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Old 25-09-2020, 08:37   #1
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Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

This question hadn't occur to me before, but obviously in the days of Slocum and even up to the Golden Globe race, refrigeration wasn't available to the small boat they are in, and there wasn't packed MRE as well.


Say, you are going on a 3-4 week long voyage on a small boat without refrigeration, how do you provision for food and stuff?
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Old 25-09-2020, 08:58   #2
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

First it very much depends on your food preferences and diet AND very much on whether you will be at sea the whole time or have the option to reprovision. Not a problem to load up on cans of everything. It's the fresh food and such that gets tricky.

There have been a number of previous discussions that might be useful to read and cover the question in greater detail but a very short summary.

Onions, potatoes, garlic store well and enhance a lot of canned and dried foods. Cabbage can last a coupe of weeks or so. Carrots do ok for a couple of weeks.

Dried everything: rice and grains, beans of every variety, black-eyes, black beans, pintos, lentils, garbanzos. etc.

Eggs will last a while, especially if you can get them fresh and unrefrigerated.

Fruit. Some lasts a while like oranges, lemons, etc with some losses. Buy green fruit to let ripen like bananas. Apples store pretty well.

If you run out of fresh stuff and are at risk of scurvy grow some sprouts for the vitamins.
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Old 25-09-2020, 09:01   #3
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

And you can buy an Engel plug in refrigerator/freezer that works great and uses relatively little power.
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Old 25-09-2020, 09:14   #4
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

I see, lots of beans, rice and some cans.
I read there are some emergency food kits, these seemed ideal as they don't take a lot of space and preparations.
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Old 25-09-2020, 09:14   #5
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

the polynesians populated the pacific on rice,fish and coconut.
take a goat if you like fresh milk,and some chickens for fresh eggs.......
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Old 25-09-2020, 09:17   #6
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

Salt beef and hard tack
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Old 25-09-2020, 09:25   #7
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

Techniques we use for 6-month provisioning:

- water bath canning (pickling)
- pressure canning (meats, stews, sauces, soups)
- freeze dried versions (butter, eggs, milk, cream)
- dry staples (rice, oats, mashed potatoes)
- long term fridge (just not freezing for cheese, butter etc.)
- freezing (meats and fish, meat/fish salads, cream based sauces)
- vacuum packing (bread and baking mixes)

We’re testing this right now and we have run out of mayonnaise, ketchup, liquor, wine etc., all from the supermarket available items as we were too focussed on the self made items.
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Old 25-09-2020, 09:47   #8
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wckoek View Post
Say, you are going on a 3-4 week long voyage on a small boat without refrigeration, how do you provision for food and stuff?
We sailed twice around the world without using refrigeration. We actually had it on the first boat but did not use (was engine driven and did not like running the engine for it) and never felt we were missing anything.

Pressure jar canning is pretty terrific. You can actually end up with better than store-bought (less salt and other stuff).

Quite a lot that people refrigerate actually does not need it for a quite long time - like eggs. There are some tricks, like turning the eggs, and which fruits should not be stored near which other ones.

In the book voyager's handbook (beth Leonard) this is all described in some detail.

My wife was spectular - I still remember her baking fresh piza from scratch in the middle of an atlantic gale and it was absoluetly terrific - crisp crust, fresh tomatos and cheese and peperoni with a lovely red wine
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Old 25-09-2020, 10:00   #9
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

My previous boat had no refrigeration, and we routinely cruised for months at a time with no reprovisioning. We came at this live from wilderness canoe/kayak tripping, so we mostly used the same approach.

Most of our food is dried. Not store-bought dried. Dried ourselves. We dry our own fruit, vegetables, and meats. Once sealed properly this can last for many years. In addition, we would add stuff like dried beans, rice, pasta, couscous, eggs. And then we carried an assortment of canned stuff, mostly beans, veg and meat. It's quite easy to carry many months of food this way in a small space.

Dried food can largely be used the way you would use fresh. Just takes a bit of time reconstituting it, or cooking it.

