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Old 30-09-2019, 12:17   #1
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Induction cooktop and pan comparison

Well, it's taken a while, but after the trauma of my last thread, I'm going to try posting again, and see if this forum is the community for me. If Kenomac comes and tells me I'm not fit to step onto a boat again I don't know what I'll do....

Anyway, I thought I'd share some results of testing 6 different single burner induction burners, and a variety of cookwear. For background, we are doing a comprehensive refitting our 38' Bill Garden Walloon ketch, which has a teeny interior by modern standards for a boat of this length, and a wee little galley. We decided to gimble a single 1800w induction burner, and have a 2nd portable 1800w unit that we can pull out of a drawer and deploy onto the counter when needed. I can't think of when I've used more than one burner on passage, so only gimballing one seems fine, and when at anchor or dock, we can pull out the 2nd burner. We are also considering embedding the 2nd burner flush with our counter top, un-gimballed. So when not used it will just be glass counter top, but when we need a 2nd burner, we just slap a pot on there, and let her rip.

I tested all units by timing how long it took to boil a pot of water, rating their noise levels, both fan noise and the whine/screetch that some people can hear, especially with an empty or low-mass pan. (Younger people tend to find it annoying, so I enlisted my 7 and 9 year old boys to give their opinions.) I also compared how evenly they heated a pan by sprinkling a pan with flour and observing the white/brown/black gradient as the flour toasted then scorched. It turns out all the burners are similarly even, that is more down to cookware.

Ikea Tillreda: This is the one we selected for our gimballed setup. Good price, major brand, so easy to replace with like unit if necessary without having to rebuild our gimble setup when a fly by night brand disappears. It had our favorite form factor, a large flat glass rectangle that I think will look great when we build a gimbaled tray for it. Fastest heating (not sure if more efficient, or pulls more watts than others, despite same 1800w rating). UI more awkward than some, but you figure it out in about 2 minutes, so no big deal.

Sandoo HA1865: This will be our 2nd "portable" burner. Good price, smallest form factor, which is important for a 2nd burner that will be stored away, and will have to push other stuff aside on the counter to find a space. Just as powerful as others, performs just as well. Dead simple UI, and only unit with tactile buttons which I liked.

Duxtop 8500ST: An internet favorite. Of the six I tested, this was the only one that was noticably quieter than the others. Both fan noise, and the high pitched whine that my kids complain about when I put an empty pan on high, were noticeably less on this unit than any other. Downsides, is it had cracks and crevices for food and grime to get caught in, is has a clunky tall form factor, looks kinda crappy, and most importantly has arbitrary 1-10 heat levels, rather than telling me the wattage which I much prefer. This is made worse by the fact that different power levels jump different wattages.

Duxtop 9600LS: I had high hopes for this because it is the "new" Duxtop, and I hoped it would be quiet like its predecessor, and solve the form factor problems since it has no crevices for grime to build up. But it was just as loud as the others, is more expensive than others, and still uses a 1-10 heat levels. So no thanks.

iSiLER 1800watt: Peformed fine. Nice glass top. Fatal flaw was slow responding buttons in the UI, so frustrating to change heat levels quickly.

Sandoo HA1865: Performed fine. Didn't distinguish itself, good or bad.

Pans! I tested heat evenness by sprinkling the whole bottom with flower and seeing how even the browing flour was, and if it scorched in spots. I think pan construction will be the key difference between those who love induction cooking, and those who hate it. Sadly, existing cast iron and steel pans don't work very well. They get plenty hot, but because iron and steel are relatively poor conductors they get wicked hot spots, far worse than our home gas range. I would call them barely usable. Our all-clad sauce pans, and frying pans are a mixed bag. If they are magnetic stainless, they work very well. About half our existing all-clad is magnetic, and half isn't.

I bought 3 pans specifically marketed as induction compatible from IKEA.

OUMBÄRLIG was the winner. Cheapest, at only $20, it has a thick aluminum base, and a handle that doesn't get hot. It was superbly even heat across the whole bottom, best of any pan I tested. Quality seems very high, it uses Teflon Platinum plus, and I think the coating will hold up too. Only downside is that the large thermal mass of the thick base makes for slow heat-up, but it is well worth it to have even heat, and more stable heat mass.

