How To Cook Food Without Fire And Electricity? ( Top 5 Methods )

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Cooking only needs heat, the problem is that most people rely on electricity or fire for this heat. Once you have no power and no way to make a fire, then you will probably find yourself unable to cook. Luckily for you, you have stumbled upon my article and I will show you how you can cook without using any fire or electricity.

You can cook food without fire and electricity by harnessing the heat from different sources, as all you need for cooking is heat. There are some specialized devices with which you can cook without fire or electricity like a solar cooker for example, although you can basically do the same by using the heat from the engine of your car or even by cooking on a hot rock.

One of the easiest ways to cook without any power or fire is by using a solar cooker, my personal recommendation is to get one that can generate over 500 degrees F heat, Click here to check it out on

When it comes to cooking, in general, you have two options, either cook with an electric stove or by using fire. The problem is that you will not be able to cook in some SHTF scenarios, and most likely you will not have access to electricity either. Once you are faced with this problem you will probably think that cooking will be out of the question for you, but not so fast. In this article, I will teach you how you can cook without using electricity or fire.

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Some of these methods need some foresight, so you might want to get some items before the SHTF scenario happens, on the other hand, some of the methods require just logic, as there are plenty of ways how to cook without using fire or power at all. In addition to this, there are also a lot of meals to make without electricity, I will not be going in-depth about it as it’s rather pointless. A lot of preppers hoard MRE which are meals in powder form.

You only have to add some water and cook it for a couple of minutes to be ready to eat, the problem is that most of these MREs do need heat to cook, and what will they do if they do not have access to either fire or electricity. You might think that mixing these MREs with water will be sufficient, but the water will not blend well with the powder and at that point, it will feel like you are eating sand with water.

As a prepper, it is always good to have a backup plan, but if your backup plan also fails then you will have to start thinking out of the box if you want to cook. Cooking indoors makes a lot of heat, which is excellent during wintertime, but without fire and electricity you not only will not be able to cook but you will also not be able to heat your home. If you need more information about what your alternatives for heating are without electricity, then check out my recent article ( Top 15 ) Best alternative heat sources during power outage.

How To Cook Food Without Fire And Electricity?

Cooking food without fire and electricity can be a challenging but important skill to have, especially in emergency situations. There are several alternative methods you can use to prepare meals. One option is solar cooking, utilizing the power of the sun. Solar cookers or ovens harness sunlight to heat and cook food. Another method is using a portable camping stove or a backpacking stove that operates on fuel such as propane or butane. These stoves provide a controlled flame for cooking.

Additionally, you can explore non-fire cooking techniques like using a thermal cooker or a wonderbag, which rely on insulation to retain heat and slow-cook food. Other options include using a rocket stove that uses small twigs and branches for fuel, or a haybox cooker that utilizes retained heat for cooking. Another creative option is to harness geothermal heat by using hot springs or volcanic areas to cook food.

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Cooking With A Solar Cooker

If you want to know how to heat food without fire or electricity then your best option is to use a solar cooker, not only you will be able to use it to heat your food, but most solar cookers will be able to generate enough power to cook food also. These solar cookers will work best during the summertime on a cloudless day, then is when they can output the most power. I personally have also a solar cooker and it works great during the summertime.

The problem comes during the winter, most solar cookers will not be able to generate enough heat during the wintertime, how much heat they can generate will depend on how north you are and how clear the skies are. The further up north you live the shorter the days will become during the winter and the power of the sun will be fairly limited, so you might have some difficulties cooking with a solar cooker.

On the other hand, if you live in the southern part of the USA then you will have no problem cooking with a solar cooker even during wintertime. If you are cooking without fire or electricity for the first time you might end up with uncooked rice, for more information check out my recent article How to fix uncooked or overcooked rice ( Crunchy, Burnt, Mushy, Watery, Salty & Gummy Rice ).

Cooking With MRE Reheaters

During combat, soldiers will need to eat, but they will not be able to cook with fire or electricity as this would be a massive tactical disadvantage. Instead, they are relying on MRE Reheaters, which basically use the chemical reaction as a heat source.  Most of these reheaters contain salt, magnesium, and iron, once you add some water a powerful chemical reaction will occur which will make a lot of heat of around 100 degrees F.

Now you might think that this would take a long time to generate heat, far from it, most of these reheaters are made for quick use, and in general, they will make a 100-degree F heat in around 8-12 seconds. Now just add some rice in a cooking bag and place it on or in the reheater, depending on how it is made to function, and this is how to cook rice without electricity or fire. Now you will be able to brag to all your friends that you cooked one-minute rice in 58 seconds.

