Converting to an induction stove top

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
1,110
Location
United States
Vessel Name
CHiTON
Vessel Make
Tung Hwa Clipper 30
I started removing some of the propane cooking appliances right after purchasing. There was a stainless BBQ hanging on a flying bridge stantion. It had a hose (removable) that threaded down to the propane tank on the back deck. My wife bought a BBQ at the house. It hasn't been out of a storage shed in 4 years. I don't see myself running up the the flying bridge to fetch the charred weenies. So I sold it. $100 in the black right from the start.

Our galley is a typical Tiawan trawler from the 80's. Teak cabinets, laminate counter top, propane stove that has a cover so that it is possible to have more counter space when the stove isn't in use. Magic Chef 3 burner without thermocouples on the burners. Surveyor said it needed them but then didn't put it down in the survey and the insurance company didn't see that. Thermocouples would have been over $100 and I would need to do some fabrication work.

It had the regular features on a propane stove. Drip rings to catch overboiled stuff and then cook on to the surface. I knew that induction cook tops don't need that. It had years of crap that had dropped down below the cook top. Induction doesn't have that. I decided I'd rather fabricate a new counter top to fit an induction stove.

I removed the stove and found a layer of dust bunnies in the 4 inch air gap below the oven. When cleaning out that area I noticed something else. You know that smoky aroma you get from using a propane stove on a boat? It isn't mesquite, it's teak. Removing the Magic Chef left a storage area that actually doubles the usable space in my galley. I just have to figure out how to use all the space.
 

Attachments

  • 100_2418.jpg
    100_2418.jpg
    154.1 KB · Views: 92
  • stove gone.jpg
    stove gone.jpg
    98 KB · Views: 89
I can see a lot of advantages to the conversion if you plan on running the Genset a lot. Lots of boats have full electric galleys
 
I removed the stove, sink, faucet, and the teak drip rail along the front of the counter. I bought a piece of 3/4 inch MDF ($40) and cut it to simply lay on top of the original counter top. I also ordered a 4x8' sheet of formica ($60). There went my gain from selling the stainless steel BBQ.

I cut the MDF so that I had a 2.5" overhang. The original had no overhang and no toe kick cut out. What that means is that I could not belly up to the counter. The extra couple of inches are actually noticeable. I also learned that the corner area isn't actually a 45 decree cut. And that the fore and aft edges are not parallel. And that the lower galley cabinets must have been fabricated off the boat and fitted as a unit during construction. It was like working on cabinetry in older houses I have lived in. How could I live there so many years and not see how crooked and out of plumb everything was?

I already purchased the induction top I will be fitting. Dumb blind luck resulted in it fitting, width wise, into the cut out left by the Magic Chef. It is a Furrion two burner 13 Amp model, usually over $400. I looked at it and passed but later got an email notice that it was on sale. $124. It, like everthing else, has good and bad reviews on Amazon. People complain that their aluminum cookware doesn't work on induction (duh). People complain that their cat walked on the stove top and turned it on (is there cat ferric metal?) But one of the more common complaints was that you can't turn both burners to 10 at the same time. For me, that's a good thing. The other good thing was the manufacturer's claim that it was specifically made for marine and recreational use. We shall see.

Using a Kill-a-Watt with the stove top, turning one burner to maximum resulted in about 12.5 amps. Turning on both burners to max resulted in a draw of just over 13 amps but, the burners indicate that each is now only on at a setting of 5. Burners set at 5 causes each to turn on intermittently, which causes the Kill-a-Watt to bounce around. If you turn one to 6, the other goes to 4, etc. It is clearly done so that it will not exceed the common limit of counter top outlets at 15 Amps. Not having both go to 10 at the same time is like complaining that your new car's speedometer only goes to 120. Just when are you going to need a 180 mph speedometer?

I have used induction on another boat and have some familiarity with the idiosyncracies and battery usage. The burner on that boat only goes to 7, but of course that's still full tilt for that 800 watt burner. I've never used it above 4 except to check whether it would overload the inverter. In a commercial cooking setting where I might have to get that order up in an instant, I could see where maximum speed is required. Or maybe if I needed to sear an ahi steak. But on board, even at 4 it's faster than gas. And I don't sear my salmon.

