In Handy 17:53 18 Oct 2022

Cooking without a stove: hot dishes recipes for when there is no light

From borscht to Japanese-style eggs: we will tell you how to prepare food when there are interruptions in the supply of electricity, gas or water.

What is the problem?

The occupiers want to scare Ukrainians with the lack of electricity, water, and heating, directing their rockets at critical infrastructure objects. Due to massive rocket fire and drone attacks, residents of almost all regions of Ukraine faced electricity and water supply interruptions. The authorities and communal services stabilize the power system quickly enough, but a situation similar to what happened on October 10-11 or October 17-18 may repeat itself.

What is the solution?

We will not panic and thereby help the enemy. And we will learn to live (not survive!) in extreme conditions. Our solution is to keep calm and be resourceful. A cold stove and dry taps are no reason to despair and certainly not a reason to sit hungrily. Rubryka has collected all possible ways to prepare tasty and nutritious food in case of interruptions with electricity, water, or gas.

How does it work?

What to prepare without cooking?


  • Couscous. This wheat groat is of a special fraction, easily prepared without long cooking. To prepare couscous, it is enough to fill it with the amount of water equal to the amount of cereal, plus a little more. After that, cover the container with a lid and wait 15 minutes.
  • Buckwheat. Many are still convinced that buckwheat must be boiled. But this cereal can simply be poured with boiling water. The fact is that the buckwheat groats are almost ready. If you look at the packaging, it says that it is roasted and dried. So plain water will be enough to make it swell and become edible. Pour boiling water over the cereal, close the lid and wait from 20 minutes to half an hour. By the way, buckwheat can be poured not with boiling water but with clean water at room temperature. In this case, it will take about 5 hours to cook, preferably 8-10. After that, buckwheat can be consumed.
  • Barley groats. Looking at the hard granules of barley groats, you cannot believe it can be prepared without long cooking. And indeed, barley groats are more stubborn than couscous or buckwheat — you will have to wait longer, about 2-2.5 hours. The proportion is the same as for buckwheat: there should be twice as much boiling water as groats.
  • Pearl groats can also be poured with water. Moreover, the water does not necessarily have to be very hot. It is poured at the rate of 1:3. However, to be cooked, the groats must be brewed for 24 hours. During brewing, you can add dried vegetables or spices to the porridge.

To keep the heat during cooking, you can wrap the pan in a blanket.


  • Oatmeal also does not need to be boiled. Even if it says on the package that it needs to be cooked, it is enough to pour boiling water and wait 15-20 minutes. If there is excess water, drain it.
  • You can also prepare other flakes – rice, buckwheat, and corn. You can pour boiling water or milk, and before serving, add various tasty and nutritious additives: dried fruits, butter, honey, fruits, milk, and yogurt.
  • Pea flakes can become a separate dish by simply pouring boiling water over them, or you can add vegetable seasoning, pieces of lard, or smoked meat and get a delicious pea soup.

✅ Freeze-dried food 

The range of modern food in packages is impressive: several types of soups, borscht, mashed potatoes, pilaf, porridge with meat and mushrooms, pasta carbonara, nutritious drinks, and even desserts. One disadvantage of freeze-dried food is the price. One package costs UAH 60 on average. But despite this, having several boxes of "fast food" at home in modern realities is not just desirable but necessary.

How to cook:

  • Boil water.
  • Pour into a bag with sublimate.
  • Squeeze tightly and wait as long as indicated on the package.

To prepare boiling water in an extreme situation, dry alcohol will come in handy. A tablet of dry alcohol is easily ignited with a match or a lighter and burns for about 9-15 minutes: during this time, it is easy to boil a cup of water, prepare a semi-cooked product, or heat ready-made food. A special stand burner for dry alcohol can be replaced by a low tin can (pictured below).

Що приготувати без плити

Important! Some dry alcohol tablets contain calcium acetate. During combustion, it emits substances harmful to the body, so it is undesirable to inhale the products of combustion of dry alcohol and use it in closed or poorly ventilated rooms. When buying dry fuel, pay attention to the composition. Options based on urotropin and paraffin are the safest.

