Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Great Galley Debate

Our current cooking facilities on board consists of an elderly CNG stove/oven combo which is lacking in thermocouples, solenoid valves and a proper propane locker. We've got a small tank on the stern rail which is fine for day sailing but not for full time live aboard. We also don't really have the space for an enormous ventilated propane locker either.

In trying to rectify this situation in the easiest, most cost effective manner I, having done due diligence of all the pros and cons, want to go with a simple 2 burner gimballed Origo stove and skip the oven all together. I'm not a gourmet on land so I doubt somehow that a miraculous transformation will take place on board and turn me into a sea faring Nigella Lawson. I cook pretty simply on land and don't do an awful lot of baking but I would need an oven for the occasional brownies or baked ziti. Bread will be handled by the breadmaker Mark is dead set on having and for which he is adjusting the battery bank to accomodate.

My thoughts turned to using a Dutch Oven. Mark of course got all Mr. Wizard on me and required that I do a few dry runs baking and cooking on the stove top with Dutch Oven before I press my case further.

So here we have the test brownies. They came out splendidly. They had a bit chewier texture but as you can see by the photos, the kids enjoyed them every bit as much as oven baked brownies. Kitty has never before had a brownie so to her it was just as it should be.

Dutch oven on the stove top, pan placed on trivet in oven, lid closed and cook for 40 minutes. So, so not a big deal. I know there are cruising cook books out there that make a big deal out of cooking aboard but really, this isn't brain surgery. The Dutch Oven works and it works well and now I am going to seal the deal by doing a bit of cost comparison.

Origo 3000- $339.00
Gimbals- $90
Extra Fuel cannisters-$50
Installation- take out old stove, drop in new. Perhaps a 2 hour job. Added bonus- more space to install storage cabinet below stove to house that breadmaker.

Propane fittings including solenoid, control valve, detector, regulator, hose-approx $530
2 Propane tanks- $250
Locker- $760
New stove- $1200
Installation- remove old stove, replace new, Plumb in gas lines, solenoid, regulator, etc. Install propane locker and build a vent.
2-3 days.
Origo for the win!

I just need to do a test run on making baked ziti and then a cobbler then I can safely tell Mark that this set up indeed works just fine for our needs. Oh and my brownie recipe? Betty Crocker mix, oil, egg and water cook until done.


  1. Those look like yum! I want to put in a good word for the breadmaker. I love love LOVE mine! Of course, I don't actually use it to make bread. But I use the dough setting constantly for pizza dough and dinner rolls.

  2. aside from the deep respect I have for the important role of brownies in shaping your galley investment, that dutch oven is simply gorgeous. I deeply covet!!

  3. Thanks Behan! And since it is NOT Le Creuset its about $200 less. Next time we must add peanut butter cups to the brownies, just to be sure it works!.

  4. Ooooo and it's turquoise. The pretty one wins!

  5. I gave my Le Creuset dutch oven to my brother because I figured there was no room for it on the boat. Are you going with that instead of a pressure cooker? Hmmm, I think I'm gonna ask this on the Facebook group so I can get more opinions.

  6. I'm with Mark on this one... a decent propane locker which *drains* overboard and a stove with an oven is the way to go. The stoves are over priced of course.

    The plumbing is another issue, but a simple re fit for Mark... doing a proper propane locker is a whole other issue. You might be able to mount them securely aft somewhere??? Propane is hot and lasts a long time. Get and keep a spare tank... perhaps use 10# size...