It has some features to learn. It has time, temperature, and numerical settings. Numerical is fine for most things, as you just push a button and it responds instantly. No peering under the pot to see if the flame has gone out. But the timer is really nice. Turn the potatoes on 10 and the timer for 5 minutes. Ding. Since it's now boiling, turn the setting on 4 and the timer on for 12 minutes. It dings, turns off, and the potatoes are done even if I'm on the bow working the windlass.

I've found the temperature setting really nice when using the pressure cooker. Zap it at 10 until it starts the rocker, then turn it on a setting that holds the pressure but doesn't continue to blast out steam. Not only no condensation from propane but also very little condensation from the cooker staying at pressure.

I'm waiting for my laminate to be delivered. The inverter is supposed to arrive tomorrow and I can start bench testing.
 
Will you just do without the oven and only use the cook top and pressure cooker ?

I'm still experimenting with oven substitutes using the induction stove top and a small Dutch oven. Last night's test was okay. I roasted a potato (which I had done before). As to be expected, it took an hour, but at the #2 setting. I forgot to hook up the Kill-a-Watt but I expect it would be waaaay more than I would want to do at anchor. I think that baking of any type will be underway cooking. A 100A alternator and a Balmar regulator should keep me in the green.

In addition to the induction stove top that I am installing, I have a single induction burner that I have used in the cockpit for messier things (boiling crab, frying), although I tend to avoid frying even at home because of the usual mess. But the ability to bake bread is one of the joys of cruising. Small boat, so small loaves are best. I tend to favor sour dough and use a Dutch oven at home for that. But getting even heat (topside) on an induction stove top will be the problem. My plan is to use my stove top induction with my single induction hob at the same time to get even heat in the Dutch oven.

I have been using silicon mats to ensure zero cleanup and to hold the cookware on the smooth glass stovetop. Anybody who has forgotten the coffee pot on the stove and then gotten into rough seas knows that a stove fiddle can just give the pot a good spin before it hits the cabin floor. The silicon mats have "sticktion" that stops the pot from moving at all. Looks like they works as good, maybe better, than fiddles. They can handle heat up to 500F, which is too hot for what I ever need. They also get a little softer and grippier as they heat up.

So the proposed setup for baking bread is to put the dough ball into a Dutch oven like this one. I like this oven for several reasons. It is smaller than most "full size" Dutch ovens. It doesn't have a long "frying pan" handle on the top as some do, although the lid also doubles as a frying pan (or whatever). Best of all, the lid does not have a top handle. That will allow me to use my single induction burner upside down on the lid. Much like placing coals on the top of a traditional Dutch oven when camp cooking.

The idea would be to put a silicon mat down on the stove top unit then place a silicon mat over the top of the Dutch oven. Then turn the single induction burner upside down on top of the oven. I tried it last night and the single induction burner didn't care that it was upside down. It could easily heat the lid to 450F if turned up too high. It gripped the silicon mat such that baking in moderate seas would be possible. That is all you get with a regular oven as there are no fiddles inside a propane or diesel oven and if you get into seas rough enough to slide the bread pan around you will likely end up with a flat loaf. If baking a cassarole, you might slop over on an induction top. Not a problem, especially if covered with a silicon mat. With a propane, diesel, or regular electirc oven, you'll slop over and cook/burn the spill inside the oven.

Anyway, that's the plan. I just saw that inverter sent to me is not the pure sine wave. I might try it anyway, but my last test with modified sine wave did not work on an induction stove. Oddly, one RV site reported that about 30% of the induction stove users had MSW inverters. I guess one doesn't know until tried, however, even if it works it doesn't mean that it is working as effectively as a PSW inverter. One already loses about 10% just converting DC to AC. If the AC isn't clean, I don't know how much more is lost. Since battery useage is everything, efficiency is key.
 
It seems like you are enjoying the discovery process. I like the idea of inverting a hot plate on top of the dutch oven. I wonder if you could increase the efficiency by insulating the sides of the dutch oven some how. Enjoy!
 
Are you seeing any downsides to not having a gimble?

The Admiral here has instructed that our refit will give two portable induction stoves that can be put away rather than fixed units. She prefers these to the fixed or hidden options. My concern is stability underway of both the stoves and the food being cooked.
 
