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    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    alternative fuel for stove?

    I've got an electric stove/oven, & am tired of seeing the elec. meter spinning round &round when Im using it. I don't wnt to convert to nat. gas. propane is another option. The only other fuels Ive seen are wood & pellets of some sort. does anyone here know of any other fuels for a stove for a kitchen?

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    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR View Post
    I've got an electric stove/oven, & am tired of seeing the elec. meter spinning round &round when Im using it. I don't wnt to convert to nat. gas. propane is another option. The only other fuels Ive seen are wood & pellets of some sort. does anyone here know of any other fuels for a stove for a kitchen?
    I have a camping stove that uses white gas, ethanol might work in it. I also sometimes use a solar cooker. The solar cooker works best when the sky is a dark blue color but also works in DC haze.

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    It may be a low practicality for you, but a raw-food diet would make running the stove unnecessary.
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    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    It may be a low practicality for you, but a raw-food diet would make running the stove unnecessary.
    I've actually looked into the raw food as an option; but I'm too addicted to Indian Curries to commit!

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    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd View Post
    I have a camping stove that uses white gas, ethanol might work in it. I also sometimes use a solar cooker. The solar cooker works best when the sky is a dark blue color but also works in DC haze.
    I've actually made my own solar cooker; it worked ok, but I'm sure it could be better designed.

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    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    It may be a low practicality for you, but a raw-food diet would make running the stove unnecessary.
    Yes,
    Kifto (chopped beefsteak)

    Ethiopians use a local pepper, calledmitmita, because they think that hot pepper destroys all kinds of germs.

    * IngrediŽnts (for 4 -6 persons): 500 gr. chopped beefsteak
    * 1 onion in cubes
    * 60 ml (4 spoons) vegetable oil
    * the juice of 1 lemon or 60 ml (4 spoons) wine or apple vinegar (if required)
    * 20 ml (2 - 4 spoons) red Chilli sauce
    * salt andmitmita
    * 5 gr. (1 tea spoon) of spices; ground caraway, cinnamon, and chopped garlic
    * all kinds of green salads, such as head lettuce, alfalfa (luzerne)

    Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. Then form small pellets or biscuits of the paste. Lay down a piece of the salad with flesh in the middle. Garnish this as wanted and serve cold. Very nice to eat if you would like a light lunch.

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    I use my small $20 toaster oven for anything that will fit in it. It heats up faster, uses 1/2 the power, and the bit of wasted heat radiating out of the top I use to warm my plate(s).
    Also do a good bit on the propane grille.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormchaser View Post
    I use my small $20 toaster oven for anything that will fit in it. It heats up faster, uses 1/2 the power, and the bit of wasted heat radiating out of the top I use to warm my plate(s).
    Also do a good bit on the propane grille.
    +1 and +1

    In winter I use the toaster oven for broilling and baking, as the weather heats up (soon I hope!) I use the grill outside more. Saves on AC as well as tastes good! As for efficiency I suspect the small microwave I own is probably the best way to cook. I use the stove just to heat water for tea.

    I think the big drain on power (for food prep) in our house is the refrigerator though. It runs whether or not I'm cooking. So I'd be interested in ideas people have for eliminating or mitigating this appliance.
    Last edited by bike2math; 04-02-08 at 08:41 AM.

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    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    It may be a low practicality for you, but a raw-food diet would make running the stove unnecessary.
    have you tried this? if so, advice or opinions? just curious because I've thought of trying this as well.

    OP - do you cook for just yourself? cook a lot? May want to consider a countertop convection oven.

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    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike2math View Post
    +1 and +1

    In winter I use the toaster oven for broilling and baking, as the weather heats up (soon I hope!) I use the grill outside more. Saves on AC as well as tastes good! As for efficiency I suspect the small microwave I own is probably the best way to cook. I use the stove just to heat water for tea.

