off grid cooking part two -side dish cooking items

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henry1
henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
Here is my main go to side dish for all my meals that i eat and those are the most i eat in my style of cooking for myself ..


-potatoes

-rice-

-mac and chesse

-apple sauce

-beans red and black

-yellow corn

-spaghetti

-soups

-stews


breakfast items

-eggs

-hashbrowns

-bacons or ham peices

-oatmeal

-pancakes

-french toast

-toast

-hot water for tea or coffee

special items

-bread

-cakes

-pies

-meatloaf --- i found a small mircowave meatloaf pan that makes a perfect one person meatloaf

So with those basic breakfast and my main meal side dish i can cook most of the meals i eat but pizza


So how many watts a day do you think i'm going to use cooking those food items with the basic kitchen i asked about in other post ..

Plus i bought a small grill unit for cooking outside on the grill for grilling up the meat that i buy for special events or cookouts

Comments

  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: off grid cooking part two -side dish cooking items

    i don't see that being off grid will have that much of an impact on your diet as most that are off the grid have heard of and use fire quite often.:confused:

    off gridders are not from another planet so much as inventive and conservative in order to get the same foods cooked. right?
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,004 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: off grid cooking part two -side dish cooking items

    Henry, as I recall you don't want to use gas, correct?

    I think you will want to look into many alternative ways of cooking, and depending on your desire to have a huge system, might want to consider a cold breakfast.

    While I could and have done most of those items electricly (including pizza!) I have only done them while the sun was shining on my panels. and I currently have 1300 watt array hooked up.

    Oatmeal, in the microwave is doable, but somewhat different texture, and a bit more water. I have a west bend 1 gallon slow cooker, that I have rarely used as a slow cooker, but it has a nonstick gridle that runs around 5-600 watts (from recollection) I've made 2 up 4-5 inch pancakes on. I don't even know if I still have this around, I've done most of the things I cooked on this in the foreman grill, and will make eggs in a castiron fry pan over propane.

    I guess I might try scrambled eggs in a glass dish in the microwave, other have done this sucsessfully, some eggs a bit of water and a bit of butter, I've never tried it, but at least one of the maintenance workers keeps eggs in the fridge for this. They cook fast and with a good set of batteries and not having taxed the system too much I might try this in the morning, I will at times heat water for hot chocholate in the morning. While I have a large array I currently have a tiny battery bank.( 4-6v Golf Cart (GC) batteries in series)

    Cooking beans, non-instant rice, and potatoes, tend to take a good bit of time, during the day, I've cooked rice in the microwave in a special plastic rice cooker It works absolutly great, you might need a little practice, and it acts differently with different microwaves, but makes great rice. I've also used it to make pasta and mac and cheese or tuna-noodle cassarole. It's plastic and I don't know if it leaches and hormone symilar substances, so I've largely quite using it, I could spend this time looking for answer, but I suspect I'll worry now regaurdless, I'll find a glass lid for a glass bowl and try that sometime in the future.

    I will and you could explore cooking in a thermos for things that need long cooking times with relativly high heat. I think one of the moderators here suggested this (Bill?). Basically you can preheat the thermos with a cup of hot water (nuked?) then bring your cooking things (beans spices and water?) to a boil for a couple minutes, then throw them into the preheater thermos to cook, they make special thermo pots for this. I'll use a wide mouth thermos I have and I found a deal on a 3 quart coffee thermos pump pot that I'll try for larger meals(hey for $20...)

    Soups and stews work well in a small crockpot. Mine runs 80-100 watts on high, after being on high for a while it cycles on and off, and will simmer on medium, all of which happens quicker if you leave a kitchen towel covering the top, mine doesn't seal very well.

    I'm working on a half gallon of brunswick stew now;

    1each Smoked chicken breast and thigh, boned
    most of a lb of pull beef BBQ,
    1 large can of stewed tomatoes, diced with liquid,
    4-5 new potatoes,
    8-10peeled carrot, sliced fine,
    1/2lb of corn
    1/2 lb of peas
    1/2 med onion
    a little pepper
    1tbsp westchester sauce
    1tbls A1

    Enough for 3 meals for me, perhaps 6 servings for normal sized people...

    Bread machine for bread works for me.

    As I have an excess of energy, I've been using a large toaster oven, I actually wish I had gotten the slightly bigger Oyster 1300 watt oven as I spent the $30 I saved on some smaller toaster oven sized pans (these work great)
    Once warm it kicks on and off and I run at a wash with the batteries ( I don't think I'm loosing any charge while the sun is out and panels well exposed) I've kept the oven on close to 3 hours at times cooking, a couple pizzas from scratch, bread sticks/pretzels, brownies, cookies, even cobbler, back to back. I can load shift (using power while the sun is out) easily as I typically work 4pm until during the week, I'll make a couple pizzas and eat the last one hot for dinner or a late lunch, and cool then fridge the other for dinner the next day(at work)

    To say, I do any of this any time I want, simply is not true, living Off Grid is to think about when you can do these things and live within your ability to generate and store power. for a long baking session, I need a sunny day when I don't have a taxed system (1st day after a long cloudy period,would NOT be a good time, I will need to store most of the energy I produce.)

