Keeping Your Family Fed During a Power Outage

Emergencies can strike at anytime or anywhere. Having the ability to cook without electricity, inside or out, will keep your family fed. Being fully prepared to do both is key to emergency preparedness. Are there foods you can store that will cook well with some of the following methods? Learn more about short-term and long-term food storage.

Indoor Cooking

Knowing how to cook indoors with alternative means during a power outage is essential because it allows you to prepare hot meals for yourself and your family even when electricity is not available. But cooking indoors requires extra safety precautions. Some equipment that works great outside can harm your family if used indoors. There are safe options available that you may not have thought of. Take a look below and see what might work for you. A little thought, planning, and practice now can help you take electical outages in stride.

Outdoor Cooking

Similarly, knowing how to cook outdoors with alternative means during a power outage is also important. Depending on the emergency and how long it drags out, cooking outdoors may bring on its own risks as it may draw attention to you and your family. However, if safe, cooking outdoors provides a great way to feed your family. Most methods are pretty straight forward but to take full advantage, it will take thought and planning now to be able to reap the benefits later should you find yourself relying on this method of cooking to feed your family.

Alternative Cooking Sources
Indoor Use
Alternative Cooking Sources
For Outdoor Use Only

Fuel Generator

Propane, Gasoline, Natural Gas

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Portable Firepit

Firewood, Biomass

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Solar Oven

4 types to choose from

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Camp Oven

Propane, Butane, White Gas

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Rocket Stove

Burns wood & any bio mass

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Wood Burning Backpacking Stove

Burns wood & any bio mass

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Wood Burning Backpacking Stove with USB

Burns wood & creates electricity

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Gas Fueled Backpacking Stove

butane, propane, white gas, kerosene, gasoline

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Gas Fueled Pocket Stove

butane, propane, white gas, kerosene, gasoline

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Solid Fuel Tablet Pocket Stove

Burns solid fuel tablets

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Folding Stove

Wood Burning

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Alternative Cooking Sources
Which Options Are Right For You?

Solar Generator

Solar generators use solar panels to capture renewable energy from the sun and store it as electricity in either portable or tied-in power stations. They can provide reliable energy as a backup power source in a power outage or on a full-time basis. They run quietly and are low maintenance. During a power outage, having a solar generator will enable you to use some of the same cooking appliances you already use, lessening the need to fall back on more alternative methods.

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Kitchen Gas Stove

If you have an electric stove, then you’re out of luck during a power outage. But if you are like many people that have either natural gas or propane powering your stove top then you will still be able to cook this way if whatever took out the electricity does not also disturb the natural gas or propane lines being fed to your home.

The power outage will affect your ability for the process to work normally, however, because the electric ignition to the burner will not function.

You overcome this by providing a manual ignition source to light the burner. Simply use a long stick match or lighter and it’s business as usual.

However, gas delivery systems may utilize electricity to operate natural gas compressors and underground storage. Extraction facilities also might rely on electricity to operate. If a power outage strikes at the heart of the gas delivery system itself, this way of cooking could be disrupted entirely. So, while it’s a great first attempt at cooking during a power outage, having alternative go-to cooking methods is a must.

Wood Burning Fireplace

If you already have a functioning wood-burning fireplace in your home (not gas), you can use it to grill, skewer, simmer, and cook. Unless you have experience with this type of cooking and the tools that go with it, it will take time to prepare.

First, you will need to start storing a certain amount of firewood or source it from your own property. Doing this requires tools and wood harvesting skills. Learn about storing firewood. InstaFire will also work.

Secondly, you will need long tongs and fire-resistant gloves for safety.

Third, you will need the tools that make fireplace cooking possible. Cast iron cookware is the very best. Cooking tool options include a cast-iron skillet, a wire rack, skewers, a Dutch oven with or without a cook stand, a meat thermometer, and a dripping pan as burning grease will create fumes.

It’s a good idea to practice this type of cooking before you start relying on it and to have your chimney inspected initially and then once per year afterward. Also always have a working carbon monoxide detector with you when you are cooking this way.

Always make sure to have the flue open while using the fireplace.

