Cooking without Electricity? Here’s How.

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It’s winter in the Ruhr valley and there’s a lot of snow on the ground. The snow is so heavy, a tree has fallen over under its weight – and it’s landed right on top of a power line. Thus, the power is out for the count. And this is just one scenario that can result in a power outage.

Another possible scenario is if the gas stores are not filled high enough: around 13 percent of Germany’s electricity is won from natural gas, and in winter even more. Electric heaters can also potentially place an additional burden on the electricity grid, as they consume large amounts of power. If too many people use one, it may overburden the system.

But no matter the reason for the power outage: if you’ve prepared well ahead of time, you’ll still be able to prepare a warm meal – even without the aid of electricity or gas.

Cooking without Gas or Electricity from the Mains

Without power, the stove and oven don’t work – but a camping stove or a fondue pot certainly will. All you need are sufficient gas cartridges or gel fuel cans and you can use these “emergency kitchens” to prepare simple meals. Though remember, you’ll still need to have sufficient stores of food as well since supermarkets generally stay closed, too, when the power it out.

Another alternative for heating food is a tea warmer stove. These are simple and easy to use for preparing dishes that don’t need as much heat, like oatmeal for instance. A grill on the balcony or in the yard can also serve as a temporary substitute for the stove. Just make sure to have enough charcoal, briquettes, or gas on hand to run it.

Warning! A grill should only be used outdoors! Using a grill indoors can very quickly result in acute risk of suffocation and fire hazard.

The Cookbook for Cooking in a Crisis: “Cooking without Electricity”

At first glance, cooking meals that are well prepared, nutritious, and even tasty without the help of electricity may seem pretty hard to do. With the cookbook “Cooking without Electricity” (only available in German) put out by the German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, it’s no trouble at all. It contains not only the “50 best recipes for everyday cooking, camping meals, and cooking in emergencies” but also numerous practical tips from experts on preparing for emergencies and disaster protection.

More Information and Tips

If the power goes out, it’s not just the kitchen that stays cold but the heating as well. For practical tips on how to get through a longer period of no power without trouble, have a look at the articles below:

In the article “How to prepare for disasters?” (content only available in English) put out by the German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance you will find numerous other helpful tips and additional information on power outages and other emergencies.

Click here for a checklist on how to prepare for a power or gas outage to download and print.

Checklist For A Power or Gas Outage

pdf 0.06 MB

This is a checklist that explains how to heat, cook or provide lighting in an emergency without electricity or gas and what precautions should be taken.