Our current boat has refrigeration, but we still dry our own, and maintain a supply of about two months on board. It's great to supplement the fresher stuff, and ensures we never have to go in just to reprovision.
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Old 25-09-2020, 10:13   #10
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

Voyaging on a Small Income by Annie Hill has a large section on food storage techniques and expected shelf lives for various vegetables.
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Old 25-09-2020, 10:27   #11
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

Like everyone else:

Dry beans, chickpeas, lentils, pasta, oatmeal, rice, flour (or bring the grain and grind your own)

Canned vegetables and fruits

Root vegetables in a cool place

Meat self canned with a pressure canner

Oils, butter, eggs, etc

A full compliment of seasonings

Just using the above, we made incredible meals this summer without anything more than a tiny dorm fridge. The refrigerator was used to store leftovers and open condiments.

With better planning, you could have no leftovers and use single serving condiments.

Some of our menu this summer:

General Tso’s chicken
Beef dumplings
Vegetable dumplings
Chicken, rice and beans
Shepard’s Bean (Shepard’s pie using black beans instead of meat)
Butternut squash soup
Chicken pot pie
Bolognes and hot Italian sausage bolognes
Crepes
Blueberry Pancakes
Corn Muffin
Blueberry Muffins
A meat, vegetable and potato meal
Fresh lobster
Fresh haddock
Fresh mackerel
Fish made with potatoes and vegetables
Genuine, real NY bagels
Genuine, real NY pizza
Butter Chicken
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chotputi
Daal
Naan
Roti
Fresh baked bread as needed
Tortilla wraps as needed
Burritos
Chips and salsa (home made salsa)
Guacamole
Omelets
Chocolate chip cookies (scratch)
Brownies (scratch)
Cake (scratch)
Ropa Vieja
Samosas
Fish and chips
Falafels
Peach cobbler
Cereal with UHT milk
Masala Chai
Popcorn
Quinoa
Roast chicken (hey, you are in port sometimes and going ashore. Might as well pick up something to bring home to cook)
Apple pie
Blueberry Pie



In short, MREs are for chumps. Ha ha

It’s WAY less expensive, WAY better food and WAY more healthy to provision properly for lacking refrigeration.
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Old 25-09-2020, 10:39   #12
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

I think about this a lot and make note of cool, shelf stable items I see in stores.

Big Lots sells shelf stable cheese (smoked gouda, pepper jack).

South River Miso does not need refrigeration.

Ghee. This is clarified butter to the point that ALL the water is boiled off. You can buy this or make it at home (use only unsalted butter--ask me how I know). Google it. It will last for months in a mason jar.

If you bring regular store bought milk to a boil every day it does not need refrigeration. I have had milk last up to 7 days like this. The key is, immediately when it boils, take it off the stove/flame. If you don't take it off immediately it will scorch. You can leave the milk in the same pot you boiled it in just keep a lid on it; I use my pressure cooker. Use a medium or a medium-high heat.

Sweetened condensed milk in a can in lieu of cream and sugar for coffee.

If what you cooked for lunch is vegetarian (butter/ghee is okay) you can put a lid on the pot and reheat it for dinner. It won't spoil. I wouldn't do this with mayonaise-based cold foods like potato salad or anything made with meat/chick/fish.

Except ceviche. It does not need cooking.
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Old 25-09-2020, 10:45   #13
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

In addition to these fine ideas, you might try searching on "cruising without refrigeration." There are gobs of posts on this very subject, books on cruising have chapters on it, and a Google search will lead you to both nautical and camping experiences.


Good luck, safe journey.
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Old 25-09-2020, 11:57   #14
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

I search and found these emergency food in bucket by companies like "Augason Farms", "Ready Hour".
They don't take a lot of storage, nor seemed to need a lot of water for preparation and aren't terribly expensive as well, have anyone tried this or let least use it for emergency situation?
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Old 25-09-2020, 12:02   #15
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Re: Food preparation for long voyages without refridgeration

OP is looking for info about unrefrigerated food storage, not emergency food supplies.
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