In Maryland, hurricane season comes through about once a year from August through October. In this time, the storm that passes through can be severe enough to knock out the power for at least several hours, if not days. With an unexpected phenomenon such as this, people can struggle to know how to survive, particularly when it comes to cooking. Thankfully, your gas stove could come to the rescue. Here’s how to cook off the grid with your gas stove, and other ways to survive during a power outage.
The Interlock Feature
While older stoves may be usable during a power outage, most new models will not be. Before trying to cook with your gas stove, check your range’s manual to see whether it includes an interlock. The interlock is a feature that prevents any gas from entering the appliance unless there is electricity. It is a safety device that was once common only to commercial ranges but now is common in residential ones. If your oven has an interlock, check out the other ways to cook during a power outage below.
How to Light a Gas Stove
If your stove is capable of use without electricity, you’ll need to carefully follow these steps. First, get a long wooden match. It is better to use a long-reach match, as you will be less likely to accidentally burn your hand. After lighting the match, hold it close to the flame ports around the burner and immediately switch the valve to a low setting. Extinguish the match flame immediately after ignition, and adjust the flame as needed.
Leave the Oven Alone
While one may use the top burners, it is best not to use the oven during a power outage. In fact, modern ovens are impossible to ignite unless electricity is available; therefore, you will have to make do with the cooktop.
Other Ways to Cook During a Power Outage
If cooking with your gas range is not an option, be prepared with a different way to heat your meals and make your coffee or tea. In general, one can go with an outdoor solution such as a fire pit, campfire, or grill. Be sure to have enough fuel for the occasion. Alternatively, you could purchase a Sterno stove for heating meals, or a kerosene heater to make hot beverages and food.
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