Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

Have you ever had a power outage and discovered that you couldn’t turn on your electric oven? Or have you ever been in a situation where there was no power and you needed to boil water to prepare a meal or make water safe to drink? You were probably fine if you were at home and had a gas stove in your kitchen. You can light a gas stove without power, but if you’re like me and don’t have a gas stove and your kids want mac and cheese for lunch, you’re out of luck! If you were in the woods and needed safe drinking water, you’d be… up a creek. This time, most likely literally.

Easy Ways to Boil Water Without Electricity

  1. Gas Stove
  2. Camp Stove
  3. BBQ Grill
  4. Fire Pit
  5. Fireplace or Wood Stove
  6. Solar Cooker
  7. Candles
  8. Rocket Stove

Most of the time, the power goes out for a short period of time, but every now and then, the power goes out for an extended period of time. Perhaps a car hit a power line down the road, or a tree fell and knocked out power. Because so many people rely on electricity for so many things, they are usually very quick to restore power. But, just in case, I’ve compiled this list and explained how to boil water with each of these methods.

*When boiling water for drinking, keep in mind that it must be boiled for up to one minute at an elevation of 6,562 feet (2,000 metres) and for three minutes at higher elevations.

Boiling Water With A Gas Stove

If you have a gas stove in your kitchen, you do not need to use electricity to turn it on. The ignitor is what uses electricity, so if you have a match or a lighter nearby, you can easily start it. If there is no power, a gas stove can be extremely useful. Gas will flow even if there is no electricity. You can not only boil or heat water, but you can also cook a meal on the stovetop. The oven will not function without power, but having the burners on can be extremely beneficial.

You Need

  • Gas Stove
  • Natural Gas or Propane
  • Matches or lighter
  • Pot and water

Camping Stove

It’s not a bad idea to have a small propane camp stove and a few bottles of propane on hand. A single burner propane stove costs about $20, and a small bottle of propane costs only a few dollars. If you like to go camping, you probably already have one of these. If not, they take up very little space and use very little propane to operate.

My father has filled the pot in which he fries the turkey for Thanksgiving and used the burner base and propane tank to heat water that we use to fill the swimming pool in the garage so that our boys can swim in warm water during the winter! This is ideal if you need a large amount of warm or boiling water, such as for a bath.

You Need

  • Camp Stove
  • Propane canister/tank
  • Pot or metal canister/cup and water
  • Matches or Lighter
  • You may need a propane hose and connector depending on the camper stove and propane tank that you are using

BBQ Grill

If you’re in a hurry, fire up the grill. Alternatively, you can use charcoal or propane. Place a small kettle or pot on top of the grates. You can quickly boil water if you close the lid to keep the heat in. To pick it up, be cautious and use a glove or an oven mitt. When you bought that perfect three-burner grill with a warming rack, I’m sure you didn’t expect to use it to boil water!

  • Propane or Charcoal Grill
  • Propane (if you’re using a propane grill)
  • Charcoal (if you’re using a charcoal grill)
  • Matches or lighter
  • An oven mitt or thick leather gloves
  • Pot or kettle and water

Fire Pit

Start a fire the old-fashioned way. This is an obvious choice, but if you’re in a stressful situation, you might not think of it right away, and that’s fine. Even better if you’re at home and have a fire pit in your backyard. It is simple and quick to start a fire in the right conditions. You can keep warm by boiling water and roasting a hot dog.

If you’re in the wilderness for survival, you’re going to need a fire at some point, so as long as you have a pot or a kettle, you’re good to go. Practice fire safety and make certain that the location of your fire pit is safe. Make certain that your fire is completely extinguished before leaving it.

you Need

  • A fire pit or somewhere you can safely contain an open fire
  • Wood (unless you have a gas fire pit)
  • Lighter, matches, flint and steel, or blast match fire starter
  • To help start the fire use wood shavings, wadded paper, strips of cardboard, dryer lint, or cotton balls
  • Something to set the pot on over the flame can be helpful
  • Pot, kettle, or metal canister and water

Wood Stove/Fire Place

If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace in your home, it is not only a lifesaver in the cold months to heat your home, but you can also set a pot on top of the stove to boil or heat water. You can place it directly on top of the flames or coals if you have a fire pit. I wouldn’t use your grandmother’s nice pot for this because the bottom and sides will char and you won’t be able to clean it. However, in a pinch, this is a great option to consider if you are building or renovating a home and trying to decide what type of extra heat source you want to include.

