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Thread: How am I supposed to cook inside!?

  1. #1

    Question How am I supposed to cook inside!?

    Sorry everyone but I am really new at this. My home is completely electric. I have all kinds of candles and that oil used in tiki torches and oil lamps. Most say to use in well ventilated areas, outdoor use only. What if there is something where we cant go outside? I thought I can fashion some kind of rack that can fit over a candle to at least heat up a can of whatever. If all I had were scented candles or those citronella ones or an oil lamp will those chemicals poison our air or our food? What is something safe we can burn inside? What if I cant open a door or window for ventilation?
    Any help would be great! Thanks in advance!!


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    Senior Member erunkiswldrnssurvival's Avatar
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    I would use olive oil or a vegie oil lamp/stove
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    Are those special lamps or can I use the ones I already have? What, just pour in veggie or olive oil and light?

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    How about Sterno cans? They are generally used inside by caterers so they must not have too bad of fumes. Pretty cheap too, at about a buck a piece.
    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

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    Senior Member laughing beetle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marylp View Post
    Sorry everyone but I am really new at this. My home is completely electric. I have all kinds of candles and that oil used in tiki torches and oil lamps. Most say to use in well ventilated areas, outdoor use only. What if there is something where we cant go outside? I thought I can fashion some kind of rack that can fit over a candle to at least heat up a can of whatever. If all I had were scented candles or those citronella ones or an oil lamp will those chemicals poison our air or our food? What is something safe we can burn inside? What if I cant open a door or window for ventilation?
    Any help would be great! Thanks in advance!!
    I have used a coleman campstove inside when we lost power in the winter. I just set the coleman up on top of the regular stove and cracked a window for ventilation. I didnt notice any more fumes than from what i get from the gas stove( meaning no fumes). the campstoves run on the small green propane tanks sold at Wal-mart and most sporting goods stores.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Marylp - I would avoid using the fuel for your tiki torches inside (or any other fuel that says use outdoors only) Some of those fuels have additives for repelling insects that would not be wise to use indoors. Also, they tend to give off a lot of soot. Using candles (without additives like citronella), homemade or store bought camp stoves will work fine for what you are describing. Not sure what part of the world you live in (I'm in Florida) - the last thing I want when it is very warm (read hot) inside and I can't go outside is to add a lot of "scents" to my environment. It can rapidly become overpowering. The BIG caution is to make sure that you allow for some ventilation. As Laughing Beetle said - crack a window. Any time you cook with a heat source that will deplete oxygen, you want ventilation.

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    If I had an all electric home, I would learn about EMP, and supplement the all electric with alternatives.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You can also invest in food products that don't need to be heated. There are a lot of pre-cooked items available in the grocery stores as well as as pre-packed meals like MREs and their equivalents. If the temperatures are warm, you can also rely on meals like gazpacho (small serving size because you can't refrigerate with power out) that are incredibly healthy and taste great. I love gazpacho!

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    Senior Member erunkiswldrnssurvival's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marylp View Post
    Are those special lamps or can I use the ones I already have? What, just pour in veggie or olive oil and light?
    vegi oil lamps should have shallow vessels (not a tiki Can) you see parafin oil
    overheats and becomes explosive at a lower temperature than olive oil. I have experimented extensively with sorts of lamp/stoves. The most useful
    and "SAFE" combination for indoor use is a shallow gravel filled olive oil burning lamp like this one...Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.
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    Cold Heartless Breed tsitenha's Avatar
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    Marylp, I would acquired a decent propane stove that will "cook" any foods,
    candles, oil lamp/stove produce a cooler flame (comparatively) that will take a long time to warm let alone "cook" food.
    The last thing you want in a stress situation is to aggravate the scenario with food poisoning by under cooking, meats especially.
    As mentioned keep a window open to ventilate or better yet a set of windows to actually move the CO/CO2 away from you.
    A small/medium sized propane stove will cook the food faster and with better heat control and thus subjecting you to a shorter exhaust exposure. Try acquiring a solid stand to support the weight of the stove plus the largest pot/pan with food that you will reasonably use.
    Also keep a supply of precooked foods that you normally would eat and be sure to have pots and pans suitable to do the job. We are slowly discovering that most cans are no longer safe to use as a cooking/warming receptacle as they are lined with resins, plastics etc.. that do react with heat sources and leach chemical compounds into your meal or water, so use pots or pans to cook with please.
    This all part of "preparedness".
    Do "cook" outdoors if it is safe to do so, we cook over a campfire or BBQ all year round and we live in northern Kanata

