Ruht Ro Shaggy – What do do when the power goes out during a party

Kitchen TipsA couple of weeks ago, I had some guests over for dinner and right in the middle of getting things ready, the power went out! Oh my!! First, the good news: (1) it was still daytime so the entire house was not dark and (2) some of my menu was being done on the grill or was already done (BBQ brisket and potato salad). For the bad news: I was making an appetizer that required the oven as well as some roasted beets for roasted beets and goat cheese.

So, what do you do when the unexpected happens? Well, first, you “keep calm and carry on“. There is not much more upsetting than a frustrated or nervous or anxious host. Your guests will feel it and likely their stomachs will start to feel icky for no good reason. You need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and think for a second. Grab a glass of wine, top off your guests beverages and the ideas will come to you.

In my situation, I decided to try and use the grill instead of the oven for my two remaining dishes. So my roasted beets quickly became smoked beets (as I was already smoking the brisket). My zucchini flatbread appetizer was converted from a baking sheet to a pizza stone and placed on the grill.

But, what else can you do? Here are a few ideas for when the power is out but you still have a grill or a gas stove.

What to do when the power goes out:

  1. Warming/Toasting bread? Use the gas burner on your stove or use the grill. You can actually put bread directly over a gas burner to warm or char it slightly. Just don’t walk away from it!!
  2. Roasting a vegetable? Cut it up and sautee it on the stove or keep it like you planned and grill it.
  3. Braising a meat? Using a braising dish that can also go on the stove, just pop it on the stove instead. Generally about Medium-Low heat.
  4. Roasting a meat? Put it on the grill or the stove. Depending on what it is, you may want to cut it up into smaller portions or wrap it in foil.
  5. Out of ideas for alternatives? Sixty-six the dish. Check your fridge or pantry for something that might be a replacement. If the dish is too much of your main meal then sixty-six the whole thing and order in or go out!!

Your guests will understand! It is obviously not your fault!!! It will be something to laugh about if you let it.


  1. Brian K. says:

    Don’t forget to keep an extra tank of propane tucked under the grill. Nothing worse than no power and not enough propane!

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