Introduction: Cooking With Fat....As a Fuel

If gas and electricity are unavailable due to a natural disaster, don’t let this stop you from having nice hot meals. You will need a container of shortening, some candles, a small pot or pan with a lid, and at least 3 things to use as posts for the pan to sit on above your “stove”.

Step 1:

I decided to use birthday candles since I have quite a few slightly used ones from past birthday parties. I pushed 3 candles in to the shortening until just the wicks were sticking out. I found out that this makes short flames. Also 3 candles will take a long time to heat liquids to the boiling point. So I added 4 more candles and left about a quarter of an inch of candle above the shortening. I tried using forks to support the pan but they were too tall. The flames were too far away from the bottom of the pan. I used threaded standoffs which is like cheating because they screw together. It was easy to get the correct height. Pencils should work fine. In an emergency situation I would have no problem bending three forks to get them to the correct height.

Step 2:

I tried heating 16 ounces of water with no lid. I was able to simmer water without a lid and 6 flames (one went out and 3 flames were short). This took about 15 minutes. I put a lid on the pan and checked how things were going a couple of times which slowed things up even more. I was finally able to boil water in less than an hour. I will be trying this again but with a lid on, which I will not remove until I hear boiling (and with at least 6 tall flames).  My guess is there will be boiling soup in less than 30 minutes.

After boiling water I added some corn oil to the shortening. I did this to make sure other fats would burn as well as the shortening. Corn oil worked fine. Oils turn rancid over time. I just happened to have some rancid oil for this test. Oil that can no longer be eaten is the perfect fat to cook with first in a situation where you find yourself having to go camping at home.
 

This fat stove also makes a fine fat candle for providing light.

I
wish I could take credit for thinking of this type of emergency candle but I read about it here:

http://www.survivallife.com/2012/11/12/an-emergency-candle-that-noah-would-be-proud-of/

 

I got permission from the author to publish this instructable. Please take a few minutes to read the article as there is additional information.

Warning: fire is dangerous.  Don’t leave your fat stove unattended when lit, especially in a disaster situation.  Do you own a fire extinguisher?  I have 5.

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Comments

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ZachariahH1 made it! (author)2017-02-22

When using animal fat, be aware that if you have too many wicks in a close space the heat can exceed tolerable levels and cause the fat to spontaneously explode in a grease fire. I have had this happen twice and it was never a pleasant occurance.

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