Just a word of caution, these reheaters are extremely volatile when coming in contact with water, under no circumstances handle them with wet hands as it might cause you severe burns. In addition to this make sure you store them properly in a waterproof bag, all reheaters do come in waterproof bags, but you should be extra careful. If you are looking to get one then your best bet will be at an Army Surplus Store.

As a prepper, you probably have a couple of MREs in your food pantry, but you should also add more types of food that also have a long shelf life, for more information check out my recent article Food that last for 25 years ( Top 37 ).

Cooking With Direct Sunlight

If you do not have anything to make heat in order to cook then your last option will be to use the power of the sun. The sun during summertime is powerful enough to heat up some surfaces to such a high temperature that you will easily cook almost anything. Surfaces like rocks, concrete, and even the hood of your car should be hot enough to be able to cook during the summertime. The problem is that this will not work during wintertime at all, because the sun will not shine directly on you and it is shining at an angle which makes it’s heating power less efficient, thus the winter’s lower temperatures.

During summertime, if you have ever touched the hood of your car, then you have probably noticed how hot it is. You probably will not be able to cook some fancy food on a rock or on the hood of your car with the heat of the sun alone but you can easily make some scrambled eggs on it. In addition to this, you should probably avoid cooking on the hood of your car, as who knows what chemicals the paint has.

Just find a flat rock that is hot enough and use that for cooking. If you have a lot of items in your freezer then you might have freezer burn on some of them, for more information check out my recent article How to prevent freezer burn ( In 8 Easy Steps ).

Cooking With The Heat From Your Car

Most people do not know that they actually use their car to cook food. There are some devices on the market, which you hook up to the car’s power supply and you can start cooking, the problem with this is that it uses a lot of power, and a drained battery is the last thing you want in case of an SHTF. Cooking without electricity can be fairly easy if you have a car, just chop up some vegetables and meat, put them in an aluminum foil or plate, and place it on the engine.

Close the engine so the heat doesn’t come out, now just simply start your engine and let it run for around 20 minutes, this will be enough for your food to be cooked. In addition to this, you can also travel while you are doing it. Just make sure that you do not place the food in a part of the engine where it can cause problems for the engine’s function. Do not place it behind the radiator because if you will disrupt the airflow and your engine will overheat, just place it on top of the engine and compress it with the hood.

If you have an electric car you will not be able to do this as electrical cars do not produce enough heat. For electrical cars, you will need to get a low voltage cooking device that you can hook up to your car. In case you are worried about a long-term power outage, then check out my article Power outage grocery list ( Top 38 Items ).

Cooking With The Heat From A Compost

Yes, you heard it right, you can actually use your compost for cooking and you do not need fire or electricity to be able to do it. What is great about cooking with compost is that it will work no matter what the outside temperatures are. In addition to this, you can create your own compost fairly easily with food scraps and other biodegradable items. Most people who make their own compost use it for gardening, which is another benefit of making compost in addition to cooking.

A compost basically works almost similarly to an MRE reheater, but instead of generating heat with a chemical reaction, a compost will generate heat with bacteria. Once you make compost, different kinds of bacteria will start consuming and breaking down the compost, while doing this they will generate a lot of heat. How much heat the compost can generate will depend on the size of the compost.

My recommendation is to make a compost big enough until it reaches the height of your chest. Don’t just go and put your cooking pan on the compost, while it might feel warm on the top, the most heat will be in the core of the compost, you have to use your compost as an oven. Grab your shovel and dig down a little bit in the compost, place your cooking dish inside, and cover it with the removed compost.

One thing to keep in mind is that compost has a nasty smell which could contaminate your food also. My recommendation is to put your food in aluminum foil, no matter what you are cooking, then place the food with the aluminum foil in a cooking dish with a lid. After this, you should cover up the cooking dish also with aluminum foil. Get one of those long thermometers, stick it in the compost pile, and see what its temperature is, from that you should have an estimation as to how long will it take for your food to cook.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilize solar energy by using a solar cooker or building a simple solar oven. These devices concentrate sunlight to heat and cook food.
  • Invest in portable stoves that use alternative fuel sources such as propane, butane, or alcohol. These stoves are compact and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
  • Utilize a Dutch oven, which is a thick-walled cooking pot, to cook food over an open flame, such as a campfire. This method allows you to prepare meals without relying on electricity or gas stoves.