You Need

  • Wood stove or fireplace
  • Wood
  • Lighter or matches
  • Paper, lint, or something highly flammable to help start the fire
  • Pot, kettle, or metal canister

Solar Cooker

A solar cooker is another excellent option for boiling and heating water if the weather permits. Because they rely on the sun, solar cookers take longer to heat up than other options. They also provide babysitting services. As the sun moves, you’ll need to adjust the cooker to ensure it’s pointing in the right direction. There are numerous solar cooker options available for purchase online, or you can easily build your own.

You Need

  • A solar cooker/oven
  • Pot with a lid
  • Water

Candles

There are several methods for using candles to heat water. A really simple option would be to place many t-light candles in a deep baking dish, such as a 913 cake pan, and place your pot with water resting on the sides, an inch or so above the candles. To keep the heat in and speed up the process, cover your pot of water with a lid. Check underneath to ensure that you are not preventing all of the oxygen from reaching the candles and allowing them to continue to burn. You’ll also need to keep an eye on the candles to ensure they stay lit or replace any that go out because all the wax has been used up.

You Need

  • Cooking tray or cake pan (or anything that is heat resistant that can hold your pot right over the candles)
  • Tea light candles (15 or so)
  • Matches or lighter
  • Pan or pot with a lid
  • Water

Rocket Stove

Have you ever come across a rocket stove? It might not be what you had in mind. There are numerous ways to construct a rocket stove. If you don’t want to make one, there are many different options you can buy online.

A rocket stove is essentially a block of wood or metal with a “L” shaped hole in the center. The fuel enters through the top of the hole, and the air enters through the bottom through the side hole. A six-inch-tall 44-inch block of wood with a 14-inch hole drilled through the top and side can burn for about an hour. That is more than enough time to bring water to a boil or even prepare a small meal.

Because of the nearly complete combustion, a wooden rocket stove is extremely efficient. They use far less fuel because they burn themselves once lit. They also emit far fewer sm’ores and emissions than most other fires or stoves.

There are numerous ways to construct a rocket stove. If you don’t want to make one, there are many different options you can buy online.

You Need

  • Rocket stove (buy one or learn how DIY and build one)
  • twigs, dryer lint, or cotton balls to help start the fire
  • Lighter, matches, flint and steel, or blast match fire starter
  • Wood to feed the fire if using a metal or cinder block rocket stove (A rocket stove made out of a block of wood will burn itself)

Boiling Water Without Electricity Bottom Line

There are numerous methods for heating or boiling water without electricity, whether it is something you need to do on a regular basis or just once or twice while the power is out. Being prepared with even one of these options could be a huge help if the power goes out or if you need something more long-term. There are obviously some more readily available options at home, such as using your BBQ grill, candles, or constructing a solar cooker. However, if you have the necessary tools and skills to create or use one of the other options, I would recommend giving it a shot.

The majority of these options for heating or boiling water can also be used to prepare food. Using resources that we already have on hand is a great way to be prepared when we need something like hot or sanitized water.

Stock Manual Kitchen Tools For Cooking Without Electricity

When cooking, make sure to use hand tools rather than electric tools. When the power goes out, electric can openers stop working. Purchase a manual can opener. To be honest, I prefer using hand tools for many kitchen tasks because they are quieter and more compact.

Make sure you have pots and utensils that can be used with your preferred cooking method. Fires and grills can be much hotter than a typical stove burner. (Please, no plastic spatulas.)

Long handles, hot pads, or kevlar ove-gloves, or at the very least a folded rag to grab hot handles, are required. Cookware made of cast iron is a workhorse. You can bake bread in a Dutch oven on the stove, grill, or campfire.

Practice Cooking Without Electricity

Experiment with cooking with only the bare necessities. Go camping, host backyard cookouts, or prepare a meal on the beach. Anything you can do to simulate cooking without your stove and all your regular “stuff” will make life a lot easier if you lose power.

Repetition develops muscle memory, so that even when things are tough, your body will remember when your brain is distracted. It also reduces stress because you know what you’re going to eat.

I appreciate your Likes, Shares, Stumbles, and Pins and hope you found this post useful. Feel free to leave a comment and share your favourite off-grid cooking system, as well as any questions you may have, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

By Beth

I'm Beth Nunes, the proprietor of preparing in the city. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I couldn't bear the thought of my three small children going hungry, so I became obsessed with finding simple and practical ways to be prepared for the future by building food storage and gathering other emergency preparedness items.

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