Stainless-steel cooking tools with an everlasting shine.
The combination of metal elements in stainless steel make stainless the metal of choice in the harsh marine environment. Stainless steel is comprised primarily of iron combined with a minimum of 10.5 percent chromium. Other metals, such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium and copper are added to the alloy to enhance strength and toughness. Marine grade stainless resists corrosion and maintains its strength at high temperatures. Stainless steel is commonly used in boat rigging, boat fixtures and fittings, and stainless steel items are also an excellent choice in the boat galley. Stainless steel appliances are a long-time staple in commercial kitchens and homes; they’re long-lasting, easy to clean and germ resistant. Note, though, that while stainless is corrosion resistant, it is not corrosion proof and saltwater must be rinsed off galley items with a fresh water to prevent corrosion. Saltwater can rust kettles, knives and thermoses through oxidation. Practical Sailor editors have selected the following stainless steel items as top choices for attractive and long-lasting additions for the galley.
Every galley needs its mugs, and the EcoVessel stainless steel mugs are an excellent choice. Two layers of 304 stainless keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. The double barrel design travels from hot morning coffee and tea, to mid-day soft drinks and cold happy hour brews. The mugs come in three sizes: 8 ounce mugs cost $8; 16 ounce mugs are $22; 32 ounce mugs are $30.
Yeti products have skyrocketed to popularity in recent years and the Yeti Lowball and Bottle Rambler series are good stainless steel additions for the galley. The Lowball mug can be used for sunrise coffee and sunset cocktails, while the three sizes in the Bottle series can be filled with either hot or cold liquids, then screwed shut with a three-finger grip, insulated no-spill cap and hold the bottled contents’ temperature for several hours. The Rambler series 18/8 stainless steel Lowball and Bottles are double-walled with a vacuum insulator, and shatter-proof with a No-Sweat exterior patented design. The 10-ounce Lowball runs $20 (West Marine sells the Lowball in four-packs for $80); 18-ounce Bottle $30; 36-ounce Bottle $50; 64-ounce Bottle $70.
Chicken soup, seafood chowder and chili all stay warm in this wide-bottom, sturdy, classic vacuum food jar by Stanley. This classic wide-mouth thermos is perfect for stews and soups, and the insulated lid doubles as a 12-ounce bowl. Ratings show the thermos keeps food warm for up to 15 hours; thermos has no lining and no coatings. The 24-ounce thermos costs $45.
Quality Stainless Steel pots and pans are one of the best investments a boater can make in equipping a galley. The Magma 7-piece stainless steel nesting cookware set is actually three pots, plus two lids, a removable handle and a bungee storage cord. The three pots have triple clad bottoms: a base layer of stainless steel, an aluminum center section, and a seamless stainless steel outer layer. Bottoms are milled flat for even heat distribution on gas, electric, or ceramic cook top surfaces. The pots are oven safe and dishwasher friendly. When nested or stacked, the three pots store in less than 1/2 cubic foot of cabinet space; additional pots and pans can be added to the set if space allows. Magma cookware is constructed with marine grade, non-magnetic stainless steel. It should be noted that the pots are inappropriate for use with induction cook tops; induction cooktops require magnetic cookware. The set includes a 5-quart Stock Pot; a 9-1/2” Sauté Pan; and a 2-quart Sauce Pan.
A teakettle takes up a lot of real estate in a small galley but for many it’s a non-negotiable item. For those who require a kettle, we like the Chef’s Secret stainless steel teakettle with copper capsule bottom. The kettle boasts a surgical stainless steel design, a wide, flat, sturdy copper bottom that resists tipping and spilling, and a loud whistle when the water boils. The copper bottom heats quickly and retains heat after removed from the stove. The solid weight of the kettle helps the cook keep a steady hand when pouring steaming water into mugs. The kettle’s riveted handle has a heat-resistant hand grip and a spout trigger that prevents spilling. The copper-bottom, stainless steel kettle stands up to the high heat and direct heat of a gas stove. The polished exterior adds a flare to any galley. The kettle comes with a limited lifetime warranty; the 3.17-quart kettle cost $44; 2.75-quart kettle costs $35.
