Primitive Cooking Methods

We’ve talked a number of times in the past about finding food in the wild. If the electrical grids go down and we’re forced out of our homes, it will be important to know how to do that.

But even if we are able to transport non-perishable food as we escape whatever crisis caused us to leave home, we will still need to know how to cook it, or at least heat it.

In a perfect world, your campsite would have a large, solar-powered, self-cleaning oven plopped down in the middle of it. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about this issue.

But that’s not going to happen, so it’s crucial to know a variety of cooking methods that do not require electricity. In other words, you should know how to cook food like our ancestors once did.

Here are some of those primitive methods:

  • Over an open fire. This is the oldest strategy for cooking in human history. You can do it over an open fire, in a fireplace, in a wood-burning stove or several other options. They all involve wood. Finding dry wood in the wild could be a challenge. And you may have to make your own grilling rack out of tree branches. Forked branches will be especially helpful if you are planning to skewer the meat.
  • Ash cooking. This is another very old cooking method. It involves wrapping meat in large leaves before cooking your food over a bed of hot coals. Another option is to dig a hole next to your campfire and place the hot coals in it. Then place the leaf-wrapped meat over them. Bury the wrapped meat under another layer of ash and coals, and you’ve created a leaf oven. The leaves will lock in the flavor and the heat will be distributed evenly.
  • Broiling rack. If you’d like to try broiling your food rather than grilling it, you might have to get creative. One way to do that is by finding small birch or willow branches and forming something similar to a tennis racket. You bend it into an oval shape, then use smaller branches as cordage across it. With this “racket,” you’ll be able to hold the meat above the flame or slow roast it with a bed of coals.
  • Hot rock boiling. If you only need to heat your pre-cooked food, you can do that fairly easily by heating rocks in a fire. The smoother and dryer the rocks, the better. Heat them in a fire for about a half-hour, then place them in your water pot. In addition to heating the water, they will also serve to purify it.
  • Dutch oven. They rarely make them like they used to, but the original Dutch ovens were designed with cast iron and had feet to hold them level in the coals. The lid had a lip so that coals could be piled on top as well.
  • Solar oven. This is similar to cooking in a crockpot, and it can take a while. But it’s a great way to use the sun’s energy. Sunlight converts to heat when it strikes a black surface inside the oven, with reflectors helping out. (Take a look at our top recommendation below.)

My personal favorite?

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I’m camping or fishing, I don’t plan on spending hours of my down time cooking up food like “back in the old day.” That’s why I like to use our handy Sun Kettle.

This “solar furnace” looks like a thermos. But no ordinary thermos harnesses the power of the sun to safely boil water like this. It’s so easy, even a kid can use it!

Because it’s reliant on sunshine not heat, The Sun Kettle will work just as well on sunny winter day as it does in summer.

It’s great for a hot cup of coffee, and you can even pop a couple hot dogs in there on a fishing trip and before you know it… lunch is served! Now, as long as you have sun, you’ll always have hot water.

Boil water anywhere without fuel or flames

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