Thoughts For Food

Get the most out of your galley with these additions large and small.


Bring the Heat: Grilling snobs look for real-wood charcoal, those with speed in mind opt for propane. Neither one is a viable option on a boat much of the time. That's why the Napoleon Freestyle portable infrared grill ($359) is the best choice for those who like their smörgåsbord aboard. The ceramic infrared burner puts out up to 14,000 btus to give you the cooking power to sear steaks, barbecue chicken, or grill vegetables on the 215-square-inch cooking surface without worrying about gas leaks or errant embers. Optional hardware allows for a variety of temporary and permanent mounting options.

Napoleon, (888) 726-2220; ****

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Aw, Shucks: There's hardly a better place to see the seamless relationship between skilled laborer and tool than the oyster bars that dot the coastline. A good oyster knife is all an experienced hand needs, and more often than not it will be one from Dexter-Russell that's hard at work. The wood-handled New Haven pattern has the feel of days gone by, while the Sani-Safe Boston pattern is truly state of the art, with its industrial polypropylene handle and 3-inch blade. Even an untested hand can learn to use these knives-carefully, mind you-and you may find the oysters taste better when you've opened them yourself.

Dexter-Russell, (800) 343-6042; ****

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Silicone Solution: Galley stowage doesn't always allow the luxury of single-purpose items. These silicone potholders ($8) from Chef's Resource do triple duty around the mess. First, they're colorful potholders, withstanding up to 675 degrees F, so your hands don't have to. Second, they're excellent trivets, because their rubberlike texture holds a pot or dish in place- hot or not-even on the boundingest of mains. Third, that grippy surface can help you open a sticky jar lid. They don't absorb liquid and they rinse off for easy cleaning.

Chef's Resource, (866)765-2433; ****

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Time Wine: Stow your best bottles like a sommelier in the two-drawer Wine Captain ($3,259) from U-Line. The unit runs on a 110-volt system and would look right in a commercial-grade kitchen, with a stainless steel finish, tinted-glass doors, and a black interior. Racks hold 43 bottles and are coated with black vinyl to prevent your collection from slipping in even the roughest seaway. The two drawers let you set independent temperatures, so you can keep your vouvray chilled differently from your sauvignon blanc. And interior illumination lets you find just the right vintage for that special occasion.

U-Line, (800) 779-2547; ****

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Heavyweight Champ: A good dutch oven can do it all-going from the cooktop to the oven with aplomb. This enameled cast-iron classic from Le Creuset ($260) in the new citron color goes one better- it's pretty enough to use as a serving piece as well. From slowcooked stews to delectable braised dishes, this heavy, 5 1/2-quart pot will be the first thing you reach for when comfort food is on the menu, worth its weight in gold.

Williams-Sonoma, (877) 812-6235; ****