Going Gas-Free – I Hope – with a Remoska

On the Advice of Lettice I have bought one of these… a Remoska.

[Seriously, me ol’ fruit-bat’s knitted willy-warmer; great suggestion, and I won’t be holding you to any sort of account! 🙂 ]

Developed by the Czech electrical engineer Oldřich Homuta in the nineteen-fifties, tis a pan with a nifty electric heating element in the lid.

The reason why I reckon it might well plug a gap for me is that the wee beastie is rated at but 400W. The smallest two-litre basic basic model am currently retailing in Ingerlund at one hundred and fifty smackers. I understand that it is an on or off device, there’s no thermostattery, and it is reported to heat up to something between 180°C and 190°C.

On a boat there are no mains drains, no mains water supply and – crewshally [sic] – no mains electrickery. Everything that I use comes from the two alternators on Mr Diesel-Engine and/or the solar array – mostly, praise be to Zeus – the solar array. When neither engine nor Mr Sunshine are running, so to spoke, what I may call upon is contained in two lead-acid batteries in the engine bay, rated at a total of roughly 220Ah (most of which is not available unless you don’t mind slaughtering batteries). Without a mains supply economy is the watchword more than ever so with.

Mains voltage is available via a rinky-dinky device known to Humans as ‘The Inverter’, which draws power from the 12v batteries and uses an egg-whisk to fluff it up to 230 voltings with A of the C rather than D of the C.

The Inverter is not to be confused with the Interocitor.

At source though, all eleckickal power comes via or wholly from those two 12v batteries, batteries that are not dissimilar in nature to the engine starter battery under the bonnet of your own low-mileage one-careful-owner (and sixteen reckless owners) Lada / Zil / Moskvitch / Volga / ZAZ saloon car, estate, van, or pick-up.

The sort of thing, although the Cardinal’s are biggerer than this one, and there’s two of them (some folk have many more, I’ve heard of up to eight on one boat (what a lot of charging).

In theory this Remoska beastie should draw on the order of 45amps while running, so with the overhead of the inverter the batteries should be called upon to supply roughly 25Ah for 30 minutes of Remoska’ing and 50Ah for an hour’s worth. On an averagely good day the panels ought to replace that in 3 – 5 hours. Mr Engine would replace that draw in an hour of cruising.

On better (weather) days than today (which is chuffing miserable in all respects) the solar panels begin producing before 0600hrs and often don’t stop until 2100hrs, although the photon harvest naturally varies with the meteorological whims and caprices.

The slightly more modern Remoska that I have ordered from Messrs Lakeland.

What a lot of fuss-about I hear my reader cry. Why oh why? Well, I am getting rid of gas on the Cardinal. LPG is only used for cooking, the cooker was knackered at the beginning of last year, its remains will soon be removed and I am not forking out four or five times the cost of this Remoska thingy for a bit of domestic bent tin with a grill, four burners and a load of hassle come Boat Safety Certificate time. Since the unpleasantness begun last year bottles of gas have also become as rare as politician’s brains; most scarce indeed. Removing the LPG cooker removes the Cardinal from the uncivilised thrall of the LPG corporations.

Using the full-size oven to cook a meal for one always seemed an extravagance anyway.

The moment that man invented fire someone began to think up ways of taxing it.

In winter I boil kettles and cook on Mr Stove. Winter – from the evidence of late – creeps among us in September and doesn’t want to leave even in May. June, July and August are, laughably in England, the period of best chance of solar power, when I cook on the electrickery that falls from the sky. Hitherto and prior to the purchase of this (relatively) power-hungry device the solar panels have met all of my lighting/water-pumps/laptop/toothbrush/hair-trimmer/torch-recharging needs for nine or ten months of the year. When I cruise – even my own style of gentle cruises – electrickery at “The Mains Voltage, Boyo” is available willy-nilly and for an unnoticeable diesel overhead.

For those blurred seasons (all twelve months of them these days) I have manifold and varied options for the fooding.

A v.small 110W slow-cooker (most splendid). Cooks all manner of things, even bakes.

RidgeMonkey – stovetop and/or open fire and/or just about any heat source.

