Living off grid is fun and challenging. If you are so motivated, you can find creative ways to take care of all of your basic necessities. Of course, one of life’s basic necessities is cooking, food storage, and maintaining a safe and sanitary food supply. How do you cook off grid? How do you keep fresh food easily available? Fortunately, there are numerous high efficiency off grid appliances. Consequently, this makes it easy to prepare meals and have reliable efficient refrigeration.
In today’s world there are various choices for off grid appliances. This is great because it makes living off the grid that much easier.
If you are living off grid, there are numerous options for cooking meals. The most energy efficient means is using an off grid appliance that requires a solid fuel source. This is especially true if you are producing your own electricity.
An electric stove draws a huge about of energy. The estimated energy that a stove top element will use is around 1500 watts per hour on medium heat. Furthermore, an electric oven uses 2400 watts for 1 hour of use. This is enormous energy consumption.
Comparatively speaking, using a stove with a solid fuel source is much more efficient. Paying close attention to energy efficiency is vital when living off the grid. Besides, most of us can live much more efficiently than what we do. We have a tendency to waste an enormous amount of energy just simply because it is available.
Propane stove: This is likely the most efficient and cost effective way to cook off grid. Propane stoves are simple to install and efficient to use.
Early model propane stoves, which is what I use, have open burners and manually lighting pilot lights. However, some of the more modern appliances have many more safety features. For example, closed tops prevent food from dropping down into the burners and onto the pilot lights. Additionally, some models come with electric ignition, which saves on the use of matches and the need for an actively burning pilot light.
One of my cabins has a four burner propane stove with an oven. Even with cooking almost every day, it takes about 10 months to empty a 100 pound propane tank. My second cabin only has a counter top four burner propane cooker made by Koblenz. It cost about $125.
If you live in a colder climate, most likely you heat with a wood stove in the winter. While the wood stove is going in order to heat the cabin, why not use it for cooking as well? I do this quite frequently.
Another option for saving energy is to use the wood stove for preheating things. For example, if you need boiling water for pasta, set a pot of water on the wood stove to preheat the water. Then transfer it to the propane stove for the boiling process.
If you live off the grid and want a refrigerator, the two common choices for off grid appliances are electric or propane. Although each one of these appliances produces reliable refrigeration, the energy demands are significantly different.
Solar powered refrigerators come in AC and DC models. AC models are either 110 volt for 220 volts. The DC models come in 12 volt, 24 volt, or 48 volt. DC models are more efficient simply because the electricity comes directly from the battery bank. This bypasses the inefficiency of energy conversion through the inverter. With a DC system, the only components are the solar panels, charge controllers, and batteries.
A propane refrigerator uses a process called absorption in order to cool the refrigerator. This absorption process is produced by heat. A 10 cubic foot propane refrigerator uses about 1/3 of a gallon of propane per day. Although propane appliances are not as efficient as their solar counterpart, they are a good option if you do not have solar energy.
Listed here are several links to various suppliers for off grid appliances:
Sun Frost: http://www.sunfrost.com
Propane refrigerators and freezers
Gas Fridge Depot
Ben’s Discount Supply
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Go off grid and live well,
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