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Cruising Tips: Six Essential Galley Gadgets

Simplify your life on-board cooking experience with these clever tips from Bill Cullen

1 Flame Tamer

We find that our gas stove burners can’t go low enough to simmer sauces or slow-cooking items like rice without burning them. Until we started using the Flame Tamer (the generic term is “heat diffuser”), we usually burned our rice and singed our sauces. This round metal plate with a wooden handle reduces the heat under your pot. You can buy one at a hardware or kitchen supple store for about $10.

2 Lingerie Bags

These small mesh bags are typically used for ladies to put their under-things in when before they get washed. They are sturdy, with a zipper, and have about a two-gallon capacity. I use them to organize the fridge. I put salad stuff in one, meat and cheese in another, fruits and veggies in third. When it comes time to cook, I quickly reach in and grab everything I need. Things don’t get lost, and I don’t get yelled at for keeping the fridge lid open too long.

3 Dish Pegs

While sailing heeled over, we couldn’t open our dish cabinet wihout them all sliding out. We installed 4in pegs in the cabinet shelf to hold them in and keep pots and pans from falling out. The pegs are easily removed and can be configured in any way by drilling more holes into the shelf.

4 Soda Stream

We use this amazing machine to make diet coke and tonic water on our boat. The cost of buying soda in some places will certainly give you pause, and to bring enough sodas for a long cruise is a real burden. In addition, we find the biggest benefit is that we don’t generate trash from cans. Less cost, less to store, less trash. What’s not to like?

5 Ziplocs & Ice Pick

Some folks don’t mind ice cube trays, or don’t mind not having ice all the time, but on our boat, we’ve found a better way. Each night, we fill a small Ziploc bag half full with water and put it in the freezer. The next morning, we have ice. We leave it in the bag, put the bag on the cutting board and stab it with the ice pick to create cubes and shavings. The leftover ice stays in the bag and goes back in the freezer for the next round of cocktails.

6 Spray Bottle

Want to save water when rinsing the dishes? We use a spray bottle to spray off our clean dishes instead of running them under the tap again. It works well and uses a fraction of the water.

What creative solutions have you devised to simplify the cooking in your galley? Let us know! sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Bill "the Gadget Guy" Cullen sails his Catalina 350, Triumph, in Tampa, FL. He has been sailing for 50 years as a delivery skipper, yacht broker and racer and shares the lessons he’s learned in his seminars on gadgets, cooking and anchoring.

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