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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 04-17-2021, 1:10 PM
Religious Shooter Religious Shooter is offline
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Default Cooking with 500 watt generator

I'm looking for a cooker/oven. I mainly will use it with house AC. But would like to be able to use it for camping, blackouts, emergencies, etc.

My current solar generators are 500W ~520WH. Has cig lighter, AC and 12V outputs.

I have one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I want something better that I can primarily use at home. What are you guys using or recommend that's compatible with the above generator?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2021, 1:47 PM
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No personal experience but I've read reviews from #vanlife folks that use the trucker ovens like you posted. They seem to do a good job reheating things and they are made to plug in to a car DC port so you should be fine with you solar generator. If you are okay eating canned soup or similar meals that you just reheat it should work fine. I don't know how well it would bake though.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2021, 1:52 PM
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Any reason to not use propane?
For cooking its much more efficient
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Old 04-17-2021, 2:24 PM
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500 watts is not much. Heck, a hair dryer usually draws 1000 - 1200 watts.

I think you're much better off with propane.
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Old 04-17-2021, 2:33 PM
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I have solar stuff. Solar is "free".

I also have the hiking burners ("cat stoves") that use denatured alcohol, etc.

I also have one of those butane Chinese stoves:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I don't want to add propane to my stuff. I just wouldn't use propane on a regular basis like I would with an electricity powered appliance.
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Old 04-17-2021, 2:36 PM
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Many gas stoves have nozzle kits so you can switch between natural gas and propane.


If the home is standing, propane is an easy switch


Let’s say you are OLD, like me, and no longer want to pull a stove, swap lines, swap nozzles move a tank...

Buy a basic oven for the garage that works with propane.
Propane stores for a very very very long time

No break down like gasoline.

Propane has a lot of BTU vs natural gas


A 220V stove would consume a lot of battery storage. 2,000-5,000 watts / hour.
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Old 04-17-2021, 2:39 PM
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If you want an interesting set up- look at induction stoves for sailboats.

Really efficient if you have the stored power
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Old 04-17-2021, 3:04 PM
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SolCook Solar Oven. Amazon sells them or make your own from litsy of plans on the Interweb.
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2021, 3:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
If you want an interesting set up- look at induction stoves for sailboats.

Really efficient if you have the stored power
They are usually 220 volts and draw 1200 to 1800 watts. Or drawing from a 12 volt battery, about 125 to 150 amps. Not watts.
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2021, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofeugene View Post
They are usually 220 volts and draw 1200 to 1800 watts. Or drawing from a 12 volt battery, about 125 to 150 amps. Not watts.
Some of the larger solar generators show support for induction stoves but I think OP wants to stick with what (solar generator) he already has which is understandable.
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2021, 5:03 PM
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Electricity is a horribly inefficient source for heating. The only reason we have such things as electric ranges to begin with is that grid electricity is so abundant (for the most part).

When you start thinking about backup cooking/heating options when the grid is down and your back up power has to be used more wisely, electric cooking or heating is the first thing you should do away with.

The most efficient thing you can do when using alternative power is to figure out how you can use less electricity. This is where gas heating and cooking shine. These methods free up electricity to be used more wisely for things like running your refrigerator, lighting and other misc. electric needs. Then use natural gas or propane for heating and cooking.

If money is somewhat not an issue, then just get a huge generator and a very large fuel source to keep it running and then use all the electricity you want no matter how inefficiently. For the sake of economy, look for a gas supplied cooking method where you'll find an abundance of off-the-shelf remedies that can be used at home or for camping.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2021, 5:22 PM
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OP: Your 500 watt generator isn't big enough for anything other than that food reheater you have. I have a 2000 watt gas powered generator and I wouldn't even consider using it to power anything electrical for cooking.
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2021, 5:41 PM
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Good luck.
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2021, 5:48 PM
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I'll just mention that 12 volt oven is really just a food reheater as mentioned by someone else.

Sure it's possible to cook in one of those but it takes a long time, a very long time if you're going from a cold / frozen meal or something that's completely uncooked like rice or pasta.
They're good if you're a trucker and your vehicle is running for 3 to 8 hours at a time because then the meal will slowly cook.

But those 12 volt ovens of that design just take so long to start cooking that it will drain your battery, if you are car is not running so my guess is it's going to drain a large part of your solar battery bank as well.

But if you've cooked some things with this you probably realized that by now. They should be called a 12 volt slow cooker and not 12 volt oven.

Last edited by sealocan; 04-17-2021 at 5:52 PM..
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2021, 7:47 PM
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Go sun. Solar vacuum oven with plug inncapability.
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2021, 8:28 PM
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I haven't really tried mine, but the 12V cookers are advertised as getting hot as 300F.

