As practical matter the size of our cooking line is determined by the size of the hood system. An exhaust hood removes airborne grease, combustion products, fumes, smoke, odors, heat, and steam from the air by evacuation of the air and filtration. Moreover, the hood includes a fire suppression system. Every piece of equipment requiring ventilation and/or fire suppression must fit within dimensions underneath the hood. Changing the existing hood would be a large expense. Therefore, the current system will remain in place allowing for an eight foot cooking line. This will be more than enough for our needs.
Our Gaylord hood is a premium system. Gaylord provides hoods for many Navy vessels. A unique feature of the hood is that it is self cleaning.
The existing system is electric with several cooking devices that can draw more than 5KW. This contributes significantly to our dynamic load, and we would quickly overwhelm the small generator.
Our preference is to use liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, The equipment is simple with inexpensive technology that, unlike electrical systems, will respond immediately. The problem with LPG is that it is heavier than air, and a leak could potentially fill the bilge with explosive material. Among the concerns are licensing and insurance issues that have yet to be resolved.
Our cookline will be built around the oven. A full size combi oven is 36" in width and has the capabilities of a radiant oven, a convection oven, and a steamer. The steam function will allow a healthy option for cooking a variety food. The oven, steamer combination enables control of both temperature and humidity. Humidity is critical to baking, and an important factor in all cooking. A combi oven supports and controls all the cooking parameters for dishes to be prepared according to a program, including detailed instructions on method.
Most of the better combi ovens have self-cleaning functions. Essentially using steam to melt grease and burnt debris with a spray head to treat the oven like a dishwasher. This function will allow us to keep the galley clean and free of odor.
The cooktop works in a traditional fashion, heating pots and pans. Part of the cooktop includes a griddle. This is a wide area for cooking items that don't require a pot or pan.
Since we are planning on limited production, the installation of two 12" burners will be sufficient. The cooktop will use induction heat through a magnet located under the glass cooktop. Heat is transferred evenly through the 12" burner while the surrounding glass top remains cool, and easy to clean.
Two 12" inch burners, and a 36" griddle totals 48". Adding the combi oven makes our total 84" with 12" leaning under the hood.
Fried food may not be the most healthy option, but it is often the preferred option for cooking seafood. The problem with a fryer is that oil tends to splatter, and in heavy seas, spill. We hope to find a system that can be incorporated into our cooktop counter with a sealed oil chamber. Several manufacturers make units that will fit our remaining 12" of space, including pressure fryers that have lids to the seal the oil chamber.
We would like to incorporate a broiler, if possible. This will add a great deal of flexibility to our cooking options. Since the above equipment takes up all of our counter space under the hood, a broiler would be installed above or below the cooking countertop. Most broilers are less than a foot in height so the unit will physically fit, but placement in these locations introduce venting and fire suppression concerns. It may be that the total cost of installing a boiler is just not worth the effort.
A steam kettle is a cooking system where a jacketed kettle is heated by hot water or low pressure steam. The advantage of a kettle is that the heating is even and the temperature is limited to 212 degrees, so it is difficult to burn or scorch a soup, stew or sauce. Another advantage of a kettle is that it does not need to be under the hood so we can place it anywhere. Moreover, kettles typically tilt which makes them a great serving device.
A microwave oven is a convenience item, and in most cases the quickest way to heat, or reheat something. A microwave does not have to go under the hood, therefore we have more options for placement.
Click here to see our final choices of equipment