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Old 15-03-2005, 20:07   #1
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Question Propane Oven usability

My wife is concerned with using a propane oven for cooking. She says that many people in Europe got rid of theirs because of difficulties in using propane. I'd love to know what experience folks have had out there using marine (Force 10, Seaward) propane ovens out there? How does it bake cookies? cakes? breads? meats?


Thanks for any info.

Keith
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Old 15-03-2005, 23:21   #2
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I am not sure what problems ones would be having. Dawn has cooked many meals on the boat in the gas oven. Now this is one advantage over the Microwave. Ummm, firstly we use LPG. I presume Propane gives off water when it burns just like LPG, but??
Anyway, everything comes out very moist. Breads and cakes and YEUUMM!! SCONES come out just lovely. Oh darn, now I am hungry again, that pie wasn't enough darn it.
We tend to use the gas oven when off shore power and Microwave when on. We used to heat water for drinks and cook toast on the top burners, but now we have a big inverter, we now do that in a kettle and toaster.
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Old 16-03-2005, 01:23   #3
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Re: Propane Oven usability

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Strygaldwir once whispered in the wind:
My wife says that many people in Europe got rid of theirs because of difficulties in using propane. Keith
Very few people in europe have replaced their propane/butane stoves. Most are quite happy to continue to use it, but are aware of the dangers (just like the rest of sailing really) Of those few that do change, some go for diesel power, and some for spirit stoves, but neither of these are as responsive as the gas.

Personally I use lpg for oven, fridge and water heating

Modern gas stoves have flame failure devices on all the burners (essential) and the top of the range even include thermostats for the oven.
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Old 16-03-2005, 06:13   #4
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Hmmm.

Up until a couple of years ago, my wife was born and lived in Europe. She updated me. She says her mother hated propane, her Grandmothers hated propane. Most of the friends she has use electric ovens. That is where she got the negative opinions. I suggested that it might have been the older oven that were an issue. She suggested I ask other cruisers about there day-to-day issues.

She says that she was told that it bakes unevenly. No real problems with the operation. She says that she has concerns about maintaining consistent temperatures and bringing the oven to a desired temperature.

LPG? Liquid Petroleum Gas? I don't see that nearly as often as I do Propane. Aren't there issues in obtaining refills?

Keith
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Old 16-03-2005, 10:04   #5
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lpg is the overall name for propane, or butane or a mix. More info than I ever want on this is at here .
In UK most summer cruisers will use butane, but for all round use propane is more useful.
re-fill between countries is a bit of a problem, but "Camping Gas" is a butane product that is widely available in Europe - just rather more expensive than the UK only product. My installation will take UK butane, and propane or camping gas by use of the appropriate adapter.

Older and cheaper ovens were undoubtedly a bit hit or miss, but the new top of the range goods are as good as home systems. They use a thermostat so oven temperature is no longer hit or miss. Mine (a tech impex) is at the cheaper end of the scale so only has a temperature sensor. All burners have flame failure devices, and the oven seal is good (the main cause of problems with older cookers) We have not had any real problems with it.

Personally I reckon use of high power electrics at sea is just as dangerous as gas. A lot of boats suffer from a power failure - at least with gas, the biggest problem is likely to be a need to change a cylinder.
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Old 16-03-2005, 11:56   #6
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For cooking tops, you just can't go past Gas. It is even the desired cooking tool for most Chiefs. This is because of the tremendouse control of the flame thus heat. However, a new technology is fast being seen on the bigger boats. The induction cooking method. This means you have no hot surfaces except for the pot itself. A big plus in a boat when the sea could be full of pot holes But they take huge power demands and really only suited to the super yachts and commercial vessels.
Gas ovens have come along way over the years. The Heat and O2 sensors have been available for many years, but I am surprised how many are still available if out them. I would never have a gas appliance on my boat without a flame failure sensor.

The biggest point to look for in a Gas appliance is the control of flame. Cheap units have poor control and it is hard to get a difference in cooking temps. The better units(I won't say more expensive cause they may not be) have greater control. Make sure you see a demo one working before you purchase.
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Old 16-03-2005, 11:58   #7
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I forgot to add though, the Microwave is probably the best and most efficient use of energy, providing you have the battery reserves to run it.
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Old 16-03-2005, 14:24   #8
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Also not sure what the debate is. We use our propane stove for almost everything. Only trickis to learn the temp for you oven. My thermostat is a little off but have learned to adjust cooking time for that.

