With space at a premium aboard most sailboats, gear needs to “earn” a place on the boat. Here are five of my absolute favorite galley products that have proved their usefulness over years of living aboard.
Does your oven bake unevenly? A baking stone (also known as a pizza stone) will even out hot spots and help the oven quickly return to temperature after the door is opened.
For use on a boat, get one that’s ½-inch thick so it’s not liable to crack, and make sure there is at least a 1-inch air gap on all four sides once it’s in the oven. Secure it in place with metal binder clips placed on the oven rack, then place a pan on the stone. The stone should not be cleaned or placed in water. Secured this way, it can be “stored” right in the oven and will heat up as the oven preheats.
On rare occasions, you can find one just the right size. Otherwise, most tile shops can cut one down, or take a look at californiapizzastones.com — their custom-sized ½-inch-thick stones are a good buy, even with shipping.
Don’t have an oven on the boat? If you want to bake and don’t want to get a whole new range, the Omnia stove-top oven is the answer. You can bake almost anything you can in a conventional oven, as long as it fits in the special pan (so a whole turkey is out, but a turkey-and-dressing casserole works well). And the new silicone liner makes cleanup a snap!
Heat rises through the center opening, and the lid deflects it over the top of the dish. Vent holes let steam out, eliminating the sogginess that can occur with trying to bake in a Dutch oven or pressure cooker.
The Boat Galley blog has many tips for success with the Omnia and a number of recipes, and the Facebook group Cooking on a Boat often discusses baking in the Omnia.
How would you like a dishcloth that never gets stinky, is easy to rinse out, dries in a heartbeat and does a super job even on gunky pans? It’s LunatecGear’s Scrubr — and yes, it does all that. And it’s a bargain at $8 for 4 of them.
Buy them directly at lunatecgear.com (check out their Aquabot for rinsing dishes too!), or on Amazon.
These silicone mats are perfect for air-drying dishes (recommended as more sanitary than towel drying) and they’ll protect your counters and table from hot pans. They are available from numerous companies to suit your needs; look for ones with an unbroken lip around the edge so that water draining from dishes doesn’t spread onto the counter.
In addition to galley duty, we use one under our portable generator and hookah air compressor to both protect the deck and keep them from “walking” during use.
The mats are easy to find in a houseware department or on Amazon.
The 4th Burner multipot is the most versatile pan I own — and its tiny footprint makes it perfect on smaller boat stoves too. It replaced my teakettle for boiling water, and is my go-to pot for pasta, eggs, potatoes and “tall” veggies such as corn on the cob and asparagus. And yes, it’s perfect for boiling or steaming lobster tails!
A strainer lid and pour spout are genius, and the steamer insert provides extra versatility. Cup markings on the inside eliminate wasted water – it’s easy to measure exactly how much you need. Silicone insulation on the handles means that you never have to search for a potholder before grabbing the pan or lid. The metal is all high-quality stainless; the bottom is particularly thick for even heat distribution. In short, it’s just a well-thought-out product with lots of nice little touches. The pot costs about $40 on Amazon.