Essential Galley Gear: Boat Kitchen Equipment Made Easy
If you're traveling on your boat for an extended period, you're going to be cooking in the galley. Farther distances will require more efficiency and very likely some of our essential galley gear. We will outfit your kitchen to the teeth and focus on products that can save space in addition to minimizing the usage of your precious fresh water supply.
If you're starting from zero then this list can create a state-of-the-art galley that will last a lifetime. Those with galleys fully equipped already are encouraged to compare and contrast. For each entry, I implore you to ask yourself how this galley equipment compares to what you have and if it can possibly solve any of the problems you've encountered before.
Cleanliness Is Essential
When choosing anything, don't bother with them if they feature ornate little details. That flowery fork looks nice but that intricacy will catch dirt and end up costing you untold gallons. Boat cleaning wipes can quickly take care of spills, while Better Boat's boat scuff erasers are great for all types of cleaning. You'll be shocked at just how quickly they can remove the black marks from a pan. They come in a set, so you can use one in the kitchen and the other for general cleanup. The uses of these amazing little scrubbers seem limitless!
Stove-top Stove Talk
The first galley equipment entry is the one that you'll likely be using more than anything else: Your stove. We could write an entire article on this topic alone, and we just might one of these days! There are many different models with 2 or 3 burners with a wide variance in how compact they actually are. You might feel self-conscious doing so but I'd implore you to bring your favorite pan with you while going stove shopping.
You don't want to have your pots or pans infringing on neighboring burners if you decide to go for a more compact model. This is especially hard to determine when shopping online, but don't be shy about reaching out and asking questions via the company's contact form. Once you've determined how many burners and how much space you actually need, the next question is do you need a broiler?
I'd suggest a broiler even if you don't think you'll use it. You can toss your toaster in favor of the broiler and save a square foot of space instantly. I'd choose a stove with dark enamel as it holds heat better than stainless steel alternatives. There are also stove with push-button ignition but these tend to break fairly quickly. It can be convenient, but a butane lighter has never let me down.
A jumbled mess of cookware and containers is a nightmare in the making. Buy a set that nests neatly and do away with the pain of searching for one specific pot or pan. Stainless steel cookware is my preference but friends of mine swear by cast iron. While cast-iron feels great, it requires extra care and consistent use, or else it will start to rust. Have you ever had scrambled eggs with crunchy little rust deposits as a garnish? You don't want to.
A nested stainless steel cookware set will last you a lifetime and is definitely worth investing in, especially if you spend months at a time away from your boat. My spouse and I used to live aboard, but time is cruel and we don't get out as often as we once did. If I had invested in cast iron then we'd be at the point of needing to toss it all out. No matter what material you decide works best for you, you'll want to ensure that it can be stored neatly so that it only takes up a minimal amount of space in your precious cupboard space.
Water-Saving Galley Gear
We'll save the actual water filtering systems for another day but no matter what filter you choose, you'll always be dealing with a lack of fresh water. It is part and parcel of boat living, so don't waste it when you are able to attain it! As briefly mentioned at the start, the ease of cleaning is the biggest factor to consider when buying any sort of utensil. An extra 30 seconds of cleaning spoons or forks adds up to a lot of extra water usage over the course of a month or two.
Instead of using that fresh water to clean vegetables and the like you might consider investing in a vegetable brush. Instead of fiddling with a potato peeler that requires tons of extra time to clean you might consider practicing peeling with a knife. Or just eating the skin of those potatoes. There are all kinds of nutrients in potato skins! That's good eating! The quicker you can clean something the more water you'll save. Non-stick pans and silicone spatulas are invaluable. You will be shocked at how much water you'll save!