    I think the big drain on power (for food prep) in our house is the refrigerator though. It runs whether or not I'm cooking. So I'd be interested in ideas people have for eliminating or mitigating this appliance.
    there's always the old-timey ice boxes

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    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
    OP - do you cook for just yourself? cook a lot? May want to consider a countertop convection oven.
    I don't really cook _alot_ but I do cook pretty much every day. Once about every two weeks or so I'll make a big pot o' curry

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR View Post
    I've got an electric stove/oven, & am tired of seeing the elec. meter spinning round &round when Im using it. I don't wnt to convert to nat. gas. propane is another option. The only other fuels Ive seen are wood & pellets of some sort. does anyone here know of any other fuels for a stove for a kitchen?
    Have you calculated the actual cost of using your electric stove versus alternate methods? The typical medium burner probably consumes 2000 watts on high. Since you stated that you don't do a lot of cooking, let's assume that you ran two burners at half power for a hour on average every day. that comes to 2 kW-Hr of energy. How much do you pay for electricity? Assuming it's $0.25 per kW-Hr, then you spend only fifty cents a day to cook your food.

    That hardly seems like such a burdensome cost to warrant investing in new equipment.

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
    have you tried this? if so, advice or opinions? just curious because I've thought of trying this as well.
    There are quite a few books on the subject, and as long as you're keeping an eye on overall health and maintaining a proper balance of nutrients, a raw food diet is really healthy. It's difficult to go out anywhere and eat, and you have to keep a keen eye on everything that you buy, but it can be done.
    It's not for me, though. Riding 30-40 hilly miles a day, I eat everything that makes the mistake of getting too close to my mouth. Om nom nom.
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    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    If you have access to wood chips a smoker is a very old method of cooking that takes minimal combustion and fuel.

    Very nice to eat if you would like a light lunch.
    I may have misunderstood this. Are you suggesting eating RAW beef?
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    I may have misunderstood this. Are you suggesting eating RAW beef?
    Check the ingredients; while it isn't heat cooked, it isn't unsafe with that preparation. The suggestion in the post is that the locals believe the peppers sterilize the dish, but the reality is that the lemon juice and vinegar in the marinade are cooking the proteins (similar to ceviche) and neutralizing any bacterial contaminants.
    Beef jerky isn't cooked over heat, either, but it's safe to eat. The acids in the marinade are what get the job done.
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  16. #16
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    I've drastically reduced usage of my conventional electric stove, at home, by using a pressure cooker. It is so fast and only needs to get up to a boil just initially, then simmer, wait and voila!!! It's funny in hind sight as a traveler, seeing all these big gaskets all over in '3d world' markets: The gaskets are for pressure cookers!! They're all onto the efficiency.

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    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    If you have access to wood chips a smoker is a very old method of cooking that takes minimal combustion and fuel.



    I may have misunderstood this. Are you suggesting eating RAW beef?
    Yes. Kitfo is tasty. Ethiopian steak tartar. Don't the native Alaskans eat raw seal and such? I was just getting in step with the raw foods comment. A friend of mine has just gotten into the raw foods thing. So far he likes it as a way to maintain a healthy weight. He apparently eats a lot of unique salad like stuff. Don't know the details. I remember reading about some arctic explorer who got into the raw meat diet from living among the natives. It was an interview with his wife where I think she said she felt the raw meat diet was healthy. If you come to DC you can order Kitfo at the Ethiopian restaurants. Get off at the U street subway stop and walk around and you'll see several. My understanding of cooking is that it is like a pre-digestion step (as well as sanitizing) so that your body uses less energy in digesting. So.. if you're trying to loose weight raw foods require more chewing and what not so you can fill your belly to the same level and not ingest as many net calories. My friend also talks about more nutrients in the raw veggies than in the cooked. Maybe the same is true with raw meat. The family dog didn't cook the rabbits and things he caught and he seemed to like them. Sometimes he'd bury them for a day to ripen them before eating- gave him deadly breath but didn't slow him down.

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    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by daibutsu View Post
    I've drastically reduced usage of my conventional electric stove, at home, by using a pressure cooker. It is so fast and only needs to get up to a boil just initially, then simmer, wait and voila!!! It's funny in hind sight as a traveler, seeing all these big gaskets all over in '3d world' markets: The gaskets are for pressure cookers!! They're all onto the efficiency.
    You're right pressure cookers get to a higher tempurature before boiling, 2 atm. if I remember correctly. Also, in 3rd world countries they use thermos bottles. A good vacuum bottle will keep water hot over night so you don't have to fire up the stove for your hot tea in the morning. So you can make a stew for one meal put the leftovers in the vacuum bottle and don't need to light up the stove on the next meal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR View Post
    I've got an electric stove/oven, & am tired of seeing the elec. meter spinning round &round when Im using it. I don't wnt to convert to nat. gas. propane is another option. The only other fuels Ive seen are wood & pellets of some sort. does anyone here know of any other fuels for a stove for a kitchen?
    Propane and five-gallon tanks work well. They last a long time, they're easy to transport, they're inexpensive.

