Five Ways to Conserve Propane

In addition to the tips listed in CW's July issue, these five hints can help you conserve your cooking fuel.

Conserving Propane
Carolyn Shearlock

Make bite-sized pieces: The smaller the pieces of food, the faster they'll cook. However, cutting pieces smaller than about 1-inch cubes can mean that the dish will turn into one unappetizing, mushy blob.

Use a pressure cooker: Pressure cookers cut cooking time in half or less for foods that would otherwise simmer for lengthy periods.

Don't bake: Most casseroles can be cooked in a covered skillet on the stove top, which will use less fuel. And there are many recipes for no-bake cookies that either take just a few minutes on the stove top, or no cooking at all.

Use canned meats: Since they are already cooked, meals made from canned meats cook much faster—the meat just has to be heated through. While many people equate canned meat with "yucky mush," it doesn't have to be bad. My husband, Dave, and I have lived on canned meat for months at a time, and never felt deprived.
**
Have starch smarts:** If you're looking for a starch to serve something else over and are trying to conserve propane, be aware of the relative cooking times of rice, pasta, and couscous. The length of time needed to cook traditional brown rice is about 45 minutes, traditional white rice is about 15 minutes, pasta usually cooks in 8 to 10 minutes, and couscous just has to be brought to a boil, then covered and removed from the heat.

Be sure to pick up the July issue of_ Cruising World_ to see 12 more ways to conserve propane and keep the heat out of your boat.