How to Cook Rice Without Electricity

How to Cook Rice Without Electricity

In today's modern world, we rely heavily on electricity for many of our everyday activities, including cooking. However, there may be situations where we find ourselves without power, leaving us without our usual process for cooking a basic staple like rice. Fortunately, there are various methods for cooking rice without using electricity. This article seeks to shed light on the different methods, techniques, and safety precautions for cooking rice without power. So let's dive in and learn how to cook rice the old-fashioned way!



Understanding the Basics of Rice Cooking

Before we get into the alternative methods of cooking rice, it's helpful to understand the basics of rice cooking. First, we need to remember that there are different types of rice, each requiring different cooking times and water-to-rice ratios. Let's take a look at some commonly used rice varieties and their cooking times:

Types of Rice and Their Cooking Times

  1. Basmati Rice: 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water, cooked for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  2. Jasmine Rice: 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water, cooked for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  3. Long Grain Rice: 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water, cooked for approximately 18-20 minutes.
  4. Short Grain Rice: 1 cup of rice to 1.25 cups of water, cooked for approximately 15-20 minutes.


Essential Tools for Cooking Rice

In addition to your chosen variety of rice, you'll need a few essential tools to cook rice without electricity:

  • A large pot with a lid to cook the rice.
  • A measuring cup for water and rice.
  • A heat source such as a gas stove or campfire.


When cooking rice, rinse the grains thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch and prevent clumping. This step helps improve the texture and overall quality of the cooked rice. To rinse the rice, place it in a fine-mesh sieve or a bowl and run cold water over it, stirring gently with your fingers. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear, indicating that most of the starch has been removed.


The water-to-rice ratio is a critical factor in achieving perfectly cooked rice. Different types of rice require varying amounts of water for optimal results. The water absorption rate of rice can also be influenced by factors such as altitude and humidity. Adjust the water ratio accordingly so the rice is neither too dry nor too mushy after cooking.

Traditional Methods of Cooking Rice Without Electricity

If you find yourself without electricity, you can employ traditional cooking methods to prepare rice. Let's explore two common methods:

Using a Gas Stove

Note: This method requires a gas stove and access to gas fuel.

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear to remove excess starch.
  2. Add the rinsed rice and the appropriate amount of water to the large pot.
  3. Place the pot on the gas stove and turn the heat to medium-high.
  4. Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid.
  5. Allow the rice to simmer for the recommended cooking time, according to the type of rice.
  6. After the cooking time has elapsed, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for a few minutes to allow the rice to steam.
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Cooking Rice Over a Campfire

Note: This method requires access to a campfire or outdoor cooking area.

  1. Prepare the campfire by building a fire and allowing it to burn down until you have a bed of hot coals.
  2. Rinse the rice and place it in the large pot.
  3. Add the appropriate amount of water to the pot.
  4. Position the pot on a heat-resistant surface above the hot coals, ensuring it is stable.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid and let the rice cook for the recommended time, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

The History of Traditional Rice Cooking Methods

Now, let's delve deeper into the fascinating history of cooking rice without electricity. Did you know that these traditional methods have been used for centuries, and passed down through generations? In many cultures, cooking rice without electricity is not just a necessity during power outages, but also a cherished culinary tradition.


In some regions, such as rural areas in Asia and Africa, where electricity may not be readily available, these methods are still the primary means of cooking rice. Families gather around gas stoves or campfires, sharing stories and laughter as they prepare this staple food.


Using a gas stove to cook rice provides a convenient alternative to electric cookers. The controlled heat from the gas flame allows for precise cooking, ensuring that each grain of rice is perfectly cooked and fluffy. The aroma of the rice fills the kitchen, creating a comforting atmosphere that brings back memories of home-cooked meals.


On the other hand, cooking rice over a campfire adds an element of adventure and outdoor cooking expertise. The crackling sound of the fire and the smoky scent infuse the rice with a unique flavor, making it a delightful experience for those who appreciate the great outdoors. It's a chance to connect with nature and embrace the simplicity of traditional cooking methods.


So, the next time you find yourself without electricity, embrace the opportunity to explore these traditional methods of cooking rice. Whether you opt for the convenience of a gas stove or the rustic charm of a campfire, you'll not only enjoy a delicious meal but also connect with the rich history and cultural heritage of rice preparation.

