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Old 15-02-2015, 13:35   #1
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Multicookers and Induction Hobs

I am slowly getting the boat ready for this year's long cruise (4 months across the North Sea and through the Baltic and back). They say generals always fight the last war, and so it is with skippers -- trying to be sure not to repeat last year's mistakes.

One thing that caused a mild amount of hassle last year was cooking gas, since the systems are incompatible between UK and Continent (hey, what's the EU for ,anyway?). I do now have all the kit to use a Finnish gas bottle, and will be sure to take an extra Calor bottle this year, but I remember wanting to have electrical cooking ability.

I have been reading about multicookers (like the Tefal, Cuisinart, Redstone, etc.) and this seems like a great thing to have on board -- anyone ever use one? It looks like a combination of slow cooker (which I've wanted on board anyway; which function the gas stove does badly), steamer, rice maker, and all kinds of other functions, all in one compact package which shouldn't be harder to store than a couple of pots. I'd be interested to hear people's experiences. Uses only 1400 watts or so, so realistic to use even on the dinky shore power connections we sometimes get in the Baltic.

The other thing I want is a one-burner induction hob -- also cheap, easy to store, and will cook stuff if the gas runs out or if you don't feel like using it.


The last bit of electrical cooking would be to change the built-in microwave I have and love (really love; use it more than the gas stove) for one with built in convection. That's a bit of a project so not sure if I will be up to it this year, but that might be the most rewarding of all. Convection ovens are the very t**s, especially compared to a crappy boat gas oven.
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Old 15-02-2015, 15:06   #2
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Re: Multicookers and Induction Hobs

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have been reading about multicookers (like the Tefal, Cuisinart, Redstone, etc.) and this seems like a great thing to have on board -- anyone ever use one? It looks like a combination of slow cooker (which I've wanted on board anyway; which function the gas stove does badly), steamer, rice maker, and all kinds of other functions, all in one compact package which shouldn't be harder to store than a couple of pots. I'd be interested to hear people's experiences. Uses only 1400 watts or so, so realistic to use even on the dinky shore power connections we sometimes get in the Baltic.

The last bit of electrical cooking would be to change the built-in microwave I have and love (really love; use it more than the gas stove) for one with built in convection. That's a bit of a project so not sure if I will be up to it this year, but that might be the most rewarding of all. Convection ovens are the very t**s, especially compared to a crappy boat gas oven.

We've used a multi-cooker for years, but not an electric one. On the electric (ceramic top) stove, on the boat; on gas stove at home. Induction on the boat would be even better, and we'll switch if our cooker stovetop goes south.

This would be a larger pot, usually with a pasta insert, steamer insert, sometimes including a colander. The first ones we've had have been thin metal, blue stuff with colored flakes in it (might be called "ironware" but I don't think there's any iron near 'em), if you know what I mean. Not particularly quick to boil water -- thin metal -- but otherwise it works great. The one at home was approx. 6 qt outside pot, the one on the boat is probably more like 4-qt. In any case, we use it a lot, and generally like it.

Can't say as I can envision using it as a slow-cooker, though. Perhaps that's a feature at an electric model you've seen?

A slightly better solution is where the main pot has a decent heat sink, similar to the Cuisinart "Chef's Classic Stainless" (and others) system. Aluminum bottom, encased in stainless, top and bottom.

I mention this partly because you included that brand, but also because we've just been through the goat-rope to swap out all our home kitchen pots and pans for new. And we ended up with Cuisinart... which happens to be pretty much the same as the nesting stuff we have on the boat. (Lids interchange, etc.)

One point is that they only sell one specific size as open stock in our particular line: 12 qt. Looks nice, but we can't use anything that size, even at home -- and I wouldn't want to deal with the storage issue. They make a few others, in our line, 9-qt I think... but they only sell that in a 14- or 17- piece set, not as open stock.

BUT... we just found a 6-qt one the other day, by Denmark. Looks near enough like a Chef's Classic Stainless thing, much better size for us. And it does indeed boil water faster than the old stuff.

On the topic of microwave/convection... we've got one of those on the boat, too. Works great. Our boat came equipped with it, but I wouldn't call it much of a project. Out with the old, in with the new. Maybe the hardest part might be shopping for dimensions that'll work, as for instance if you want got it inserted in cabinetry.

Assumes a genset, of course. Other threads might discuss whether they'll work from inverters; I haven't had to care about that.

-Chris
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