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Old 06-08-2019, 10:38   #106
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by David1033 View Post
In the Netherlands, refilling propane bottles except at special plants is illegal too. However, one neighbour we had found a way around that law. He had a couple of 60 or 80 liter propane tanks bought at a truck and car wrecking site; while using one, he would take the empty one, in the back of his car, to our local petrol station (gas pump) to fill it. Being from a vehicle, the filling hose fitted the valve perfectly. Being a neighbour (the pump is only 40 yards from our boat), the attendant turned a blind eye. Back in the day, that was even cheaper than individual propane bottles. He only had to fill tanks two or three times a year, and he had a huge houseboat that needed plenty of heating.

Refilling REFILLABLE propane bottles is one thing. I've seen it done, of all places, in Sweden. It's illegal, and there are some dangers in the process, but so long a you don't overfill them (!), they are safe once the process is done.


Refilling DISPOSABLE gas canisters is insane. Sorry to be blunt -- but this kind of advice can get people killed on a boat.


In general, if you are going to use propane, follow ABYC. That means -- never bring the gas container into the interior of the boat. Keep the gas container in a proper gas locker with overboard drain. Use a solenoid valve to shut the gas off every time you are not using it, and from outside the hull volume. Use a gas alarm. Be careful.



Don't use disposable gas containers, which are notorious for leaks and failures. And refilling them! Jeez, just forget about that.
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Old 06-08-2019, 18:51   #107
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Re: Efficient cooking

I kind of like the idea of using all the energy to heat the food instead of heat the pot or pan it is cooked in. IE microwave in plastic or glass container. Microwaves would seem tp be more energy efficient but then I have heard that microwaves themselves are very INefficient.

I suppose some tests need to be made by equalizing the overall energy input and seeing which approaches will bring a known quantity and temp of water to a boil the fastest and or which approach requires the most input energy to bring the water to boil regardless of speed.

I simply cannot believe that magnetic induction can be more efficient than running electricity through a heating element and letting it get red hot to either bake or serve as a cook top.
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Old 06-08-2019, 19:03   #108
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
I kind of like the idea of using all the energy to heat the food instead of heat the pot or pan it is cooked in. IE microwave in plastic or glass container. Microwaves would seem tp be more energy efficient but then I have heard that microwaves themselves are very INefficient.

I suppose some tests need to be made by equalizing the overall energy input and seeing which approaches will bring a known quantity and temp of water to a boil the fastest and or which approach requires the most input energy to bring the water to boil regardless of speed.

I simply cannot believe that magnetic induction can be more efficient than running electricity through a heating element and letting it get red hot to either bake or serve as a cook top.
Having just tested this,
Microwave is about 45-46% efficient, 122% of the energy that goes into the food is lost to cabin.
Butane is about 50% efficient, the same about of energy is lost into the cabin as goes into the food.
Induction is about 76-77% efficient. About 31% of the energy that goes into the food is lost to cabin.

I have not yet tested convection ovens or air fryers. Still trying to devise a test regimen and acquire the equipment.
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Old 06-08-2019, 23:26   #109
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Refilling REFILLABLE propane bottles is one thing. I've seen it done, of all places, in Sweden. It's illegal, and there are some dangers in the process, but so long a you don't overfill them (!), they are safe once the process is done.


Refilling DISPOSABLE gas canisters is insane. Sorry to be blunt -- but this kind of advice can get people killed on a boat.


In general, if you are going to use propane, follow ABYC. That means -- never bring the gas container into the interior of the boat. Keep the gas container in a proper gas locker with overboard drain. Use a solenoid valve to shut the gas off every time you are not using it, and from outside the hull volume. Use a gas alarm. Be careful.



Don't use disposable gas containers, which are notorious for leaks and failures. And refilling them! Jeez, just forget about that.
I agree entirely with you.

I did mention that our neighbour had two propane tanks removed from vehicles; the tanks were officially approved for filling at gas stations when in a vehicle. He sort of misused the law by placing the tank in back of his station wagon, driving to the pump and filling it. It was 'in a vehicle', even if not properly installed in the original vehicle it was intended for. The tank was also equipped with a pressure gauge, so he never overfilled it (by much). His set-up at his home was pretty safe and well executed. The tank lived outside on the side deck of his boat, with a shelter to protect it from the elements, but open to allow any leakage to simply go overboard; the connections to hes domestic system were all official and correctly done. This was simply a case of 'interpreting' the law to advantage.

