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Old 11-07-2012, 08:29   #1
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What do you have in your refrigerator?

The popular "What's in your galley" thread gave me the idea for this one, since I am beginning construction of my own reefer/freezer for actual cruising, not shore-based living aboard.

I took a critical look at my own shore-based fridge and tried to extrapolate what I'd have or need aboard. Then I realized that the contents would vary considerable due to the proximity of local markets, what produce is generally available, the condiments I would probably be storing, and the sheer volume of drinking fluids I might need.

The reefer section of my unit will be limited to 2-3 cubic feet, not as large as I begin to see in my fantasy needs. I'm considering a second reefer unit just for gallon jugs of ice water (I drink a lot of that) which I would like to freeze in the freezer and store in the fridge to defrost. And the thought of storage for cold beer or bottles of Sodastream stuff begins to create a new reality.

So, how big, internally, is your reefer? And what is your general cruising area and normal fresh food storage? I'm assuming, for myself, that much of the stuff I think I need to refrigerate is actually unnecessary (Thank you Janet Groene, Carolyn Shearlock, et al.) such as eggs and tomatoes. There is no option for cold, boxed milk and home-made yogurt, and I'd sure like a piece of meat or fish for dinner on a regular basis. But what else do you see as either critical or merely hardship not to have at hand?
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:56   #2
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

I have two units--both are 3 cubic feet. One functions as a fridge, the other as a freezer. A fairly standard setup on larger sailboats, at least in newer models.

If the boat shows are any indication, the big question these days is whether to have an icemaker as well. I'd need an additional solar panel were I going down that road, and I have no idea where I'd put another panel, not to mention the icemaker.

Not having an icemaker, I keep a bottle of Tanqueray in the freezer. When it's time for TnT's, there's no need to cool them down with cubes.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:07   #3
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

I have found (actually, refound) two sources of info that are helpful, both originally from Cruiser's Forum contributors. Carolyn Shearlock's TheBoatGalley.com, provided us with a provisioning guide, in Excel format, that provided a strong base. The other, StillTasty.com, is a guide to shelf life and storage information on foods. Carolyn Shearlock may have been the original source, as well, I can't remember where I first encountered it. At any rate, using the provisioning guide as my start, I began adding those items I have in my own provisioning list, then added the shelf life and storage info. I realize now how much I rely on condiments and other forms of preserved foods, and how much better they remain while refrigerated, once opened. This has been very helpful because I now recognize the role of pickled foods (olives, capers, etc.), the cheese that I've taken for granted, yet plays such a part in my diet (sharp cheddar, jack, Parmesan - all in block form), and the sauces that I use regularly to spice up my food (raspberry/chilpotle, green taco sauce, steak sauce, soy sauce, etc.). And then there are the dairy products, opened, boxed milk, yogurt, butter, and the cheese, again). This exercise has made me more aware of how I eat, and the needs I have for food preservation.
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Old 15-07-2012, 07:58   #4
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

In the fridge we have mostly fresh fruits & vegetables, polish sausages, margarine/butter, milk, buttermilk, cheese, leftovers, open can of tomato paste, half of a 54 oz can of diced tomatoes, lime juice, prune lekvar, and a bottle or 2 of water, replenishing 1 as we drink off the first. Smaller sizes of beverage bottles might work better for 1 or 2 people, if you can't sacrifice the space for gallon jugs, and they take less time to defrost. Use them up faster and open the fridge less frequently. Take into consideration that the jugs will sweat a puddle of water in the fridge when defrosting, which can be a pain to clean up Vinegar-based condiments are usually stored in a locker, because they keep very well, and we don't have the fridge space. Soy sauce will rarely go bad with all the salt in it, so it's in the locker. 2 indispensable items I keep in the fridge are: Yeast for breadmaking and CHOCOLATE for coffeetime.

