There is nothing worse when you are famished and you are not able to get to the food (whether it be from lack or being prevented by its container). That is even more so, when you are looking to grab a bite, and because there is no electricity to run the appliances that would facilitate you enjoying your meal.
With the frailty of the electrical grid in America, it would not take much to over tax the system and put everyone into a blackout for undetermined amount of time. This could be dealt with if it is out for 12 to 24 hours. But could not be if it was down for months on end. It is wise to be able to get your backup systems, that do not rely on electricity, for what your cooking needs require.
Here’s a starter list of things that you need to have in a non-electric kitchen:
1. Set of Knives – Now this usually isn’t something that takes electricity (you do have those electrical knives that carve turkeys or hams) but nothing can substitute a good and durable set of knives that can be used for your filet-ing, dicing, and all other kitchen related cutting needs.
2. Manual Can Opener – Modern conveniences are amazing, and none more than the electrical can opener. You just place it in the right position, and let it do it’s business. However that piece of equipment is just a glorified paper weight when there is no electricity running to it. Getting a trustworthy manual can opener will save you hours of pain and toil of getting into cans and sealed metal containers.
3. Hand Crank Blender – Blenders are as miraculous as the can opener. In no other way could you pulverize the food you want to have than with one. When electricity is no longer available, a hand crank blender is the next best thing. It may sound weird but they do work! If you’re a fan of creaming and pure-ing what you eat, you’ll need a hand crank blender to go electricity-free.
4. Hand Crank Flour Mill – When electricity is scarce, you will still need to have the food staples. Bread being one of them in the American diet, you will need to get your wheat made into flour at some point. If you make bread you’ll want a flour mill. In the past there where whole businesses that did just that, but for your individual needs, a hand crank flour mill is essential to the bread-making process.
5. Meat Grinder – If you are getting your own protein sources, through hunting, raise your own livestock, or purchase meat in bulk, a meat grinder is an essential tool for your kitchen. Hand crank versions are easy to operate.
6. Hand Crank Mixer – While mixers may not be an absolute essential in a non-electric kitchen, they sure do make life a lot easier. Just think of how much easier making bread or sauces would be with something like this. There are hand crank versions available of simple dough mixers, or some people choose to convert modern stand mixers into hand crank mixers.
7. Mortar & Pestle – What am I talking about a Mortar and Pestle? It is a great tool to pulverize and mix together herbs from seeds, and larger pieces of each ingredient (leave, flower, or stock) It is great to have one that can do the unique job that it only can do.
8. Dutch Oven – There are master Dutch Oven cooks and recipes. Both of which, in time of no electricity, will become more prevalent. Almost anything is great cooked in a Dutch Oven. They are made to heat evenly and seal in flavor perfect for soups, stews, breads, pies, and more. They can also be used right in an open fire.
9. Wood Fed Stove – whether it be a rocket stove, pot belly stove, or anything that has a non-electric heat source you will need something of this kind. Indoor or outdoor use is fine for this, these types of cooking appliances can be large like they were in the pioneer/turn of the 20th Century stoves were to as little as having a tripod set up for a grill or suspended pot application can do the work.
10. Manual Food Processor – If you preserve a lot of your own food, a quality hand crank food processor can save you tons of time. Especially chopping many different ingredients when canning or preserving large batches. This is different from the hand crank blender, because you will be wanting a larger pieced result rather than a pulverization.
The Next Level of Kitchen Tools
These are the items that can go a long way into food preparation and the fixing of meals that can be dealt with if you don’t have them, but are WAY easier if you do have them at your fingertips:
11. Solar Dehydrator – In the old days people just put out what they wanted dried out in the direct sunlight and watched for vermin trying to get at it while it dried. There is an easier way to do this! There’s nothing like a dehydrator for putting up the harvest. They’re great for vegetables, herbs, jerky, and even mushrooms! Having food for snacks, that are portable, not needing to be refrigerated, or in special containers this is for you. Solar dehydrators can be a great option.
12. Solar Oven – Solar ovens can be used to bake anything you would in a regular oven by using the power of the sun! They’re perfect for summertime when you don’t want to be baking in the house with a modern oven or wood stove. They’re affordable to purchase or there are some excellent DIY plans available,
14. Water Filter – A quality water filter can help ensure your family is getting clean drinking water even if you’re sourcing water from a pond, stream, or well on your property. The ones in your basement is not what we are talking about. There are many examples and DIY versions for filtering water that you can get and build yourself.
15. Tea Kettle – Tea kettles are much important than just for tea. They are specifically made to handle boiling water in a way much easier method than just a pot. They can be used to fill hot water bottles on chilly nights, heat water for washing dishes, or heat water for hot chocolate and instant meals. The uses are numerous for such a thing.
These aren’t necessary at all when it comes to cooking in a kitchen with no electricity BUT, they sure make life a bit more luxurious.
16. Stovetop Toaster – Toasting bread is a staple for many here in America. Thankfully, there are stovetop toasters that can be used on campfires, stovetops, or wood stoves without needing elecetricity.
16. Stovetop Waffle Iron – Aren’t waffles awesome to eat? Getting your own Waffle Cooking Tool and you can too enjoy your waffles.
17. Butter Churn – You can make your own butter! Can’t have toast without that butter and if you’d like to make homemade butter, a churn can be a great investment. While it is possible to make butter just by shaking a jar, a butter churn is less tiring to use. Plus butter churns really give that old fashioned touch to your homestead kitchen.
18. Pasta Maker – To cut the time that is needed to make your own pasta, you can get a hand held Pasta Maker that can cut down the labor intensive chore. With a pasta maker, it’s easy to make large batches of pasta so you can even dry some for later.
19. Popcorn Popper – Not a big popcorn fan, but for those who are, getting your dried popcorn kernels to “pop’ can also involve no electricity. Poppers are cheap and are fun to use especially over a campfire.
20. Kitchen Scale – When you are cooking in bulk or have something that needs to be weighed when it comes to food, having a kitchen scale is a nice thing to have. There have been many electrical ones, but before them it was usually done on a balanced scale. No matter how you do it they’re great for super precise food preservation recipes or projects like soap making.
What would you add to this list? Do you have something that we missed? Connect with us and we will get it on this list!