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Old 18-08-2012, 13:45   #181
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

My first book, Cooking on the Go, is out of print but is available for pennies on Amazon and it was written for sailors and campers with no oven, no refrigeration.
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Old 18-08-2012, 20:46   #182
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I am having trouble getting good info for canning meat. Any suggested sources for info? Many thanks
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Old 18-08-2012, 21:03   #183
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

Sometimes government science for the sake of science can pay off. Start with the USDA.

USDA Canning Guide

Not sure about the recipes, but the basics are all there in great detail, including the theory behind what you're doing. Good place to start. The website I linked is the National Center for Home Food Preservation, lots of interesting information besides canning. Of course, you may want to look for similar information that's 150 years old, before the lawyers got involved and when it was everyday knowledge.
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Old 18-08-2012, 22:50   #184
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

I have been living without the icebox this Sydney winter. Milk has been keeping for nearly three days.
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. - Voltaire
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Old 19-08-2012, 01:09   #185
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

An excellent discussion with many good ideas but I am surprised no one seems to have mentioned pickles or sprouts.

Many vegies can be pickled when they are getting to the end of their fresh use by date. You can also buy many different styles of pickled vegetables if you are not into preparing them yourself. Then their is sprouts. Sprouting seeds like peas can provide a source of fresh roughage as needed. Just a little forethought to makesure they are ready when you need them.

But the what must be the best reference for the storage, shelf life and preservation of foods without refrigeration must be Beth Leonard's COOL WAYS TO KEEP FOOD WITHOUT REFRIGERATION: Fridge-free tips and tricks that work even in the tropics. It is available on
It comes with comprehensive tables on food types and their use and storage qualities. Beth is a career cruiser who writes and talks extensively about her experiences on her blog
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:57   #186
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

I've lived without a fridge for about 12 years now. I am currently in Malaysia.

In the UK, Holland, even Italy I could survive. Our icebox takes 10kilos of crushed (fish) ice which then lasts about 10 days. Here in Malaysia it is better to have block ice, as it last so much better. The trick is to get the icebox cold. If we have been without ice for a while the icebox ends up warm and nasty (moldy mildew even wiping it down with bleach), so it takes a couple of days to bring the temp down, but once it is down it works well. It does need to be kept full and, in extremis, I have used crumpled up newspaper or plastic shopping bags (you tie them, blow them up and tighten the knot) to fill space in the icebox and keep the temperature down.

I bottle meat and vegetables and store cheese in oil, wrap my lemons and limes in foil and do all the food preserving stuff I know (chutneys are wonderful), but I would love a fridge. Storing butter in an English summer is not a problem, but it becomes a puddle of oil in the Red Sea. Keeping stuff in the bilges works well, unless your water temp is above 20 degrees C.

My ice box is small enough that with an Engel I could probably turn it into a freezer, which would be great for passage making - just freeze everything and eat it as you go along. However, on our first big trip, which was to the Azores from Falmouth England, we filled the ice box with beer, a frozen chicken, a frozen leg of lamb and vacuum packed steak and ice. 10 days out we had a roast lamb dinner. So do I really 'need' a fridge? Probably not, because, being on a small boat our passage times can be quite long and power consumption is an issue, especially as we have a watermaker (would not have made it down the Red Sea without it).

So, yes I would love a fridge. Can I survive and eat well without one? Hell yes!

But there is something sublime about a cold beer at the end of the day.

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Old 01-10-2012, 04:24   #187
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

I have a condensator typ of coolbox on board. Good for drinks, less for foodstuff.
I should have an Engel, but they are are to come by for a decent price.
My boat (steel) is well insulated, save for the tiny elevation of the roof. That part of the boat works as a heat exchanger : it transmits outside temperature to the inside of the boat.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:25   #188
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Thai pickled meat platter..
But I survive.. just..
Boatman61: When are you holding your next cooking class?
Sign me up mate!
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:25   #189
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

I lived aboard with my girlfriend (now wife) for many years and sailed from Block Island to New Zealand without refrigeration. We did fine and I never felt a hardship except when we did 26 days without stopping across the Pacific. But then again, the joy of having ice cream and a steak at the end was a fitting celebration after a long passage... Bottom line is, if you can afford it and the solar panels and wind generator to run it, go for it. Our next boat will have one.

However - If you are on a budget and want to go cruising, best to wait to spend the money unless the wife wont go without a fridge. In the early days of your cruising, if on a budget (and that means 10-15K saved up for a year), you would be wise to save the money for the inevitable repairs to untested old systems rather than drop a few grand you might need later. You can easily lose an engine or transmission in the first year and then your fridge and associated power systems may have cost you your cruising. Out of cash means getting a land job and that easily turns into a few years in a place you did not plan on. For many the end of real voyaging.

