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Old 22-03-2012, 05:07   #1
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How Important is it to Have a Stove With an Oven Gimballed?

How many people use the oven on their boat and how often? Is it something you can't live without or is it there because it came with your boat and you only use it occassionaly? I know much of this depends on how much of a cook/baker a person might be.

I am refitting the galley on a boat that I would like to cruise in for an extended period of time. Currently there is an older gimballed cook top that could use a bit or refurbishing. I am looking at newer options in propane and am debating a cooktop or stove with oven. The oven of course is more expensive. Maybe I should take that money and invest in a grill and stick with a cooktop. I guess I am wondering if stove top cooking doesn't produce 90% of most meals. Again I know it depends on your cooking style. Just curious how people feel about this.

If I went with a two burner cook top how important do people believe it is to have a gimballed cook tops? Most of my sailing has been cruisinig the islands for a couple of weeks at a time. Not really living aboard but vacationiing on someone else's boat. I didn't find that we cooked that much underway even on a day long passage. What have other people found works for them?


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Old 22-03-2012, 05:27   #2
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

I have found that the gimballed stove top is essential if you want to cook anything on passage although we quite often lock the stove in place when at anchor. There has been the odd anchorage where it was too rocky to lock the stove. I think also that how often you may use the oven is a function of location and budget. Where we are at it is often not desirable to heat up the main cabin with the oven for long periods like cooking a roast but we often use it to warm bread, bake muffins etc. There may not be anywhere to eat out or the budget may not allow it so more cooking gets done on the boat. Our 25 yr+ Taylor propane stove has 2 burners, a griddle (2 burner size), stove and a grill under the griddle burner that we use constantly. I have never seen a grill feature on a new stove. I was ready to replace the stove until I looked at the new ones. Ours still functions with the exception that we have to use a bbq lighter to light it as the spark ignitor button doesn't work. After a few sessions of cleaning it looks ok. All our friends with new boats and smaller stoves were envious of the grill feature. We have been cruising through the Windward Islands in the Caribbean and it has usually been too windy to use our barbecue grill. My suggestion would be to give your existing stove a good going over, maybe replace the burners if still available and live with it for the first year. Lots of other things to spend money on in a refit.

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Old 22-03-2012, 05:35   #3
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

I mostly use the oven for bread, pizza or fish/meat when cooking on a bbq is too windy/too much heel. Sometimes for baked veggies - little work, much taste. Also excellent for hiding important electrical stuff during lightening storms (faraday cage).

But to cook in a gas oven, you should make it more efficient by placing an unglazed clay plate (if you want to go fancy, then a pizza stone) at the bottom for better heat distribution.

Some people say that you use more gas cooking in the oven than on a stove, but if you don't want until it pre-heats, and are judicious about temperature, in my experience, its gas expenditure is comparable to stove top. And not pre-heating works wonders to the bread making it better risen and tastier.

Note, I like cooking and I cook a lot, while at anchorages and while underway, only taking a break during bad storms (45kn+ on a 35' boat). I have a full kitchen setup. My usuall meals usually require 5-7 separately cooked parts.

So it MOSTLY depends on your style of cooking. If you don't use the oven now, you'll likely not use it [much] while cruising. And you can cook bread on the stove (several recipes) and pizza on a bbq (if you get the timing/temp right, it turns out wonderfully).

Regarding gimballed: get it. It'll reduce the risk of getting scalded and having to pick food out of the bilge while underway and on rolly anchorages (and when that ferry/powerboat decides to go by right in the middle of your cooking).
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Old 22-03-2012, 05:56   #4
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

To me, the oven feature on the stove is essential. I wish I had a broiler. I bought an extra rack, so that now I can cook more than one pan at a time. If you don't use an oven on land, you probably do not see the need for it on a boat. When you start cruising, your meal planning, fixing, cooking may change drastically. Plan for the future use of your galley, not the present use.
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Old 22-03-2012, 07:15   #5
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

I'm in agreement with some of the earlier comments, If you don't use an oven a lot at home, you probably won't miss it.

