Survival Cooking After Disasters 2. Grilling and Baking

Ribs from a small wild hog on the grill. These can provide a tasty meal, but there are more energy-efficient ways of cooking that may be used when good cooking wood is scarce.

  After the initial shock of a disaster and people are starting to put their lives back together some simple cooking techniques may be employed that use local wood for fuel and animals for meat. Direct grilling may be done, particularly with pork, that can provide a tasty meal even when made under primitive conditions.

  The meat on the small grill here is from wild hogs. Bone-in hams and ribs may be done successfully if the animals are small. The meat from mature hogs needs to be cooked more slowly and it usually takes overnight to cook a large hog using a grill. Preferably the meat is covered during cooking to help conserve heat.

Cooking in a primitive oven, Italy.

  Baking in an oven is a more efficient use of scarce wood. This may be done by radiant heat as in the Italian oven shown which is the typical one-chamber beehive oven of the Middle East, Europe and The Americas.  A two-compartment oven can be built where the wood is burned in a bottom chamber and the product cooked in an upper chamber for community use.   Such ovens may be constructed from flat pieces of broken concrete block sealed with mud,  flat flags of stone or even ancient Roman brick. It is best if provisions are made via a pipe to allow the smoke some other means of escaping rather than out the single front opening, as is often done.

  Charcoal can be made by burning ricks of hardwoods and cooling the fire before the wood as been burned completely to ash. Obviously, this waste much of the available heat output from the wood. Charcoal from wood fires should be recovered as this is free fuel. Caution must always be exercised when burning anything in an enclosed space to allow carbon monoxide to safely vent outside. In a tight structure charcoal can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

This small wild hog is stuffed with a sausage-cabbage-tomato mix, but any combination of vegetables with or without fruit and nuts might have been used.

  Stuffing animal carcases is a good option to more efficiently utilize heat. In the case shown this is a small wild pig and was stuffed with a mix of sausage, cabbage and tomatoes. Any root vegetable, leafy vegetable, fruit product, dried fruit or nuts could have been added to this stuffing to make a nutritious product. The cooked bones of the animal were provided for my dogs.

  Wild animals may carry diseases. The meat should be handled with rubber gloves if possible or by someone with no nicks or cuts on their hands. As much as is possible wash implements. Cook all wild meat products done. Once completely cooked the meat may be consumed with the same precautions observed for any food. In the absence of refrigeration, anything cooked needs to be consumed fairly quickly.   

Even squirrels can provide good meals with either vegetables or dumplings.

 More nutrition is extracted from an animal if the entire carcass is boiled, the bones separated and simple dumplings made from water, flour and salt. Flour and grain meals can be made from a variety of seed products, besides just wheat and corn. Some roots can yield flour-like products although not all are safe to consume. Avoid grinding flour from bagged seeds as some have been treated with toxic chemicals to help prevent fungus and insect attack.

  I have a YouTube video on squirrel cooking that shows dumpling making that may be seen by clicking on the following link:

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