House-boat people in Amsterdam had to be creative, back in the day. Nowadays, there is so much control, and there are so many restrictions, life seems to be a bit 'stifled'. (Sorry, a bit of nostalgia for the "good ol' days") LOL
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:58   #110
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Re: Efficient cooking

When microwaves were beginning to get popular in around 1975 there were lots of tests and questions about efficiency and it was compared to hot plate type stoves heating up pots pans etc. Then by accident they tested an electric pan/skillet that had the heating elements inside the pan and they found that by far that was the most efficient cooking method and I never forgot that. Now comes the induction stuff and I dont trust it. I'd like to take a portable induction hot plate of 1500 watts and an electric skillet of 1500 watts and run them both on high with and amp meter to see current draw and time the heating of water to boiling.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:08   #111
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by David1033 View Post
I agree entirely with you.

I did mention that our neighbour had two propane tanks removed from vehicles; the tanks were officially approved for filling at gas stations when in a vehicle. He sort of misused the law by placing the tank in back of his station wagon, driving to the pump and filling it. It was 'in a vehicle', even if not properly installed in the original vehicle it was intended for. The tank was also equipped with a pressure gauge, so he never overfilled it (by much). His set-up at his home was pretty safe and well executed. The tank lived outside on the side deck of his boat, with a shelter to protect it from the elements, but open to allow any leakage to simply go overboard; the connections to hes domestic system were all official and correctly done. This was simply a case of 'interpreting' the law to advantage.

House-boat people in Amsterdam had to be creative, back in the day. Nowadays, there is so much control, and there are so many restrictions, life seems to be a bit 'stifled'. (Sorry, a bit of nostalgia for the "good ol' days") LOL

None of what you describe bothers me all that much. Everyone of course has to decide what seems acceptably safe and what doesn't.


It's an entirely different matter what you do with gas INSIDE the hull volume, and what you do with it at a filling station or dockside or on your aft rail. People need to realize that what is a harmless leak anywhere else, with the gas just draining away and dissipating, can be like a hand grenade in a boat where nothing can just drain away out of the bilges.



Almost every year someone in the UK is killed by an LPG explosion on a boat
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I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:12   #112
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Having just tested this,
Microwave is about 45-46% efficient, 122% of the energy that goes into the food is lost to cabin.
Butane is about 50% efficient, the same about of energy is lost into the cabin as goes into the food.
Induction is about 76-77% efficient. About 31% of the energy that goes into the food is lost to cabin.

I have not yet tested convection ovens or air fryers. Still trying to devise a test regimen and acquire the equipment.

Actual data -- great!


You should measure the heat lost from a normal resistance electric stove and include in the mix. I guess it will be similar to butane.


Induction is highly efficient because unlike normal electrical resistance, it doesn't heat up a whole stove eye and pan and the air around -- it induces heat right in the bottom of the pan and no where else. It's NOT more efficient for boiling water than an electric kettle (which is nearly 100% efficient because the heating element is entirely immersed in what is being heated), but for anything else, it simply rules.
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"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:47   #113
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
Then by accident they tested an electric pan/skillet that had the heating elements inside the pan and they found that by far that was the most efficient cooking method and I never forgot that. Now comes the induction stuff and I dont trust it. I'd like to take a portable induction hot plate of 1500 watts and an electric skillet of 1500 watts and run them both on high with and amp meter to see current draw and time the heating of water to boiling.

I think you'll find that cookware with its own heating element has roughly the same efficiency as induction.


I have not been able to find a wide enough range of electric cookware to be able to use it exclusively, and it is bulky to store.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:30   #114
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Having just tested this,
Microwave is about 45-46% efficient, 122% of the energy that goes into the food is lost to cabin.
Butane is about 50% efficient, the same about of energy is lost into the cabin as goes into the food.
Induction is about 76-77% efficient. About 31% of the energy that goes into the food is lost to cabin.

I have not yet tested convection ovens or air fryers. Still trying to devise a test regimen and acquire the equipment.
The measurement that “matters” is amount of BTUs or kWHrs needed to cook a given meal. All the energy used goes into the cabin eventually unless the hot food is immediately rushed outside after cooking.

The most efficient is probably the well insulated electric cooker; ala Foodie Ninja and the like.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:53   #115
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
None of what you describe bothers me all that much. Everyone of course has to decide what seems acceptably safe and what doesn't.


It's an entirely different matter what you do with gas INSIDE the hull volume, and what you do with it at a filling station or dockside or on your aft rail. People need to realize that what is a harmless leak anywhere else, with the gas just draining away and dissipating, can be like a hand grenade in a boat where nothing can just drain away out of the bilges.



Almost every year someone in the UK is killed by an LPG explosion on a boat
I hope, and I like to think, that anybody who spends a lot of time on a boat and who uses propane is aware of the dangers, and of all the safety precautions that should be taken into account.

