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SHTF Cooking

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Ganado, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I keep running up against the idea that when you cook your food all your neighbors are going to smell it.

    You have no electricity and you cook on a solar over or BBQ trying to use up your freezer meat. What do you do? The people around you are hungry, as the grocery stores have no more food and trucks aren't running. What do you do? cook the food and invite The neighbors? otherwise it's going to waste.
  2. duane

    duane Monkey++

    What smell? Oat meal, sprouted wheat etc, dried veggies, potatoes, most beans, eggs, MRE's, most Mtn House, and such have little odor. Would be tempted to convert as much as I could into storage, jerky, etc at once , and keep the odors down for a few weeks. After that I don't think it will matter.
    marlas1too, UncleMorgan, GOG and 2 others like this.
  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I agree @duane and I keep thinking of @AD1 freezer outage last week. In a SHFT situation if election was out what would you do about the freezer?
    marlas1too, UncleMorgan and Motomom34 like this.
  4. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I have seen a exhaust fan that vents underground goes through a filter and vents 30' away from the structure... seems to work but a lot of work for a little security....
    UncleMorgan and Ganado like this.
  5. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    I'd either invite them, or be prepared for an uncomfortable visit.
    marlas1too and UncleMorgan like this.
  6. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    I think we all may have an unrealistic idea of how much you can smell dehydrating food. Any time we dehydrate (jerky or fruit) and I come home from being at work all day, the smell is VERY strong, even with the windows open. If you are around it all day or prepping it, you don't realize it and it's "background" to you. If the electricity is out and people aren't creating their own odors yours are going to be noticeable.

    When camping with the kids (Cub and Boy Scouts), Mountain House was VERY discernible, even over multiple campfires. If people are hungry or even think they are hungry, they can smell food, and people really only think they are hungry after 24 hours with no food...REAL hunger comes later.

    Realistically, your best bet is to hold a block party with everything from everyone's freezers. Get it ALL out there with EVERYONE contributing. Yes, you will have freeloaders but it shows good will. It also shows "hey, all my food is going to go bad so I'm going to cook it and we're all going to eat it so it doesn't go to waste". You probably throw in some canned goods as well from the obviously poorly stocked pantry. Then your backup plan kicks in:
    • You eat MREs inside, rinse the bags out into the toilet and "flush" the cleanup with a bucket and bury the clean foil bags at night with the "poop" - or - you eat Mainstay/Datrex bars for 2 weeks until FEMA shows up and then slowly start cooking your "good stuff" in with the FEMA crap (or in place of the FEMA crap) over a campfire.
    • Your solar backup keeps the other freezer going until everyone else is dead, gone, or on your side
    • You "hunt" for meat...
    If you are going to bug in, and you live in a subdivision, you need to have a subdivision sized MAG or be willing, able and ready to feed a LOT of people or worse, willing, ready and able to KILL a lot of people. You won't be able to hide your preps for long. Desperate people do desperate things. The story by C.T. Horner (Mr. and Mrs. Smith I think, it's here on the Monkey) was an interesting look at that concept but it was a bit simplistic over all and eventually people figured out what was going on. You can't hide in plain sight forever and the more people who are desperate, the harder it will be and the sooner you will get caught. Better to have a support group on your block, preferably with your immediate neighbors, all the way to the intersection, and be ready, willing and able to barricade yourselves as a group if necessary.

    @Ganado - Sorry for not actually answering your question of how to cook surreptitiously after the fall, I don't know how to do that. I'm as curious as you are.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
    Motomom34, chimo, marlas1too and 4 others like this.
  7. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    Why does everyone want to deal with FEMA?
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  8. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    This will be here this week to keep track of the frigs and my humidor ;)
    Motomom34, UncleMorgan and Ganado like this.
  9. Legion489

    Legion489 Shining the Light of Truth

    "If you are going to bug in, and you live in a subdivision, you need to have a subdivision sized MAG or be willing, able and ready to feed a LOT of people or worse, willing, ready and able to KILL a lot of people."

    I disagree with this. I have found that after you shoot (you don't even have to kill) that first one, the rest tend to leave you alone.