IKEA 365+ was a step up in price at $30. It looks great, but it performed horribly. Terrible hot-spots, pretty much as bad as my steel pan, uncomfortable handle that got hot. In this case the "cheaper" construction technique of the OUMBÄRLIG which has a disk on the bottom is better

TROVÄRDIG is their highest end pan at $40. It really is beautifully constructed, and as a person with some very high-end cookwear, this compares favorable. If I were cooking on gas, I'd keep this one. While it performed much better than the KEA 365+, it still couldn't beat the thick aluminum bottom of the OUMBÄRLIG, wasn't quite as even, the handle is less comfortable, and the cooking surface is kind of convex so oil runs the the outside, which I don't like.

Hopefully someone finds this useful! Maybe even Kenomac!
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Old 30-09-2019, 14:54   #2
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

I only read the first page of your previous thread before I shook my head and went on to other things. I don't think you were treated well. I have thoughts but they aren't relevant here and might replicate something in the posts I didn't read.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
Anyway, I thought I'd share some results of testing 6 different single burner induction burners, and a variety of cookwear.

I've made my feelings pretty clear that induction is not as appropriate as gas on cruising boats. I won't repeat that. Promise.


Instead I'll pick on your cooking. *grin*



First I thank you for a very rational approach to testing. You couldn't possibly test everyone but you did more than most people. Good for you.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
We decided to gimble a single 1800w induction burner, and have a 2nd portable 1800w unit that we can pull out of a drawer and deploy onto the counter when needed. I can't think of when I've used more than one burner on passage, so only gimballing one seems fine, and when at anchor or dock, we can pull out the 2nd burner.

Here is where I take issue. Two burners and an oven I can manage, but one burner? Spaghetti and meatballs? Linguini and clam sauce? Roast pork loin and roast veg? Chicken and rice? Steak night with steamed broccoli! Burgers and oven fries? Onion béchamel for crepes (not kidding - super easy and a great offshore meal, especially with sauteed spinach and mushrooms). I just don't know how you go one or two weeks with only one burner.


How to make coffee and eggs and sausage all at once?


What do you eat offshore?



By the way, did you check for electronic noise on HF and VHF? That would be really interesting. Nets happen at breakfast and dinner. Did you bring them home and test or could you do it in the store? There's an IKEA not terribly far from me so I could pitch in....


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Old 03-10-2019, 06:37   #3
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
Well, it's taken a while, but after the trauma of my last thread, I'm going to try posting again, and see if this forum is the community for me. If Kenomac comes and tells me I'm not fit to step onto a boat again I don't know what I'll do....

Anyway, I thought I'd share some results of testing 6 different single burner induction burners, and a variety of cookwear. For background, we are doing a comprehensive refitting our 38' Bill Garden Walloon ketch, which has a teeny interior by modern standards for a boat of this length, and a wee little galley. We decided to gimble a single 1800w induction burner, and have a 2nd portable 1800w unit that we can pull out of a drawer and deploy onto the counter when needed. I can't think of when I've used more than one burner on passage, so only gimballing one seems fine, and when at anchor or dock, we can pull out the 2nd burner. We are also considering embedding the 2nd burner flush with our counter top, un-gimballed. So when not used it will just be glass counter top, but when we need a 2nd burner, we just slap a pot on there, and let her rip.

I tested all units by timing how long it took to boil a pot of water, rating their noise levels, both fan noise and the whine/screetch that some people can hear, especially with an empty or low-mass pan. (Younger people tend to find it annoying, so I enlisted my 7 and 9 year old boys to give their opinions.) I also compared how evenly they heated a pan by sprinkling a pan with flour and observing the white/brown/black gradient as the flour toasted then scorched. It turns out all the burners are similarly even, that is more down to cookware.

Ikea Tillreda: This is the one we selected for our gimballed setup. Good price, major brand, so easy to replace with like unit if necessary without having to rebuild our gimble setup when a fly by night brand disappears. It had our favorite form factor, a large flat glass rectangle that I think will look great when we build a gimbaled tray for it. Fastest heating (not sure if more efficient, or pulls more watts than others, despite same 1800w rating). UI more awkward than some, but you figure it out in about 2 minutes, so no big deal.