Currently, we have 11 bottles in a big, solid timber box on the landside of our jetty. The box is open around the bottom; a flexible pipe runs from the box, 22' along the edge of the jetty, over to the boat where it connects to a copper pipe. The copper pipe runs 14' across the back of the boat then about 38' along the outside, along the edge of the side deck, where it then enters the interior and is connected directly via a 'T' coupling to the geyser and to the cooker. The geyser and cooker are approximately 2'6" apart, separated by the bulkhead forming the wall between the kitchen and bathroom. Both cooker and geyser are close to the outside wall and any leakage (unlikely, because I check it regularly) will drift out through vents, and not end up in the bilges.

By the way, those 11 bottles last us about 16 17 months, that's for bathing, washing, washing up, boiling water and cooking two or three times a day on a four ring cooker Usually only two or three rings in use at any one time. The eleven bottles worth of gas costs us about 250 Euros (say 182 Euros per year, used 365 days)
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:08   #116
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by David1033 View Post

Currently, we have 11 bottles in a big, solid timber box on the landside of our jetty. The box is open around the bottom; a flexible pipe runs from the box, 22' along the edge of the jetty, over to the boat where it connects to a copper pipe. The copper pipe runs 14' across the back of the boat then about 38' along the outside, along the edge of the side deck, where it then enters the interior and is connected directly via a 'T' coupling to the geyser and to the cooker. The geyser and cooker are approximately 2'6" apart, separated by the bulkhead forming the wall between the kitchen and bathroom. Both cooker and geyser are close to the outside wall and any leakage (unlikely, because I check it regularly) will drift out through vents, and not end up in the bilges.

You might want to check whether that flexible pipe is rated to withstand the continuous flexing that results from the movement of the boat. Most flexible pipe is listed for flexing during installation and service, not continuous movement. Usually people use hose specifically designed for propane.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:40   #117
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Re: Efficient cooking

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You might want to check whether that flexible pipe is rated to withstand the continuous flexing that results from the movement of the boat. Most flexible pipe is listed for flexing during installation and service, not continuous movement. Usually people use hose specifically designed for propane.
Fair point. The hose is specifically designed for propane. I have triple wrapped it to protect against UV, acid rain and small nuclear devices.

The flex points are:
A) at the box, and only when I change bottles (ie, once every 50 - 90 days in Summer, a little more frequently in the colder seasons.
B) From a raised pole at the end of the jetty to the copper pipe on the boat; It passes through a rubber ring fixed to the pole, hangs in a smooth catenary, then comes up to join the downward facing pipe, so there are no sharp bends anywhere.

Movement of the boat is minimal, amounting to about 18" fore-and-aft, and maybe 8 - 10 " sideways in a heavy blow. We've had force 10 on several occasions and the movement, while, er, interesting, doesn't put any strain or wear and tear on the hose. The only restraint, really, is on the actual age of the hose - unprotected, it's advised to replace it every four to five years, and with the protection I've put on it, we've had more than ten years from it without problems, no rotting, porosity or weakening. - I think I will replace it next year anyway, whether it is necessary or not.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:43   #118
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Re: Efficient cooking

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Having just tested this,
Microwave is about 45-46% efficient, 122% of the energy that goes into the food is lost to cabin.
Butane is about 50% efficient, the same about of energy is lost into the cabin as goes into the food.
Induction is about 76-77% efficient. About 31% of the energy that goes into the food is lost to cabin.

I have not yet tested convection ovens or air fryers. Still trying to devise a test regimen and acquire the equipment.
Adelie, I am not following your math, especially on the microwave. Don't the numbers need to add up to 100%?
Or are you telling us microwaved food goes colder faster ?
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:06   #119
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Re: Efficient cooking

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FThe only restraint, really, is on the actual age of the hose - unprotected, it's advised to replace it every four to five years, and with the protection I've put on it, we've had more than ten years from it without problems, no rotting, porosity or weakening. - I think I will replace it next year anyway, whether it is necessary or not.

Propane is a solvent that causes rubber and other elastomers to deteriorate. No propane hose will last "forever." It isn't the UV that is the problem, it's the propane. Since the damage occurs from inside, there aren't visible indications.


There have been two regulatory approaches to dealing with this.


In North America, the approach is to use a nylon liner inside the rubber (or PVC) hose. The nylon serves as a barrier and does not deteriorate as quickly as the other elastomers in the hose.



In Europe, the approach is to use a thicker hose. The idea is that, while the rubber will progressively deteriorate from the inside out, the extra thickness provides a reasonable safe lifespan.


Flexible pipe is another thing entirely; there are corrugated and smooth versions made from brass, copper, and stainless steel, with various pros and cons. With propane any of them will last a very long time but they can corrode from exposure to salt and can be damaged from repeated bending or contact with rocks etc.



Be safe
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