Jackie starts of this series with some tasty stew. Its time to re-evaluate power assumptions about things like skillets and crock pots and determine if these useful appliances can be practically used in the right sized genverter system. If so, you can move off grid sooner with less kitchen equipment? Next in the series, we’ll look at another common kitchen appliance.
One thing I miss about not having grid power is being able to cook with most electric appliances. [Marshall has the exception for his Espresso though] I recall asking about the electric food dehydrator. about the bread maker, and about the crock pot – all No. “We don’t want to short out our batteries for heating food”, he would say. However, yesterday he decided to test that theory after a reader comment.
I scrounged up a crock pot and this morning put in all the ingredients for beef stew. Below is what went into the pot:
Quick Crock-Pot Stew
1 package of beef stew meat, cut into smaller chunks (about 1 inch)
cup of carrots cut into 1to 1 and 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 large onion
3 potatoes cut into 2 inch chunks
1 zucchini chopped into 1 inch chunks
3 chopped garlic cloves
2 bouillon cubes
2 cans Italian stewed tomatoes
1 cup V-8 juice
1 and 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp thyme
Set the crock pot on the “low” setting and leave it alone for about 8 hours when it should be ready for serving
After about 8 hours I dished it out. Everything was basically done except for the potatoes. Next time, I will cut the potatoes into smaller chunks, maybe 3/4 inch. The carrots were mostly done but could have gone longer. They should be cut into smaller chunks too.
We are going to try this again, but with the crock-pot on “high” instead to see if the stew will cook better and faster, with reasonable power for Marshall.
First, I forgot how nice a stew simmering in the kitchen all day creates such a pleasant aroma! I used the P4400 Kill-a-Watt power monitor with the crock pot during the test which was run on inverter power (Modified Sine Wave) the entire time.
Model: Rival Crock-Pot, stoneware slow cooker
Test time: 8hours
Power Setting: Low (71W)
Watt Hours used: 570 WH
Each time we collect useful off grid appliance data like this its added to the table in Power Budgets  data you can use.
While this level of power would not work for the Small Emergency Genverter System, it is reasonable for larger systems that would be able to store more battery power. This would not be efficient if you needed to run it on the straight generator alone, but trickling out stored power for 8 hours would work.
For example today, my 400W solar array had morning sun and afternoon clouds. We gathered 1300 WH from solar power today and using 570 for a tasty dinner would work on solar power alone!
Jackie continues with; rethinking off grid cooking 
What are your favorite Crock Pot recipes? What kitchen appliance would you like to see next? Tell us below in the comment section!