rotate it all on a regular basis. Monitor the food to make sure it cooks through completely.

Photo by YouTube.

Hunger doesn’t wait just because things are bad. Everyone needs to eat regardless of the times. These were non issues 100 – 200 years ago and earlier. And we can use old fashioned methods to our advantage.

Really these are easy alternatives. They’re not as fast and clean as a GE electric stove but they work. You can learn them. And you should. And be prepared to use them.

Related: You definitely need to add this to your bug out truck!

Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at He is none too fond of government meddling.

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