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Old 10-24-2010, 10:10 PM
anewsurvivalist anewsurvivalist is offline
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Default What do I need to bake food without electricity?



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Being a new survivalist (hence the name) I am wondering what I would need to use for general baking (bread for example) in case power goes down for an extended amount of time?

Where should I start in storing the wheat flour that I use? Also, does wheat flour store as well as other flour?
Old 10-24-2010, 10:26 PM
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Hello anewsurvivalist, have you ever seen dutch ovens in the camping gear at general stores (like walmart) or at sporting goods stores? You can use those for most baking, you want to find recipes and get used to the differences before you would actually use those same recipes while camping.

One of the best things I can tell you, is to get one that's got the three stubby legs underneath, and the flat lid with the raised edge. The legs and the lid edge are for the same thing - multidirectional heat for even cooking.

Many recipes that are meant to be baked in a cast-iron dutch oven will tell you how much charcoal (though you can use lumps - pieces - of the coals from a wood fire) to light. You prep your ingredients ahead, be it for bread, casserole, cake, a fruit cobbler, etc. If the dutch oven has to be preheated, the recipe instructions will tell you. A certain number of coals will go underneath - those stubby legs will keep it from crushing them right out and ruining your cooking time, the rest will be placed at even distances from each other all over the lid. Since the lid gets very hot, I DO recommend getting, or making a long-handled hook for lifting the lid.

That'll do your complicated stuff.

If you're in a hurry, or it's otherwise less than ideal conditions, you heat up a piece of flat or nearly flat metal, grease it with a chunk of spam or other fatty substance, pat out the dough kind of flat, cook it til you think it's been long enough, loosen it with your trusty titanium spork, and turn it over to cook the other side. Try not to burn your fingers.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:30 PM
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I don't know about storage of grains but I have been thinking about how to build an outdoor brick oven/grill. When I was a kid we used to go to the Tennessee mountains and visit my stepdad's parents. They lived from the income from tobacco fields. Their house was on top of a mountain. It had a tin roof and the rainwater went into a cistern under the house. The only water was a hand pump from the cistern so you had to heat water on the wood stove for everything. She canned all the stuff from their garden and they had a smokehouse. I don't remember cows but they had chickens. The old guy down the road had livestock so I'm sure they traded. This guy actually had a chicken that laid blue eggs. I really don't know where they got their food but I do know that she was a diabetic so nothing had sugar in it. And I never could get used to grits. Ugh! And cornbread without sugar.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:47 PM
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Try this. http://www.campchef.com
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:59 PM
anewsurvivalist anewsurvivalist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.Lynn View Post
Hello anewsurvivalist, have you ever seen dutch ovens in the camping gear at general stores (like walmart) or at sporting goods stores? You can use those for most baking, you want to find recipes and get used to the differences before you would actually use those same recipes while camping.

One of the best things I can tell you, is to get one that's got the three stubby legs underneath, and the flat lid with the raised edge. The legs and the lid edge are for the same thing - multidirectional heat for even cooking.

Many recipes that are meant to be baked in a cast-iron dutch oven will tell you how much charcoal (though you can use lumps - pieces - of the coals from a wood fire) to light. You prep your ingredients ahead, be it for bread, casserole, cake, a fruit cobbler, etc. If the dutch oven has to be preheated, the recipe instructions will tell you. A certain number of coals will go underneath - those stubby legs will keep it from crushing them right out and ruining your cooking time, the rest will be placed at even distances from each other all over the lid. Since the lid gets very hot, I DO recommend getting, or making a long-handled hook for lifting the lid.

That'll do your complicated stuff.

If you're in a hurry, or it's otherwise less than ideal conditions, you heat up a piece of flat or nearly flat metal, grease it with a chunk of spam or other fatty substance, pat out the dough kind of flat, cook it til you think it's been long enough, loosen it with your trusty titanium spork, and turn it over to cook the other side. Try not to burn your fingers.
Thanks for the very useful post! I actually didn't think of dutch ovens and I started looking through google to see what I could find and it was giving me wood cook stoves. Looked at the prices and went at the prices! Dutch ovens would make a better option, for now.