Wood Burning Stove

You can use a wood stove to cook inside just as you can with a wood fireplace. It’s a great option for emergency cooking, especially for a home that does not have a wood-burning fireplace. Wood stoves provide a controlled flame and a stable surface from which to cook and offer the option of cooking indoors or out. It also has the added benefit of providing warmth. Modifications need to be made to your home in order to use inside of your home.

Venting kit required

You can’t purchase a portable wood stove and start cooking with it indoors. It must first be attached to some type of venting system to avoid the buildup of carbon monoxide. A properly installed vent kit will give you the exhaust mechanism and ventilation needed to safely use your wood stove indoors. There are different types of vent kits available that either go through a wall or a window. Your choice of kit type will depend on your chosen installation location. Make it one that is not too close to any combustible materials or structures that could catch fire from the sparks or heat.

Window installation

The window stove plate kit allows you to use your portable stove inside any structure that has a window and can come down after each wood stove use.

Wall installation

The “through-the-wall” kit is a permanent installation. It is more suitable for structures that do not have windows or that have windows that are too small or too high for a window kit. The wall kit is a more elaborate system and costs more. If you go this route, you should also consider the insulation and weatherproofing of the wall when installing a wall kit, as you will need to cut a hole through the wall and seal it properly.

You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions and the local codes and regulations before choosing and installing a venting kit for your stove. Also consult a professional installer if you are not sure how to properly vent your wood stove.

If you are interested in purchasing a wood-burning stove, learn about storing firewood.

Alcohol Stove

One of the best indoor cooking devices is the alcohol stove because of its clean burn. The type of alcohol used as fuel includes denatured alcohol, isopropyl, and pure methanol.

It is best for boiling water or cooking smaller meals since the burner is rather small. They are extremely lightweight, making them an excellent cooking appliance for your grab-and-go bag as well. It’s a bit hard to control the heat but once you get the hang of it, it's very easy to use.

Alcohol stoves vary a little in design and price, but most are relatively affordable. The three different types are pressurized, open, and side burner. Here’s a look at each.

Pressurized Stove

A pressurized stove has a sealed chamber with small holes or jets around the rim. The alcohol inside is heated and vaporized, creating pressure that forces the fuel out of the jets as flames. The stove is usually fast and efficient.

An example of a pressurized stove is the Solo Stove Solo Alcohol Burner. It has a flame regulator which helps to control the flame output from full to simmer to off. The fuel can be stored in the burner and sealed to prevent the fuel from evaporating or spilling. The stove has an output of 1000 watts that can boil one liter of water in about 5 to 7 minutes. It is compatible with various pots and pans and is lightweight and compact weighing around 3.5 ounces.

The Solo Stove Solo Alcohol Burner costs around $20 and can be purchased from various online retailers. It is a good option for backpackers, campers, or survivalists who want a backup or alternative fuel source for their wood-burning stoves.

Open Stove

The open stove has a simple open container that holds the alcohol. The fuel is lit directly and burns with a steady flame. This stove is lightweight and easy to use.

An example of an open stove is the Redcamp Mini Alcohol Stove. It has a flame regulator with a foldable handle that allows you to adjust and extinguish the flame. Its design allows for an increase in air ventilation and combustion efficiency. It does not have a cap or a seal to store the unused fuel, so you must empty it after each use. It can boil one liter of water in about 8 to 12 minutes.

The stove costs around $16 and can be purchased from various online retailers. It is a good option for backpackers, campers, or survivalists who want a simple and cheap alcohol stove.

Side Burner

The side burner is a combination of an open container and a pressurized chamber. The alcohol in the container is lit, which heats the chamber and creates jets of flame from the side holes. These stoves are more stable and wind-resistant than open stoves.

An example of a side-burner stove is the Evernew Titanium Alcohol Stove. It has a titanium burner with a bi-level jet system. It weighs only 1.2 ounces and is one of the lightest alcohol stoves available on the market. It has a fuel capacity of 70 ml. and uses denatured alcohol as fuel. The stove has a bi-level jet system that creates a strong and stable flame that heats the pot widely and can boil one liter of water in about 5.5 minutes.

This unit costs around $50 and can be purchased from various online retailers. It does not have a simmer ring or a cap, so it cannot be adjusted or stored with fuel inside. It also burns through fuel quickly, so it is not suitable for long cooking sessions. It is a good option for backpackers, campers, or survivalists who want a lightweight and fast alcohol stove.

