Cooking food is important in a survival situation, but it can be difficult if you don’t have some traditional utensils.
When you’re stuck out in the wild, you likely have no pans, bowls, pots or spatulas. For this article, we’ll assume that you have at least some survival tools with you — specifically a good knife and a means to start a fire. We’ll also assume that you’ve killed something to eat.
Here are the best methods for cooking for survival:
1. Boiling method. The safest way to cook food out in the wilderness? Boil it! Anything from a large bowl to a small cup that won’t melt in the fire will work. You can then heat a number of rocks over a fire for a few hours; the best to use are flint, obsidian, and quartz. Set your pan of water on top of the rocks for a half hour before adding food. The water should be purified and cleansed of bacteria as it boils.
The bottom line: If you have anything to boil your food in, you should use the boiling method above any of the other methods on this list. But if you lack the necessary materials, the other methods will work just fine.
2.Fry Flat Rock Method. The fry flat rock method has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples around the world. Like the boiling method, it is an effective means to cook food, but unlike boiling, you won’t coincidentally need a pan or a bowl of some kind.
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Begin by finding a clean, flat rock. Wash this rock in a stream and dry it off with a rag or a bandana. Set the rock atop a fire, propped up with sticks or other rocks. The rock will become very hot if left over the fire for a few hours, and once it gets hot enough, you’ve just unlocked nature’s version of a frying pan.
While this method is very simple, it’s a risky one. Also, it can deprive your foods of essential nutrients.
3. Pit Cooking Method. Pit cooking requires a lot of knowledge and skill; while you should practice all of these methods at home, this one will require more skill than others.
Start by digging a hole in the ground that’s roughly a foot wide and deep. Collect some small rocks and cover the entire bottom of the pit with them so that no dirt is visible. Next, take some kindling and construct a small fire, setting it over the stones. Casually feed the fire so that it stays up for several hours.
The rocks will slowly but steadily increase in temperature; once you believe the rocks are hot enough, remove the fire and coals and cover the heated rocks with grass. Place your food over the grass, and then set more grass and bark over the food. Once the food is covered, cover the entire pit with dirt to prevent any air from leaving. Leave the pit alone for at least two hours, and then dig up your food. This is a very time-consuming process, but if done properly, your food should be well-cooked.
4. Roasting Method. Perhaps the most well-known way to cook food over a fire is to impale it on a stick and hold it above the flames. This method is straightforward and effective, and we all have at least some experience with it. Who hasn’t roasted food over a fire while on a camping or a hiking trip?
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There is one notable downside to the roasting method, in that it requires your constant attention. With the other methods on this list, you can leave your campfire for a brief period of time to multitask and perform other necessary activities. If you choose to roast your food, you have to constantly turn the food to prevent one side from burning. Also, there’s the risk of the food falling into the fire.
5. Rock Oven Method. If the fry flat rock method is nature’s version of a frying pan, the rock oven method is nature’s oven. Make a square or rectangle rock structure with an opening that faces close to the fire. Any holes that exist in the structure should be filled up with dirt to prevent air from escaping; set your food in the opening of the structure and let it sit. Just as you would turn the knobs up and down in a kitchen oven, you can either add more fuel to the fire or let it dwindle until your food is completely cooked.
What are your favorite survival methods for cooking? Share your tips in the section below:
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