How To Boil Water Without Electricity

how to boil water without electricity and without power

Have you ever had the power go out and realized that you can’t turn on your electric oven? Or have you ever been in a situation where there was no electricity and you needed to boil water to make a meal or to make water safe for drinking? If you were at home and have a gas stove in your kitchen you were probably ok. You can still get a gas stove to light without power but if you’re like me and don’t have a gas stove and your kids want mac and cheese for lunch you would be up a creek! Or if you were in the woods and needed safe drinking water you were again.. up a creek. Probably literally this time.

8 Easy Ways to Boil Water Without Electricity

Here are 8 easy ways you can boil water in an emergency when your power goes out and you are left without electricity.

  1. Gas Stove
  2. Camp Stove
  3. BBQ Grill
  4. Fire Pit
  5. Fireplace or Wood Stove
  6. Solar Cooker
  7. Candles
  8. Rocket Stove

Most of the time the power isn’t out for long but every so often we have an extended amount of time that the power goes off unexpectedly. Maybe a car hit a power line down the road or a tree has fallen and knocked power out. They are usually really quick about getting the power back on because so many people rely on electricity for so many things. But to be prepared I’ve compiled this list and explained how you can boil water with each of these options.

*Remember to boil water for drinking it must be boiled for up to one minute at an elevation of 6,562 feet (2,000 meters) and for 3 minutes at elevations higher than that.

Remember in these types of emergency situations it is absolutely crucial to store food and water. To make your planning easy check out our Food Storage Calculator and Water Storage Calculator!

1. Gas Stove

how to boil water without power using a gas stove

If you have a gas stove in your kitchen you don’t need electricity to start the stovetop. The ignitor is what runs off of electricity so if you have a match or a lighter handy you can easily get it started. A gas stove can come in so handy if there is no power. Gas will flow without electricity. Not only can you boil or heat the water you can cook a stovetop meal. The oven won’t work without electricity, but having the burners working can be so helpful.

What you’ll need

  • Gas Stove
  • Natural Gas or Propane
  • Matches or lighter
  • Pot and water

2. Camp Stove

boiling water without electricity using a camp stove

Having a small propane camp stove on and a few bottles of propane isn’t a bad idea. You can get a single burner propane stove for around $20 and a small bottle of propane is only a few dollars. If you enjoy going camping you probably already have one of these on hand. If not they take up minimal space and use very little propane to run.

My dad has filled the pot he fries the turkey in for Thanks Giving and used the burner base and his propane tank to heat water that we use to fill the swimming pool in the garage so that in the winter our boys can go swimming in warm water! This would be great if you need a large amount of warm or boiling water maybe for a bath.

What you’ll need

  • Camp Stove
  • Propane canister/tank
  • Pot or metal canister/cup and water
  • Matches or Lighter
  • You may need a propane hose and connector depending on the camper stove and propane tank that you are using

3. BBQ Grill

If you’re in a pinch light up the BBQ grill. Charcoal or propane. Use a small kettle or pot and set it on top of the grates Closed the lid to keep the heat in and you can quickly boil water. Be cautious and use a glove or an oven mitt to take pick it up. Bet you didn’t think that you would use your grill to boil water when you picked out that perfect 3 burner grill with warming rack!

What you’ll need

  • Propane or Charcoal Grill
  • Propane (if you’re using a propane grill)
  • Charcoal (if you’re using a charcoal grill)
  • Matches or lighter
  • An oven mitt or thick leather gloves
  • Pot or kettle and water

4. Fire Pit

Go old fashion and start a fire. This is an obvious choice but if it’s a stressful situation you might not think about it right off the bat and that’s ok. If you are home and have a fire pit in your back yard even better. Building a fire in the right conditions is simple and quick. You can boil water roast a hot dog and keep yourself warm.

If you are in the wilderness in a survival situation you are probably going to need a fire at some point anyway so as long as you’ve got a pot or a kettle you are good to go. Practice fire safety and make sure that where you place you fire pit is safe. Always make sure that your fire is completely extinguished before you leave it.

What you’ll need

  • A fire pit or somewhere you can safely contain an open fire
  • Wood (unless you have a gas fire pit)
  • Lighter, matches, flint and steel, or blast match fire starter
  • To help start the fire use wood shavings, wadded paper, strips of cardboard, dryer lint, or cotton balls
  • Something to set the pot on over the flame can be helpful
  • Pot, kettle, or metal canister and water
boiling water over a campfire tips and tricks

5. Wood Stove/Fire Place

For those that have a wood burning stove or fire place in your house it’s not only a life saver in cold months to heat your house you can also set a pot on top of the stove to boil or heat water. If you have a fire place you can set it right on top of the flames or coals. I wouldn’t use your grandmas nice pot for this as it will char the bottom and sides and you won’t be able to clean it off. But in a pinch this is a great option and something to consider if you are in the process of building or renovating a home and trying to decide what type of extra heat source you want to include.