Also, in case of accidents or fan outages, get into the habit of pouring boiling water into a thermos while there is still light, so that you can steam food or make tea at the right moment. By the way, you can also cook in a thermos.

What to cook in a thermos?

  1. You can "cook" vegetable soup in a thermos. Finely chop the vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, green peas). Pour two glasses of boiling water and leave for 1.5-2 hours. With meat, if it is not possible to at least fry it beforehand in a pan, it is better not to risk it. But you can use a bouillon cube to make chicken soup. Finely chop the carrots, add onions, spices, and vermicelli – it is better from whole grain flour or the one that boils longer, and leave to ferment in a thermos for half an hour.
  2. If you have borscht dressing, cooking borscht in a thermos takes minutes. We take half of 0.5 l of borscht from a can and add pieces of sausage or the remains of boiled/fried/baked meat or even fish. Greens and garlic – optional. Pour boiling water into a thermos. Keep the borscht in a thermos for 20-30 minutes. Done!
  3. Pasta. Put macaroni into a thermos. Add salt. Pour boiling water up to the brim of the thermos. Twist. After 40 minutes, the pasta is ready.
  4. Rice risotto. White polished rice (choose steamed) requires a hotter environment. Before placing it, warm up the thermos by pouring boiling water into it for a few minutes. After that, drain the water and follow the already known scheme, adding salt, spices, olive oil, and frozen vegetable mixture to the rice. And be sure to wash the cereal well before cooking!
  5. Eggs in Japanese style. Onsen Tamago — eggs cooked in hot (not boiling) water — have a very delicate taste, similar to the taste of soft eggs, due to the same creamy consistency of yolk and white. In Japan, they are cooked in hot springs, but a thermos can handle it too! How to cook: take a couple of eggs and immerse them in a thermos filled to the top with boiling water. You have 20-25 minutes to prepare for gastronomic pleasure. Onsen-Tamago is served solo and used in various soups.
  6. Lentil soup. You will need: lentils — 150 g, dry chicken broth — 2 tsp, onion — 0.5 pc., carrot — 1 pc., bay leaf — 2-3 pcs., boiling water — 300 ml. You must first soak the lentils overnight in cold water. In the morning, cut the onion, ham, and carrot into small cubes. Put all the ingredients in a thermos, and pour boiling water. Tightly close the thermos with a lid. Then the soup will be prepared by itself. But it will take a long time — 4 hours.
  7. Compote. Put berries (fresh or frozen – whatever you have) in a thermos, add a little sugar, and pour boiling water. After 2-3 hours, the compote is ready. If you want a decoction of dried fruits (dried apples, prunes, dried apricots, raisins), be prepared to wait 10-12 hours. It is better to prepare it in the evening.

What to cook on a tourist burner?

Tourist burners are easy to use, have high efficiency, do not emit smoke, and do not need to be preheated. This useful thing is almost a full-fledged stove, so you can basically cook anything on a gas burner. But to save gas, it is still better to choose dishes that are prepared quickly.

A cylinder with a volume of 5 liters is roughly enough for 27 hours of burning. With reasonable use, even a small travel can (230 g of gas) can last for 5-6 days (10-12 preparations) if cooking for 1 person. The products you prepare should not require long-term heat treatment (not beans, peas, and raw meat, but pasta, cereals, soups, etc.).


This is a quick, tasty, and hearty dish that can be prepared on a gas burner. The stew, beloved by tourists, will come in handy here. It can be stored for a very long time and provides the necessary protein.

Ingredients: potatoes, onions, carrots, oil (if desired, you can also use fat from the stew), and actually, the stew itself.


  • Fry the finely chopped onion directly in the pan in oil until golden.
  • Add diced potatoes and carrot rings.
  • Pour water so that it almost completely covers the potatoes.
  • In ten minutes, you can add stew. Of course, do not forget to season the dish. Another 15-25 minutes — and your dish is ready!

Soup can be prepared just as quickly by simply adding more water or canned fish.

What to cook without water?

