Shelter In Place Cooking

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by LadyIvy, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. LadyIvy

    LadyIvy Member

    For those of you who do not have a woodburning stove or fireplace, how are you planning on heating food and boiling water in the event of an emergency if you have to shelter in place?
    I've been looking into this and keep getting differing opinions on what can safely be used to cook food inside. Professional Chefs often use butane burners like this:
    Butane Range, 1-Burner Butane Countertop Range / Portable Stove

    for indoor demonstrations. Does butane give off carbon monoxide when it burns? Would it be safe to cook with something like this in a home or apartment? I'd assume that cooking by an open window or door would lessen the chances of a problem, but what if there was incliment weather, or you were sheltering in place due to a bio or nuclear issue and needed to seal everything off with plastic sheeting? In an absolute worst case scenario, how would you heat water and warm food? Also, I was always told never to use a propane device inside, for the same concerns of carbon monoxide poisoning. The guy at the Big 5 store I went to recently said that he uses a propane lantern inside his tent all the time with no issues? So what's the deal with propane usage indoors? Yay or Nay? Any ideas or thoughts?
  2. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    I have one in the 'pit' with a case of fuel, these also burn very clean and efficiently. One positive note is that butane is not considered a toxic gas, propane on the other-hand is. Alcohol is the best for enclosed areas, but the spill hazard and the invisibility of the flame is a concern. Butane will of course store as propane does almost indefinitely.

  3. vn6869

    vn6869 Afraid, very afraid

    Again nice to know.

    I knew about propane, but hadn't considered butane. Need to look into this,
  4. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    add food coloring to it for visibility :D
  5. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    Our kitchen stove uses butane, but has electric ignition. I can light the burners with a match and for the oven I use one of those long butane lighters. We also have a double and a single burner we use outside, and a huge enclosed grill DH made out of a old oil tank. The beauty of the grill is he made the firebox where it is fed wood from the outside and all the smoke can be diverted outside so it makes a really big oven, he also installed a temp gauge in the lid so you can even bake bread if you like.

    My concern is when everyone is hungry and the smell of cooking food comes from your house, will we be drawing a lot of unwanted attention.
  6. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    While I don't have one I have cooked on one at a school function and they work beautifully.
  7. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    Before we installed the propane tank for our mantle/gas logs in Ky, we had the ice storm in 2009.

    We had no choice but to use the propane tanks/heater usually recommended for garages, etc....I found no problems and still have it for any emergency.

    Hope this helps. I do remember that one 4 gallon tank warmed a nice sized den for about 32 hours.
  8. LadyIvy

    LadyIvy Member

    Wow! Thank you everyone for your replies.
    Clarice, I have the same concern. Not only will it attract unwanted humans, but using it to cook while "on the run" could attract unwanted animals. It's something I've considered quite a bit, but I figure that between my baseball bat and some other "investments" I'll be making in the near future, I should be able to discourage any camp raiding by four or two legged creatures. Ultimately, I'd like to be able to at least have the option of eating something besides cold canned soup if it is safe to do so.

    Bunkerbob and Emerald, about how long would one canister last? Let's say for practical purposes that you would be cooking for roughly fifteen minutes max. Any estimations as to how many hours you could get out of a canister of butane?

    Blob and Bunkerbob, are you refering to isopropyl alcohol, or drinking alcohol, or both? What container would you put it in to light it in order to cook with it?

    Jayjay, thanks for letting me know about the propane. I have a propane grill that I use a lot during the summer and a few canisters of propane, so that is always good to know that I can use it sparingly indoors and be ok.
  9. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Denatured or wood alcohol for small handheld, or shipboard type stoves. Usually comes in 1gal cans or smaller.
  10. BizzyB

    BizzyB BucketHunter

    The JetBoil system might be an option. The only thing it does well is boil water really really fast. So fast that that you could make water for many freeze dried backpacking-type meals in just a few minutes with little risk of a CO or CO2 hazard. Cracking a window for fresh air would further mitigate the low risk. Just a thought. I've used them on the trail and they are a wonderful backpacking stove: small, lightweight, super efficient.
  11. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    Sterno, candles, alcohal, Coleman Gas, gasoline, diesel, butane, propane, charcoal and fire wood. If I can't cook over an open fire in the shelter I will cook in a firepit or area out side. I have several different stoves and grills to use depending upon the circumstances.:cool: