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grilling on a mono #299816
04/15/2023 02:35 PM
04/15/2023 02:35 PM
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Crew4Lemonade Offline OP
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I'm doing some menu planning for our upcoming charter and I'm wondering about people's experiences using the charcoal grill provided on monohulls? With two kids on board, we're going to be doing a lot of cooking on the boat (for budget and dietary reasons) and I'm wondering if we can do a lot on the grill, or if it is more trouble than it's worth. My husband's previous charter experience (as a child) was with Moorings, which gives its customers eggcrate-like packages of charcoal that you can just light and go, but we are using BVIYC and ordering our own provisions through Riteway, Good Moon, etc. A big bag of charcoal seems unwieldy for a boat and I've read varying reports on how easy it is to light, adjust the heat/airflow, etc. I like the idea of being able to grill some hot dogs and kabobs up in the breeze instead of standing over a hot stove in the galley turning greener by the minute (I am prone to seasickness when below and I'm bringing all the remedies....another thread for another day). But I don't like the idea of having crackers for dinner because I ruined our Steakation skewers by charring them on the outside and leaving them raw inside on a flaming grill. Our grill at home is propane, so I'm not very experienced at charcoal grilling.

And yes my husband's family once lost their hotdog lunch when a roller came in and tipped them right off the grill into the water. And yes, they once lost the whole grill over the side, too! laugh

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Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299818
04/15/2023 03:28 PM
04/15/2023 03:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 276
Atlantic Highlands, NJ
MarkS Offline
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We have used the charcoal grill on eight of my nine Bareboat Charters in the BVI. While it can be tricky getting it lit in the wind while at anchor or on a ball, it's all part of the adventure. We have had to use the deck cushions to block the wind before. Lighter Fluid helps. We've lost rolling dogs too! Just adds to the story! I say don't over-think it. You're going to have a great time!

I will say that last year our boat from BVI Yacht Charters had a propane grill which was life changing! We're chartering the same boat again in July. Way easier!

Have a great trip!


Mark Shichtman
"Live for Today!"

[Linked Image]
Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299819
04/15/2023 03:29 PM
04/15/2023 03:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 129
Chesapeake Bay, USA
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Nibj Offline
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We always barbecue on charter and had no problem feeding 5 on a Moorings 42 the first time we went. We always buy lighter fluid since we find it a bit hard to light the coals in the wind. We usually bring steaks, dogs and burgers from home (frozen of course). You can get them locally.

Our last charter had an awkwardly placed and difficult to use grill but this was on a 34 ft monohull, all the others have worked well. Also bring a headlamp because you may well be barbecuing after dark. Check there are barbecue utensils before you leave the base.

Last edited by Nibj; 04/15/2023 03:30 PM.
Re: grilling on a mono [Re: MarkS] #299825
04/15/2023 04:16 PM
04/15/2023 04:16 PM
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Posts: 23
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Crew4Lemonade Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MarkS
We have used the charcoal grill on eight of my nine Bareboat Charters in the BVI. While it can be tricky getting it lit in the wind while at anchor or on a ball, it's all part of the adventure. We have had to use the deck cushions to block the wind before. Lighter Fluid helps. We've lost rolling dogs too! Just adds to the story! I say don't over-think it. You're going to have a great time!

I will say that last year our boat from BVI Yacht Charters had a propane grill which was life changing! We're chartering the same boat again in July. Way easier!

Have a great trip!


Thanks for the vote of confidence! We will be on Big Blue (an Oceanis 35.1), which looks to have a charcoal grill from the pictures, but perhaps we will be pleasantly surprised with propane!

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Nibj] #299826
04/15/2023 04:20 PM
04/15/2023 04:20 PM
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Posts: 23
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Crew4Lemonade Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Nibj
We always barbecue on charter and had no problem feeding 5 on a Moorings 42 the first time we went. We always buy lighter fluid since we find it a bit hard to light the coals in the wind. We usually bring steaks, dogs and burgers from home (frozen of course). You can get them locally.

Our last charter had an awkwardly placed and difficult to use grill but this was on a 34 ft monohull, all the others have worked well. Also bring a headlamp because you may well be barbecuing after dark. Check there are barbecue utensils before you leave the base.


I've been debating whether/how much to bring frozen from home and what to buy locally. It will probably come down to whether or not we have room for a little polar bear cooler in the carryon!

We'll be on a 35-ft mono so hopefully we won't run into the same issue with grill placement. Headlamps are already on the packing list and thanks very much for the tip about the grill utensils! I'll add it to the list of items to check before heading out!