Many videos on it on YT on what you can use it for.

Pork Loin & Potatoes

Whole Chicken
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  #17  
Old 04-17-2021, 8:33 PM
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We recently lost power for three days. We decided to buy this as a backup source.

https://north40.com/camp-chef-outdoor-oven

We have an all electric house and wanted an oven when an extended power failure happens again. We do have generators, but do not have a manual/automatic transfer switch for them. We do plan on buying a whole house generator, hopefully this year.
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Old 04-17-2021, 8:43 PM
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Great thought on the grill

The “old stoves” with a pilot light worked without power

New stoves have no pilots. They need 110v to run the oven. You can manually light a burner but you could not run the oven. The camp gear / bbq grill is a better option to me
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Old 04-17-2021, 9:00 PM
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sheesh 500 watts even the dinkiest microwave is 600 watts

buy a propane burner that sits on a bottle
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  #20  
Old 04-17-2021, 9:15 PM
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When I was coaching lil league I put a 2000 watt inverter in my truck with a 1000 watt microwave. I used it for years.
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Old 04-18-2021, 9:43 AM
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I use my genny to run a microwave to cook as needed with as little fuel usage as possible. *Rural living means the power goes out often enough to warrant a genny.

Everything cooks properly and 5mins of microwave time = 5 mins of genny time. Depends on what is being cooked or warmed up.

OP can look for a 12v microwave. https://www.roadtrucker.com/12-volt-...-microwave.htm

*propane/butane/NG/diesel/goso/alcohol/white gas should all be considered as options.
Always be prepared to go to plan B/C/D etc.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:35 AM
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It looks like most single burner electric hot plates need much more than 500W. One of the inexpensive hot plates on amazon was 1000W.

I have a tiny rice cooker for my camper (like 2 cups of dry rice capacity). It should run off my inverter in my trailer (though I may have to directly connect to my batteries). I think it needs 200W. Perhaps a bigger (5 cup capacity) rice cooker would be an alternative. You could make rice dishes and steam with it.

Getting away from electric solutions, maybe a solo stove would be a good idea. Fuel with wood or coals.
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Old 04-18-2021, 5:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Religious Shooter View Post
I'm looking for a cooker/oven. I mainly will use it with house AC. But would like to be able to use it for camping, blackouts, emergencies, etc.

My current solar generators are 500W ~520WH. Has cig lighter, AC and 12V outputs.

I have one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I want something better that I can primarily use at home. What are you guys using or recommend that's compatible with the above generator?

Thanks.
The description of your unit sounds like a Jackery Explorer 500. I haven't tested the 12v DC outlet but I have tested the AC inverter using a small electric space heater. The Jackery has a digital display for input and output and I added a Kill-a-Watt meter. The space heater on the lowest setting was pulling about 450 watts. It drained the Jackery to 10% in about 30 minutes.

I subscribe to a few RV and DIY solar channels on YouTube. I don't recall any videos with the Koolton cooking unit. You can cook with a "solar generator" but you need one with more power. You could also build your own system.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoj...-5dnN0Q/videos

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVs...0rTJF9g/videos

Here's an example from Hobotech.

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Last edited by brassburnz; 04-18-2021 at 5:43 PM..
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:40 PM
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A lot of folks use the Jackery 500 (or similar solar generator) to power the Instant Pot. Apparently, Instant Pot is very energy efficient.

There are many recipes at YouTube... including chicken, fish, pork, beef, vegetables dishes.

Even gam gam can do it...

https://youtu.be/ay0oFODPjoM
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:53 PM
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I actually went ahead and ordered the Instant Pot 3qt Duo. It is advertised as 700W. The 6qt+ are 1000W.

The Instant Pots have temp controls. I was thinking maybe start it with a lower temperature and it wouldn't need the full 700W.

The Jackerys that I have are the smaller 160 and 240. The 500W generators I have are Rockpals.
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Old 04-19-2021, 12:06 AM
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Lol @ gam gam. Is she homeless?
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Old 04-19-2021, 8:56 AM
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Likely won't work. There are two ways manufacturers turn down power. One is with a resistive element, like in one of the hose old style dimmers. It can turn down a 100 watt bulb to 50 watts, but the excess energy is burned off as heat and the load the wiring sees is still 100 watts.

The other way is to throttle down the load electronically. That way the device sees full load for 50% of the time and no load for the other 50% of the time.