Sandoo HA1865: This will be our 2nd "portable" burner. Good price, smallest form factor, which is important for a 2nd burner that will be stored away, and will have to push other stuff aside on the counter to find a space. Just as powerful as others, performs just as well. Dead simple UI, and only unit with tactile buttons which I liked.

Duxtop 8500ST: An internet favorite. Of the six I tested, this was the only one that was noticably quieter than the others. Both fan noise, and the high pitched whine that my kids complain about when I put an empty pan on high, were noticeably less on this unit than any other. Downsides, is it had cracks and crevices for food and grime to get caught in, is has a clunky tall form factor, looks kinda crappy, and most importantly has arbitrary 1-10 heat levels, rather than telling me the wattage which I much prefer. This is made worse by the fact that different power levels jump different wattages.

Duxtop 9600LS: I had high hopes for this because it is the "new" Duxtop, and I hoped it would be quiet like its predecessor, and solve the form factor problems since it has no crevices for grime to build up. But it was just as loud as the others, is more expensive than others, and still uses a 1-10 heat levels. So no thanks.

iSiLER 1800watt: Peformed fine. Nice glass top. Fatal flaw was slow responding buttons in the UI, so frustrating to change heat levels quickly.

Sandoo HA1865: Performed fine. Didn't distinguish itself, good or bad.

Pans! I tested heat evenness by sprinkling the whole bottom with flower and seeing how even the browing flour was, and if it scorched in spots. I think pan construction will be the key difference between those who love induction cooking, and those who hate it. Sadly, existing cast iron and steel pans don't work very well. They get plenty hot, but because iron and steel are relatively poor conductors they get wicked hot spots, far worse than our home gas range. I would call them barely usable. Our all-clad sauce pans, and frying pans are a mixed bag. If they are magnetic stainless, they work very well. About half our existing all-clad is magnetic, and half isn't.

I bought 3 pans specifically marketed as induction compatible from IKEA.

OUMBÄRLIG was the winner. Cheapest, at only $20, it has a thick aluminum base, and a handle that doesn't get hot. It was superbly even heat across the whole bottom, best of any pan I tested. Quality seems very high, it uses Teflon Platinum plus, and I think the coating will hold up too. Only downside is that the large thermal mass of the thick base makes for slow heat-up, but it is well worth it to have even heat, and more stable heat mass.

IKEA 365+ was a step up in price at $30. It looks great, but it performed horribly. Terrible hot-spots, pretty much as bad as my steel pan, uncomfortable handle that got hot. In this case the "cheaper" construction technique of the OUMBÄRLIG which has a disk on the bottom is better

TROVÄRDIG is their highest end pan at $40. It really is beautifully constructed, and as a person with some very high-end cookwear, this compares favorable. If I were cooking on gas, I'd keep this one. While it performed much better than the KEA 365+, it still couldn't beat the thick aluminum bottom of the OUMBÄRLIG, wasn't quite as even, the handle is less comfortable, and the cooking surface is kind of convex so oil runs the the outside, which I don't like.

Hopefully someone finds this useful! Maybe even Kenomac!

Hi Ohthetrees

Thanks for the very useful review and the hot tip about using flour to test for heat distribution. I did not think there was such a difference between “suitable” pots and pans. I am still a novice when it comes to using induction cooking.

Now that winter woolies are needed here, the reduction in available solar power unfortunately means that I need to wait a few months before I pull out our induction cooktop. I will test out my pans in then and try and remember to report back in this thread.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
I've made my feelings pretty clear that induction is not as appropriate as gas on cruising boats. I won't repeat that. Promise.
A variety of cooking methods is extremely useful when cruising. If nothing else, it gives redundancy. For me, anything I can do to reduce the need to cart gas bottles ashore and try to find replacements/refills is a huge benefit. Although our gas oven is used year round, in summer excess solar power means a portable induction cooktop is used daily for most of my stove top cooking. By the time this is not viable, the hotplate on our Refleks diesel heater takes over.

It needn’t be all or nothing .

SWL
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Old 03-10-2019, 15:34   #4
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

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....
You couldn't possibly test anything but you did more than most people. ...

It appears to me that the second half of that sentence completely negates the first half.

