Monday, April 16, 2012

Boat Galley Tips For Conserving Cooking Fuel

This week's Boat Galley article discusses how to dramatically reduce fuel for your stove...

Guest blog by Carolyn Shearlock
Carolyn Shearlock, author of The Boat Galley, appears weekly on the Daily Boater with tips for getting the most out of your boat's kitchen.



Stove fuel can be expensive - not to mention being one more errand to run when all you really want to do is get out on the water. And when the weather is hot, the more fuel you use the hotter it gets in the galley. So how can you use less?

This week’s topic: How to use half as much fuel for your stove...

Okay, one solution is just not to cook. But I’m not about to give up my cup of morning coffee or a nice dinner.

Here are three tips that will drastically cut the amount of propane, alcohol, kerosene or whatever other fuel your stove uses, without changing your menu:

1. Cover Pans. Using pan lids is an easy way to conserve fuel. Covering a pan retains far more heat and you can generally cook at a lower setting. An added bonus in hot weather is that your cooking won’t add a lot of humidity to the boat!

Even though I generally don’t like glass aboard because of the breakage potential, pan lids are an exception. With a glass lid, I can see what’s happening in the pan and don’t have to take the lid off so often. Most glass lids are fairly thick glass and I haven’t yet had one break.

If you don’t have a lid for a pan you’re using, you can use a piece of aluminum foil over the pot. If you’re in a calm anchorage or marina, you can also use a heatproof plate on top of the pan.

2. Measure Water. Whenever you’re heating water – whether for coffee, tea, oatmeal or use in a recipe - know how much you’ll need and measure it into the pan or tea kettle so you don’t waste fuel heating water that doesn’t need to be hot. For example, when I’m making coffee (with a drip cone into a Thermos), I fill the Thermos with water as a quick measure, then dump it from there into the kettle.

3. Whistling Tea Kettle. Use a whistling tea kettle whenever you’re boiling water - that way, you’ll know as soon as it begins to boil and you won’t waste propane letting it continue to boil.

Just these three things will cut your stove fuel use considerably. For even more ways to conserve fuel - 25 in total – see Conserving Propane on The Boat Galley’s website.


Carolyn Shearlock is author of The Boat Galley, with over 280 FREE articles to get the most out of your boat kitchen with galley tips, insights & equipment recommendations. A few recipes, too – plus an active Facebook community to ask questions and share tips with other readers!

You can also see several previous boat galley articles here on the Daily Boater.

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