    Alcohol (ethanol) is another option. It's used for cooking on boats quite a bit. It is a lot more benign than white gas -- the odors (when burning, and when just evaporating) aren't nearly as bad.

    There are many ways of producing your own ethanol. There are websites; Google can lead to a lot of possibilities here.

    ***
    There are people who have made the move to cooking-free lifestyles and diets, and they often seem very happy with the move. Raw foods are one approach, but there are others as well. There are many foods that are not raw but still involve no cooking. These foods can fill out an otherwise raw food diet, and provide some extra variety.

    Learning to go cooking-free can save a lot of time, energy, money, complexity, and cleanup. As you get to know more and more of the possibilities, it can be a good way to eat.

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    Raw is good, I used to be a frugivore when I was younger. Then one day on a bike tour I was bonked & the only food to be found was a hamburger. Boy did I pay for that burger!
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    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR View Post
    I've got an electric stove/oven, & am tired of seeing the elec. meter spinning round &round when Im using it. I don't wnt to convert to nat. gas. propane is another option. The only other fuels Ive seen are wood & pellets of some sort. does anyone here know of any other fuels for a stove for a kitchen?
    I have an alcohol stove on my boat, and it works almost as well as my gas stove at home. But why are you worried about using an electric stove? It's probably at least as efficient as any other type of stove I can think of.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  22. #22
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    gas stoves are more efficient than electric, but more trouble to install.

    alcohol sounds like an okay stove fuel but it's not really any "greener" than fossil fuels, since lots of fossil fuels are used to grow crops for alcohol production.

    typically an electric stove is a very small part of your electric bill, so I wouldn't worry about it much. If you would like to make it greener, perhaps you should call your power company and ask to be on the wind energy or green energy plan. (might want to do research to see how green it really is though.)
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    Stove depend upon concentrated energy to cook food. You have a limited number of available energy sources:
    Electric
    Gas (NG, propane, etc)
    Solids you burn (wood, coal, charcoal, dried dung)
    Solar

    Solar can be broken down into two different options:
    Solar panels that drive an electric stove
    Solar oven
    Both can be used if you are judicious in their use.
    Last edited by elfich; 04-03-08 at 05:59 AM.

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    Refrigeration:

    There are alternatives to electrical refrigeration, but it requires that you live within the bounds that the fridge sets:

    - You can use a heat pipe fridge. It only works when it is colder outside than the temperature of the fridge. It works as a supplement to a normal fridge.

    -You can use a solar adsorption fridge (yes that is spelled correctly). It uses solar energy to extract heat from the fridge. It gets used in poor sections of africa because once it is set up it runs reliably for years. If you want details, google will do a better job explaining without me going on for 5-10 pages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elfich View Post
    Refrigeration:

    There are alternatives to electrical refrigeration, but it requires that you live within the bounds that the fridge sets:

    - You can use a heat pipe fridge. It only works when it is colder outside than the temperature of the fridge. It works as a supplement to a normal fridge.

    -You can use a solar adsorption fridge (yes that is spelled correctly). It uses solar energy to extract heat from the fridge. It gets used in poor sections of africa because once it is set up it runs reliably for years. If you want details, google will do a better job explaining without me going on for 5-10 pages.
    Thanks, this is just the info I was looking for. Although it sounds like the same thing as option 2 could be acomplished here with solar panels on the roof. The first type sounds interesting for the winter months... I once saw a propane refrigerator on a tour of a historic ranch in Arizona. I could never quite get my mind around how it worked.

    Here is what I've been doing to cut back on the fridge: First we bought the smallest one we could find that had a separate freezer compartment and door. In the winter my basement is cold enough that I can use it as a root seller to keep vegetables and cheeses, however in the summer it is to warm for this. I also can fresh vegetables from Farmers markets (if they are priced right and well in season).

    Again to the OP: I think electricity for cooking is probably one of the lowest parts of your electricity usage, I would expect my ranking by usage is cooling > heating > refrigeration > computer/tv > lighting > cooking

    I can't think of an electric appliance I use less than my stove/microwave/toaster oven...

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