RidgeMonkey – anything from toasted sarnies to veggy burgers

The magnificent OmniaOven – any heat source from stove to open fire…

OmniaOven – cooks anything at all, provided that you don’t mind everything being Bundt-shaped.

My uber-cute one litre cast-iron Dutch Oven (just about any heat source)…

Petromax 1 litre

and which is pre-warming stove-top as I type this, the better to re-heat a PUKKA pie for me later (tis a lazy, lazy day!) – praise also be to Venetian Hire-Boats & Chandlery.

… and even lots (and lots) of outdoor heat options, closer to but not quite the full “cave-man”.

Folding camp-fire gizmo. It is actually tiny – room for just one pan or OmniaOven or RidgeMonkey or Dutch Oven or steamer, and will burn anything from pine cones to dead squirrels.

When necessary I can use twigs and old (or new) bird’s nests as fuel. If in a hurry (or lazy) I can also curry using solid-fuel blocks or those little cans of chafing fuel.

In extremis I also have the necessary for cooking over a paleolithic-style open fire ignited by rubbing two elderly badgers together.

That said, my favourite “go-to” remains my decades old, battle-scarred saucepan/steamer (if it grew below-ground boil it, above-ground then steam it, ish). This is also happy to sit upon any heat source other than full nukular.

Once rid, the space where the full-size LPG cooker used to be will become (neater, more convenient) storage for all of these and other cooking options, and will add to the galley worktop space.

The wee Remoska beastie is on the way (the other thing boats do not have is an address or a letterbox – or a doorstep upon which to leave expensive parcels, thank you very much HERPES Delivery driver, praise be to the Bro for finding it and taking it in – all being swelligant, see you next week some time).

The beastie will be called upon for varied service, from simple re-heating through proper bloke-cookery to the occasional full-blown gastronormous adventure.

Fingers crossed. I’ll let you know. 🙂

The Cardinal going “gas-free” is of course a relative condition. Have you heard of Jerusalem Artichokes? They have an …effect upon some folk. Some even suffer extreme effects. I, of course, fall into the latter camp.

I discovered this years ago and I can safely say that simply unwittingly cooking and eating a portion of Jerusalem Artichokes brought about the only occasion when I actually had the telephone in hand, fingers hovering over ‘999’ for the Emergency Services, wondering how I could explain that I, being of sound mind and sober and scientific disposition, seriously needed an ambulance because I was quite certainly about to die from flatulence of a volume and violence that I had hitherto not imagined might exist outside of the remit and purview of the Brussels Sprout-Eating Rhinoceros.

Had there been the slightest spark, such as from someone flicking a light switch, half of Norfolk would have been destroyed in the subsequent blast, and the Hubble Telescope would have recorded the first Hutson in (deep) Outer Space. Doubtless embarrassingly trouser-free, and thus ensuring the Human Species’ disbarment from any and all Alien Federations.

I lived of course (just, only just) but thereafter my mate’s dog (an expert canine farter himself) worshipped me as a god.

I on the other hand saw not gods but the work of The Devil in that vegetable.

The Remoska will be cooking no Jerusalem Artichokes, ne’ery a one.

Bring on the sunshine.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., & Cardinal W., on a “summery” feet-in-front-of-the-blazing-stove day.


  1. I always preferred the gas oven, myself. Over three years I only changed one of the cylinders once. Twenty quid it cost. I managed to blow two inverters, however, making toast…so, swings and roundabouts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Boiling toast in the mornings can be an art form far more difficult than grilling soup. Cook has a good recipe for both, but the requirement for lampreys and larks’ tongues is a bit of a b’ger.

      Why did you have a swing and a roundabout fitting on your boat?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Assuming a good “boy-scout” fire with a fairly ordinary-for-me temperature of between 871-982 °C, roughly 3,638,184 joules per adult Sciurus Carolinensis including the feet. With a total-burn time of ‘Squirrel Nominal as measured on the Casio’, about 1kWh, slightly less for a Sciurus Vulgaris. Cats are a great substitute if squirrels are short on the ground but the Boy Scouts would have to be recalibrated before the fire was started. I deny any and all responsibility if I have misplaced any of the decimal points. E&OE. 🙂


    1. It was indeed a scary time – I kept imagining being the only Hutson (as far as I am aware) being issued with a Death Certificate citing ‘Flatulence’. I couldn’t decide whether that would earn me my place in history or not. In my darker moments of panic I harboured worries about being publicly celebrated by some awful wax model scene in Madam Tussauds…

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  2. That camp fire gizmo looks positively lethal! Funny how al fresco cooking is billed as something desirably fun and more delicious, whereas I’m looking at your rusticated family o’ 3 there and it looks not fun to me. Cooking on your knees? No thank ‘ee. And where’s Mum? Back in the cave doing goodness knows with the comestibles or by the river doing the washing up, I expect.

