Four emergency options

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From: Maria Wendel


Power failure or power problems: Can you cook without electricity and gas? The good news: Yes—if you get creative.

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Many people are dreading the approaching winter, as electricity and gas prices are already skyrocketing. But the fact that there is no electricity or gas for cooking should not be directly due to an impending energy crisis. It could also be that a power outage hits your neighborhood or you just want to go camping and are looking for alternatives to cooking at home. So it’s good to know some creative ideas on how to prepare a warm meal without electricity. As a general rule, you should be prepared for an emergency, whether it’s a power outage or a natural disaster. In this context, the Federal Office for Disaster Control (BBK) also recommends an emergency supply of some non-perishable foods that you should have at home.

pot over a campfire.
Camping or fire pits are not only practical ways to cook when camping. © Westend61/Imago

Cooking without electricity: camping stove

A camping stove with a gas cartridge is part of the basic equipment for most people when camping. Traditionally, butane or propane gas is used. You can use it to heat cooking water for noodles or coffee, to cook soup or to heat canned meals. But be careful: most manufacturers advise not to use them indoors, because the gas can escape very quickly and a spark can cause a fire. Therefore, you should only use camping stoves outside, i.e. in the garden or on the terrace.


Use aluminum pots with thin walls: they conduct heat faster and you can save gas.

Cooking without electricity and gas: Barbecue

The grill – logically a charcoal grill, not an electric or gas grill – is a way to cook without electricity and gas at home, in the garden or on the terrace. Not only the usual grilled food such as sausages, meat and cheese can be grilled – with the right accessories you can also prepare other grilled dishes. A Dutch oven, for example, can be placed directly on the grill or over an open fire. And in a plancha pan you can fry everything from vegetables to fried eggs and bacon.

Cooking without electricity and gas: fondue set

Do you have a fondue set at home? Perfect: This can not only be used for chocolate or cheese fondue, but also in emergencies without electricity or gas at home. However, with a tea fondue set, this can be difficult. It works best if you have a fondue set with denatured alcohol or fuel paste. For example, you can heat water or soup.

Cookbook “Cooking Without Electricity”

As part of the nationwide recipe competition, BBK has published the cookbook “Cooking without electricity” (advertising link). The idea of ​​the project was, among other things, to give instructions to citizens when there is no electricity and fresh food. At the same time, it should be possible to cook delicious dishes. Recipes such as eggless pancakes or curried apricot couscous show that this is not so difficult.

Cooking without electricity and gas: cold kitchen

Of course, you can also use the cold kitchen to not cook directly, but still prepare a delicious meal. This includes salads, cheese snacks, salami, salami and cold soups such as gazpacho.

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