Food Storage Essentials: Tips for storing, conserving fuels for emergency cooking

Published: Friday, May 3 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Sun ovens are a wonderful way to cook without any fuel and are practical in months when the sun shines most days. Other cooking options are needed for cooking on cloudy and stormy days. Look for a sun oven with an internal thermometer, which allows monitoring of cooking temperatures, and a leveling tray, which keeps cooking pans level when the oven is tipped to best capture the sun.


Fuel-powered generators can run some home appliances in emergencies, but they require a lot of fuel, making their use limited in cities with fuel-storage restrictions. Rural settings, where larger amounts of fuel can safely be stored, allow use of generators for more than a few days.

Solar generators, which are appearing on the market, can provide enough electricity for some use of home appliances in an emergency. However, they can be expensive and may not generate enough charge for consistent use of appliances during periods of cloudy weather.

Author's note: Be sure to check several things before storing fuel: your housing or rental code; your condominium/homeowners policy; city and county fire regulations; and your insurance policy.

Consider storing a few kinds of fuels and devices for cooking in an emergency when electricity is lost, especially when living in cities where restrictions limit the amounts of fuels that can be stored.

Why not use this summer to see what you can do to provide for emergency cooking? It’s a fun time to try alternative cooking methods, determine what works best for you, and, of course, to practice before an emergency.

Leslie Probert, a graduate in home economics from Brigham Young University, is a popular speaker and is co-author of "Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition" with over 400 fast, creative recipes. Email: foodstoragechick@gmail.com

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