    I keep thinking of that old western where the hero teams up with a young girl and he hands her a Colt Walker (something like that) and asks her if she knows how to use it. Then he walks away about five feet and the local wolves move in for the kill (on young girl). BOOM! She blows a hole right in front of the lead no-goodnic. The hero turns around. "Is that how you use it?" she asks. The hero just nods while the baddies slip away. Then ask if anyone has anything they want to add to the grill as you would be happy to cook for for anyone who brings any thing, but your food is YOUR food.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Nobody wants to. They will become just another form of oppression.
    marlas1too and UncleMorgan like this.
  11. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    I didn't say I would want to, but if they are going to be a fact of life, they oughta be factored into your plans. The point was, if they or some other relief organization is handing out food, either use it or make it look like you are using it. If you are living high on the hog all of the sudden, you are going to stand out. If you stand out, you are a target. If you are a target, you will get hit eventually. You have to sleep sometime.

    If it is truly SHTF then realistically you probably only have to hold out for a couple of months, tops. After that, anyone left is probably prepped and unless there is blood feud between your families, it makes sense to look into building a MAG at that point. Exceptions exist, obviously.
  12. Meat

    Meat Monkey+

    My dog gets what's left. The neighbors.........nah. [afro]
    UncleMorgan and Ganado like this.
  13. Legion489

    Legion489 Shining the Light of Truth

    Well some people have a knack for pointing out the obvious.
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  14. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Solar cooking ?? Your going to be a thin Witch Ganado @Ganado
    heat from propane & a vented stack & the same as a wood fire , HARD to know where is from if your way rural.
    City is where the blast hit.

    Stack is a chimney .. edit add
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
    marlas1too, UncleMorgan and Ganado like this.
  15. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    When the SHTF there will be no FEMA where you are. They will be feeding themselves and your congressman, not you.
  16. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

  17. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker


    (I couldn't find one patting himself on the back....)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2016
    Motomom34, UncleMorgan and Ganado like this.
  18. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Cold food doesn't have much of a smell. So eat cold whenever possible.

    The best way to cook without advertising is slow, in closed containers, and in small quantities.

    You can cook almost anything discreetly with solar by putting the food in a capped mason jar.

    (Detail: Paint the mason jar silver, leaving a full length strip about a half inch wide unpainted.
    Then paint the silver over with black. Fill the jar with food and cap it tight. Place the jar in or under a larger glass container, or bag it in a puffed-up clear plastic bag. Set it in the sun 'TIL done.)

    With the lid tight, zero food odors escape. And that's what you want.

    Let the cooked food cool 'TIL it's barely warm. Then open it up and chow down. Eat indoors, if possible, and eat fast.

    Canned foods can be warmed it in a pan of hot water before opening. Just don't boil them--bad things happen when cans become steam boilers.

    If you want unadvertised hot coffee, put the grounds and water in a mason jar, and set it in a pan of water on a couple of small sticks. Bring the pan up to a bare simmer, and let the coffee brew gently.

    Us humans are like sharks. We are designed to not starve to death. So we can smell food from a mile away, and all it takes is one little whiff if we're hungry to initiate a relentless feeding frenzy search program.

    If a man (or woman) that's three days hungry gets one little whiff of Bubba Love's Barbecued Baby Back Ribs, they'll hunt it until they hunt it down. Period. They'll walk miles, if necessary, and spend days looking, if necessary. Because they know it's out there. And their hunger won't stop until they get it.

    So--just like with camping in bear country--don't cook where you live, if at all possible. And when you do cook, do it with low heat, in tight containers, and in small amounts.

    Likewise, don't forget that the smell of a campfire is the smell of a cooking fire--either now or later. So they'll come looking for that, too.

    That's why a small rocket stove is such a good idea. It burns so clean there's almost no smell of smoke.
  19. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+

    I think you pretty much nailed it.
    Altoidfishfins and marlas1too like this.
  20. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    The ONLY people I talk to about my food storage in our area would be those who talk about theirs to me. As for cooking, I'm thinking that I should start just eating out of our garden or canned goods in the hot season, so no 'cooking' would be necessary. In the cold season, I'll cook all I want on the woodstove. Alot of people in our area use wood as their heating method in winter, so any smell wafting out, it would be negated by the wood smoke smell by...at least 5 houses on our street alone.
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