Emergency Preparedness Grill
When the power goes out, cooking becomes a concern, as soon as dinner time rolls around. Frosted Flakes will work for breakfast, a sandwich makes an acceptable lunch, but when you try Honey Nut Cheerios and Caesar Salad as a dinner combo, expect some odd sideways glances. What would really come in handy is a cooking unit that could not only take care of the meat that is slowly thawing out in the freezer, but also boil water and bake up some goodies to keep the kids morale up. The Char-Broil Tabletop Grill fits the bill, by letting you fix everything from Pantry Pizza to Chicken Pot Pie with S’mores for dessert. (The details on how to make these and more can be found in the recipes section of Realistic Preparedness.)
There are a few different tabletop grills out there, but this little Char-Broil is one of the less expensive models available and does better with even heating than others in the same price range. The metal baffles under the grate really help to spread out the hot spot. A pot that will fit under the lid, opens up the ability to not only boil water for coffee, but also make a variety of single pot meals. A Grill Thermometer lets you hold a steady temperature well enough to make baked goods. Adjusting the gas and cracking the lid open a little is the trick to finding those stable, lower temperatures.
The Char-Broil Tabletop Grill runs on the standard little green propane bottles that are commonly seen at Walmart, hardware stores, some gas stations and many outdoor outfitters. They are inexpensive and it is easy to keep a few stashed away for a rainy day. It is also possible to use a High-Pressure Propane Adapter to run this grill off of a larger tank, like the ones commonly found on full size outdoor grills. Either way, after a big storm blows down trees and knocks out the power, you’ll be ready to grab the matches and grill on your way to the back porch. There, you will make dishes that are the envy of your neighbors, who are probably nibbling away at a cold Pop Tart dinner. It might even be a good time to dig into the freezer before everything thaws out, grill up a big meal and invite them over. Maybe they’ll even help you clean all of the blown down branches out of your yard the next day.