Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Even The Simple Things - Boiling Water

    Boiling water sounds simple enough. Fill a pot or kettle, light your propane stovetop and put it on the burner. Wait long enough and VOILA! boiling water. Sure, you could do it that way. I use that technique all the time. It works, it's simple, and is essentially fool-proof. Well NOTHING is 100% fool proof, but this is close. Why would you want another way to boil water? For me, personally, I like the ability to cook at least two ways on the road. With propane and with ELECTRICITY. This way, no matter where I am and whether or not I am connected to shore-power (or running the generator) I can boil water for whatever reason.

To make this work, I found a 12 Volt method of boiling water. It's elegant, and to be honest, pretty cool looking! You can mount it on a wall or simply place it on the counter. It takes about 23 minutes or so to boil a full pot of water. Plugs into any 12V cigarette lighter style outlet or can be hard-wired. I'm thinking about mounting the whole unit in the galley someplace (Where?) and permanently wiring it in. I'm also going to add a 12V outlet in the galley. Not sure where yet, but stay tuned! The base securely holds the pot, so it will not likely shift or move around when in transit.

The lid locks onto the pot, so unless it's really sloshing around it should stay in the container.
At home I get a lot of use out of an electric kettle. It's always handy to have boiling or hot water around for a recipe or you may simply want a cup of tea or soup. Either way, this works quite well. It has a 20 Oz. capacity, which is a decent amount for a small appliance, especially a 12V version. It will also shut off if the voltage is too high or too low! It will also shut itself off if it runs out of water, so it's safe enough to use unattended. There is a white LED that tells you when the pot is properly seated and a red "power-on" LED to let you know it's working.

This pot draws 8 Amps at 12 Volts (96 Watts) when it is running, so it's not too heavy a load for battery only use. I do recommend a 15 Amp fused outlet for this and some reasonably heavy gauge wire running to your outlet. many cigarette lighters are wired with thin gauge wire that won't put out enough current to use this device efficiently and will likely blow your fuse. It comes with a nice 4.5 foot cord, so you should be able to find a flat/stable place to put it when it's in use. The less current (amps) you get to the pot, the longer it will take to boil water. It pays to have heavy gauge wire running to your 12 Volt accessory outlets.

Overall, I like the multi-tasking utility of this appliance. Since it's natively 12 Volt, I do not have to run an inverter and take the ~15% or so conversion loss they introduce. In the early AM my new 2nd generation Solar panels are developing around 300-400 watts, so my batteries get charged quite quickly. With full sun I am getting a bit past 500 Watts now!  This pot will work "on the sun" easily. Less generator use in a quiet remote boondocking location is always nice. Of course, I'm more of a coffee man!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

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