Cooking In A Power Cut
Cooking in a power cut during the warmer months means getting out the BBQ (unless it's raining), but power cuts are more likely to happen in the cold wet winter months.
On a cold dry winter's day, BBQ cooking can even be fun, but cooking during a power cut in wet windy weather needs a different approach.
What works in a power cut?
- Most modern gas cookers have electric ignition and electrically controlled (or fully electric) ovens, with most you can light the hob with a match but not the ovens. Some have safety cut-outs which turn off the gas if the electricity fails.
- If you have a Calor gas Cooker you're OK, we recommend the Statesman Legacy available from Amazon at £299.99 with free delivery. If your budget and space allow it's worth having one as a backup.
- If you have a suitable wood-burning stove you may be able to cook using it. For information on wood-burning stoves visit The Home Fire Shop.
- During flooding, water may into gas mains meaning your gas cooker will not work.
- Electric cookers will not work without electricity.
- Microwaves, Electric kettles, toasters, grills and all plug-in electric-powered cooking appliances will not work.
The Solution - Use A Camping Stove
Camping stove - indoors, isn't that dangerous?
All gas appliances, such as Calor gas heaters or mains gas cookers, burn fossil fuels (Gas, Coal wood etc...) which use oxygen and produce Carbon Monoxide as a waste gas.
Used inside these appliances must have ventilation or the depletion of oxygen and build up of waste gas can suffocate and poison anyone in the room.
The kind of camping stove we recommend is safe to use inside as long as you take sensible precautions;
- Place it on a flameproof level stable surface where it cannot be easily knocked over.
- Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the room you are cooking in.
- Change Gas cylinders or canisters outside and away from ignition sources.
Camping stoves come in all types, you can see a full camping stove selection here.
Do not use spirit burner types, ones mounted on top of gas cans and alpine or backpacker-type single-burner models, these are unstable and unsafe for indoor use.
As you will be using your camping stove as a substitute for the family cooker we recommend two-burner models which are more than capable of cooking a meal for a family of 4 and can run off bigger gas bottles with enough gas to cook a full menu for a few days.
These models are also more stable than other types and suitable for indoor use, provided you follow the correct safety precautions.
Note on making a cuppa: Most of us use electric kettles, these cannot be placed on a camping stove. Use a saucepan to boil water instead (keep the lid on & the water will boil quicker).
Visit our Surviving the Winter page for more tips on how to prepare for winter weather and power cuts.
What do you do for heating during a power cut? Visit our Calor Gas reviews page to see a range of recommended portable gas heaters.
Why heat up a whole house when you're only using one or two rooms? Have a look at our Energy Saving Page for tips on cutting energy bills.