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Emergency cooking small appliances?

We bought an ocean front condo in a Caribbean island, absolutely beautiful. But it's total electric and the electricity fails constantly which means no ability to cook, make coffee not to mention no air conditioning in a hot climate..this is so aggravating.
Is there a battery operated one plate stove and a coffee maker? I'd rather not use gas. Please offer suggestions.

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  1. Not aware of battery operated appliances but what about a barbecue grill? Is there a balcony or patio where you could place one? If so, for coffee you could probably boil water on the grill (as well as for cooking food, obviously) and then use a French press or Chemex to make coffee.

    1 Reply
    1. re: masha

      Thanks to you all who offered suggestions. A gas burner seems to be the way to go. And the idea of the grill is also a great option. Thanks again.

    2. Ditto on the grill. We are regular campers and i love my propane burners. Can you get propane? Edited because i just realized you dont want to use gas

      1. Depends on your battery system. There are 12v DC appliances designed for solar homes / RVs /etc. They're less common now then before inverter technology became affordable, allowing for solar installations to run on AC. So, you may want to look into those types of appliances. Search Amazon for: 12v appliance .

        You'll need to provide storage batteries and a charging source - and being in a condo probably eliminates using the standard PV arrays. But, there are certainly systems that will charge off your grid supply. I suspect that 12v DC systems (and related appliances) are fairly common in the islands (maybe not since inverters caught on) - look for solar systems suppliers.

        Of course, if you end up with a back-up battery system, you can just add an inexpensive inverter and get back to AC appliances.

        1. My folks used to rent a house on a small remote Caribbean island, no other homes and no electricity. They had a kerosene fridge, lights etc. made coffee in a chemex on a kerosene stove. You get the idea. Before you head out next hit a camping store. Explain what you want cook when the power goes out. You should be able to get everything you need.

          Or spend the big bucks and get a generator? We bought one after Sandy. Its enough to power our fridge and another appliance or two.

          9 Replies
          1. re: foodieX2

            I can't imagine living in a place like that without a generator. Most of my Florida friends have them.

            1. re: c oliver

              This was '76-'80. I am are they are widely available and affordable now.

              1. re: foodieX2

                Part of the generator issue (and/or other solutions) may be related to this being for a condo.

                1. re: NE_Wombat

                  Yes there that which I why I reccomnded camping equipment first, assuming the OP meant "emergency" in the most casual way. Ie: OMG! I need coffee! Lol

                  1. re: NE_Wombat

                    Well, only the OP would know about that. I'd be surprised if any association in such a setting would have a problem but HOAs can be crazily annoying so who knows?

                    And I agree with camping equipment. Takes up little room and can get that coffee made :) We've gone multiple days without power and I've read here of people going a couple of weeks. But I wouldn't live without a gas grill at any time so no biggie for me.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      If you can boil water, you can even make Kcup coffee - there's a hand operated unit for less than $40.

                      1. re: paulj

                        We use the Toddy system for coffee so all it ever takes is boiling water :) I put the kettle on the side burner of the grill and we're good to go.

              2. re: foodieX2

                Yeah, a generator. That's a good alternative to the propane that I suggested elsewhere in this thread.

                1. re: foodieX2

                  +1 on the kerosene stove. Many like this on the web:


                  Quite expensive though.

                2. Heating and cooking appliances will drain batteries rapidly.

                  Truck stops sell 12v appliances, but in vehicles batteries are constantly being charged.

                  You could also look at RV shops (eg CampingWorld). Browse marine stores.

                  I don't know why you don't want to use gas. I make regular use of a butane hotplate.

                  Since loss of power is a regular experience, I'm sure there are an abundance of local alternatives, though they may mostly use gas.

                  1. Sounds like a great place, you just need to adapt to local ways.
                    most in this situation say, "lets go find some place to eat/have coffee."..what ever. This would be the perfect way and time to see what the local places are doing to make things happen.
                    This is a normal problem on many Islands. When the lights go off, get up and head to the beach. Cool breezes, food to be had and all part of the learning process.
                    Forget about a battery operated anything while living in a condo.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: genoO

                      And if you start hanging out at those locals-places, you'll find out what THEY do at those times. Plus make some new friends.

                      Over 20 years ago we moved from SF (our lot was 25x75 FEET) to six acres in SW Oregon. I don't know what we would have done without our great neighbors who taught us about septic tanks and wells :)

                      1. re: genoO

                        Without going gas you're going to have a bit of trouble.

                        The "local" alternative is most likely gas as well.

                      2. A grill or a generator !

                        1. Batteries would be inefficient for serious heating. I suggest you get a propane wok burner or gas grill with side burner.

                          1. Could you get some kind of solar charger and put it on a balcony to help with the battery situation. My dad has one that he uses to keep the truck battery topped off in the winter since he doesn't drive it much (retired).

                            Otherwise, I would recommend a small camping stove. We have a colman one burner and using it 2x/day while car camping, a one pound gas canister lasts us about 2 weeks. So hot water for coffee/tea/oatmeal and dish washing, and then a hot side dish and dish washing in the evening.