Canned Heat Vesta Stove

The InstaFire Vesta is a self-powered indoor stove and space heater combo that runs on canned heat.

Canned heat is a nontoxic substance known as chafing fuel. It is generally safe for indoor use and does not produce any smoke or toxic fumes. It is a perfect addition to your emergency preps because it services two basic needs in one unit: cooking and warmth. At least one can is required to run the vesta but up to three can be used for better results.

Lightweight and easy to use

This portable 9-pound unit is lightweight and easy to carry and is designed to run specifically on InstaFire 6-hour canned heat, though other brands of canned heat that are compatible with indoor use can be used as well. Once a can is lit, it takes up to three minutes for the fan to start spinning. It takes another five to eight minutes to reach its full speed and emit maximum heat. At that point, the fan will blow three to four miles per hour, like a small space heater.

As a stove, you can boil water and cook meals. As a space heater, the Vesta can warm up an area as large as 200 square feet in size. One can last from 2 to 6 hours.

Although the chafing fuel is nontoxic and generally safe for indoor use, it is still highly recommended, like all other cooking devices, to provide adequate ventilation in any room where it is in use.

Where to buy: The Vesta is available for purchase online from the maker's website or from My Patriot Supply.

Canned Heat Compatible Stoves

Canned heat is a type of fuel that is used for cooking or warming food indoors. It is usually made of alcohol or a gel-like substance that burns with a hot flame. It is a great go-to for emergency cooking and is safe to use indoors as long as you purchase the kind designed for catering purposes and not for outdoor use. Learn more about canned heat.

Here are some stoves and other devices that work well with canned heat.

Folding Camp Stoves

Folding camp stoves like Sterno or Goghlan’s, and others, are small foldable metal stoves that lay either directly over the canned heat or have one or two cans of fuel placed into the bottom of the stove. You simply place a pot or pan on top of the stove’s top surface to cook. They are lightweight and affordable. When not in use, they fold flat and are very easy to store and transport. You can also you other fuels with this folding stove like wood, twigs, and solid fuel tablets (don’t lay directly on the stove itself-place in some container).

Portable Grills and Wood Stoves

Any grill or wood stove that can cook food directly over a flame can use canned heat as an alternative fuel source. The wide racks or cooking surfaces provide adequate space for pots, pans, and skewers.

Wire Rack and Bricks

You can create your own oven by placing canned heat in between stacked bricks and placing a wire rack on top. Make sure the bricks are laid out sufficiently to support the rack evenly when a pot or pan is placed on top.

Thermal Cooker

Thermal cooking is a great way to prepare food and still conserve fuel. While you need fuel to bring a pot of food to a boil, an insulated chamber where the food is next placed does the rest. Like a crock pot, the food continues to cook slowly over time. But unlike a crockpot, the holding chamber does not need any additional energy or fuel to operate. It simply holds in the heat and allows the food to cook using its own temperature as its own heat source. This can take up to two hours to complete (sometimes less) but the food will stay hot up to 6 hours later.

Some thermal cookers run on electricity to boil but most are non-electric. For emergency preparedness purposes, it’s of course better to have the non-electric version. Just be mindful of that when purchasing.

There are two types of non-electric cookers

1. The first and more expensive kind includes a fuel source from which to bring the food to a continuous boil in the form of a multi-fuel heat burner. Costs around $200.
2. The second and less expensive kind does not include a heat source (you decide how to boil the food) and includes only the insulated chamber. Costs around $80.

What you can cook

There are many foods you can cook in a thermal cooker, such as soups, stews, curries, sauces, rice, baked chicken, and other meats, and more.

Good for cold foods too

Because a thermal cooker retains the temperature of the food inside, keeping hot foods hot, the reverse is true as well. It also keeps cold foods cold so you can keep ice cream and other cold foods cold for hours.


  • It can preserve nutrients and flavor by cooking food in its own moisture and steam.
  • It can prevent overcooking or undercooking by maintaining a constant temperature.
  • It can be used to transport hot or cold food without reheating or refrigerating.

Note:You can cook rice with a thermal cooker, so there is no need to buy a separate rice cooker. However, even if you already have a rice cooker, you could still benefit from having a thermal cooker for its versatility in cooking other dishes.

