THE COOKING AT SEA SERIES
JUMP TO: COOKER / STOWAGE / POTS AND PANS / PRESSURE COOKERS / CROCKERY / CUTLERY / UTENSILS / GLASSWARE / EXTRAS /oil /
are planning a long ocean passage or a day trip there
are some basic essentials that really are needed in
any galley. If you've bought a pre-owned boat
there is every chance that you have 'inherited' a lot
of stuff that you don't want or need, and there will
be some things that you will want or need. So,
let's take a look at the basics and work up from
there. Ensure that you have a crash bar fitted
in front of your cooker that does not impede
gimballing, and fit a galley belt.
We will look at the above in more detail later.
But what about all those electrical items you're used
to; food processor, electric whisk, toaster, kettle,
the list goes on, and dare we say iron! What
about those cupboards full of crockery, a plate and
bowl for every occasion, enough knives for a circus
act - do we want them on board, need them, or even
have space or power for them? The answer is
probably no. Unless you are fortunate enough to
have a particularly large boat or galley you will need
to 'downsize', this does not mean going without.
Do you really need an electric can opener, the answer
is no, and the coffee bean grinder? Some might
argue that it is an essential in life, but trying to
grind coffee beans on a downwind passage might just
send you searching for the instant!
So, what stays and what goes? Let's look at the few electrical 'luxuries' that even the most 'power poor' boat can handle.
- Electric whisk/Blender (200w)
If you like toast, then invest in a toaster, they
will run off even the smallest of inverters. An
electric whisk/blender will make all the difference
when it comes to sauces and soups, or even whizzing up
- Electric whisk/Blender
- Microwave (800w)
Depending upon your inverter/power capabilities a
microwave is a great investment. Yes, they are
power hungry, but only for a short length of
time. A lot of microwaves come with a grill,
this is a great investment, however they are power
hungry and normally a lot larger than a basic
- Electric whisk/blender
- Electric Kettle
- Electric hob
- Electric grill/oven
- Slow cooker
- Coffee maker
- The list goes on...
- And yes, finally, the IRON!
How much space do you have? If stowage is not a problem, invest in a few electrical items. They make life so much easier, will save gas, that you might have problems locating locally, and really do allow you to broaden your horizons in the galley. Not everyone likes to iron, but there are some occasions that owning one might come in handy. (Some of the crew here are currently shaking their heads!)
So, the electricals are now sorted, what about
everything else? Just how many plates do you
need, and what size? At this point, the question
needs to be asked, plastic/polycarbonate, or
porcelain/china? If you are clumsy at home,
don't think it will be any better on board and you
might want to think about polycarbonate. China
has always been our way to go. Eating from a
proper plate, somehow enhances the meal. Of
course, when it's rough there is nothing better than
eating straight out of the pan, which is why learning
the rudiments of one
pot meals can be so important. Let's
look at the basics...
Marine cookers are a huge investment, if you are
looking to replace your existing cooker then take your
time. Just how much cooking do you really
do? Do you need 2, 3 or 4 burners? Do you
need a grill? A lot of 3 burner cookers have the
problem of not gimballing properly. The burners
do not sit in the middle, thus when a pan is on the
stove top it is either at the front or the back, this
can lead to spillages and accidents.
Where does it all go? As was said above,
'downsizing' does not mean going without. It is
very important to have everyday items to hand when on
passage, when the cooker is swinging back and forth,
you really don't want to have to lean over a boiling
pan to reach the salt and pepper. There are many
sets of pots and pans that stack, this is a great
space saver, but can be annoying when you want the one
in the middle. Don't scrimp on the quality of
plastic containers, good quality containers will last
a life time, and should not split. Take a look
at the cupboards that they will be going into and work
out how many you need, again, trying to get the one
out of the middle without disturbing the rest is an
art form, therefore put less frequently used items at
the bottom. If you are not using your
fridge/freezer on passage use it for storage of dried
goods such as rice and pasta. It may be sensible
to put the plates and bowls that you know you will use
on passage in one area.
A pressure cooker is one thing no boat should be
without. Price does not always mean best
here. Pressure cookers have come a long way over
the years asthetically, but the principle is still the
same. A heavy based stainless steel pressure
cooker with a simple 'take off/put on' weight is the
best way to go. Pressure cookers save time, gas
and water, some foods even taste better cooked in one.
Gone are the days of chipped china or plastic picnic
plates adorning the galley. Prices for good
quality, long lasting china have made it possible for
everyone to have a good matching set on board.
If you really do think that you might break one or
two, then go for white, no matter where you are in the
world you will always replace them.
If porcelain is not for you, then what are the other
A bit more expensive than porcelain, but worth
it. They are chip, break, stain & scratch
resistant, and oven safe.
Some people refer to this as 'posh plastic'. Virtually unbreakable, apart from the bank. Polycarbonate does scratch, and can crack, it wont take long before it doesn't look quite so new.
The marine environment is hard on everything, cutlery
included. No one likes eating with rusty knives
and forks, buying good quality stainless steel is a
worth while investment, and taking care to rinse all
items thoroughly with fresh water if using sea water
to wash up.
You really dont need draws and draws full of knives,
potato mashers, ladles etc... A good quality
large knife, a filleting knife and a paring knife
should be sufficient. Potato peelers make like
easier, a few large serving spoons/ladles is all that
is needed both on the stove top and the table. A
couple of wooden or bamboo spoons, a hand whisk
and a fish slice should then be all that is needed to
It's always nice to drink from good quality
glassware, however bare feet and broken glass don't
make good friends. Polycarbonate glassware is a
great idea, but can be expensive. If you are
prone to dropping things buy polycarbonate, if not,
and you also don't mind picking up broken glass, look
for strong, heavy bottomed glasses.
Polycarbonate glasses will scratch and lose their
clarity over time.
There will always be a few more things that you will want to make life more comfortable, and it's amazing just how little time it takes to fill up all your cupboards.