I am doing a new build, and the galley gave me cause to do a lot of soul searching. With a clean slate you can do what you want, so what do you want?

I too ended up choosing an induction cooktop. In part because its a boat for east coast use, so air conditioning is a must-have, which means a generator is a must have, and so I'll have the power to go electric in the galley anyway due to the other decisions.

But also a convection microwave. I don't know if that might figure into your plans, but its another thought to consider.

The idea of a dutch oven never occurred to me. Thanks for that thought.
 
FWT, I like the way you think! I'm moving in that same direction.

GoneDiving, I picked up an inexpensive (~$50) single induction cooktop to try it out for size and electrical load. Since I didn't want to commit to buying all new pans for a trial, I bought a $10 induction plate for the test. I wouldn't use the adapter plate underway since it's a bit slippery with flat metal on metal.

Maybe getting a cheap unit to test the practicality on your boat would be a good idea before committing to stowable vs. fixed.

My other favorite cooking devices are the Instant Pot and an air fryer. In lieu of an induction top, I have been using an electric skillet a lot. The microwave also gets regular use. And the coffee pot...and the beer fridge...
 
Last edited:
Maybe getting a cheap unit to test the practicality on your boat would be a good idea before committing to stowable vs. fixed.

Thanks. We have done this with cheap Kmart units to be used as a proof of concept. We have induction at home so all our cookware is already compatible.

We also have the silicone pads and they are super sticky so hopefully they will be all that is needed. If not, it's not a huge job to cut a fixed hob into the bench top.

The next task is to move the chef away from recipes that take hours of cooking time.
 
FWT, I like the way you think! I'm moving in that same direction.

GoneDiving, I picked up an inexpensive (~$50) single induction cooktop to try it out for size and electrical load. Since I didn't want to commit to buying all new pans for a trial, I bought a $10 induction plate for the test. I wouldn't use the adapter plate underway since it's a bit slippery with flat metal on metal.

Maybe getting a cheap unit to test the practicality on your boat would be a good idea before committing to stowable vs. fixed.

My other favorite cooking devices are the Instant Pot and an air fryer. In lieu of an induction top, I have been using an electric skillet a lot. The microwave also gets regular use. And the coffee pot...and the beer fridge...

We have never used induction before. I became persuaded the rubber (?) mats of induction would do at least some good to keep pots in place (at least better than a normal electric cooktop with no fiddles). But I thought the Mrs. would balk at gear that is new to us. So I planned to get a countertop hob to try at home. I was surprised when her response to that was, don't bother and we'll figure it out, others do.
 
But I thought the Mrs. would balk at gear that is new to us. So I planned to get a countertop hob to try at home. I was surprised when her response to that was, don't bother and we'll figure it out, others do.

Induction was a very easy sell in our bricks and mortar. We bought a couple to use as hotplates for BBQs, entertaining and the like. Within weeks they were being used pretty much full-time and our regular gas stove has been sitting unloved and essentially unused ever since.

When the question came up for the refit it was a no brainer and I was instructed what will be fitted. ?
 
Induction was a very easy sell in our bricks and mortar. We bought a couple to use as hotplates for BBQs, entertaining and the like. Within weeks they were being used pretty much full-time and our regular gas stove has been sitting unloved and essentially unused ever since.

When the question came up for the refit it was a no brainer and I was instructed what will be fitted. ?

That is GREAT to hear!

Gotta figure out pots. The Mrs. go-to on some dishes is an aluminum non-stick. That won't work of course.
 
I decided against gimbals and fiddles. When conditions warrent there use (other than on a sailboat), I'm not interested in cooking. And the silicon mats are really quite amazing if you can find the right "gooeyness" (which I think is called a Duro rating).

I thought about insulating the Dutch oven when used for baking. I don't want to cut up a $30 welding blanket, but that may be in my future. The silicon baking mat that I'm using on top is actually big enough to drape over the whole oven, but that isn't much insulation. When trying to get a Coleman camp oven to get hot enough, I came across this videolooooong YouTube video about insulating the stove with a welding blanket. The same idea would work for a Dutch oven. The only problem would be that the top would be slippery for my upside down induction hob, unlike a silicon mat.

So far, the majority of my cooking pots have come from thrift stores. I just take a magnet and go through the pots and pans of the size I'm looking for. That's how I got my induction pressure cooker.