Brands include - Tayama Stainless Steel, Narita, Zojirushi Thermal Cooking Pot, Thermos Shuttle Chef, Tiger Thermal Magic Cooker, Stanley Stay Hot Camping Crock Pot, Thermos CC-4500P Thermal Cookware, Thermos Vacuum Heat Insulation Cooker Shuttle Chef, Sunpentown Thermal Cooker, and Presto 06012 Nomad 8-quart Traveling Slow Cooker

Non-Electric Rice Cooker

A thermal rice cooker has an inner pot that is used to boil the water and rice for a few minutes, then transferred to the outer pot where thermal insulation retains the heat from the boiling water. The rice will then continue to cook with the steam inside the pot for several hours without electricity. It can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours to finish the cooking process. This isn’t fast but, in a no-electricity situation, it's a pretty good deal.

Advantages of using a thermal rice cooker

  • It is energy-efficient and can keep the rice warm for up to 8 hours without reheating or refrigerating.
  • It can preserve the nutrients and flavor of the rice by cooking it in its own moisture and steam, without losing water or vitamins to evaporation or leaching.
  • It can prevent overcooking or undercooking the rice by maintaining a constant temperature and pressure inside the pot, resulting in tender and fluffy grains.
  • It can be used to transport hot or cold food without spilling or spoiling, as it has a tight-fitting lid and a sturdy handle.
  • It is lightweight and portable.
  • It can also cook foods that can be cooked in a regular thermal cooker.

Brands include - Butterfly Stainless Steel Solid Cook and Serve Pot (around $50) | Wonder Stainless Steel Magic Pot Energy Saving Thermal Rice Cooker | Mr. Cheff Stainless Steel Thermal Rice Cooker with Stainless Steel 1.5 Kg Pot Inside | Mr. Cheff Stainless Steel Thermal Rice Cooker with Stainless Steel 2 Kg Pot Inside | Blueberry's Premium 1 Kilogram Stainless Steel Thermal Rice Cooker Choodarapetty with Gasket (Silver) | Blueberry's Premium 1.5 Kilogram Stainless Steel Thermal Rice Cooker Choodarapetty w/ Stainless Steel Pot & Rubber Gasket

Average price range - $50 and under U.S. (amazon prices are in euros)

Note:You can cook rice with a thermal cooker, so there is no need to buy a separate rice cooker. However, even if you already have a rice cooker, you could still benefit from having a thermal cooker for its versatility in cooking other dishes.

Camping Gas Stove

Using a camping stove indoors is possible with proper ventilation and equipment, but it should not be your first choice. It is better to use other cooking methods that are safer for indoor use if possible, such as a wood-burning fireplace or stove.

However, some camping stoves are certified and deemed safe for indoor use. Look for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification. This indicates that the product has been tested and meets the safety requirements for indoor use. It is often displayed on a sticker or the owner's manual.

The three fuels mostly used in camping stoves are butane, propane, and Isobutane. If you already have a UL-certified propane or Isobutane camping stove, you are good to go. If you don't, look at getting a butane stove.

Butane Stove

Regardless of certification, most butane stoves are safe to use indoors with proper ventilation. If you can find one with a UL rating for indoor certification, that's a plus.

Butane burns cleaner than the other fuels and when it comes to indoor cooking, that matters. It’s a good choice as an emergency prep camping stove meant for indoor cooking - with proper ventilation. There are a wide variety of butane stoves from which to choose – from ultra-light single burner stoves to larger stoves with multiple burners.

Remember to stock up on 8-ounce canisters for storage. Each one lasts between 2-4 hours depending on how hot you run the flame. Note: Butane does not burn well in below-freezing temps. Keep this in mind if you want the option of using it outside and you live in a colder climate.

Proper precautions
  • Ensure that the stove is in good condition and that there are no leaks or damages in the fuel container or the hose.
  • Place the stove on a stable and heat-resistant surface away from any flammable materials or combustible vapors.
  • Burning of any hydrocarbon produces CO which can be deadly if there is no exhaust or if ventilation indoors is inadequate - Do not use without ventilation.
  • Provide adequate ventilation by opening windows or doors or using fans or blowers to disperse the gas and the emissions.
  • Never leave the stove unattended or use it for heating purposes.
  • Have a fire extinguisher and a carbon monoxide detector nearby in case of emergency.
How to troubleshoot
  • If you notice smoke or soot developing, take note. This could mean the gas is not burning properly and may be creating more carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
  • If this happens indoors, turn off the stove. If you must continue to use the stove use it outdoors only.