I am a strong proponent of the no-fridge thing, but that cold sundowner, or god forbid ice, is pretty special when you have it. It might be worth it after you have the rest of the boat somewhat sorted out.

My 2 cents.

Also- I have never once dipped an egg in anything, parrafin, wax, vasalene.. Never had a bad egg. I think it is because in the tropics they were never refrigerrated to begin with. Mayo in a squeeze bottle does not go bad. Without mayo for tunafish and develled eggs life is a hardship ;o) No one ever beleives me about the mayo but it is true. Does not even get nasty looking. Same as out of the fridge.

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Old 03-07-2013, 06:42   #190
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

I agree with s/v jedi. I have it all. I like it all. My solar panels and KISS wind generator provides me with the power I need to run it all. Maintenance I can do. At the end of the day a cold beer and ice for my drinks. I even have a popcorn machine that runs off my inverter. No problem! I have a Spectra water maker. I can take a shower anytime I want. No need to capture rain water. I have all the electronics and I don't have to stumble around in the dark to use them. I don't have to live like a caveman. I don't have to eat raw food like a caveman and if you want to live that way go ahead. But don't make excuses for not having what you need to live on a boat and then go home to those things you gave up when sailing. Having those things on my boat doesn't mean my sailing adventures are less than yours, it just means when I arrive I do it with style .
s/v "The Lady Margaret Ann"
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:54   #191
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

One of the things I noticed after completing a crossing without refrigeration; was that cold beer tasted that much sweeter, and fresh meat was to die for, so having that pleasure withheld for some time made its satisfaction all the better. Mind you I still like refrigeration and do have on board my vessel now. There was a time...
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Old 07-07-2013, 13:13   #192
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
All that preach to go without fridge are living in houses with fridges and freezers and what not

The ones that truly go without are eating cold beans straight from cans because it makes them feel tough and macho

Us wimps on the other hand, have fridges and freezers aboard and prepare meals that are a form of art. Strangely, all those who have no fridge aboard would love to be invited for a cold beer (wonder why that isn't a subject yet) and dinner... while they themselves can never return the favor because they have no cold beers and dinner to serve. Guess what, polarizing starts right there

The end result is that those who can't afford a fridge come up with a thousand excuses and reasons why it is better without a fridge. They still fish for invitations though...

Nick, that really hurts. I'm neither macho nor do I eat cold beans. As a cruising sailor who loves the most "out" of the Bahamas Out Islands, I can't tell you how many people I met Out There whose lives were governed by their inability to live without refrigeration. Sailing schedules are built around where to get ice. Budgets are ruined by having to have parts flown into a foreign port. Restocking becomes necessary when freezers went down and months of costly provisions are lost. Once delivered a boat to a remote island, where the fridge went down and the (wealthy) owners had to fly in a mechanic and all sorts of equipment and spares. 'Way out of my price range. I can make a whale of a meal without a fridge. Entertaining is frequent and no problem. (No beer, though. The drink of choice is rum with water or fruit juice, no ice.) I love refrigeration but when my friends left on their circumnavigation I begged them to take a pressure cooker and plenty of canning jars and lids. Their engine-driven fridge system broke down in the Indian Ocean, both because of engine trouble and refrigeration itself. They saved their frozen supplies by canning them, then went some weeks without refrigeration until repairs could be made. Signed with love and a dinner invitation from Janet Groene.
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Old 07-07-2013, 15:30   #193
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

There is no right or wrong,- no proper way. I've lived aboard for twenty years without refrigeration and for twenty years with refrigeration. I must admit to not canning. The process and equipment for proper canning seems excessive aboard when I can easily buy canned meats and vegetables,- even canned breads. I've never been interested in meals that are "a form of art" and I've never craved a cold beer. I enjoy the companionship of others when invited aboard, but even when I did not have refrigeration, I was not longing for their stores. I can do well with beans out of a can or the fare of fine restaurants. Some of us just don't care beyond the desire to have a healthy diet.
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Old 07-07-2013, 15:40   #194
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

jedi--as i dont drink it, i wont ask for a beer from ye, nor ice, as i do not use it.
i dont eat cold beans out of a can or any of that other stuff, either....

and even if i did come by for ice, it would be with a really good bottle of sipping rum or something nice to share.

i might live cheap but i am not a cheapskate--there is a biiig difference!!
life is an adventure meant to be LIVED!!!!
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Old 07-07-2013, 16:22   #195
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
Some of us just don't care beyond the desire to have a healthy diet.
You can't have a healthy diet eating from a can. The perservatives , the BPA, the over cooking, the additives, it goes on and on.
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