Innovative Techniques for Rice Cooking Without Power

Aside from the traditional methods, there are a couple of innovative techniques that allow you to cook rice without electricity. Let's explore them:

Solar Oven Cooking

Solar ovens harness the power of the sun to cook food, including rice. Keep in mind that this method requires access to direct sunlight and a solar oven.


  1. Place the rinsed rice and the appropriate amount of water into the tray.
  2. Position the tray inside the solar oven.
  3. Adjust the reflectors of the solar oven to maximize sunlight absorption.
  4. Leave the rice to cook in the solar oven for the recommended time, checking occasionally.
  5. Once cooked, carefully remove the tray from the solar oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.


Solar oven cooking not only provides a sustainable way to cook rice but also imparts a unique flavor to the dish due to the slow cooking process. The gentle heat from the sun helps the rice grains absorb the water gradually, resulting in a perfectly cooked texture.

Thermos Cooking

This method requires a thermos to cook rice without a heat source.

  1. Rinse the rice and place it in a thermos.
  2. Boil the appropriate amount of water separately on a gas stove or campfire.
  3. Once the water reaches a boil, carefully pour it into the thermos.
  4. Seal the thermos tightly and let the rice cook for the recommended time.
  5. After the cooking time has passed, carefully open the thermos and fluff the rice before serving.


Thermos cooking is a convenient method for cooking rice on the go or in emergencies. The insulation of the thermos traps the heat, allowing the rice to cook slowly and evenly. This technique is not only energy-efficient but also preserves the nutrients in the rice, resulting in a wholesome meal.



Safety Precautions When Cooking Without Electricity

When cooking without electricity, it's important to follow certain safety precautions to ensure food hygiene and prevent accidents. Here are a few key measures to keep in mind:


Cooking without electricity can be a challenging but rewarding experience, whether you're camping in the great outdoors or dealing with a power outage at home. It will benefit you to be well-prepared and knowledgeable about safety measures to make the most of your cooking endeavors.

Preventing Foodborne Illness

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food. This simple yet effective step can help prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and keep your meals safe to consume.
  2. Cook the rice at the appropriate temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. Ensure the rice reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Investing in a reliable food thermometer can be a valuable tool to ensure your food is cooked to the right temperature.
  3. Avoid leaving cooked rice at room temperature for an extended period. Bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature, so it's essential to refrigerate any leftovers promptly to maintain food safety.
  4. Store leftovers promptly in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth. Proper storage of food is key to preventing foodborne illnesses and ensuring the longevity of your meals.

Fire Safety Measures

  1. Always supervise open flames or fires while cooking. Whether you're using a campfire or a portable stove, it's crucial to keep a close eye on the cooking process to prevent accidents and injuries.
  2. Keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water nearby as a precaution. In case of a fire emergency, having the right tools at hand can make a significant difference in containing the situation quickly and effectively.
  3. Ensure the cooking area is clear of any flammable materials. Creating a safe cooking environment is essential to minimize the risk of accidental fires and ensure a smooth cooking experience.
  4. Never leave a fire unattended. It's important to stay vigilant and attentive while cooking with open flames to prevent any potential hazards and maintain a safe cooking environment.

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Rice Every Time

Cooking rice without electricity can be a bit challenging, but with these tips, you'll achieve perfectly cooked rice every time:

Measuring Rice and Water Ratios

Measure your rice and water accurately for consistent results. Use the ratios mentioned in this article as a guide, but adjust them based on personal preference and the particular rice variety.

Checking Rice for Doneness

While cooking, monitor the rice occasionally to ensure it is cooking evenly and to prevent it from sticking to the pot. Taste a few grains to check for doneness. Rice should be tender and cooked through, but not mushy.


By following these techniques, safety precautions, and handy tips, you'll be able to cook rice without electricity in various circumstances. Empower yourself with these alternative methods, and you'll never have to worry about power outages or cooking during outdoor adventures. Stay prepared, stay safe, and enjoy delicious rice, no matter the circumstances!


In conclusion, cooking rice without electricity is entirely possible with little knowledge and resourcefulness. Whether you're using a gas stove, campfire, solar oven, or even a thermos, you can still enjoy a warm and hearty rice dish even when the power is out. GoSun is a great resource for electricity-free cooking and they are happy to help you get started. Just remember to follow the cooking times and safety measures mentioned in this article, and soon you'll be savoring perfectly cooked rice, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in!

Back to blog