In either case, your solar unit won't be up to the task.
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Old 04-19-2021, 1:05 PM
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Wait, no one recommended the Barbie Easy Bake Oven yet...?
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Old 04-19-2021, 1:50 PM
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Interested to know if your 500W can power it. I’m not sure if these go full power when coming up to pressure. Or maybe full power is just used for browning. Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2021, 2:43 PM
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https://www.solarcooker-at-cantinawe...ar_cooker.html

https://www.solarcooker-at-cantinawe...lar-grill.html

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Old 04-19-2021, 6:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McCauley View Post
Lol @ gam gam. Is she homeless?
Haha.... from her YouTube channel; it seems she has a home and garden, three dogs, and a Ford Transit. May be she is just a very active grandma, lol.




https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1t...nlWVayotQqR-7A

https://youtu.be/Qcr6tXbGMds


https://youtu.be/ErV0sx_giO4
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Old 04-19-2021, 8:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Religious Shooter View Post
I actually went ahead and ordered the Instant Pot 3qt Duo. It is advertised as 700W. The 6qt+ are 1000W.

The Instant Pots have temp controls. I was thinking maybe start it with a lower temperature and it wouldn't need the full 700W.

The Jackerys that I have are the smaller 160 and 240. The 500W generators I have are Rockpals.
Both the Rockpal and the Jackery have a 500 continuous/1000 peak inverter. My Jackery could actually pull 700 watts but not for very long. Comments in Gam Gam's video questioned the ability of the Jackery to power the Instant Pot, but she used the saute setting so it may not be pulling too much.

Good luck. Waiting to hear how things worked out.
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Old 04-21-2021, 5:28 PM
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I tried my Koolatron 12V cooker. It needs 10A. My Rockpals are 8A and were not capable of running the Koolatron. You have to use a 12V adaptor that puts out 10amps or greater if you want to use it with a Rockpals.

So I used my Jackery 240 to power the Koolatron. Put a pork chop on the bottom of a disposable pan with potatoes on the top. At about an hour I added water to the bottom and outside of the disposable pan. I figured the steam generated would help distribute the heat better. Otherwise the heat was coming more from the bottom and not all around.

At two hours the meat was above 145 degrees but the potatoes were not done. The Jackery 240 was at about 50% at this point.

So yes, you can cook with the 12V lunch box stoves.
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Old 04-21-2021, 5:48 PM
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There are 3.42 btu per watt. 500 watts =1,705 btus available.
An induction cooktop uses 1,800 watts = 6,138 btu's

You cant cook much with 1,705 btu's.

As example, the smallest burner on a gas stove is 9,000 btu's.

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Old 04-23-2021, 8:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Religious Shooter View Post
I actually went ahead and ordered the Instant Pot 3qt Duo. It is advertised as 700W. The 6qt+ are 1000W.

The Instant Pots have temp controls. I was thinking maybe start it with a lower temperature and it wouldn't need the full 700W.

The Jackerys that I have are the smaller 160 and 240. The 500W generators I have are Rockpals.
My wife wants an Instant Pot for the house. Even though it's just the two of us, we have the kids over so a 3qt might not be big enough. We'll probably get the 6qt. Interested to hear how well the 3qt. cooks with the Jackery or Rockpal.
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Old 04-23-2021, 9:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brassburnz View Post
My wife wants an Instant Pot for the house. Even though it's just the two of us, we have the kids over so a 3qt might not be big enough. We'll probably get the 6qt. Interested to hear how well the 3qt. cooks with the Jackery or Rockpal.
Go with the larger Instapot to be able to cook larger items and enough for left overs. My family enjoys artichokes and you can't get more that two of the big ones or three of the smaller ones even with the 6qt. Not sure what it would be like for the smaller versions.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:09 AM
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go to Walmart or Amazon and buy a turkey fryer. Cook anything on them and in a pinch keep you warm. 5 gallons of propane goes a long way when cooking. We use one in the mountains and pack it in with the mules.

We also run the hot shower heater with the same propane tank.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:05 AM
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go to Walmart or Amazon and buy a turkey fryer. Cook anything on them and in a pinch keep you warm. 5 gallons of propane goes a long way when cooking. We use one in the mountains and pack it in with the mules.

We also run the hot shower heater with the same propane tank.

Nice. May I ask what hot shower heater would you recommend? I have been looking for one, and couldn't decide which is is more reliable.

Thanks,
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Old 04-24-2021, 3:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brassburnz View Post
My wife wants an Instant Pot for the house. Even though it's just the two of us, we have the kids over so a 3qt might not be big enough. We'll probably get the 6qt. Interested to hear how well the 3qt. cooks with the Jackery or Rockpal.
The 3QT doesn't appear to work with the 500W Rockpals that I have.

It pulls ~200W, then ~450W then it shuts off when starting. This is in saute mode.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axhoaxho View Post
Nice. May I ask what hot shower heater would you recommend? I have been looking for one, and couldn't decide which is is more reliable.

Thanks,
We have a Eccotemp unit. Never had a problem with it.
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