Cooking On Board With a Crockpot or Slow Cooker


Today we want to talk about Slow Cookers or Crock Pots on the boat.

It expands your cooking options.

You might be thinking, that is something that has no place on a boat. When I leave the dock I have no generator so how can I use that thing?

The answer is simple. For about $50 you can buy a 400 watt inverter that can take a 1000 watt power surge. It plugs into a marine cigarette lighter.   It uses power from your boat’s batteries to operate the slow cooker.  While you are underway, your engine’s alternator keeps the batteries pumped up and there is no worry about the pot running your batteries down.

Tip: Install a cigarette lighter in the galley near the sink. With this arrangement you can sit the crockpot in the sink to cook all day, without worry about the pot upsetting or spilling.

Slow-cookers are rated at  120 volts AC at between .6 amps and 2 amps, this works out to be between 70 watts (low temperature small CP) and 250 watts (high temperature big CP). Since I have a large slow-cooker I will use it as my example, but using the information that follows you can also calculate your own energy usage. My slow-cooker is a large 5-quart brand with a low cooking power of 180 watts and a high cooking power of 250 watts.  Check your crock pot owners manual  for the exact watts on your pot  It may also be stamped on the bottom. The difference between the oven and the slow-cooker is that the slow-cooker cooks continuously. What that means is if you cook on high with a 250 watt hour element for 4 hours, you use (4 X 250) 1000 watt hours of electricity. If you cook on low with a 180 watt hour element for 8 hours, you use (8 X 180) 1440 watt hours of electricity. If you have a small slow-cooker with a low range that uses a 70-watt element, cooking for 8 hours only uses 560-watt hours of electricity. If you have a 100-watt light bulb on and you leave it on while your slow-cooker is cooking you will be using (8 hours X 100) 800-watt hours of electricity.

If you have a couple of batteries that are in good shape you will be able to handle the slow cooker.  

Many boats today have large inverters that are tied into the boat’s primary electrical system and backed up by a substantial battery bank.  For these boats, running a crockpot all day with no generator is no problem at all.  

Average cook time for most recipes is 4 to 6 hours. If you put it together before you leave the dock in the morning, it will be done by the time you arrive at your destination and are ready to eat!  Just fill it up with the ingredients of  your favorite recipe, sit it in the galley sink and be off on your adventure with a home cooked meal ready to eat when you are.

Check out some recipes for this versatile piece of equipment.