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    1. I wait patiently for Time Team to excavate some cave along with its white goods, curved LED 72″ Smart, and fibre-optic internet connection by Stone Communications PLC.

      Population pressure – something else we’re most decidedly not allowed to mention these days – is pushing us into being zero-footprint eco-fairies rather than being Homo Natural. A new era of Human – well, I won’t say ‘evolution’ since that implies progress of some kind, but an era on the cusp of a terminology change, at least. The era when we all became terrified of the (electric) light, because we’d bred far too many of us for our environment. I wonder what we’ll be known as in the future encyclopediums? Homo Don’t-Breathe (Because you really can’t afford the carbon expiration)…?


  3. If it will cook a Fray Bentos that is all you need to know.
    I gather that propane has been the subject of massive takeovers, leaving two companies monopolising the supply, and, no doubt, putting up the price so you are well out of it all.
    When in France we used the Godin wood stove for cooking all through the chillier seasons…just as well as the electric supply was unopredictable. When first there we were interested to see stoves with two gas rings and two electric ones…it was for when there were power cuts, a phenomenon so frequent that it was worth making a stove to cope with it.

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    1. Solid fuel stovings are a wonderful thing, once you get used to the constant nurturing and the overnight feeding. This will be why our dear gubbermunt is grinding its teeth, working towards outlawing them!

      The uber-regular shortages and power-cuts of the nineteen-seventies seem to have been all but forgotten by what we laughingly call ‘history’ these days, I haven’t even seen a cringingly-revisionist reference to “power of the trades unions” for many years. My entire teenhood has become politically incorrect and unacceptabubble. Also my adulthood and my old age. My early childhood was an era regarded as a bit iffy too. I think perhaps that I was born ‘Cancelled’. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Also in The Fall and Rise, although I empathised too readily and strongly (and unconsciously) with the vicious under-tow of pure desperation in his character, making the series an uncomfortable commentary on my own life. 😉


  4. A whole new world of quizeen awaits. Can hardly contain myself to read the latest blockbuster ‘Ian Hutson and Cardinal Wolsey’s One Pot Cookery’ brought to you from the galley of an old tug. ‘Take one flying saucer shaped tin, pop into the Remoska, not forgetting, of course to remove the top by way of cranking up the ole opener of tins’. A ruddy publishing sensation featured on Richard and Prudy’s book selection of the Millennium, of that there is no doubt.


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    1. Well sadly whatever I cook today will be carrot-free, since I’ve just lobbed their remains into the hedgerow for the next-level vegetable predators to enjoy. The carrots – as most supermarket veggies seem to do these days – had begun talking amongst themselves, plotting agin me. Do supermarkets spray them with something as they leave the shop, or perhaps irradiate them in the delivery van or some such? How did pre-SMEG man keep his veggies over winter, without the aid of a colour-co-ordinated-with-freezer-compartment-and-ice-maker?


  5. Crying with laughter here! Just thankful I have never come into contact with a JA during my life – baked beans and brown bread are sufficient.Very interesting cruise through the Cardinal’s cooking arrangements and much of it new to me. Interested to know if your new gizmo will cook a Fray Bentos you mentioned in an earlier post.

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    1. Part of my [extensive] researches uncovered testimony that the Remoska loves to cook Poof-Pastry and, further, that the internal diameter of the pan is sufficient unto a Fray Bentos pie tin.

      I had to wade through an awful awful awful lot of internet entries beginning with ‘…take one large chicken, remove the feathers, insert three cloves of garlic and place in the Remoska…’ to find that useful little nuggetty nugget. Do meaty eaters ever cook anything other than hen carcasses? 😉


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