I have edited the post to read everyone. Pete7
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Old 03-10-2019, 15:49   #5
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

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We are also considering embedding the 2nd burner flush with our counter top, un-gimballed. So when not used it will just be glass counter top, but when we need a 2nd burner, we just slap a pot on there, and let her rip.
If you still keep the 2nd one free then you also have the flexibility to use it in the cockpit if you desire.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:11   #6
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

Thanks for the review. I haven’t seen the IKEA model and it looks very nice for the price.
I like the concept of the second burner as needed instead of installed. We rarely use the second burner at the same time so that would work for us as well.
Nice review and I am sorry about how the first thread went. It was not CF’s finest moment. :-)
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:33   #7
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

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I have edited the post to read everyone. Pete7

Thanks. That's close to what I meant - I was heading to "everything"
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:54   #8
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

I have not tested anything from Ikea but here are some results I have:

I love the professional grade cooktops but they don’t work better; they are far more robust and may have more features. I have 5 different ones of which 2 professional models and I like them all.

For pots and pans I like LeCreuset, Lodge and both cast iron and steel Chinese woks. In my experience the cast iron works best and the more they weigh, the better they work.

Our most favorite cooktop is a 3,000W Cooktek that requires 240V/60Hz. With an induction rated kettle, it boils water twice as fast as an electric kettle, but it also has 100 real power levels plus an accurate thermostat mode. I don’t use this one on the boat, where I limit them to 1,800W.

About being suitable for sailboats: we prefer to use diesel over propane, especially when part of the time we can substitute it with solar power
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:36   #9
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

I'm going respectfully disagree with just about everything Auspicious wrote.

I have a 4 burner gas stove and two portable induction hobs on board. The induction is so great that I just about never turn the gas on anymore. Induction is perfect on a cruising boat, even without lithium batteries.

Furthermore, 2 burners are quite enough, at least for us. I don't think I ever used more than two burners at a time on the gas hob. One offshore in conditions where gimbal is necessary is enough for us.

The better of our two induction hobs is a Nuwave; works superbly and is highly recommended. I put it right on top of the gimballed gas stove at sea.

Big kudos to Ohthetrees for excellent data.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:00   #10
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'm going respectfully disagree with just about everything Auspicious wrote.

I appreciate your respect and assure that it is returned.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have a 4 burner gas stove and two portable induction hobs on board. The induction is so great that I just about never turn the gas on anymore. Induction is perfect on a cruising boat, even without lithium batteries.

I'm not a big fan of three or four burner stoves. The offset weight means I am moving a pot of water around to keep the gimbal level. Two hobs are plenty. My point above is that sailing without an oven is limiting. Sure, I miss my old six burner Thermador cooktop. I still managed to make two gallons of homemade pasta sauce last week and canned ten pints and two quarts as well as making dinner for two and leftovers for a lunch.



I have safety issues with induction. I have RFI issues with induction. I have issues with cooking surfaces that aren't gimballed (these will be fixed but for now require custom work). I worry about the glass cooking surface of induction. I don't take issue with two hobs.


Catamarans by the way are no exception to the gimballing requirement.


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One offshore in conditions where gimbal is necessary is enough for us.

I'm firmly of the belief that sailing and cruising need not be camping. One burner/hob is camping. There are certainly a lot of one-pot meals but 1. they get tiring before an ocean is crossed and 2. many recipes end with 'oopsy' statements like "serve over rice."



Chicken and rice: oven and a burner.
Chili over rice or pasta: two burners
Tuna steak with steamed veg: two burners
Roast pork loin and roast veg: oven
Ribeye steak and steamed broccoli with roast potato: two burners and oven
Eggs and bacon: I cook bacon in batches ahead in the oven, eggs on burner, but where does the coffee get made?
Lasagna and salad: oven
Enchiladas and refried beans: either oven and one burner or two burners
Chicken tikka masala: two burners


There are a lot of soups and stews that would seem to only need one burner that really deserve two for sweating onions and garlic, sauteing mushrooms, cooking pasta, and otherwise preparing things to go in the pot. Recognizing that offshore cooking always takes longer than ashore and often cooking is a collateral duty the extra time for prep and washing up to work around one burner is a burden.



The pasta sauce I made last week and home (boat?) canned needed two burners. I could probably do it on one but I would have had trouble with food safety limits or cut the batch in half.


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The better of our two induction hobs is a Nuwave; works superbly and is highly recommended. I put it right on top of the gimballed gas stove at sea.