FYI for meat-eaters: My husband did a test to see how long a thick, 2 1/2 Foot Long smoked, dry-type Polish kielbasa sausage would keep outside the fridge. He hung it on a hook in back of the hood for 2 weeks, and we kept an eye on it. It was fresh and had a paper casing, so it didn't attract the flies, and it dried nicely. After 2 weeks we decided to start eating it before it was too hard to slice - once cut store in the fridge. Great stuff for adding flavor to bean soups, chili if you don't have fresh meat, pasta sauce, etc!
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Old 18-07-2012, 09:32   #5
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

Just the bare necessities
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Old 18-07-2012, 12:47   #6
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

Our fridge is small - approx 2 cubic feet - so we don't keep a lot of stuff in it that we used to when ashore. At the moment there is cheese, butter, milk, yoghurt, salami, bacon, parsley, cucumber, wine, beer, water, coke, lemonade, mayo, chutney and cream. That sounds like loads but there's not very much of each item (apart from cheese and wine!). We also have a very small ice box (the fridge cooler plate is shaped to make a box like the old fashioned fridges) which has a couple of very small bags of ice.

We don't refrigerate eggs or veg, preferring to keep them in the bilges where they seem to last long enough for us to eat them. Sauces and condiments keep well enough in lockers but homemade chutneys and jams are always refrigerated after opening.

We tend to hole up in a safe anchorage for the winter and then the engine room becomes an extended larder giving us extra space for keeping things cool.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:12   #7
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

We just got done with rebuilding our fridge box from soup to nuts. The original box was 11 cu.ft. We scaled it down to 4.5 cu.ft. The fridge is cooled by a 1 cu.ft. freezer box centered in the fridge.



We find that that is plenty of storage and often we don't use the entire space. Since the fridge box backs up against the hull, the original design of the box followed the contour of the hull. I didn't like the way everything just ended up in a big pile at the bottom so I stepped the box down, creating a beer-can sized "well" in the bottom of the fridge. We keep this stocked with cans of beer and ginger ale. All the food then sits on top and is easy to reach.



All the photos from the project are here:
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Old 01-06-2013, 16:45   #8
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

I know what they had in this one, and I'm not interested in bidding !!

Ebay item number


380647365041
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Old 03-06-2013, 14:45   #9
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

When space is limited, keep in mind that is NOT in the reefer. At least for the short term you don't have to refrigerate jam, mustard, relish, soy sauce, eggs, many types of cheese and sausage, and a zillion other things.
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Old 03-06-2013, 14:47   #10
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post

Not having an icemaker, I keep a bottle of Tanqueray in the freezer. When it's time for TnT's, there's no need to cool them down with cubes.
Wasn't there a story about Arctic explorers who found liquor in an abandoned camp site, downed it and died because it fast-frozen their stomachs?
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Old 03-06-2013, 15:08   #11
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

I think the only food that needs a freeze is meat. And I am a "vegetarian". So no freeze here, no need for one.

Sailing area unlimited, but preferably tropics.

Boats I work on/for have anything from a combo to dedicated multi-units - normally from 50 to 100 liters each. Given the amount of headache they tend to create, I elected to be freeze less in our own boat.

Whatever gadgets one is using in their shore life, they will drag it all onboard.

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Old 09-06-2013, 11:43   #12
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

Do you keep things in the fridge on the boat, that you would not on land? Reading through, I see things like fresh fruit, soy sauce ... things that it would never occur to me needed to go in the "fridge space" budget. And that's with our normal household size fridge!
But our house has AC and I assume most boats do not (certainly not included in any of our plans) - is that a factor?
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepblueln View Post
Do you keep things in the fridge on the boat, that you would not on land? Reading through, I see things like fresh fruit, soy sauce ... things that it would never occur to me needed to go in the "fridge space" budget. And that's with our normal household size fridge!
But our house has AC and I assume most boats do not (certainly not included in any of our plans) - is that a factor?
5200 and 4200 goes in the fridge.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:24   #14
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

i dont have fridge, but the box is filled with heavy stuff to offset batteries....
when i fix the area so it is usable, i should have 2 boxes, one freeze,one fridge, all-in-one units, inside the area which contains the useless box that used to once upon a time be the engine driven fridge.

then i will have food in them.....novel concept, as i have not had fridge capacity since 1990.....
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Old 09-06-2013, 13:54   #15
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Re: What do you have in your refrigerator?

our fridge is 6 cf. too big - couldn't reach the stuff in the bottom. so i filled the bottom with insulation boards and now it's 3.5 cf. works just fine. the freezer is the adler barbour evaporator. i bought the small one, wish i had bought the big one.
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