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Originally Posted by Cinbad View Post
I don't know about storage of grains but I have been thinking about how to build an outdoor brick oven/grill. When I was a kid we used to go to the Tennessee mountains and visit my stepdad's parents. They lived from the income from tobacco fields. Their house was on top of a mountain. It had a tin roof and the rainwater went into a cistern under the house. The only water was a hand pump from the cistern so you had to heat water on the wood stove for everything. She canned all the stuff from their garden and they had a smokehouse. I don't remember cows but they had chickens. The old guy down the road had livestock so I'm sure they traded. This guy actually had a chicken that laid blue eggs. I really don't know where they got their food but I do know that she was a diabetic so nothing had sugar in it. And I never could get used to grits. Ugh! And cornbread without sugar.
Grits are gross. I can't eat them. Though if I'm starving, I'm sure I could find a way to stomach them.

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Originally Posted by harhey View Post
Thanks for the link! Looks like a nifty site there.
Old 10-24-2010, 11:10 PM
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I love grits!

You don't want to store whole wheat flour for over a few months because it will turn rancid. Store the whole wheat itself and grind it in a manual flour mill. That way it will keep indefinitely.

Dutch ovens are good. You can use wood instead of charcoal, or you can make charcoal also.

Another way to do it is to make clay ovens if you have the right kind of soil for it. American Indians and Hispanics in the southwest US still use them in places. They call them "hornos". You can look it up in google to know how to make them. Here's one source of information:
http://www.homeprepping.com/forums/s...en-%28Horno%29

You can use reflector ovens in connection with fireplaces or campfires as well. You can even bake things right in the coals themselves.

And you can use solar ovens.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:16 AM
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If you got space you can find these for around $1-200

Perfection Stove
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harhey View Post
Wow ... bit out of my price range, but that stuff looks sweet to use! Bet those ovens beat the ****ens out of the flappy little folding box-oven thing you can get in a bunch of stores.
Old 10-25-2010, 07:43 AM
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wood burning cookstoves are good. We have an old one.
Old 10-25-2010, 07:46 AM
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+1 on the reflective oven idea that someone else first posted.
Old 10-25-2010, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinbad View Post
I don't know about storage of grains but I have been thinking about how to build an outdoor brick oven/grill. When I was a kid we used to go to the Tennessee mountains and visit my stepdad's parents. They lived from the income from tobacco fields. Their house was on top of a mountain. It had a tin roof and the rainwater went into a cistern under the house. The only water was a hand pump from the cistern so you had to heat water on the wood stove for everything. She canned all the stuff from their garden and they had a smokehouse. I don't remember cows but they had chickens. The old guy down the road had livestock so I'm sure they traded. This guy actually had a chicken that laid blue eggs. I really don't know where they got their food but I do know that she was a diabetic so nothing had sugar in it. And I never could get used to grits. Ugh! And cornbread without sugar.
Mother Earth News online has a great outdoor oven, bbq, smoker, griidle combo in their April/May edition I belive -here are a few links plus some bonus ones:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It...nd-Smoker.aspx
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It...arth-Oven.aspx
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It...becue-Pit.aspx
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It...ard-Boxes.aspx
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Hands...e-Cooking.aspx
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anewsurvivalist View Post
Being a new survivalist (hence the name) I am wondering what I would need to use for general baking (bread for example) in case power goes down for an extended amount of time?

Where should I start in storing the wheat flour that I use? Also, does wheat flour store as well as other flour?
You can bake in dutch ovens over charcoal, a wood stove or a camp oven. There are small, more affordable wood stoves on the market. And a camp oven can be set on any stove or even over charcoal with a little practice. They run about $30-40 dollars.

Whole wheat flour has a short shelf life due to the oils going rancid. White flour lasts longer. Whole wheat berries lasts the longest and maintains the highest nutrition, but you need a grinder to turn them into flour. Grinders don't have to be a major expense. And they let you utilize other grains too, such as popcorn that you can buy cheaply in large sacks or buckets. Popcorn makes some of the best tasting cornmeal you could ever imagine.

Remember too, that a lot of breads can be made in a skillet or frying pan. There are all sorts of simple flatbreads out there, as well as corn pones, johnny cake, etc.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
You can bake in dutch ovens over charcoal, a wood stove or a camp oven. There are small, more affordable wood stoves on the market. And a camp oven can be set on any stove or even over charcoal with a little practice. They run about $30-40 dollars.

Whole wheat flour has a short shelf life due to the oils going rancid. White flour lasts longer. Whole wheat berries lasts the longest and maintains the highest nutrition, but you need a grinder to turn them into flour. Grinders don't have to be a major expense. And they let you utilize other grains too, such as popcorn that you can buy cheaply in large sacks or buckets. Popcorn makes some of the best tasting cornmeal you could ever imagine.