Fuel-Powered Generator

A fuel-powered generator can be a reliable source of emergency power when the electricity goes out. These generators run on combustible fuels such as gasoline, propane, or natural gas and can power either your home's electrical system allowing you to cook as usual, or with portable versions that allow you to use smaller cooking devices during an outage.

There are three categories of generators that can assist you when your home loses electricity.

Learn More

Outdoor Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace provides both warmth and a place to cook if the electricity goes out. If you plan on using your outdoor fireplace for cooking, you will need to keep a few things in mind. You can follow many of the same steps as you would if you are to use your indoor fireplace to cook. Outdoor fireplaces can be fueled with firewood, propane, and natural gas and any of these can be used to cook food. Only wood is safe indoors.


If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you can use firewood, charcoal, and InstaFire as fuel. Decide what you want to use and store what you think you will need. If you plan on wood, then you will need to start storing a certain amount of firewood or source it from your own property. Doing this requires tools and wood harvesting skills. Don’t plan on being able to run to the corner store once a day for a bundle of wood. You will also need a gridiron, trivet, and spit. Learn more about storing firewood and the equipment you will need.

If you want the option of using charcoal, decide what kind and place as much of that in storage as you think you can or wish to. Learn more about charcoal and how to store it.


You will need long tongs and fire-resistant gloves for safety.

Cooking tools

You will need the tools that make fireplace cooking possible. Cast iron cookware is the very best. Cooking tool options include a cast-iron skillet, a wire rack, skewers, a Dutch oven with or without a cook stand, a meat thermometer, and a dripping pan as burning grease will create fumes. It’s a good idea to practice this type of cooking before you start relying on it to feed your family.

Portable Firepit

While most portable firepits can also be used for cooking, not all can. Firewood, charcoal, and InstaFire work fine as fuel for cooking. There are some portable firepits that run from propane that can be used for cooking as well, but not all so make sure you know what you have or are looking at buying. Also, gel-fueled firepits should not be used for cooking.

Some firepits come with grills meant for cooking. Other firepits can be used as a grill, a griddle, a wok, and more. These features make open fire cooking very easy.

Cooking with wood

Cooking over a wood-burning fire pit can provide a more traditional open-fire cooking experience. You can cook a variety of foods over a wood fire, including hot dogs, marshmallows, and even more elaborate meals using a grill grate or Dutch oven. It can also be like cooking on a grill. Using a grate or some kind of wire rack, you can cook all kinds of meats and vegetables. However, with a fire pit, you have less control over how hot the heat becomes because there are no vents or lids to close.

If you are in the market for an efficient and powerful portable firepit, check out the InstaFire Inferno Outdoor Biomass Stove and the Inferno Pro Outdoor Biomass Stove.

Backyard/Portable Grill

There are many different types of outdoor grills. Some are built-in into backyard spaces; others are completely portable. Some are fueled by natural gas or electricity. Others run on wood logs, charcoal briquettes, hardwood lump charcoal, or propane.

If you already have an outdoor grill or plan on buying one as one of your backup cooking options, should you need an alternative way to cook, there are things you can do now to make sure that plan stays viable.

Plan ahead

Using an outdoor grill for emergency purposes requires planning ahead of time to ensure you will have enough fuel on hand when you need it most. What fuel does your grill use? What type of grill are you going to buy and what type of fuel does it require? Be sure to stock up on this fuel and learn the proper storage requirements so the fuel can last as long as possible. Don’t forget to store matches or lighters as well.

About electric and natural gas grills

If you own an electric grill, think about getting another one as a backup. It will be useless to you in a power outage. If you have a natural gas-fueled grill, you are most likely good to go. However, there are natural disasters that can also take out natural gas so you may want to have a backup grill as well.

What you can cook on a grill

Grills are great because you can cook food directly on the grill or use pots and pans to heat up soup or water for instant noodles, and to cook almost anything that a stovetop at medium to high heat can cook.