  11. #11

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    Thank You so much everyone, so far I have so many ideas, but hopefully never have to get to that "worst case senario"

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    Cold Heartless Breed tsitenha's Avatar
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    Marylp, if you adequately practice for that "worst case scenario", it will soon become second nature ans actually far easier on you and yours if it does come to that.

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    Senior Member bulrush's Avatar
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    A natural gas stove is the best answer. It is designed to cook indoors and works when the power is out (light with a match).

    Candles might be ok to cook indoors for short periods, but if SHTF, then you will be boiling water almost all day (to drink), and that might make the air bad, not to mention you will use LOTS of candles quickly.

    Your next best bet is to cook on a screened in porch, like in the winter. So fumes will stay outside but you will be somewhat sheltered from wind.

    My friend's dad used to heat their home with a kerosene stove in the winter time. Each time I would go over there I would get sick from carbon monoxide poisoning, so I had to stop going over there in the winter. Apparently they thought the symptoms were a normal part of life, or simply ignored them. Kerosene stoves should NOT be used indoors. They are rated only for outdoor or use in a well-ventilated area like a garage with a window open.

    Everyone has to be in denial about something.

    I'm pretty sure propane must be vented properly, you just can't cook on it. Propane water heaters must be vented properly to meet code. That goes for the propane camp stoves.

    My rule for ventilation is 100 square inches of open window for every 100 square feet of floor space in the cooking area.
    Last edited by bulrush; 09-05-2008 at 03:26 PM.

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    A battery-powered carbon monoxide sensor could save your life.

    -Merriwether

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merriwether View Post
    A battery-powered carbon monoxide sensor could save your life.

    -Merriwether
    You can say that again.....
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    A battery-powered carbon monoxide sensor could save your life.

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Thanks Crash!
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    Buy yourself a Jetboil with a couple of cans of fuel. Then buy the battery powered carbon monoxide sensor. There problem solved.
    1. If it's in your kit and you don't know how to use it....It's useless.
    2. If you can't reach your kit when you need it....Its useless.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Why would she boiling water all day? She could store water, use a filter pump, use purification tablets or bleach. So many options. Boiling water is just one more chore that shouldn't have to be done.

    Kerosene isn't a bad deal if the wicks are kept trimmed and the flame is adjusted correctly. It probably wasn't CO2/CO that was giving you problems but the particulates and by products of incomplete combustion. Kerosene requires some knowledge and maintenance. I have a heater and several lamps that I've used during a winter time power outage and have never had problems.

    The difference between propane, or liquid petroleum gas (LPG), and natural gas comes down to their portability, compression, energy efficiency, and cost. However, there is generally no difference when it comes to performance in appliances for heating, cooking, or drying. The mixture of natural gas is comprised of propane, along with other gases like methane, butane, ethane, and pentane. It doesn't matter if your stove operates on propane or natural gas. There is no difference.

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    we generally cook outside if there is a power outage... for the few minutes it takes for my backpacker stove to boil water it is just not worth the risk of cooking indoors with naptha - only my opinion though

    That said, I have a candlier by UCO (The Candle Lantern company) and you can boil water on it. It is a little slow but I would feel safe using that inside.
    Last edited by Wild Child; 09-06-2008 at 01:11 PM. Reason: added info about UCO

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