Friday, May 11, 2012

Cooking on a PC & Other Easy Emergency Fuel & Grills

Have you ever thought about fuel storage at home and were immediately overwhelmed? Me!!!   There are two very cheap options for cooking:  charcoal and newspaper. My chiropractor is extremely prepared, and part of his storage is a lot of charcoal briquets.  Quoting a web site I will link here, Be Prepared, Not Scared

Did You Know . . .
That 1 Bag of Charcoal Briquettes will make it possible for
 you to cook 1 Meal a Day for a Whole Month?!?

Charcoal is cheap, condensed, and easy to store --- it is something we could all have on hand to cook during an extended emergency. You don't have to own expensive volcano stoves to make this work for you. We still have (I think) a little hibachi grill from when we first got married, and even a large can (like the type popcorn comes in with a hole cut out of the top and some air holes along the side or bottom (with a camping grill cover) would work great (a la Diane Thomas and her Roughing it Easy books) and you can buy grill baskets fairly inexpensively, too.

The site linked above talked about getting a special little doo-dad (technical word) that makes charcoal easy to light without stinky lighter fluid, which would also mean less expensive and not having to store flammable liquid. Go to the site and learn more!

I found a small grill that I think anyone could make, as most of us with food storage have at least one of those #10 cans sitting around -- the disposable and portable #10 can grill. One of the comments by the author below the instructions says, " If I had it to do over again, I might have sunk the grill a bit lower to have an edge." More important, DO NOT use a can with lead or zinc, as the fumes would be toxic. (How would you know?) So, keep that in mind.
Photo from Instructables

Now for newspaper.... when I first got married, my grandmother gave me a little collapsible grill called the "Quik Cook" that cooks with only crumpled newspaper. Believe it or not, just crumple newspaper (something that is usually plentiful if you or a neighbor has a subscription to the paper) into loose balls and one batch will cook several steaks -- the fat from the meat drips down and makes the newspaper burn longer. The bottom two layers fit inside the top layer for storage. I don't know if you can buy these new any more, but Ebay has had a few of them if it interests you. You can also use the crunched newspaper on the can grill I described above

Last, I had to include this, as this has to be one of the most unique and effective recycling ideas of which I've ever heard.
 Cooking with an old PC!

Photo from Komar . org

Most of us either have an older PC sitting at home or can pick one up for just a few dollars at a thrift store (or even less at a yard sale). I have linked to instructions (and modifications that allow toasting and heating cans) made by someone else "Hottest PC Ever . I think you'd have to use charcoal or wood with this, because it's not deep enough to use with newspaper -- you could try it, though. I like that the case design allows for the kebabs they show to be suspended over the flame.

Photo from Coolest Gadgets

Please realize that due to carbon monoxide, all of the above are outdoor techniques.