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299832
04/15/2023 05:21 PM
04/15/2023 05:21 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,901
Maine
Breeze Offline
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Consider the charcoal grill as " supper only", It takes time to light, and then settle down to a steady temp, and then needs to cool down before sailing again--so really not good for breakfast/lunch. If you make breakfast easy, you can often prepare lunches also before letting go the mooring, so no galley time while underway. Just that one change helps enormously with green gills in the galley.

End of the day, try to pick your moorings to be in the lee of a land mass. Minimize the wave action that way, so being below isn't a grit-your-teeth torture chamber. Open the ports and hatches so there is plenty of fresh air, do what you have to do, don't hang around. If in North Sound, go up into Biras Creek mooring field, the moorings are being maintained and someone will come around for the overnight fee. You won't be bouncing there.

charcoal--if you are super fortunate, you'll find the " egg crate" stuff. More likely, an 8-10 lb bag, which you'll want to store in one of the cockpit lazarettes. You can make a handy lighting chimney out of a half gallon sized juice can--take both ends out and use the " churchkey" can opener to punch 4-5 holes around one end. When you want to start coals, stuff a crumpled up paper napkin or a couple crumpled paper towels in the can, place it standing on the charcoal grille bottom, fill with charcoal briquettes. Light the paper through one of the holes you punched--when the briquettes start to show gray ash on their surfaces, use the grill tongs to lift off the can. If you have a stern shower hose, use that to hose down the can, save it for another night. Unless you are cooking a ton of food on the grill, that amount of charcoal should work for one night.

Remember to move the dinghy from a stern cleat to a bow cleat. There are no extra points for grill embers in the dinghy, on the dinghy, or near the fuel tank.

Don't even bother with the grill if the wind is whistling through the rigging. That won't even be comfortable for eating in the cockpit. The BVI feeds their kids, too--you'll find something that works in most places. Remember the sheet pan dinner, there will be an oven.

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Breeze] #299833
04/15/2023 05:56 PM
04/15/2023 05:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 735
Panama City Beach, Florida
xrayman67 Online content
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Panama City Beach, Florida
Originally Posted by Breeze
Consider the charcoal grill as " supper only", It takes time to light, and then settle down to a steady temp, and then needs to cool down before sailing again--so really not good for breakfast/lunch. If you make breakfast easy, you can often prepare lunches also before letting go the mooring, so no galley time while underway. Just that one change helps enormously with green gills in the galley.

End of the day, try to pick your moorings to be in the lee of a land mass. Minimize the wave action that way, so being below isn't a grit-your-teeth torture chamber. Open the ports and hatches so there is plenty of fresh air, do what you have to do, don't hang around. If in North Sound, go up into Biras Creek mooring field, the moorings are being maintained and someone will come around for the overnight fee. You won't be bouncing there.

charcoal--if you are super fortunate, you'll find the " egg crate" stuff. More likely, an 8-10 lb bag, which you'll want to store in one of the cockpit lazarettes. You can make a handy lighting chimney out of a half gallon sized juice can--take both ends out and use the " churchkey" can opener to punch 4-5 holes around one end. When you want to start coals, stuff a crumpled up paper napkin or a couple crumpled paper towels in the can, place it standing on the charcoal grille bottom, fill with charcoal briquettes. Light the paper through one of the holes you punched--when the briquettes start to show gray ash on their surfaces, use the grill tongs to lift off the can. If you have a stern shower hose, use that to hose down the can, save it for another night. Unless you are cooking a ton of food on the grill, that amount of charcoal should work for one night.

Remember to move the dinghy from a stern cleat to a bow cleat. There are no extra points for grill embers in the dinghy, on the dinghy, or near the fuel tank.

Don't even bother with the grill if the wind is whistling through the rigging. That won't even be comfortable for eating in the cockpit. The BVI feeds their kids, too--you'll find something that works in most places. Remember the sheet pan dinner, there will be an oven.

All great advice!!!

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299839
04/15/2023 07:01 PM
04/15/2023 07:01 PM
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Posts: 23
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Crew4Lemonade Offline OP
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Great advice, indeed! Thank you!