Would recommend that you get a pressure cooker to use as well. They come in very handy off shore or when you want a quicker meal.
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Old 17-03-2005, 13:53   #9
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Thumbs up From Someone Who Likes To Cook

I agree with most of the replies. Gas is by far the best for reaction time (turning on the oven and/or cooktop and having the temp come up quickly).

I think the issue at hand here is more of a cooking issue than it is an oven issue. If you are cooking temperature sensitive items like breads and pizzas in a small oven that doesn't hold heat well (like a toaster oven or possibly a Force 10), you need to preheat that oven for a greater period of time to ensure even temperature across the whole oven.

No matter what the fuel source, it cycles on and off while the oven is set to any given temperature. The trick is to make sure as much of the bulk of the oven is heated to that desired temperature as possible before putting your food in to cook. This way, there is less cycling because the oven is not losing heat to other cooler parts of itself. It is now only losing heat to the air through the surfaces it alwasy loses heat through.

Long story short: Pre-heat a little longer with smaller ovens.

PS: As for using microwaves to cook.... I won't even go there.
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Old 19-03-2005, 13:52   #10
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I have a 300 gallon propane tank buried in the front yard and 2 - 5 gallon tanks on the boat.

Propane burns hotter than about anything else. It's also as dangerous as anything you can imagine if you fail to connect it properly with the proper safety equipment. Gasoline is not much less dangerous actually.

You turn the burner on and it's right there. The oven on the boat is like a real oven at home. I do have an electric oven in the house but in te past I've had natural gas. If you like gas you generally hate electric and there isn't anything like an electric oven for a boat.
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Old 29-07-2006, 14:25   #11
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Update:

After several months of use, she is okay with the propane stove. Initially there were some issues with it burning stuff at the bottom of the pan. What we did is to buy a baking stone (pizza stone), cut it to fit the bottom of the oven and placed it on the bottom shelve right above the burners. She generally sets the temperature about 25 degrees lower than a recipe calls for and she is good as gold!

The only issue she found was that we get a LOT more moisture in the boat. Not an issue when it was temperate and could open hatches, but when it was cold and we closed the boat, water would be driping down the hatches and windows. Small price to pay!

Cheer,

Keith
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Old 29-07-2006, 14:39   #12
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Hi Keith, we have a small hatch directlyu above the galley to let steam out. You can also install a small diameter vent pipe to take the heat and steam directly out. And I have also seen a Dorad vent directly above the galleyu with a small extracter fan installed so as it hard draws the moist air straight out. All the above are possibel answers to your problem. If the boat gets tooo wet inside, it also feels much colder. If you can keep the air dryer, it takes less actually heat in the room to make you feel warm.
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Old 29-07-2006, 18:01   #13
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Glad you are getting used to the propane oven. We have used propane for cooking for the past 11 years. 8 on the boat. The current stove is the Force 10 3 burner. The only issue we have encountered is the Peizzo fails on a regular basis. It starts working again once in a while, but to date, we have not found the problem. We use an oven thermometer and ignore what is on the control. Other than that, no issues. The two burner works better than the 3, it seems, regardless of the brand. We have had 3 different 2 burner stoves, and all have been great.
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Old 30-07-2006, 12:26   #14
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Keith, that much condensation inside a boat is not "small price to pay". It is recipe for mold, rot, unhealthy environment.

Proper ventilation is always the best "price to pay".

Deep
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Old 30-07-2006, 12:45   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui
Glad The current stove is the Force 10 3 burner. The only issue we have encountered is the Peizzo fails on a regular basis. It starts working again once in a while, but to date, we have not found the problem.
Don't know how old your Force 10 is but the eighties and early nineties ones had very poor wiring for the peizzo starters. One trip south and mine gave out. The newer ones seem a bit better, I specified a three-burner in my new boat and two and a half years later it still works. The new ovens seem to work better than the old ones (it's thermostatically controlled whereas with the old ones you had to watch the thermometer and reduce the flame) or maybe it's because it's smaller than the old model.
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