Why would you even need to learn primitive cooking methods as a prepper? Because...
Should an apocalypse ever occur, your beautiful stainless steel kitchen appliances are inevitably going to fail you at some point, no matter how prepared you are with backup generators and other alternative power sources.
Learning to cook food outdoors using only what you can scavenge in the wild is a skill that can only prove useful in an emergency situation, even if it’s not quite the end of the world yet, especially if you consider yourself a prepper.
There’s no use stocking your garage, pantry or spare room with non-perishable goods and providing enough rations for everybody if there’s nothing you can use to prepare them, and eventually, they’re going to run out.
Our ancestors used some of these methods to survive for thousands of years before the industrial revolution - if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you - beggars can’t be choosers!
All of these methods depend on your ability to properly start and sustain a fire, so why not check out our beginners’ guide to firestarting if your skills are rusty (or perhaps non-existant if you’re new to the prepping game).
Likewise, when methods recommend you use rocks for heating, be aware that rocks can implode if under extreme heat, so keep a safe distance from your fire and make sure to properly put it out once you’re done.
Here are 5 primitive cooking methods every prepper should learn...
5 Primitive Cooking Methods Every Prepper Should Know
Method One - The Caveman Spit Roast
Probably the technique you envisioned after reading the title of this article, roasting some kind of animal impaled on a stick over a campfire is the simplest way to thoroughly and effectively prepare a meal.
Commonly used even today at hog roasts, if you can kill, clean and skin an animal, you can spit roast it - being careful to select a solid and slightly damp branch to skewer your meat, as a dry one can quickly burn up and ruin the meal, too.
You’re going to want to tie two thick, sturdy branches together either side of your fire to create a forked support for your skewered meat to rest on, close enough to the flames to properly cook without coming into contact with any flames.
Gently rotate the spit as the meat cooks, being sure everywhere is piping hot right through to the middle before consumption if you want to avoid a stomach upset, being careful not to let the heat concentrate on one area for too long.
Method Two - Cooking Over Coals
Also referred to as ash cooking, you’ll want to make a fire and wait until the flames have died away, leaving you with glowing, orange coals on which to cook your meal - usually a piece of fish - though it won’t sit directly atop them.
Scavenge yourself some large, flat leaves, which you should use to wrap around whatever you’re going to cook, being sure to use several layers to avoid burning through to your food and scorching it.
If these leaves are edible and you’re hungry, even better!
Spread your coals and create divots for the wrapped food to lay in as they cook, making sure to flip several times and, should you see any smoking where there shouldn’t be, quickly pulling them off the makeshift grill to avoid a burnt dish.
Method Three - Flat Stone Cooking
Just like metal, rocks are excellent conductors of heat, which our ancestors were very quick to discover, inventing what we might look at today as a flat-top grill. Simply make a large, flat slab of stone, sit it on top of some sturdy rocks, and voila!
By making a fire underneath this ancient grill, you’ll evenly distribute heat across the slab, which can be used to directly cook on top of, or to heat cookware if you’re lucky enough to have any, which opens up even more cooking techniques.
You can also use this method to boil up some water in a pot or kettle, which can then be used for cooking or, now free of bacteria and potential sickness bugs thanks to the heat, cooled down and used as fresh drinking water.
Method Four - Makeshift Oven
Using large, flat stones, build yourself an oven: essentially a gap large enough to fit whatever you want to cook, being sure it has three walls, a floor and a roof, with an open front for quick and easy access when it’s time to flip the food.
Build a fire beneath the cave-like set up, allowing time for the rocks surrounding your ‘oven’ to get hot, cooking your food as the heat rises and gathers in the gaps - it’s suitable for heating up pretty much anything you want to put in there.
Quickly increase the temperature by fuelling the fire with more kindling, but remember it’s much easier to get a hotter oven than it is to cool it down, so keep a close eye on your food to prevent any burning when the fire is at its hottest.
Method Five - Hot Rock Boiling
Another way to access clean, safe water - which is even more essential to your survival than properly cooked food - is using hot rocks to boil it. Gather up as many smooth, dry rocks as you can, aiming for palm sized pebbles where possible.
Making sure that the rocks you use are as dry as possible (to prevent their potential implosion once exposed to heat), put them directly in the flames of your fire for about a half an hour, before adding them to your water storage vessel.
Be careful as you drop them in - they’ll sizzle! Once boiled and and cooled again, sieve out any large bits or particles that might have infiltrated your water, and set the rocks aside somewhere to dry in direct sunlight for next time.
If you have the ability to run the water through a filtration system at this point, even just a kitchen sieve, you’ll be able to grab any tiny bits that may have chipped away, but let’s face it, at this point you won’t be feeling very fussy!
These 5 primitive cooking methods are something all preppers should be learnong.