Saturday, January 5, 2013

Alternative Cooking Methods By: Monty Ellis

Thank you Monty for a great series on 
Alternative Cooking Methods... SRN

As I surf through various websites in my quest to increase my
knowledge base, I often find some really interesting things. Much of
what I see from the homesteading sites along with the chicken coops
and gardens have to deal with food and cooking. Being a bona fide
foodie and a reasonably decent cook in my own right, I always smile
and have an appreciation of some of the meal preparations that I see.
Many are down right mouthwatering. Kudo’s to those folks for taking
the time to share their talents with the rest us!

But at time’s I can’t help but to think how easy it is when the cook
of the day probably has a nice homesteaders kitchen with either an
electric or gas stove. Perhaps even a wood fired cook stove!

So, what are some of the alternative methods to prepare food that is
fit to eat? Perhaps not gourmet or worthy of posting on the net, but a
healthy nutritious meal none-the-less. Below, I will attempt to
outline some alternative methods of preparing food. Many methods I
have personally done either by neccessity or just by plain curiousity.
Those that I have not had experience with I will note.

First, I would like to briefly touch on the commercially available
backpacking and general camping stoves. With the exception of the
alcohol fueled “beer can” stove, anyone that has done any camping or
packing has experience with them. Most are either propane, butane or
white gas fueled and simple to use. With these having been covered
lets get to the fun!

  • The “beer can” alcohol stove.
Since I mentioned this already I’ll cover it first. These are simple to make from
any aluminum can and use denatured alcohol as a fuel. We use them often
when pack camping or on the homestead property for simple things for heating
water or a small can of soup.
Basic Instruction for making a can stove...
 You tube video:

  • Engine manifold cooking.
saus 2
 Having spent a career in the fire service I
spent a lot of time in fire camps. One of things about fire camps is that they send you out with a ‘sack lunch’. Often these will contain something that is best heated up so they will add a piece of foil with it. Simply wrap the item up, generally a buritto, and place it on the hot exhaust manifold. Within a few minutes your ready to eat. It’s my
understanding that many off-roaders have adopted this same technique. One of these days I’m going to put a potato on my manifold when I need to make a long trip just to see if a potato will cook. I know for a fact that a burrito will heat up!

  • Hot rock boiling. 
This is one that I have not personally tried. I have
read about it and have talked to some that say that they have tried it
with good results. Simply take a bucket or pot with water and toss in
rocks from a campfire. I’m a bit leery of this since the sudden
cooling could cause the rock to shatter. I know that putting a wet
rock INTO a fire will have that effect. Without further experience I
can not endorse this method. Back in 1981 I was wrong once, I suppose
it’s possible that it could happen again. Just kidding… If anyone has
any experience with this I would love to hear how it worked out.

  • Rocket stove. 
Now this is a fun one and makes a great little back yard
project. Other than the sharp metal edges I think that it would make a
great kid project. We have found the the higher the chimney the more
effective the stove becomes. We have even roasted green coffee beans
over this stove!

 Follow this link for basic instructions for your Rocket Stove

 Part 2
Thermos cooking

Open fire cooking
        Canning over a fire

Part 3
Dutch oven
        Cooking with briquets
        Cooking over open fire

Part 4
Solar Oven
        Box oven
        Home made

Part 5
Mason Jar

Thermos cooking

Part 6
Cob oven


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