When I tell people that I live on a boat, one of the questions that inevitably comes up is "Can you cook in your boat?"
I think they think I live in this
Cooking aboard is easy to accomplish, it just takes some downsizing and preparation. Space is limited and multipurpose, so you need to plan ahead. It sucks to need something from the fridge when you have all your ingredients chopped up on top of the fridge lid.
Most boats have a stove/oven, microwave, toaster oven, grill, and many other kitchen gadgets. On board Wisdom, I like to keep it simple with a two burner stove, toaster, and a grill.
Elaborate meals can be accomplished with this limited armamentarium. The trick is using your available resources wisely. Dishes that need only 1 pan are preferred, as you only need to hold one pan from sliding and only one pan to wash (which translates into using less water). You can also cook two foods in different parts of the pan.
The grill is an excellent addition to the kitchen as it can replace the function of an oven. I have made entire meals on the grill, including meats and vegetables. Foods wrapped in foil and set in the grill on low fire will cook just like if they were in an oven.
Toasters are another example of "Nice to have", and not "Need to have" on board. I spent two years without a toaster because I didn't make toast very often, and when I did, the old method of making toast works just fine. Maddie, on the other hand, makes toast almost every day for her sandwiches, so the old way was not quite as convenient for her. When we are in the marina, an electric toaster is very convenient, but when we are sailing, we resort to the old method of making toast.
To make toast without a toaster, simply place the dry bread in a pan with high heat. That's it.
You don't need to add oil or butter to the pan because it's toast! Allow one side to brown, then flip it over and allow the other side to brown. It takes a few minutes to make on a stove, without the complexity of powering an electric toaster.
Some favorite meals we make on board are:
Rice and beans (2 pots)
Fish and onions (1 pan)
Lamb chops and sweet potato chips (grill)
Steak, Rice and salad (1 pot and grill)
Pasta dishes (1 pot)
Grilled chicken and vegetables (grill)
Poached eggs on toast (1 pan to toast bread, 1 pot for eggs)
Omelets (1 pan)
Sauteed chard with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and egg (1 pan)
The list goes on and on, all it takes is some creativity in the kitchen!