The galley often fills with gadgets whether we want it to or not. If you’re going to fill your galley with gadgets, make them stainless. Here are a few extras we liked.
What cruiser can survive without a can opener? The Progressive 4-in-1 can opener ($12) is a compact tool designed to open cans, pull-tabs, metal bottle caps and plastic bottle tops with a simple twist. The comfortable grip turns easily and quickly. Metal parts are stainless steel.
The Progressive International Stainless Steel Grater Set ($15) includes a rectangular box grater with 4 stainless steel blades. The box grater grates cheese and other foods into a box below the grater blade. The holding box has a clear, measuring container. Progressive International Seafood Scissors ($6) feature durable, sharp, stainless steel blades and comfortable soft-grip handles that won’t slip in wet hands. This tool takes up little space and is handy to have around for de-veining shrimp, cracking crab and cutting into lobster tails.
Coffee Pots & Coffee Makers
On-board coffee pots and coffee makers have been hotly debated in these pages for decades. Here are a couple stainless steel versions editors feel are great options to add to the coffee debate. We always enjoy hearing from readers on their preferences for coffee makers (and other galley tools, too).
GSI Outdoors’ Glacier Stainless Java Press ($45) is a thermally insulated, double-walled carafe, French Press-type coffee maker. French Press-lovers argue the press method is simpler and smoother than the drip method, the filter method or the percolator. The stainless steel carafe has a pour-through lid and a plastic base.
GSI Outdoors’ stainless steel 6-cup percolator ($30) is another affordable quality choice for onboard coffee. Note all stainless galley items need to be rinsed with fresh water to avoid corrosion. The percolator has multiple pieces, all of which need a freshwater rinsing to stay relevant. The components and welds on the percolator are stainless, as is the body, while the peek-through knob on top is resin and the handle is heat-resistant silicone.
Selecting a good fillet knife is also a process filled with opinions and debate. Editors selected these two Rapala knives—a fillet knife and a small peeling knife—based on consistently excellent reviews by professional fishermen and chefs alike.
The Marttiini 7.5-inch blade, stainless steel fillet knife has a textured rubber handle to allow a firm grip when working with a slippery fish. The flexible blade makes it possible to navigate around bones and remove skin. The popular knife sells for $35 on the Rapala web site.
The $25 tomato knife or peeling knife is also an excellent addition to the galley. The knife features a 3-inch stainless blade and an easy-grip rubber handle.
A good crew deserves a regular supply of treats to keep them going through the night watch, and what better than brownies to go with that cup of coffee? A sharp spatula not only makes serving easier, it also simplifies clean-up. The OXO Good Grips Cut and Serve Spatula features a sharp front-edge for cutting and a beveled head to slide easily beneath food. Any tool that can multi-task onboard is always welcome, and this stainless steel cutting spatula with its contoured, nonslip-grip handle easily takes on multiple tasks in the galley. The $7 spatula comes with a lifetime warranty.
If you’re going to be making brownies for the crew, you might as well do it right. Part of the art of baking treats is not in the cooking, but in the cooling process; ideally, you want air to circulate around the top and bottom of your cookies or brownies.
Hamilton Housewares has built its growing kitchenware business around its unique high-quality stainless steel cooling racks. The racks, which come in four common sizes and are priced from $12 to $30, are designed to fit neatly into standard baking sheets for easy use and stowing. The racks will also appeal to grill chefs, who can use the fine-grate racks to keep flaky fish from falling in the flames.
If you’re in the process of equipping your galley, Practical Sailor has a new three-volume ebook covering everything from propane safety to galley design to pressure cookers (www.practical-sailor.com/books).