    To be Off Grid and want to cook when ever, you would need a seriously over built system! and to give you a point of reference, this is from someone who just doesn't use much electric and has a very over sized system for most of the year, as I run an AC during the summer months. My forklift battery should get ordered in about a month, perhaps I'll change my tune, we'll see.

    As to how many Watthours... No one can tell you, I can tell you, my watt hours used vary with the sun.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • henry1
    henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: off grid cooking part two -side dish cooking items

    Tonight i made pancakes and four eggs for supper and total time start to finish was about 22 mins total

    with 6 mins to heat up the frying pan i use to to cook the pancakes

    6 pancakes to cook was just over 12 mins

    4 eggs to cook was just over 6 mins to cook

    so i been timeing how long i been cooking my meals on the kill-a-watt and how many watts per meal i use..

    i do a cold breakfast most of the time inless it cold outside and then here and there i make a hot breakfast most times it cereal and orange juice and cup of tea for the breakfast time ..
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,004 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: off grid cooking part two -side dish cooking items

    It's a question of system, if you have a relativly small battery bank, we'll use mine at 24 volts 220 Amp Hours it's not tiny, you want to use likely a 1500 watt hot plate? You could just tell me the cumlative watts used...

    Amps x Volts = Watts
    or
    Amps = Watts / Volts

    or 1500/24 = 62.5 Amps at 24 volts

    While you might be thinking thats just 22/60 (minutes in and hour)x62.5 Amps=@ 23 AmpHours out of a bank of 220 Amp Hours, your really doing something else.

    The battery bank is rated at 220 Amp Hours assuming a complete discharge in no more than 20 hours, a discharge of 60+ amps an hour will completely discharge the battery in less than 4 hours(compared to the 20 hour rate), at this rate the batteries may be completely discharged in less than 2 hours(have a capacity of maybe 100 Amps), this is a great strain on your battery system.

    Things get worse believe it or not as with a big load like this the voltage will quickly drop below 24 volts. Making your divider smaller, and we haven't started talking about the inverter only being 88 - 90% efficient so multiply your loss by another 12%...

    Now think if your fridge pops on while your doing this, and your not cooking in the dark, so there's at least one light on,...

    On the good side likely the hotplate does cycle on and off during that time... but big loads are best run during the day if possible, other wise you will need a huge system...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,004 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: off grid cooking part two -side dish cooking items

    Henry, I worry that I've chased you off, it's more a matter of adapting,... setting up a bread machine to run during the afternoon, perhaps cooking only one part of each meal, or I often cook several portions in the Forman grill while the suns shining and reheating in the microwave. Many/most of the off grid people I know do at least some of their cooking with gas, you can make a very good pizza on a gas grill!

    The sun was shining to day at home and I'm puppy sitting for friends, and the puppy! I have sweat equity in this dog as I helped walk her after her first hip replacement. I was just thinking if I was home... I could cook up a couple pizzas with hand made crust, some pasta sauce, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers... and thought I'd check in and see if you had responded, Hope all is well!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • henry1
    henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: off grid cooking part two -side dish cooking items
    Photowhit wrote: »
    Henry, I worry that I've chased you off, it's more a matter of adapting,... setting up a bread machine to run during the afternoon, perhaps cooking only one part of each meal, or I often cook several portions in the Forman grill while the suns shining and reheating in the microwave. Many/most of the off grid people I know do at least some of their cooking with gas, you can make a very good pizza on a gas grill!

    The sun was shining to day at home and I'm puppy sitting for friends, and the puppy! I have sweat equity in this dog as I helped walk her after her first hip replacement. I was just thinking if I was home... I could cook up a couple pizzas with hand made crust, some pasta sauce, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers... and thought I'd check in and see if you had responded, Hope all is well!


    I work really stange hours for my company and it sometimes days before i will respond to a post because of the hours waiting for the customs to clear a shippment to leave the states and i get wraped up in the work and dealing with everything that we do for a liveing in my line of work ..

    All of our places overseas have the same basic menu items along with the local specials and as part of my job is to make sure that when we ship out the supplies to one of the resorts they have everything that they need to make up the same drink menu and food menu that you would get in one of places here in the states ..

    So sometimes the hours get stange and i sleep on the floor in the office and work through intill i get told you really need to take a shower and shave by the owner of the company ..

    then i go home and shower and climb into bed and sleep for about 10 hours saight and get on the internet to reply to the post then take the next couple of days off intill i get called told we have a shipment going out and i need you to be here for it ..

    Alot of depends on what is going on or out of the country and how much time i have to deal with custom about shipping items like Alcohol and food items out of the US to other places and dealing with there custom people ..that means alot of international phone calls in the middle of the night to get to the person who we deal with there at there custom house ..

    We throw in a case of two of the good stuff for the custom people where we ship to for them to keep them out of the shipment at times when dealing with diff places in the world ..


    That way is was asking about solar and wind in Juneua area because of them wanting me to go up there and take over the office up there to get it back into line with the company policy and thinking ..

    i have just been rethinking somethings and like i said i'm throwing ideas out there for me to see if the dog will hunt or not hunt as the old saying goes ..

    I do know that i'm going with a small outdoor propane power grill to cook on along with a propane powered freezer for meats stowage in a small outer building to hold the freezer unit ..

    along with the items i asked about in the place for bad weather ..i got about enough of a bonus check next month to get my system outright from the northern Az sun and wind company to get started with the basic system and work from there