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299844
04/15/2023 08:55 PM
04/15/2023 08:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 515
OU Sooner
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ggffrr11 Offline
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The comedian Steven Wright says there's a fine line between standing on the bank with a fishing pole and looking like an idiot. That same fine line is there when you're trying to start that grill in the dark with a hefty breeze. Lighter fluid and more lighter fluid with a plethora of matches. And don't ask me how I know this, but make sure the safety wire is attached to the grill and the mounting stanchion. There Is no fine idiot line when the grill falls off (or the grill lid) into the deep blue sea while you're grilling. Lastly, don't forget to bring a frozen pizza along. Because, when you go back down below and try to explain how the grill fell overboard, no one seems to have a sense of humor.

Last edited by ggffrr11; 04/15/2023 09:00 PM.
Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299846
04/15/2023 11:49 PM
04/15/2023 11:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 833
Houston, Texas
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Houston, Texas
I've found putting in a couple of layers of paper towels, then laying on the briquettes, soaking everything with lighter fluid and lighting the edge of the paper towels worked for us. As suggested above a headlamp is great for the entire process because that gives you 2 hands to handle not just the lighting chores but also the cooking.

The one item I wish we had but couldn't find in the store is a fireplace lighter. Lighting matches is the hardest part of the above process.


Louis from Houston
Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299850
04/16/2023 07:36 AM
04/16/2023 07:36 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,027
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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I do the same, matchlight charcoal with crumpled paper towels mixed in. No issues. If the wind is blowing hard use a cushion as a wind block initially. Never needed lighter fluid.

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299895
04/17/2023 09:08 AM
04/17/2023 09:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 129
Chesapeake Bay, USA
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Nibj Offline
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Chesapeake Bay, USA
Great idea! We will try the paper towel ignition method next month.

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299898
04/17/2023 09:11 AM
04/17/2023 09:11 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 158
Southeast of Disorder
Time Will Tell Offline
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Time Will Tell  Offline
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Southeast of Disorder
When I use the paper towel methods to light the grill, I usually put a little cooking oil on the paper towel. When I light it, the oil burns (paper towel basically becomes a wick) first, making the flame last longer and its harder for the wind to blow out.

Good luck!


Peter
s/y Time Will Tell (2019 Lagoon 42)
peter@syTimeWillTell.com

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Time Will Tell] #299905
04/17/2023 10:24 AM
04/17/2023 10:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 790
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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Kannapolis, NC
That is exactly how I light my Big Green Egg for each cook. Cooking oil is cheap and no potential aftertaste.


Go Irish!!

Bill

[Linked Image]
Re: grilling on a mono [Re: ndfaninnc] #299948
04/18/2023 12:36 AM
04/18/2023 12:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,901
Maine
Breeze Offline
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Maine
Awesome ! I despise the odor/flavor of lighter fluid, so much so that we avoid even Matchlight charcoal.
Duhhhhh that we've never thought about cooking oil !

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299953
04/18/2023 08:18 AM
04/18/2023 08:18 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 790
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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Breeze, I had the same reaction when I learned. I have used all kinds of starters. Wax, straw, fluids, etc. Like you I hate the odor/taste of starter fluids. A paper towel and cooking oil is stupid cheap and works every single time. I use the half sheets, twist them like a wick and stored soaking in cooking in a ziplock bag until until I need them. Been doing that for years now.


Go Irish!!

Bill

[Linked Image]
Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299993
04/18/2023 11:37 PM
04/18/2023 11:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 123
Orange County, Ca
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Mark Offline
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Orange County, Ca
Cooking oil is genius...


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Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #299995
04/19/2023 01:17 AM
04/19/2023 01:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 168
Chicago, IL, USA
vytis104 Offline
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Chicago, IL, USA
blown away how many people grill. We plan meals without the hassle and risks. Especially when we bring our kids.

We sous vide meats at home, re-vacuum seal them and freeze; then onboard sear in a pan with spice of choice. 10 min meals at high quality..

Steak
Chicken
Salmon
Pork
Etc...

We typically eat out 50%, dinner onboard 50%, with the meals planned with leftovers to add to a lunch. Salmon dinner, salmon bagels breakfast and salmon BLT lunch, skirt steak dinner, steak and eggs, steak sandwiches, etc....

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: vytis104] #300040
04/19/2023 11:22 AM
04/19/2023 11:22 AM
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Posts: 23
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Crew4Lemonade Offline OP
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Originally Posted by vytis104
blown away how many people grill. We plan meals without the hassle and risks. Especially when we bring our kids.

We sous vide meats at home, re-vacuum seal them and freeze; then onboard sear in a pan with spice of choice. 10 min meals at high quality..

Steak
Chicken
Salmon
Pork
Etc...

