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If you had to outfit a cabin with a generator

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
What would you do for the kitchen?

Toaster oven, hotplate, crockpot? Something like that?
post #2 of 19
Is propane not an option?
I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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post #3 of 19
That's what cast iron and fire is for. Charcoal for emergencies.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 19
I'd stay away from small appliances like a toaster oven as they pull a lot of juice when they run. It would depend on the generator and what else you intend to run off it. Some generators can run a whole house, including 220 current. Others are just small gasoline models meant to run some lights and keep your food from spoiling during an emergency.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Like a 2500 watt generator?
post #6 of 19
I may be uniquely suited to answer this question as I live on a sailboat and often do not have access to shore power.

I have a microwave oven, a stick blender, an electric kettle, and a vacuum sealer.

The only thing I use regularly is the blender, although I use the vacuum sealer to prep warehouse store portions for freezing. Other liveaboards I know have other appliances they cling to: one uses a microwave regularly and refuses to part with her stand mixer, another a food processor. My suggestion is to look around your more conventional kitchen and consider what you use most. That will help you prioritize what to accommodate in the cabin.

At the risk of poking behind your question, what is the power system for your cabin? A generator may not be the most appropriate addition. What fuels are readily available?

In my case I have two fuels: diesel for the propulsion engine, a 6 kW generator, and a heater; and propane for a cooker (stove and oven) and outside grill. There is a 675 Ah battery bank (about 8 kWh) and a 2 kW inverter. Refrigerator and freezer run off the battery bank. Air conditioning requires shore power or the generator, as does battery charging.

How do you heat and light now? Wood stove and kerosene lanterns? Do you have propane for cooking? Perhaps you already have a battery bank and could add more capacity and an inverter for kitchen appliances.

All that said, there are some nice, relatively quiet gasoline-powered generators (like the Honda EU-2000i) that could provide an inexpensive source of power. You are likely to find that resistance heating (like the toaster oven and crock-pot you mentioned) draws a surprising amount of power. Listening to even the quietest generator run all day to support a crock pot might drive you mad. Most people on limited power use pressure cookers to reduce cooking time rather than slow cookers.

That's probably quite long enough for my first post here ... <grin>
post #7 of 19
Kuan, I lived in the boondocks of Pennsylvania where the snow regularly knocked the power off and I had small children to take care of.

I had a wood/coal burning stove it had a cook top and a water tank in the back and a mit rail around the top for wet mittens and socks! lol

It heated my 1200 sq foot home very adequately and I used to keep thermometers in all the rooms to regulate the temps.

Before I learned how to regulate my stove I had it cranking 104 degrees in the room it was in...needless to say we had open windows..lol

It was great and I paid less than $2,000.00 for the whold kit and kaboodle!

and proud to have learned another skill, ...I can build a fire!!!

the oven had glass doors that were interchangeable with metal ( forgot what they were!)
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #8 of 19
you can get hand cranked blenders, I think they're on gaiam.com

I would have a wood fired brick oven, or an antique stove that burns wood and has burners and an oven (which would also heat your cabin).

I wouldn't think cooking on electricity from a generator at all, I would eliminate that step for cooking and either burn propane or wood directly.

If you want a fridge, a friend who has a solar cabin has a special fridge that is ultra efficient.

I'd actually consider if you could do the whole thing without a generator, and use other means.

LOL, you can even get TVs that you have to ride a stationary bike to power. Great to counteract those loaves of bread coming out of that brick oven.
post #9 of 19
Check RV supply stores for propane-powered refrigerators.
post #10 of 19
Other options are butune burners, the kind you see in China-town and...solar panels. Solar panels are becoming a lot more mainstream now, as a matter of fact Canadian Tire (lg. CDN bigbox automotive & hardware chain) carries the panels, the invertors, and batteries to store the juice they produce them. Microwaves are actually more energy efficeint at heating liquids than kettles or burners....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #11 of 19
I like the butane burners as well. Wonderful as primary cookers or as ready expansion.

Google for alternative energy solar .

If you do use solar, an MPPT charge controller is definitely worth the extra investment.

Microwaves are more efficient if you have someplace to plug them in. If the only reason for buying the panels/controller/batteries/inverter is to support the microwave the economics aren't so clear.
post #12 of 19
Local wood, And an outdoor receptical. Maybe a solar powered radio.
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'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #13 of 19
yeah, I've got one that does solar and hand cranked also so you can hand crank it if it's not sunny enough.

On those solar panels from Canadian Tire or similar shops, you generally don't get much juice out of them, so if you're going that way, check the specs carefully.
post #14 of 19
Well, One can still cook without a a radio...
It's just nice to listen to the local game while cooking.:cool:
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One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
See what I wanna do is buy some land up north and put a shack on it. My problem is I want to eat well also. :D Other problem is money of course. :D
post #16 of 19
Ah. The question is more clear.

I would still start thinking about fuels.

The following reflects my opinions; there are surely lots of "right" answers.

For starters, a fireplace (because they are pretty and take the chill off) or wood stove (a little less lovely, but lots better at heating). Wood warms over and over: when you cut it, when you split it, when you stack it, when you carry it inside, and when you burn it.

For cooking my first choice would be propane, followed by kerosene, followed by diesel. Propane will be more convenient if you can get it delivered to large external tanks. There are safety issues associated with propane installation and use so read up. Propane-fired refrigerators are also available, so you can solve both problems at once. There are lots of quite good cooktops and ovens available that run on propane. Kerosene, diesel, and even wood-fired stoves are available although pricey and will take some getting used to.

I'd start out with paraffin lamps for lighting until you get a handle on your actual usage of the place before sinking a lot of money into solar or wind alternative energy sources along with the expensive battery banks and invertors that make up off-the-grid power systems.

Compare prices between the self-sufficiency supply outlets (like Lehmans), RV stores, and marine vendors for the best prices and values.

When are we invited up for house-warming?
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Haha! Oh man I'm just in the fact finding stage right now. I suppose I first have to find a way to build the cabin. :)
post #18 of 19
If you buy near a road, there may well be conventional electric power available at reasonable cost. If not, you have to build the road too!
post #19 of 19

cabin in the woods!

if money wasn't a hinderance, i would go 'off grid' and definately put in solar panels..then you could have anything and everything your heart desires..i live in the colorado rockies and our house(cabin really) was built in the late 70's,so at that time there were not alot of options except juice from the power company..have friends who built a cabin 21 miles from the nearest neighbor and put in solar panels, propane refrigerator and stove and hot water 'on demand', which i would highly recommend to anyone.they cook alot on the grill and big dutch ovens over wood burning firepits(summer only)..i use to cook on private yachts for about 15 years and learned how truly self sufficient you can be i.e. from making your own water (reverse osmosis) to making electicity(generator)..check out some rv suppliers..you may be surprised just how many great new things technology has brought our way! do you have a good water source..well? i think that as long as you have good water, everything else is doable, adjusted for time and money considerations. its a good, good way to live...good luck!
joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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