Have you increased the counterweight in your gas cooker to account for the height of the induction hob?


Quote:
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Big kudos to Ohthetrees for excellent data.

I agree.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:27   #11
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

Thanks for the reviews!

I use a mixture of induction, solar and gas - an electric kettle to heat up water, solar oven to bake stuff and an induction burner for other stuff. As a backup in case of some cloudy days (I don't have a genny) I still have my 2 burner/oven propane stove.

I also tend to use the propane on passage, as the pot holders work better on it.

I love electric cooking though - it was one of the reasons I moved to lithium
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:34   #12
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

Gimballed and all! 4 "burners" and a convection oven. What's not to like?
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:20   #13
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

I have some general remarks: threads like these most people comment based on their personal opinion without any reasoning. This may work for the “count the votes” crowd but not for anyone who wants to understand the reasoning behind the choices. Research this sh!t people, prepping food at sea is one of the most important things aboard and the top most important thing to keep up morale.

For example, choice of pots. IKEA, really? Why does the convenience of having IKEA stores around the world make those pots and pans suitable for the galley?! That’s BS! Testing results are usable but not when only IKEA pans are in the test!?

At least check out some well respected sources like ATK (America’s test Kitchen) like here: https://youtu.be/QZ3ZsLRgmw0
Remember you need induction so for this 8” skillet it’s not the winning Oxo but the AllClad
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:07   #14
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

Sometimes a subject like this are the same as long keel vs fin, or skeg vs spade. People cling to the past and don't believe change is good or makes sense.


I'm a believer in an electric galley. It's reached the point where it works, it's safe and bloody convenient. Just make sue you set up your boat right for it - get the right battery vs charging setup in place first, and then get the right pots and pans.


BUT - do it before you set out on a cruise. Make sure you understand and debug it fully so that you don't get caught with your pants down in some remote spot.



Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I have some general remarks: threads like these most people comment based on their personal opinion without any reasoning. This may work for the “count the votes” crowd but not for anyone who wants to understand the reasoning behind the choices. Research this sh!t people, prepping food at sea is one of the most important things aboard and the top most important thing to keep up morale.

For example, choice of pots. IKEA, really? Why does the convenience of having IKEA stores around the world make those pots and pans suitable for the galley?! That’s BS! Testing results are usable but not when only IKEA pans are in the test!?

At least check out some well respected sources like ATK (America’s test Kitchen) like here: https://youtu.be/QZ3ZsLRgmw0
Remember you need induction so for this 8” skillet it’s not the winning Oxo but the AllClad
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Old 06-10-2019, 15:23   #15
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Re: Induction cooktop and pan comparison

I did some experiments as well motivated by the recent ban on alcohol sales in CA. I was considering a replacement for my Origo 6000 cooker. Here are my findings:

The Origo is rated as a 7,000 BTU per burner alcohol stove. It takes 5 min 30 sec to boil two cups of water (16 oz). I tested the same pot at home with a 5,200 BTU and a 9,100 BTU natural gas burners. I got proportional results of 7 min 20 sec on the smaller one and 4 min 40 sec on the bigger gas burner. The key finding though was that when you use gas or alcohol to warm water only 23% of the produced heat goes in the water. The rest is wasted in heating the surrounding air and producing moisture.

I did the same test with a 1,000W ceramic burner and it boiled the water in six min 30 sec. However, 45% of the produced energy went in the water, thus electric heat is nearly 2x more efficient in the heat transfer from the plate to the pot. I can only guess that induction plates would be even more efficient.

Finally, if you use an electric kettle to boil the same amount of water, the heat transfer efficiency is 80% or nearly 3.5x more efficient that gas/alcohol.

I draw the following conclusions. If you are really big on cooking, by all means get a gas stove with super powerful burners, may be on 9,000 BTU and one 15,000 BTU. This is the best setup but it does waste a lot of heat. If you are an average cook, you can get an electric induction plate plus an electric pressure cooker plus an electric kettle and you will likely be better of - not that much draw on the batteries, no propane except for the grill, no extra heat/moisture produced in the cabin. We have definitely reached a point in time when electric cooking makes sense on any boat with at least 440AHr batteries plus an inverter. Also, always boil water in the electric kettle. There is no substitute for that.

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