We typically eat out 50%, dinner onboard 50%, with the meals planned with leftovers to add to a lunch. Salmon dinner, salmon bagels breakfast and salmon BLT lunch, skirt steak dinner, steak and eggs, steak sandwiches, etc....




Thanks for your perspective vytis104. I am considering bringing some pre-cooked/sealed/frozen meats from home, but not having done so before I am curious about your process. I was planning to wrap the sealed packages in newspaper and pack tightly into a polar bear cooler, then hope that everything stays frozen as long as possible. We will have a 12-hr day to get to STT, then I can pop stuff in the freezer of our rental in Red Hook overnight, then back into the cooler the next morning until we get on the boat at noon. We're chartering a 35-ft mono, so my understanding is that the refrigerator will be basically a glorified cooler (running the engine a couple hours in the a.m./p.m. to chill). No real freezer to speak of. Do your meats stay frozen for a couple days in the bottom of the boat fridge? Even at home, I wouldn't usually eat meat that had been in my refrigerator for 8 days, so I'm trying to figure out if things will stay cold enough long enough to be safe or if we need to try to pick up some protein in Trellis or someplace near the back end of our charter.

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #300043
04/19/2023 12:31 PM
04/19/2023 12:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 168
Chicago, IL, USA
vytis104 Offline
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C4L,

I start prepping the meats a few weeks in advance and just keep pushing them through the sous vide. The results are amazing.

Sample process for chicken breasts: Adapted from (https://www.seriouseats.com/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast)

set water bath temp to 150. Salt and pepper chicken breasts and seal in vacuum bag. Drop in water bath for 2 hours. Remove from sous vide. Remove from bag, pat dry and reseal in new vacuum bag and freeze.

When you pack your polar bear cooler, if you FILL it to the max (all your proteins packed as solidly and tight as possible) they will stay "frozen" for a good while, a few days even. This may seem like overkill, but if you have a large freezer, freeze the entire filled cooler for a few days before you leave. The best part is since they are all already cooked, they dont need to stay "frozen" for safety purposes. We just keep the meats in the cooler the whole trip (usually a week) and add ice every few days.

Pull meat daily to use, allow to thaw and they only need to be seared with oil and spices to be perfectly cooked. Works with all proteins. I have thought about buying a folding electric griddle to see if we can make it work better without the use of propane in the galley.

For steaks, I toss in some fresh rosemary and garlic before sous vide. For salmon, only salt and pepper. etc......

Hope this helps.

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #300061
04/19/2023 04:01 PM
04/19/2023 04:01 PM
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MIDiver Offline
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We have a good sized gas grill with electronic ignition, but we have a cat, and cook on board 75% of the time (dinner). Never a hassle and we cook everything from lobster to chicken to steaks on board. I suppose it is to each their own.

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: MIDiver] #300066
04/19/2023 04:12 PM
04/19/2023 04:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 168
Chicago, IL, USA
vytis104 Offline
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vytis104  Offline
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Chicago, IL, USA
Thats pretty different than lighting charcoal with an open flame on a tiny rusty grill in an anchorage. Lol.

Im not judging anyone! Just offering a different perspective. Seen people do some really dumb [censored].

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #300098
04/19/2023 08:44 PM
04/19/2023 08:44 PM
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Posts: 1,150
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MIDiver Offline
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Very true vitas. It has been ages since we have gone the charcoal route. It is a challenge for sure but we have had success with the cooking oil route when briquette bound.

Re: grilling on a mono [Re: Crew4Lemonade] #300544
04/28/2023 06:12 PM
04/28/2023 06:12 PM
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 4
Portland, Oregon
BusyBoater Offline
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Portland, Oregon
Make sure your dinghy is tied on the opposite side of the boat from the grill so you don't get ash on it, or worse, burn it.

Additional vote for soaking a paper towel with cooking oil to light. I've used lighter fluid exactly once; hot dogs tasted like jet fuel.

If you can get the egg crate charcoal it really takes all the pain out of charcoal grilling. It starts and gets hot very quickly. If you can't find them, plan well ahead to tinker with your fire and wait for the coals to get hot.

There are plenty of opportunities to re-provision in the BVI. Use your initial order to stock up on beverages, staples, and first few days of perishables. I was actually surprised at how quickly produce rotted and bread molded my first time to the Carribean.

I've lost enough meat in my time to know better: Forget grill lines and put your dogs on the grill perpendicular to the grill grate to keep them from rolling off. Take your time and go slow when moving things around on the grill. Alcohol is always a contributing factor, so drink accordingly.


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