We have finally gotten around to ordering a small capacity slow cooker for the boat. We have been after one for quite a while now but have always seemed to have better ways to spend our cash. With the onset of winter and the need for homely, comfort food, and the eventual installation of the inverter on Naughty-Cal, we have run out of excuses for not jumping in and making the purchase. So the order has been made for a 3.3 litre Tesco branded stainless steel slow cooker complete with non stick removable interior cooking bowl and a glass lid for ease of cleaning and use. This should be the ideal size for the boat, cooking for two easily with the ability to stretch to meals for four should the need arise.
Looking at the quoted power consumption figures we will be fine to use the thing whilst we are away from our mooring. At 100 to 150 watts, depending on what setting it is on, it will consume around about 12.5Ah at 12 volts plus a little more for inverter losses so around the 15Ah mark. We could safely leave this running for around 6 or 7 hours whilst moored up away from electric hook up before we start to abuse our batteries, taking them below the magic 50% state of charge. Whilst out and about cruising, the alternator will easily provide the necessary power for the cooker as well as extra for battery charging so it seems to be a sensible idea to extend our available cooking capacity easily and at a bargain price. At this time of year it is unlikely that we will be away from our berth and the electricity bollard for those amounts of time, but it will allow us to prepare a nice stew or Sunday lunch and leave it cooking for the day whilst we go about our daily business and enjoy a few pints in the pub, the meal still cooking away in the galley. During the summer months we will be cruising for longer which will mean that we can prepare our evening meal in the morning, cruise all day and have the meal quietly cooking away whilst we cruise along the waterways. We must ensure it is stored safely and kept upright whilst we have a meal in the pot though, which could take some thinking about at the speeds we can travel, otherwise it could get messy in the galley!
The next issue is storing the cooker. At 3.3 litres it isn’t the biggest slow cooker in the world but neither is Naughty-Cal the biggest boat in the world and with all of the clobber we have on board it will take some squeezing in. Top of the list of places to house it is the starboard locker which already houses the toaster, it will need a clearout though and some other items relocating around the boat. I suspect Saturday will be spent trying to wedge the cooker into a tight space.
Now we just need to experiment with some tasty meals to cook in our new gadget. So do any of you out there have any great recipes for slow cooker cooking? I already have one for a beer basted pork joint and vegetables which I am going to try out on Sunday for our evening meal and a beef goulash recipe that I am told is to die for, so any other great ideas out there?