Some foods that you can cook on your backyard barbecue include:

  • Hot dogs, hamburgers, kebabs, chicken, steak, fish, or any other meat that can be grilled
  • Corn on the cob, potatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, or any other vegetables that can be skewered or wrapped in foil
  • Bread, tortillas, pizza, or any other dough-based items that can be baked on a pizza stone or a cast-iron skillet
  • Eggs, bacon, pancakes, or any other breakfast items that can be cooked on a griddle or a frying pan
  • Beans, chili, stew, soup, or any other canned or dry goods that can be heated up in a pot
About portable grills

While some outdoor stoves can be used indoors with proper ventilation, a grill can never be safely used indoors. If you have a portable grill or want to get one to use as an emergency backup for cooking, it will always have to be used outdoors to avoid the buildup of harmful and deadly gases.

Solar Oven

A solar cooker is a device that uses the energy of direct sunlight to heat and cook food. The solar cooker’s job is to take the sun’s energy and capture it with in the cooker’s container. This trapped heat is concentrated into high enough temperatures to heat and cook food.

There are four different types of solar cookers (aka solar ovens) on the market today. They are box, panel, parabolic, and tube.

Each type of solar cooker meets a specific type of cooking need be it stove top, slow, high temp baking, etc., and each has pros and cons.

Box Oven Solar Cooker

The box oven is the most well-known and widely used type of solar cooker throughout the world. It uses a reflector to focus sunlight inside the box, where the sunlight's heat is trapped by plastic or glass that is wrapped around the box. The box’s size and shape allow it to one more than one pot. This is helpful when cooking for large numbers of people or if you wish to prepare more than one dish.

How it cooks - It cooks slowly, much like an electric slow cooker. It cooks anything that can be simmered in a slow cooker; roasted in the oven; cooked in the microwave; or cooked on the stove top (except for frying.) The box oven solar cooker can cook for large numbers of people at one time, but it cannot fry.

Temperature - It can reach higher temps and hold a larger pot than a panel cooker - between 250° F (121°C) – 400°F (204°C).

Brands include - Haines 2.0 Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit, All American Sun Oven, Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe with Complete Cookware, GoSun Sport Portable Solar Cooker, JWN Green Portable Solar Oven Bag Cooker, SolCook’s All Season Solar Cooker Camper (ASSC), and GOSUN Fusion Solar Oven

Solar Panel Cooker

Panel cookers are the least-expensive type of solar cooker. The bottom and side panels are made of corrugated cardboard and covered with an inexpensive reflector material such as aluminum foil or Mylar. The reflectors gather sunlight and direct its energy towards a black cooking pot or other cooking vessel that is placed in a high temperature oven bag. This insolating bag traps the heat cooking the food.

How it cooks - It cooks slowly, much like an electric slow cooker. In general, they can cook anything that can be simmered in a slow cooker; roasted in the oven; cooked in the microwave; or cooked on the stove top (except for frying.) This type of cooker is good for general cooking of soups, meats, vegetables, casseroles, and desserts.

Temperature - The temperature inside the pot of a panel cooker can reach and maintain boiling. Temperatures reach 250° F (121° C) – 300°F (149°C).

Brands include - GoSun Fusion, GoSun Original Solar Kitchen, MrMapMax Solar Oven Portable, Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit, LiuWHweiXunDa Outdoor Ovens, Solar Cooker Stove Kits, GoSun Sports Pro, and Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe with Complete Cookware

Parabolic Solar Oven

The surface reflectors are used to concentrate a large amount of sunlight onto a single focal point. When this point is focused on the bottom of a cooking pot or other cooking vessel, the cooking surface temperature can get very high. This can often compare to the temperatures reached with gas and charcoal grills. Maximum and sustainable temperatures can be reached by keeping the dish focused into the sun.

How it cooks - Parabolic solar cookers can cook large quantities of food. It performs better than box or panel cookers because it reached higher temperatures and faster cook times. The higher temperatures allow most types of cooking processes such as boiling, frying, roasting, and baking to be possible. Overall, it is a quicker method of cooking and will cook most anything including baked bread. This oven requires close supervision and frequent adjustments for it to function at its peak.

