10 Must-Have Galley Tools

10 Must-Have Galley Tools

Ten tools that will make tasks in the galley ten times easier

You’ve bought a boat. Congratulations!  Now your thoughts are spinning, and your mind quickly floods with all the other fun tasks to get your boat ready. For the person in charge of the galley, one of the most notable jobs is stocking it with these 10 Must-Have Galley Tools.

Whether you have a 30-foot sailboat or a 90-foot motor yacht, it’s important to “think like a boater” during this process and get your mind out of your home kitchen. The boat’s power source is much different and, in most cases, you won’t have much cupboard or counter space.

When going through this list of essential galley tools, we bypassed the presumed, such as your typical pots, pans, knives, forks, spoons, etc., and instead focused on the items you possibly didn’t consider. Some may seem obvious and some may seem like camping supplies, but they’ll save you time, help you avoid a critical faux pas, and make you look like you know what you’re doing. Here are the 10 Must-Have Galley Tools.

1. Blender

an image of a Blender Didn’t you buy your boat to be the perfect addition to your mini umbrella cocktail? In that case, you’ll need something for those blended drinks. Yes, a blender can make soup, healthy breakfast smoothies, waffle batter, and milkshakes, but those are just nice extras.

2. Pour-over coffee filter

If there is one thing we’ve learned in life, it’s that people need their coffee. There is a second thing we learned about life on board: Boats enjoy surprising us with fun problems
like having the electricity cut out. When that happens and people haven’t had their coffee, stress levels could infinitely rise. Avoid this and get one.

3. Airtight Containers

airtight containersWe’ve had guests onboard that we really don’t want back, and then there are some you never want on your boat at all. Rats and bugs! These guests don’t care about the view or socializing, but they love what you have in the cupboards–food. Take these steps to ensure they don’t make your waterfront home theirs.

Step one: Put all rice, flour, cereal, and pasta products into the freezer for at least one hour before storing them in your cabinets. This kills any possible larva in your packaged foods. (Yes, hate to burst your bubble if you didn’t already know, but the FDA allows a certain percentage of bugs in all our food. Google it.)

Step two: Remove all cardboard. Never ever, ever, ever have cardboard on a boat. Roaches love to make condos out of cardboard, especially if it’s corrugated and think it’s a fun place to start a family.

Step three: Get those airtight containers. OXO food containers are airtight for freshness, heavy-duty to protect and remain sealed through a storm, and, most important, will keep your food off-limits to pesky, unwanted guests. As for the human guests, well, that takes a different approach.

4. Cast-iron skillet

Cast-iron skilletThe most versatile (and heaviest) of all the pans in the pan family is absolutely a must. A cast-iron skillet can go from the stovetop, right into the oven, or onto the grill. It is the most trusted source for evenly cooking everything from steak to frittatas, including searing meats and seafood, and adds a nice touch when serving straight from the pan. It’s also a great piece of exercise equipment to tighten up those arms, and its solid, hefty build works well as a weapon against pirates.

5. Handheld Can Opener

Handheld Can OpenerThis tool does a very important job: It opens cans! Electric can openers take up too much space and are useless without electricity, so throw it overboard, or into the dinghy for the trash run.  On a boat, it is essential to have a little part of your brain maintain a doomsday scenario when storing canned foods as if it was your secret bunker.

Yes, you will use your canned items regularly at times for certain recipes and need to open them, but in the event that you run out of food or you end up on a deserted island, it’s a good idea to have some canned goods. But they won’t do you any good if you can’t open them. I mean, have you ever seen the movie Adrift? Or any boat movie for that matter? Point made.

6. Mandoline

MandolineBy adding an “e” to mandolin, you get an awesome cooking utensil, not a musical instrument. This tool can “slice” off about 20 minutes from your food prep time, help keep your wrist from numbness and swelling from using a knife as well as avoid the cut when it suddenly slips. You need a mandoline slicer.

Onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and more are evenly sliced or julienned to make you look like an expert, all while saving time. Again, we emphasize small! You only need a handheld mandoline. It won’t take up any of your precious counter space.

Like these Top Ten Galley Tools? You’ll like our Top Ten Galley Upgrades.

7. Extra Wine Key

Wine KeyWe know it’s a huge debate, but wine may be even more important than coffee. You must have at least two wine keys on board. We repeat, at the very least, two. If you only have one, someone will lose it, or it will break right when you need it. Ask Murphy. It’s his law.

8. Tongs

TongsWhen the boat is rocking (no, not that way), a firm grip on your food will be the difference between a beautifully plated dish and a mess on the floor. Be one with the ocean and become a crab. These will be your new claws in the galley.

9. A good gas barbecue

Gas barbecue for boatsWe were told to emphasize the word good (because you’re on the ocean). The galley is small and usually not well-ventilated. Cooking meats or fish in your galley can fill the boat with many smells that linger. The grill not only fits more food than a pan and cooks food fast, but it’s also great for those times the electricity magically shuts off and perfect for getting out on the deck for some fresh air. It also keeps the men busy. The benefits are endless.

10. Mini food processor

mini food processorThis is your best friend for all those sauces, pestos, salsas, mousses, and guacamole to make your meals exquisite. You can even throw in those hefty boat bills you don’t want to pay; they disappear like magic. We emphasize mini because by now you might be aware of how little space is in the galley. Another thing, don’t confuse the food processor with the blender. They are completely different.

Ask the Chef about their 10 Must-Have Galley Tools

If you’re not the chef, it’s crucial to ask what he or she might need to make the
creating process run smoothly. If you are the chef, bring the tools you like to cook
with so you’re comfortable. All chefs have their own little quirks and their own
way of doing things. They like to use certain recipes and might have different
techniques learned from their master chefs and grandmothers.

Food is an art; give the chef, aka the artist, the proper tools, aka For the person in charge of the galley, one of the most notable jobs is stocking it with these 10 Must-Have Galley Tools.  to make the best creations. You’ve invested in the perfect yacht, so don’t try to cut corners on the galley—this is the place that makes your yachting experience extraordinary.

Always remember, dolphins do not deliver and until they do, you’ll have to get your
supplies on land and prepare for your voyage in advance…before you leave the dock.
Plan your meals, put a snapshot in your mind of the things you’ll need, and pay no attention to the person in the aisle who’s glaring as you take extra time at the grocery store to carefully choose what you need while out at sea. It’ll make for another enjoyable day on the boat.

By Blair Barbour and Darcy Whitney, Southern Boating August 2019

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