I just ran a few tests with the new modified sine wave inverter. Not good. I had the experience others have complained about. For some reason, even when the stove top isn't on but in a sleep mode, the inverter makes it hum. I plugged in a few other things, including my fridge, and no problems. What's worse is that when I turn the stove on, it really, really hums. More like a growling whine. Plugged into shore power doesn't do that. So the inverter is going back for a pure sine wave inverter, which is what I wanted in the first place. Had to try it though because it is $200 cheaper.

Here is the countertop sans Formica and sink cut out. The induction stove sits in the same place as the old propane stove and the counter now has a 2.5" overhang. While I'm waiting for the Formica delivery, I think I'll pull out the propane tank and locker that is under the FB ladder. Looks like a good place to store fenders and a boat hook.
 

Attachments

  • 100_1565.jpg
    100_1565.jpg
    102.6 KB · Views: 53
  • 100_1566.jpg
    100_1566.jpg
    118.3 KB · Views: 45
I tried an InstaPot and an air fryer, but neither could earn a position on board. I look at my boat like a full lifeboat. If something else comes aboard, something has to go. I don't want to end up like those boats with kayaks, paddle boards, pool noodles, BBQs, and helicopters hanging off. Same goes with the galley.

My induction pressure cooker on the induction stove top can do everything that an InstaPot can do. Because the stove top has heat and timer settings, it can be set and ignored just like the InstaPot, but in a smaller, cleaner package.

I bought an air fryer at a thrift store and tried it at home for a couple of months. It was the type that had a glass lower part so that I could watch it cook. Kind of fun, but also kind of limited. Because all of the heat came from a halogen light at the top, even though a fan blew the heat around like a convection oven, it only browned on the top. Great for french fries, but it couldn't really bake bread or scones. I thought it was kind of a one trick pony. Sort of like a microwave. Great for reheating a cup of coffee, but otherwise mostly useless. Well, there is popcorn. But all that space for popcorn and coffee? I removed the microwave the PO had on board. The empty space now holds junk that is more important than a microwave. Both the air fryer and the microwave went off to Good Will.

They make an air fryer lid that fits on an InstaPot so that system can do double duty and is slightly smaller. Still, it can't make the cut, especially if I can get the Dutch oven system to work on an induction stove top.
 
Last edited:
I keep debating whether to bring the Instant Pot we hardly ever use from the house to the boat. I figure on the boat it might get more use, as the lid locks on. So if we've got a travel day where we'll be arriving late, the Instant Pot could sit in the galley sink running off the inverter (where it won't go flying under way) and food will be ready on arrival.

As far as the microwave, we use it, but not a lot. At some point I'll upgrade it to one of the nicer convection microwaves which will give us enough of an oven for most purposes, I think.
 
I tried an InstaPot and an air fryer, but neither could earn a position on board. I look at my boat like a full lifeboat. If something else comes aboard, something has to go. I don't want to end up like those boats with kayaks, paddle boards, pool noodles, BBQs, and helicopters hanging off. Same goes with the galley.

:rofl:
 
And where do I bake the 20# turkey?
 
And where do I bake the 20# turkey?

It turns out that my original Magic Chef didn't have enough room to cook a 3# chicken. It has a big oven door, but then 4" is taken up by the gas burner and the rack is 2 inches above that. What's left is enough for a pizza or maybe a game hen. Never understood the game hen idea when robins are much more plentiful. However, a 3# chicken does fit in the Dutch oven. That's how I cook them at home. Nothing to splatter.
 
I am surprised no one has tried cooking on their engine block. Remember, take the labels off of cans first. Triple wrap stakes in foil.
 
I am surprised no one has tried cooking on their engine block. Remember, take the labels off of cans first. Triple wrap stakes in foil.

YES can i get your permission to start a new thread?
 
The problem with cooking on marine blocks is that they don't have enough exposed hot areas. The exhaust manifold is cooled too much (unlike a car that allows the frying of weenies on the headers). Most just have just a little area before the raw water is injected. The temp of the rest of the block is usually under that of the thermostat. A 170F block isn't going to do it. And then there are more access problems than just lifting the hood. But maybe for reheating leftovers? Yeah, that'll work.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top Bottom