Temperature - The concentrated UV rays reach extremely high temperatures of 500°F (260°C) – 700°F (371°C)

Brands include - GoSun, LiFuJunDong, and Cantina West Parabolic Solar Burner

Evacuated Tube Cookers

The Evacuated Tube Cooker is the new kid on the block and has become popular with those who enjoy this type of cooking. There is an ease of use and does not require any adjustments while cooking.

The cooking chamber is made of two layers of blown glass in the shape of a tube. Parabolic reflectors concentrate light from a variety of angles onto the cooking tube. Internally, the tube is coated with metal. Though it needs sunlight to cook, it does well even on cloudy days. The more sun however, the faster the cooking time. Care must be taken as the glass tube is fragile and requires the user to adhere to certain safety protocols.

How it cooks - The tube heats very quickly which reduces the overall cooking time necessary. This cooker produces extremely high temperatures that make baking, frying, roasting, and steaming possible. It gets hot enough to cook meat, bread, vegetables, and dessert. Due to its smaller size, it can only cook for up to 2 people at a time.

Temperature - The evacuated tube cooker reaches 550°F (290°C) or greater.

Brands include - GoSun, SLiCK SM70, and XL Evacuated Tube Solar Cooker

Camp Oven

An outdoor cooking oven makes a great addition to any camping stove. Various models run on propane, butane, and white gas, or are solar-powered. Camping ovens can be used to bake, roast, and cook food outdoors without electricity which makes them a great addition to your backup emergency cooking arsenal. They cook foods like bread, pizza, cookies, muffins, and more. The solar version can cook meat, fish, vegetables, rice, pasta, soups, stews, and cake. Fuel-powered versions can heat up to 400 degrees while solar-powered oven temps range from 175 to 225 degrees.

Models and pricing vary

Some are smaller, lightweight, and foldable while others are larger and way more involved. The prices vary greatly depending upon features. Some of these features include oven racks, variable rack height settings, burners, thermometers, griddles, and more.

Outdoor use only

For the most part, portable outdoor ovens cannot be used for indoor cooking. Even though some use propane and butane (two fuels seen as relatively safe for indoor use), the ovens themselves are not UL rated for indoor use.

One exception to the outdoor rule

There is one exception. Propane ovens can be used inside RVs if there is adequate ventilation, a carbon monoxide detector, and a fire extinguisher nearby. Cooking ovens that use wood or charcoal must be used outdoors as these fuels produce smoke and ash that can be harmful and messy if used indoors.

Brands include - Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven, Coleman Outdoor Camping Oven, and Nostalgia Retro 3-in-1 Family Size Breakfast Station

Rocket Stove

A Rocket Stove is a type of hot burning stove that gets its name from the distinctive sucking of the flames down into the burn tunnel and the resultant ‘roar’ sound that it makes. Its popularity stems from its incredibly efficient design that ensures almost complete fuel combustion. resulting in the use of less fuel, and the production of less smoke, CO, and soot. They can use firewood, charcoal, or biomass fuel (biomass is wood, twigs, leaves, pellets, pinecones, and other organic materials). They are popular for outdoor cooking, camping and survival situations.

Brands include Marsh Kettles, EcoZoom Versa, Kelly Kettle, and EcoZoom Dura

Brands include Marsh Kettles, EcoZoom Versa, Kelly Kettle, and EcoZoom Dura

Wood Burning Backpacking Stove

A backpacking stove is designed to be portable and easy to use on camping and backpacking trips. They can vary in size, weight, and fuel source. With wood-burning versions, you don’t have to worry about storing fuel canisters. These stoves use fuel sources like sticks, twigs, pinecones, leaves, and other biomass products that are readily available outdoors to create a fire for cooking and heating.

Brands include Solo Stove Lite, Solo Stove Titan, StarFire Camp Stove, Inferno Outdoor Biomass Stove, and all wood burning stoves.

Wood Burning Backpacking Stove with USB

The BioLite CampStove is a lightweight electricity-generating wood camp stove. It runs on wood and biomass fuel, so if you can’t find firewood, all you need are some pinecones, dry twigs, leaves, pine needs, and whatever other safe-burning debris you can find. Its patented technology truly sets this stove apart from any other wood-burning camp stove. Not only is it capable of creating a smokeless flame for a great campfire from which to cook your food, but it also generates electricity, enough to charge your gear while you cook. How cool is that?

