By Betha Merit
When purchasing equipment for your galley, less is often more. However, what are the essentials? What will fit your individual style and needs? The following guide will direct you in your quest.
1. What are galley essentials specific to you?
The galley becomes your kitchen away from home. You will want to recreate your daily cooking and meal style as much as possible. For instance, coffee, “There is nothing more satisfying than a ceramic mug full of rich, aromatic, coffee in the morning while standing at the helm,” says Brian Holt, lifetime boating enthusiast. For him, that means finding a coffee maker that works on the high seas, bringing a mug that is not stainless or plastic, and providing good water. Your needs can be personal and not all utilitarian.
2. Can I use it in the space available and stow it?
In the galley everything is smaller from counters to sink to drawers. Measure your areas of workspace. Measure your areas for stowing. This will assist you in choosing dinnerware, utensils, appliances and accessories. When storing, especially on open water, decide if your items need to be cushioned to keep them safe and silent. Factor that extra space into storing, and create a system that might utilize soft-sided thermal carry bags, used for shopping in hot climates or keeping drinks cold. Extra towels, bubble wrap or fleece are also options. Pressure cookers shorten your cooking time, as do crock-pots. Nesting pots, pans, bowls, and dishes will save space. Ask yourself if you have room to store it and most importantly, will you use it often?
3. Is it break and scratch-resistant, rust resistant, non-slip?
Higher quality makes the most sense over the long haul. The most expensive items do not necessarily mean they will last the longest and stay in the best condition in a marine environment. Do as much research by reading or talking to other galley cooks or boat owners as possible.
4. What materials work best?
You will want good knives, pots, and pans for cooking. Stainless steel is rust resistant and a great choice. Non-stick can make wash-up easier and faster. Bowls come in stainless steel and soft (not brittle) plastic, as do measuring cups and spoons. The markings on plastic may wear off quickly. Quality is a good thing.
Dishware should be purchased for fitting in its cabinet or cubby, and has many options. Break-resistant is a must. Plastic-ware, melamine, and Corelle are options. If you need things microwave safe that will be a criterion. Some materials scratch more easily as well.
Cups, glasses, and stemware have a lot to do with personal preference. Is a stainless steel coffee mug your choice, or do you prefer only ceramic, like our sailor mentioned above? Glass is to be avoided for obvious reasons. But this is your vessel and your style and budget. Thicker glass is less breakable, but that rich cabernet sauvignon will present better in crystal. You decide.
5. What about conservation?
Using non-disposable cups, dishware, and utensils conserves on trash. Using minimal cooking items that are easy to wash conserves on water. Manual tools such as can openers and wire whisks, and non-electric preparation of food will conserve the generator. Time conservation is a matter of choice, and will be a guiding factor in how you run your galley and choose your items. Do you love being in the galley or do you prefer to make your time there short and sweet? Lucky you, you can have it both ways, with proper planning.