What you’ll need

  • Wood stove or fireplace
  • Wood
  • Lighter or matches
  • Paper, lint, or something highly flammable to help start the fire
  • Pot, kettle, or metal canister

6. Solar Cooker

If weather permits a solar cooker is another great option for boiling and heating water. Solar cookers take longer to heat up than other options because it is relies on the sun. They also take some babysitting. As the sun moves you’ll need to adjust the cooker to be sure the sun is hitting in the right spot. There are many different solar cooker options to buy online or you can easily build your own.

A Solar Cooker is a great way to heat water without a fire while camping or at home when your power goes out.

Here is a solar cooker that is a good price and works surprisingly well. Haines Solar Cooker – Check the price on Amazon!

What you’ll need

  • A solar cooker/oven
  • Pot with a lid
  • Water

Here is a great YouTube video that shows you how to use a solar cooker to boil water.


7. Candles

There are different ways you can go about using candles to heat water. A really simple option would be to use many t-light candles placed in a deep baking dish like a 9×13 cake pan and place your pot with water resting on the sides so it sits an inch or so above the candles. Cover your pot of water with a lid to keep the heat in and speed up the process. Check underneath to make sure you aren’t blocking all the oxygen from getting to the candles so they can continue to burn. You’ll also need to keep an eye on the candles and make sure they stay lit or replace ones that go out because all the wax is gone.

What you’ll need

  • Cooking tray or cake pan (or anything that is heat resistant that can hold your pot right over the candles)
  • Tea light candles (15 or so)
  • Matches or lighter
  • Pan or pot with a lid
  • Water

8. Rocket Stove

Have you ever seen a rocket stove? It might not be what you are envisioning. There are so many different ways to make a rocket stove. There are also many different options you can buy online if making one isn’t something you want to do. Here is a cheap but great Rocket Stove on Amazon! A rocket stove is basically a block of wood/metal with an “L” shaped hole in the middle. You feed the fuel in through the top of the hole and the air comes in the bottom through the side hole. A six-inch tall 4×4 block of wood with a 1 ¼ inch hole drilled into it through the top and the side can burn for approximately an hour. That is more than enough time to boil water or even cook a small meal.

A wooden rocket stove is really efficient because of the near complete combustion. They use far less fuel as they burn themselves once they are lit. They also produce far less sm’ores and emissions than a lot of other fires or stoves.

There are so many different ways to make a rocket stove. There are also many different options you can buy online if making one isn’t something you want to do.

What you’ll need

  • Rocket stove (buy one or learn how DIY and build one)
  • twigs, dryer lint, or cotton balls to help start the fire
  • Lighter, matches, flint and steel, or blast match fire starter
  • Wood to feed the fire if using a metal or cinder block rocket stove (A rocket stove made out of a block of wood will burn itself)

Here is a really great video explain how a rocket stove works and many different examples on how to make them using different materials.


Conclusion

There are many different ways to heat or boil water without electricity whether it is something that you need to do long term or just once or twice while the power is out. Being prepared with even just one of these options could be such a huge advantage if the power were to go out or if you end up needing something more long term. There are some obviously more readily available options at home like using your BBQ Grill, Candles or making a solar cooker. But if you have the tools and skills needed to make or use one of the other options I would give it a try. Our family will have a rocket stoves on hand from now on. They take up very little room to store and are so efficient. We also have a small 2 burner camp stove and a couple small bottles of propane that we keep on had if we need them along with our 30lb tank. Being prepared for a loss of power is so simple you can be ready with things you already have at home.

Most of these options for heating or boiling water can also be used for cooking. Using resources that we already have on hand is a great way to be prepared when we find ourselves in a situation when we need something like hot or sanitized water.

Additional Recourses:

In the event of a winter power outage the power can be out for days without any warning. In which case you’ll want to be prepared. Check out our article on how to be prepared for a winter power outage

You’ll also want to remember that even when you take the proper precautions storing your water, water also has a shelf life and can go bad (become contaminated). Water should be replaced every so often. Check out our article about how long water can be stored before it goes bad

Kaycee Blair

I'm Kaycee Blair, co-owner of EZ-Prepping with my husband Colton. My family is the most important thing to me in this world. I couldn't bear watching my two little boys go hungry so finding easy and practical ways to be prepared for the future by building food storage and gathering other emergency preparedness items has become a passion to me.

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