Even in nonemergency times, outdoor cooking is extremely popular. Outdoor cooking can also be a great alternative should a crisis prevent us from using our indoor cooking appliances. Popular outdoor cooking methods including grilling over the fire or roasting meat, vegetables, potatoes, and other foods by wrapping them in aluminum foil. Cook the folded foil packets on top of the coals on a barbecue grill or in a fire pit.
Cooking over an open fire is the oldest and most basic cooking method. Build up the sides around the fire pit with rocks or bricks so you can place an old oven rack or heavy metal screen on top of the fire to hold a pot or frying pan. When the fire dies down and the coals are still hot, you can remove the screen and place a Dutch oven directly on top of the coals to cook your meat, bread, or even a dessert. You’ll find it easier to wash your Dutch oven if you soap the bottom before placing it on the fire.
My husband and I have a unique little barbeque pit in our backyard. We use the metal cylinder from an old washing machine to cook on (see figure 1.6). We put wood in the wash tub and start a fire. The tub has many holes for ventilation yet is solid enough that the fire doesn’t pop or spit on us. You can also use a metal barrel for burning wood. Just poke holes around the barrel for ventilation. You can then fashion metal screening material into a top for your barrel barbecue.
A buddy burner is a source of fuel that you can make by taking a regular-size (6½-
ounce) tuna can and lining it with a strip of corrugated cardboard coiled up inside the can. The strip should be as tall as the can and as long as needed to coil up and fill the entire can. Fill the can with melted paraffin or candle wax. Place a wick or a birthday candle in the center of the buddy burner. When it is lit, place the gallon-size #10 can over the buddy burner and let it heat up. You can use the lid of the tuna can to extinguish the flame when you’re finished using it. This is a fun project for a family or Scout outing. Kids enjoy making gallon-can stoves.