The water supply cut off, and there is not a drop at home or only the technical one? Even in this case, it is not necessary to eat only sandwiches. Without water, you can cook:

  • Scrambled eggs – simply with fillings at hand (onions/greens, sausage, sausages, cheese, tomatoes, peppers, greens).
  • Omelet, if there is milk or sour cream, mono, or the same with fillers.
  • Fried potatoes (first brush with a dry brush, wipe with a rag, and peel).
  • Potatoes baked in the oven. Jacket potatoes or country style (cut into pieces, greased with oil and a mixture of spices, and laid out on a baking sheet); you can also add chopped carrots/zucchini/pumpkin/pepper, onion, and garlic.
  • Any kind of pastry — from fritters in a pan to pizza and pies in the oven. The dough can be kneaded on any dairy product/mineral/kvass/brine/juice – whatever is at hand. There is plenty of stuffing not requiring water: green onions with boiled eggs, green or fried onions with canned fish or stew or minced meat, sliced ​​sausage/sausages, cheese with dried apricots/prunes/candied fruit, and jams.
  • Salads — both vegetable and fruit (vegetables and fruits are carefully wiped with a clean napkin, you can soak them in vinegar).
  • Dumplings or varenyky — fried.
  • Meat, cutlets, sausage, sausages, fish – fried or baked.
  • And even a healthy and delicious dessert made from chia seeds, which is considered a superfood. To do this, you need to mix chia seeds with sweetened milk or any other liquid and leave for a couple of hours. Chia swells in liquid, turning into delicious jelly balls. Chia pudding will be even better if you let it stand overnight in the refrigerator. The optimal proportion: 3 tablespoons of seeds per 250 milliliters of liquid. You can use milk, alternative milk, juices, kefir, sour cream, and yogurts as a liquid. You can make layers of cookies or add nuts, chocolate, and fruits – it all depends on your imagination.

What to cook over campfire?

If it is possible to make a campfire in the yard, first prepare a place for it: clear the yard of garbage, dry leaves, and grass, and make a small hole in the ground. Place fireproof bricks or stones on both sides. Put an iron cover or a sheet of metal on them. On such a "stove," you can cook both in pots and pans.

  • The best dish in such conditions is porridge with stew. Cereal consumption is approximately 80 g per person. Soak it in the evening, then cooking will take less time.
  • A sweet version of porridge with condensed milk and raisins. These are all products that are stored for a long time, so you can stock up on them in advance.
  • You can bake vegetables in foil. For example, put a piece of lard between two halves of potato, add salt, and wrap it in foil. Put in still-hot ashes, and sprinkle on top. Turn several times.

Children will be interested in cooking "cookies" over the campfire. Knead the sweet dough, cut it into ribbons, roll it on sticks so that the layers are separate, otherwise, they will not be baked, and keep it over the fire until the crust is golden brown.
Remember about fire safety. After cooking, you need to distinguish the fire with water or cover it with sand.

More useful solutions!

Nutritionist Tetyana Lakusta shares a list of products to purchase in the event of a lack of electricity and gas:

Fats: black and green olives, nuts, seeds, cheese, feta, aged cheese, oil, cod liver, lard, coconut shavings, peanut or other nut spreads.
Proteins: tofu/soy meat, beans, canned lentils, dried meat, dried fish (industrial), liver pâtés, meat pâtés, sour milk cheeses, milk powder, hummus.
Carbohydrates: bread, rolls, buckwheat, couscous, rice noodles, pita, pita bread, instant oatmeal, freeze-dried cereals, freeze-dried chickpea, lentil, mushroom soups.
Vegetables/fruits that do not require heat treatment: carrots, cabbage, Korean carrots, sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, zucchini caviar in a jar, pasteurized vacuum beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, pears, citrus fruits, bananas.
Other: honey, jam, sauces, chocolate, cocoa, dried fruits.

In addition, experts recommend stocking up on dry and condensed milk. On their basis, you can prepare porridge and other dishes. In addition, it is now possible to buy milk and some dairy products with a long shelf life and the possibility of saving at temperatures up to +25°C. Such goods are sold in "Tetra Pak" packages or hard packaging. You can store them in a dark, cool place – a pantry, corridor, or room, provided the temperature regime is observed.

The so-called breakfast cereals deserve special attention. These can be flakes, "pillows," and rings, which can be eaten both with milk, yogurt, or juice and in dry form. As well as a variety of snacks: crackers, cereals, and energy bars.

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