Unless you’re one of those enthusiastic fishermen who only got their boats for weekly fishing trips at ungodly hours in the morning, you’d probably agree with me that nothing makes a day out on the boat like a good barbecue and a few cold ones. I’ve already written about the best grills you can get for your pontoon and how to install them, but today I would like to focus on the food itself – namely what I usually take with me on the deck when I’m heading for a day out on the lake, how I like to store it, and more. So, let’s start with the basics:
What are the best foods to take on a boat?
There’s no right answer to this one – it all depends on who you have on board with you on that day, what they prefer, how much time do you plan to spend on cooking, and so on. Personally, I would classify my pontoon trips into three main categories – fishing trips, relaxed Sunday afternoons with my wife and a couple friends, and more action-packed, typically kids-on-board type of days. I would usually take a few pounds of meat and veggies and whip up a barbecue when going out on a leisure boat trip – if I’m in the mood for cooking, that is. Most of my boater friends actually don’t like the idea of cooking on the boat, and prefer to bring finger food from home, but I actually enjoy the experience of flipping a burger on my boat of a sunny afternoon and enjoying it fresh off the grill.
However, I can’t deny that homemade finger food is a great alternative, no matter what the occasion is. You can always whip up a couple types of pressed sandwiches, wraps, fresh veggie kebabs, or sliced fruit, throw them in a cooler, and you’ll be good to go. You can also rely on a couple classic snacks to keep the kids happy and satisfied – trail mix, candy, popcorn, and mini cookies are all excellent choice. Be careful with the likes of nachos and chips (and anything crumbly in general) though – you’ll have to vacuum the deck after having those to avoid a pest/mice infestation. For those with a sweet tooth, the best thing I can think of are homemade or bought granola bars and cookies – but again, beware the crumbs!
What foods do I usually avoid taking on my boat?
Again, I like avoid bringing anything too crumbly on board, so I prefer to steer clear of chips and cookies. Obviously, anything that can’t be enjoyed cold, or that requires a lot of cooking is a no-no as well. So no soup, mac-n-cheese pots, chilli, pasta (except pasta salad), or the like.
How to store food on the boat?
There are three main rules for storing food on a boat. One – stock up on ziplock bags. Two, get a marine-grade cooler box – they keep the temperature for much longer than regular cooler boxes. Three, make sure raw foods never touch ready-to-eat ones. There’s no rocket science there – just make sure the beer and easily spoiled things are always kept in the cooler, away from the sun, and that the ready-to-eat snacks are well isolated from the raw burgers.