Remember too, that a lot of breads can be made in a skillet or frying pan. There are all sorts of simple flatbreads out there, as well as corn pones, johnny cake, etc.

Thanks for the helpful post as I have many of the same questions.... are there any good links out there for recipies for preparing the wheat berries into bread from start to finish for us noobs?
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:02 PM
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This

http://www.sunset.com/garden/backyar...0400000012056/

Or that

http://www.solarcooking.org/plans/
Old 10-25-2010, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4509Twain View Post
Thanks for the helpful post as I have many of the same questions.... are there any good links out there for recipies for preparing the wheat berries into bread from start to finish for us noobs?
Well, any recipe that uses whole wheat flour will work with wheat berries ground into flour. It's not really an oddball or exotic ingredient. Just think of them as unground flour.

I use the whole wheat flour in place of white flour in a lot of recipes also, such as gravies, cornbreads, etc. It's pretty versatile stuff.

If you can find hard white wheat, it's generally milder tasting compared to the hard red. That's just a matter of preference though. But I like it better.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:22 PM
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A heavy iron griddle is great for the "baking" that doesn't go in the dutch oven. Most of my primitive cooking is done on griddles, or in a large wok or deep pot lately. My last dutch oven was ruined when mice got in the cabinets, so I'm saving for a really excellent one for the next one.

A normal 'from scratch' recipe of cornbread batter only needs a little attention to cook little mounds of it on a griddle, most any bread can be. If you're hooked on them, try making buttermilk biscuits or english muffins on a griddle. Tortillas are easier, pitas are easy, and I like naan - it's meant for tandoori style, but a hot griddle will do a passable job.

Depending on your tastes (and access to cooking oil,) you might want to try a poured batter like crumpets, blini, or pancakes.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:51 PM
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How to bake when the power fails??
Y'all must use an electric range, or one 'o them horrible propane ovens with an electric glow bar.

Why not just get a decent propane oven and use it for all your cooking?
If ya got power the stove and oven use an electric igniter to light themselves and - pay attention here because this is the important part - the oven uses a pilot light!
The pilot light is only on when your baking! No wasted propane or worry about the pilot blowing out.
When the power fails you light it with a long handle barbecue lighter.

I'm not sure how many brands of propane stoves work this way but our Premier does. Be sure to get the electric version, not the pilot light version.
As I wrote above, ya don't want to mess with pilot lights on a regular basis, but when the power fails ( or you live off grid as I do ) you just light the stove or oven when you need to use it.
Simple!
This way, when the power goes out, life in the kitchen goes on as before and you don't even hardly notice the difference.
Isn't that the best solution?
The kitchen in our off-grid cottage is equipped with a propane range, refrigerator and chest freezer. Who needs power to cook?

http://www.premierrange.com/

Our propane stove. Ah, a bit messy because I just made a batch of granola...



And some of the goodies my wife makes with it! -



Which makes me a very happy camper!

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Old 10-27-2010, 07:07 PM
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I love my solar oven! Delicious food and the sun does all the work.Just had mine for a month, but everything has turned out wonderfully..I bought the reflectors for winter too.
Many plans online if you want to make one. Going to try bread soon.I much prefer to slow cooker and NO electricity needed! Love the independence off the grid.

This is where I bought mine:
http://www.solarovens.org/
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:07 PM
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I'm bad about not reading through all the posts, and I apologize if I've not added much new info.

Basically, the super simple answer is you need a heat resistant container large enough to bake the item in, and a heat source capable of bringing the internal temp of the container to 300 - 350 degrees. Be it a dutch oven and coals, a solar oven, or a wood or coal fired range. The solar oven idea is great, as long as you have adequate sun. If the power is out because of a winter storm....

The best idea for storing your flour is to keep it in air/moisture tight containers and rotate it. It sounds like the OP already uses the flour he plans to store, so rotation should be no problem. Flour eventually goes bad, so for storing large amount it is best to store un-ground wheat, and get a grain mill. It will store much better this way.

Do some searches, there is tons of related info on these boards, and on the net. check youtube also.
Old 10-27-2010, 10:19 PM
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If you have a wide 2 burner gas grill, you can light one side, place your food on the other and close the top. Regulate the temp by adjusting the flame on the burner. Bar-B-Que is basically baking for a long time at a low temp (yeah yeah there's smoke and paw paw's secret sauce too).
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