Gas Fueled Backpacking Stove

Some backpacking stoves use fuel canisters to create a steady flame for cooking and heating. They are lightweight and compact and are designed to be portable and easy to use. Some canister stoves are made more efficient in the cold with built-in pressure regulators that ensure a consistent heat output throughout use. However, some canister stoves still struggle in cold weather and windy conditions. They can also be more expensive than other types of camping stoves.

Fuel options

Gas-fueled backpack stoves run on a variety of fuels Common options include butane, isobutane, and propane. There are also stoves that run on white gas, kerosene, and gasoline. Pick the stove that runs on the fuel you are comfortable storing.

Brands include MSR, Jetboil, Soto, Primus, Snow Peak

Gas Fueled Pocket Stove

A pocket stove is a type of outdoor stove that is small, lightweight, and foldable, making it easy to carry and store. Pocket stoves are ideal for backpacking, hiking, camping, or emergency situations, as they can provide a simple and efficient way to boil water and cook food with minimal equipment and resources. It typically uses a canister fuel or other fuel source to create a steady and hot flame that can boil water fast and cook food evenly. They are easy to use and clean: Pocket stoves can be set up and lit in a matter of minutes, without the need for complex assembly or maintenance.


They can be adjusted to different cooking positions or pot sizes by changing the angle or height of the pot support. They can be cleaned by wiping off the ash or residue after the fuel is burned. They can also work in different weather conditions and altitudes, if there is enough oxygen and ventilation for the fire.

Gas fueled pocket stoves run on a variety of fuels Common options include butane, isobutane, and propane. There are also stoves that run on white gas, kerosene, and gasoline. Pick the stove that runs on the fuel you are comfortable storing.

Brands include - Desert & Fox, Eureka, Coleman, GSI Outdoors, Outland Living, Gas One, Esbit, MSR, and JetBoil

Solid Fuel Tablet Pocket Stove

Solid fuel tablet stoves are a type of camping stove that uses solid fuel tablets as a heat source. These stoves are often compact and lightweight, so they are used in backpacking and other outdoor activities. The stoves are very easy to light, simple to use, and don’t require much maintenance. Solid fuel tablet stoves can be used for all types of cooking, including boiling water and cooking simple meals. However, they may not provide the same level of heat control as other types of camping stoves, so they may not be the best choice for more complex or delicate dishes.

Brands - One example of a solid fuel tablet stove is the Esbit Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove. It is made from durable, galvanized steel and folds down to a small, compact size, making it perfect for storage. Another brand example is Esbit Titanium Pocket Stove.

Folding Stove

A folding stove is a type of camping stove that can be folded into a compact size for easy storage and transportation. Backpackers and campers like them because they are lightweight and take up very little space. They can be used for emergency preparedness with the same benefits. Wood-burning folding stoves are made from durable materials such as stainless steel or titanium and are designed to be stable and efficient when burning firewood or canned heat. They come in a variety of designs. Some are simple and quick to set up, while others have more complex features like adjustable flame control or wind guards.

Brands include Square Camping Stove Pro, Stealth Angel Survival, Unigear Portable Folding Backpacking Wood Burning Stove, TOMSHOO Camping Foldable Backpacking Wood Burning Stove, and Vargo Titanium Hexagon Backpacking Wood Stove.

Biomass-Fueled Kettle

A biomass-fueled kettle uses natural fuels such as sticks, pinecones, bark, dry grass, etc. Kelly Kettle is an example of this method and can boil water outdoors in just 3 to 5 minutes. They have a range of sizes available in either stainless steel or aluminum. The Kelly Kettle can also be used as a stove by purchasing the Hobo Camping Stove accessory along with it. This turns the steel firebase of the kettle into a highly effective wood-fueled camping stove.

Solar Kettle

Solar kettles have 2 fold-out panels that reflect the sunlight and absorb its energy to heat the contents inside GoSun, Preppers Peak, and Contemporary Energy are brand examples that use solar energy. Boiling water depends on the amount of available sunlight and temperature conditions, but, it takes about 45 minutes to boil water in a regular-sized solar kettle. Some solar kettles can be used to cook food such as soup or dehydrated food. For example, the Sun Kettle can be used to cook food such as soup or dehydrated food. The Solar Kettle Pro can also be used for cooking food.