Cooking with onboard gas may become a thing of the past with induction technology in seafarers' lives
We are all accustomed to using gas to prepare food and hot drinks both onshore and on the water. However, advances in yachting technology can greatly facilitate and improve our galley work.
Induction cookers have not yet found widespread use in the yachting world, but everything suggests that this situation will soon change.
A dozen years ago, you couldn't even think about using electricity to cook food on a cruise yacht. However, a lot has changed on this issue over the past decade. In particular, a number of effective and very affordable ways have appeared to provide the board with a large amount of battery charge, even on long journeys. For example, installing large lithium-ion batteries.
They will be able to ensure the smooth operation of induction cookers.
The transfer of energy in induction cookers is very efficient, because during their operation only the dishes and the food being cooked are heated, while the gas stove also heats the air. This is not very good in hot weather. In the opposite case (in cold weather), the burning gas promotes the release of steam with its further condensation. And this also does not improve the technical condition of the boat.
On long-distance hikes, cruisers usually face a lot of inconvenience associated with buying, transporting and storing various cylinders and adapters used in certain territories to ensure food preparation.
But, if you can generate and store enough electricity, you can fully fuel your induction cooking for a long time. Plus, the induction hob is easier to clean. And you will also get rid of the harmful effects of burning gas in a confined space.
A product for all time
GN Espace, which operates in the marine galley sector, has long been preparing to bring the electric induction cooker to the market while waiting for the necessary onboard infrastructure to be available in the marine market.
Its director, Ralf Olingschläger, says: “In 2008, at the very beginning, we designed our induction hobs so that we could start producing an electric version at the right time.
It was only a few years ago that the market began to change. Since then, on-board capacitance has tended to skyrocket. This has been made possible by an increase in the number of lithium batteries and a variety of means for generating large amounts of energy. "
And Olingschläger adds: "Despite some still existing limitations, for 45-65-foot boats, with their sufficient battery and generating capacity, GN Espace may already be bringing the above product to the market."
The electric version of OceanChef is a multifunctional hob that combines an induction hob with an oven equipped with a grill and defrost function.
The width of the slab is 50 cm. The maximum allowable power consumption is up to 3 kW. This means the cooker can be used with inexpensive standard inverter technology. And, nevertheless, there is a technical twist that allows you to quickly increase the power, supplying up to 2.5 kW per burner to quickly boil the liquid in the pan. Uses an algorithm to recognize the heat setting for heating from cold to simmer and then automatically reduce the heat setting for boiling.
There are also "parallel zones" that allow a large-bottomed pot or pan to fit between two induction zones.
What pitfalls did the developers face?
“Induction cooking is a mature technology, and the market demands size restrictions,” explains Olingschläger. - The problem is that on a boat (even a rather large one) the slab should be smaller than its counterpart on land. The development of our product was quite a complex process that required incentives for suppliers to make parts of smaller size and suitable quality.
OceanChef is considered to be the first electric hob with induction hob and hob designed for the maritime market.
For the first time such a plate was installed in September this year on the Arcona 465Z. The company also had "very encouraging" negotiations with a number of other quality yacht manufacturers.
Getting a little ahead of myself, I would like to inform you that our company plans to develop a more budget-friendly model of an induction cooker - smaller and with fewer functions, ”adds Olingschläger in conclusion.
To our knowledge, GN Espace is practically the first company to produce an induction hob with a properly preserved surface and a gimbal.
Of course, this company is not the only one targeting this market. For example, Dometic launched an induction hob for RVs back in 2016. And now he is developing a product for the maritime market.
Another American company Kenyon offers several models of induction cookers with two and four burners for outdoor cooking. Some of them are equipped with a silicone mat to prevent the pots from "fidgeting" over the surface.
However, neither of these two companies have presented gimbal models yet.
In terms of prices for the OceanChef Electric Induction Hob, the gimbal model starts at £ 4,794, without the gimbal it costs £ 1,295.
Other induction cooking options
If you do not already have lithium-ion batteries and a complete induction cooking system on board, you may consider purchasing a portable induction cooker with one zone that can be connected to shore power.
People with an interest in marine induction cooking are very optimistic.
For example, there is a related niche group on Facebook whose subscribers are discussing the possibility of purchasing a completely inexpensive induction hob that fits right on the countertop (the cost of such a stove at IKEA is about £ 40, excluding shipping costs).
Plus, cruise sailors love pressure cookers, which dramatically reduce cooking time, as well as save gas and reduce unnecessary heat generation.
Many cruisers also prefer to use their own bread. Of course, you can bake delicious bread on the stove, but a bread maker is still more convenient for this. In addition, there are very low-power models.
There is also a cooking option - solar cookers. Their main advantage is that they do not need to use any fuel, which is valuable for very long journeys, and the main disadvantage is their large size, which makes them take up a lot of space on the deck.
In any case, the choice of methods and devices for cooking on board is yours.
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