DIY Survival Stoves on the Cheap

Survival cooking doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. There are some do-it-yourself survival stoves you can use to cook without electricity. These simple, low-cost emergency cooking methods require minimal supplies and your time. That’s it.

We encourage you to select a couple of stove options to start. Then spend time researching designs and online how-to tutorials before you begin.

Constructing multiple DIY stove options will increase your knowledge on the subject, leaving you prepared to feed yourself and your loved ones in the case of an emergency where electricity isn’t available for cooking.

Something to keep in mind is to make sure to choose a stove that works best with your personal emergency food storage. Here are six options:

Rocket Stove: This stove option will produce a lot of heat from very little fuel, making it a perfect survival stove in cold weather conditions. It’s perhaps the most versatile of the DIY stoves, with many variations that allow for cooking, boiling water and producing heat quickly.

A simple DIY rocket stove design only requires three recycled tin cans. The cans, plus tin snips, gloves, a marker, insulation and roughly an hour of your time will produce a functional DIY stove.

Another design uses brick, mud and a permanent build location. All rocket stove designs are ultra efficient and known to use as little as five or six medium twigs to produce a pot of boiling water. The cost of this option should stay well below $100, with the simpler designs coming in under $10.

Hobo Stoves: This DIY stove is lightweight, easy to make and extremely affordable, as it typically utilizes items you already have in your home. A hobo stove works well to heat emergency food packets, water or a can of soup. This particular DIY stove is a favorite of many long-time preppers due to its simplicity.

The simplest design in this DIY stove category is made primarily from a large coffee can. It can produce boiling water in roughly six minutes. Aside from the coffee can, you’ll need a can opener, tin snips, drill and drill bits, metal coat hanger, and roughly an hour of your time.

Buddy Burner: This DIY stove option is an excellent method for heating food or water indoors. The supplies are minimal: corrugated cardboard, a sharp knife, an empty tuna can, wax (you can use old crayons or broken candles to keep the cost low) and an empty, clean soup can.

The fuel system is simple and is achieved by filling the empty tuna can with rolled corrugated cardboard, followed by pouring melted wax over the top. This particular stove is a very simple option and also a fun way to involve children, as it feels very craft-like to create.

Barrel Stoves: This is a non-portable survival stove option that will warm food, purify water and also provide heat for a dwelling. This DIY option will take roughly an afternoon’s time for someone with a DIY mindset and will require purchased supplies, such as a 55-gallon steel drum, standard tools, screws, hinges, L-brackets and carriage bolts.

This option is durable and if made well, should last longer than the other DIY stoves. It is referred to as non-portable, though you could transport it with a little help. This is a more expensive item in the DIY category, but still far less money than to purchase a survival stove.

Soda Can Stove: This extraordinarily lightweight stove burns on alcohol fuels and can be made for next to nothing. As long as you have soda cans and some minimal supplies for measuring and cutting, the only investment here is the denatured alcohol, which can be purchased at any hardware store. The design of this DIY stove is strong and reliable, and will boil water rapidly.

And lastly, the Box Oven. While this isn’t a day-to-day cooking stove, it’s a simple method for making an oven that will help you bake without electricity. A box oven combined with charcoal will enable you to bake cookies, cakes or a pizza in six easy steps:

1) Simply wrap foil on the inside of a box.

2) Cut a view opening.

3) Place coals in a fire pit.

4) Position four cans and a cooking rack.

5) Light coals.

6) Place your pan on the rack and monitor cooking through the window.


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