We only have a stove top and grill on our boat and I have never felt the need for an oven. While we are weekend and vacation sailors, we do spend a lot of time aboard and we do cook a lot.

IMO, between a grill and stove, you can cook just about anything.
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Old 22-03-2012, 07:52   #6
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

Originally Posted by svpattyd View Post
....I wish I had a broiler...
Yes, if the OP is going to spring for a new stove anyway then I don't think the broiler option adds a lot of cost. Sure is handy for more delicate types of fish!
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Old 22-03-2012, 08:32   #7
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

When we were shopping for our boat this spring, we originally felt that an oven was a "must have" since we bake bread almost daily at home. After looking at many variables, however, we opted to buy a boat without one. One of the main reasons we changed our mind was our cruising location. We will be in the Sea of Cortez, and we realized that we probably wouldn't ever want to turn on an oven down below when it's over 100 degrees outside. Just a thought to consider if you'll be cruising in warmer climates.
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Old 22-03-2012, 09:06   #8
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

We have an LPG stove with oven, gimballed. In real bad weather we always use the oven, not the top, to cook our food. In port, we bake buns and cakes. On passage, we bake bread 2-3 times a week.

I would rather go cruising in a boat without nav instruments than in one without proper galley with oven.

If you consider any longer cruising, place a stove with the oven at the top of the must haves.

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Old 22-03-2012, 09:35   #9
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

We prefer a gimbled stove with a oven and broiler. Even tho we use a bread mach for our bread makeing. Connies a baker, pies cakes, even home made bagles!! I enjoy doing roasts and large cuts of Fish in the oven. and the broiler works great for those days when it's just to bad to use the BBQ!! I know it depends on the weather where you are but if you have proper ventilation the heat go'd away pretty fast!! we also have a one burner gimble stove mounted on a bulkhead close to the main hatch for heating water fast for coffee or tea real nice when it's kickin up !! just our 2 cents
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Old 22-03-2012, 09:44   #10
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

No an oven is not necessary. IMHO any stove on a boat must be gimballed, it's positively dangerous not to be.

We too have a Taylors propane stove with the broiler, I wouldn't be without it. I probably use the oven on a daily basis. From roasts to bread to cakes. But then I love to cook.

Perfectly feasible to cook pretty much whatever you want just on a two burner with a pressure cooker. Done that in my distant youth! Bread, roasts,desserts.

Go with what feels right for you.
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Old 22-03-2012, 19:56   #11
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Interesting I was on a Challange boat a few years ago. Designed to race to windward round the world with a big crew. The stove was awarthships and not gimballed. It was set into a counter top !

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Old 22-03-2012, 20:04   #12
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

An oven is nice, but if you're asking the question then it's probably not essential. We use the stove top and barbecue grill for 95% of our cooking. We welded a small SS windshield over the vents on the grills, and it works fine in winds up to at least 25 knots.
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Old 22-03-2012, 20:16   #13
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

Gimballed stove top, absolutely, but gimballed oven nice to have.

Moving to pressure cooker techniques is the way to go offshore, we feel, but if you have a rail barbeque, you can also do a lot. Trouble is, they are rarely gimballed. For safety and comfort reasons, you want gimbals, if only to avoid sloshing welcome foods like omelets and soups onto the galley floor.

Keep in mind that a rotating plate microwave will not function in more than a five-degree heel, either. Stuff will just bang off the door.
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Old 22-03-2012, 20:33   #14
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

G'day, mate. Gimbaled Force 10 3-burner, oven with broiler here. Use the oven bit 2 to 3 times a week at least. All good input above. If you intend to "be out here" for a long time and like to have a bit of variety in what you eat, "don't leave home without it". All the best. Cheers.
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Old 22-03-2012, 21:06   #15
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Re: How important is a stove with an oven and gimballed question

Let me also add that if you don't use an oven, you can still store pots pans there.


Lack of an oven might be a deal-killer if you want to sell the boat.

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