There are a number of heat sources to consider when your primary method of cooking isn’t available. You should become familiar and proficient with one or more of these. For your chosen method, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of fuel on hand.

Propane is an excellent fuel for indoor use. It produces carbon dioxide as it burns and is therefore not poisonous. It does consume oxygen so be sure to crack a window when burning propane.
Propane stores indefinitely, having no known shelf life. Propane stoves and small portable heaters are very economical, simple to use, and come the closest to approximating the type of convenience most of us are accustomed to using on a daily basis.
The primary hazard in using propane is that it is heavier than air and if a leak occurs it may “pool” which can create an explosive atmosphere. Basement natural gas heating units CANNOT be legally converted for propane use. Again, the vapours are heavier than air and form “pockets.” Ignition sources such as water heaters and electrical sources can cause an explosion.
Propane is likely to be impossible or difficult to acquire during an extended emergency.

Hardwoods such as apple, cherry, and other fruit woods are slow burning and sustain coals. Hardwoods are more difficult to burn than softer woods, thus requiring a supply of kindling. Soft woods such as pine and cedar are light in weight and burn very rapidly, leaving ash and few coals for cooking. If you have a fireplace or a wood/coal burning stove, you will want to store several cords of firewood. Firewood is usually sold by the cord which is a neat pile that totals 128 cubic feet. This pile is four feet wide, four feet high, and eight feet long. Some dealers sell wooWoodd by the ton. As a general rule of thumb, a standard cord of air dried dense hardwood weighs about two tons and provides as much heat as one ton of coal. Be suspicious of any alleged cord delivered in a 1/2 or 3/4 ton pickup truck.
For best results, wood should be seasoned (dried) properly, usually at least a year. A plastic tarp, wood planks, or other plastic or metal Woodsheeting over the woodpile is useful in keeping the wood dry. Other types of fuels are more practical to store and use than wood or coal.
The penny wood stove only needWoods small pieces of wood, so it can effectively be supplied with wood from shrubs.

Food in a solar coWoodoker is generally not stirred or turned over, both because it is unnecessary and because opening the solar cooker allows the trapped heat to escape and thereby slows the cooking process. It can be checked every one to two hours, to turn the cooker to face the sun more precisely and to ensure that shadows from buildings or plants have not blocked the sunlight. If the food will be left untended for many hours during the day, then the solar cooker is often turned to face the point where the sun will be when it is higher in the sky.
Food cooks faster in the two Solarhours before and after the local solar noon than it does in either the early morning or the late afternoon. Larger amounts of food, and in larger pieces, take longer to cook.
You don’t need to add water tSolaro anything except grains because the food makes its own liquid. It tastes better because nothing dries it out.

White gas (Coleman fuel)
Many families have camp stoves which burn Coleman Fuel or white gasoline. These stoves are fairly easy to use and produce a great amount of heat. However, like charcoal, they produce vast amounts of carbon monoxide. NEVER use a Coleman Fuel stove indoors. It could be a fatal mistake to your entire family.
Never store fuels in the house or near a heater. Use a metal store cabinet which is vented on top and bottom and can be locked.

Kerosene (also known as Range Oil No. 1) is the cheapest of all the storage fuels and is also very forgiving if you make a mistake. Kerosene isn’t as explosive as gasoline and Coleman fuel. Kerosene stores well for long periods of time and by introducing some fuel additives it can be made to store even longer. However, do not store it in metal containers for extended time periods unless they are porcelain lined because the moisture in the kerosene will rust through the container causing the kerosene to leak. Most hardware stores and home improvement centres sell kerosene in 5 gallon plastic containers which store for many years. A 55 gallon drum stores in the back yard, or ten 5 gallon plastic containers will provide fuel enough to last an entire winter if used sparingly.
When kerosene burns it requires very little oxygen, compared to charcoal. You must crack a window about 1/4 inch to allow enough oxygen to enter the room to prevent asphyxiation. During combustion, kerosene is not poisonous and is safe to use indoors. To prevent possible fires you should always fill it outside. The momentary incomplete combustion during lighting and extinguishing of kerosene heaters can cause some unpleasant odours. To prevent these odours from lingering in your home always light and extinguish the heater out of doors. During normal operation a kerosene heater is practically odourless.

Never use a charcoal burning device indoors. When charcoal burns it is a voracious consumer of oxygen and will quickly deplete the oxygen supply in your little “home within a home.” Furthermore, as it burns it produces vast amounts of carbon monoxide which is a deadly poison. If you make the mistake of trying to heat your home by burning charcoal it could prove fatal to your entire family. Never burn charcoal indoors.
Instant light charcoal containing lighter fluid, such as Kingsford Match Light, should not be used where the gasses interact with the food, such as in barbeques or the cardboard oven. Dutch ovens are better suited for instant light charcoal. When using the cardboard oven, let the charcoal go completely white before adding the food. For cakes, adding fruit to the bottom for an upside-down cake makes it harder to burn the bottom.

Alcohol burns cleanly and is odourless, so it is safe to use indoors. It burns very quietly with a near-invisible flame, so it is important to be careful around alcohol fuelled stoves. The fuel is not explosive and can be easily extinguished. It stores well in plastic containers and is available in 4 litre jugs at Home Depot, labeled as Methyl Hydrate. Look in the paint section.

Internet Resources

Dutch Oven


Cardboard Oven

Hot Box
Pressure cookers are perfect for use with hot box cooking. Cooking time is shorter and higher temperatures can be reached.

Pot Cozy’s are basically a hot box that custom fits your pot. You can buy them at MEC

Or make your own pot cozy

Penny Alcohol Stove

Penny Wood Stove

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