Utilizing Your Oven and Stove Top for Survival

will bake for food

GrammaMary did the following experiments in and on her stove:

“…the original thought was to come up with something simple and inexpensive to give or suggest to people perhaps in apartments or townhouses who are not campers and really don’t have the ability to cook over a camp stove especially not indoors in a cold ice or snow storm.  

The idea was to brainstorm a simple safe way to get something warm in the midst of a storm.  For $10 the Sterno  stove and 2 cans would work so well for people in those situations.  

The idea was never designed for the experienced and equipped.  I know many, many, many  single older ladies who would have no way to heat anything up.”  GrammaMary


Sterno Kit

Sterno Kit

A $10 deal,  a $5 Sterno stove and 2 Sterno cans for $5.

I am sure you can find the fuel cheaper, but I just compared and experimented. 

sterno 10 min. stove top

 On stove top 10 minutes to 14 ounces steaming water.  15 minutes to boiling.

sterno in the oven

Obviously not for a large family without adaptation,

but to those in the cold anything warm would be welcome.

Three Oil Candles

 oil candles 15 minutes

15 minutes to 14 ounces of steaming water. 

3 oil candles safely in the oven.

on the stove top

The $5 sterno stove from Walmart with oil candles. 

15 minutes to 14 ounces steaming water.


3 tea lights 20 min.

Very slow.

Using 3 tea lights it took 20 minutes to almost steaming for 14 ounces of water. 

Bev did the following experiments in and on her stove:

I was not impressed. I have an electric stove, so if power goes out – no cooking for me.

I ran each trial for 20 minutes with tinfoil in the bottom just in case I spilled anything I didn’t want it on the electric.

Tealight Candles

wtealight in stove

No real warmth but you could warm up something to eat.


wsterno in stove

Would not stay lit with the door closed. Put out decent warmth but you probably couldn’t boil anything.

Camp Heat

camp heat

Camp Heat produced fair heat and stayed lit with oven door closed. Yes you could boil water, but nothing registered on the oven thermometer after 20 minutes with it closed in. I have become a fan of this stuff. Two cans for <$5 and each can goes for 4 hours. The can doesn’t heat up and you can easily put the cap on to shut it down and reuse it. Spread the wick and you have a hotter fire. For price, time and heat comparisons this will be the fuel I will stock up on for interior heating and cooking.

Top of Stove

wpot on top of stove

Yes, you could rig something, I used coffee cups, with any of these to heat up whatever.

WE2 – Wifey

Wifey experimented in her toaster oven, I believe. 

“It “may” get a bit warmer than the 175, but I wanted to see the temp when the T-Lights were what I might say is “half”?  Anyway… it would probably get warmer if I were to put several more T-Lights in a shallow pan in the bottom instead of just 4, but with just 4 reaching 175 isn’t too awefully bad?

Could warm a can of soup or a cup of tea or coffee, or even hot chocolate…and maybe even warm some hands quickly if coming in from the cold.  The top of my convection oven is quite warm, I’m not able to leave my fingers on it, so I’m thinking it would probably give off a tiny bit of heat.

T-Lights at 175 degrees

4 T-Lights

On to the next experiment? LOL”

Bev’s note: I think Wifey’s tealights are a better quality than mine. So be aware there are different qualities of tealights if you decide to stock up on these for emergency use.

Of course, a gas or propane stove is your best option if the electricity goes off because even if the pilot light goes you can still light it.

With the rocket stoves, or the above methods with an electric stove, a themal cooker – the Wonder Bag or similar – would be your best option to prepare meals.

A post on that coming tomorrow!


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