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Product Review: Seaward Princess 2-burner stainless steel range

Now that I've lived in the tiny house for almost two months, I plan to begin posting reviews of the many appliances and products I chose to furnish our house with.

One of my favorite things about my tiny house is our great little propane stove and oven. Many, many people have asked for details about what model it is and where to get it. So let's get that done right off the bat!

kitchen_stove3

The stove (well, range really -- it has an oven too!) is a Seaward Princess 2-burner model. It is a marine-style range, designed for use in sailboats. However, it also comes with the "built-in" option (geared toward RV use), instead of the gimbaled option used most commonly in boats. Gimbaled means it hangs on a single pivot point on each side of the range, so the range can move with the rocking of the boat to stay as level as possible while cooking even on the open sea. I however, got the built-in option which forgoes the gimbals and offers a stainless steel trim piece to finish the edge around the counter top. I chose the stainless steel option for both the top and door instead of the black option. I assume the black option is a black enamel finish, but I'm not sure.

The best price I found for the stove was a Sure Marine Service. The website lists it as out of stock, but if you call them they can order it for you directly from the manufacturer. Their price (including the freight cost) was the best I found at the time. Other good sources for marine stoves are Defender and West Marine. In addition to Seaward (probably the most economical of the bunch), the other major marine range manufacturers are Force 10 and Dickinson. The are all quite pricey, but I think the range we got is well worth it. Here's why:

Build Quality

So far I am very happy with the overall build-quality. I can't find a single piece that does not seem very sturdy and well built. The stainless finish (designed to withstand the salty ocean air, among other abuses) is very attractive and easy to clean. More on that later. The oven is enamel coated and the door is sturdy and operates smoothly. The whole thing is quite heavy, but for me that is a plus -- I know it is built to last.

I'm sure one of the plastic knobs will be the first thing to go (the only plastic parts, as far as I can tell), but at least those can be replaced quite cheaply and easily.

Features

This range has a simple push-button starter. It has two 8,000 btu burners and a 10,000 btu oven and broiler. The oven includes a adjustable rack, a properly sized baking pan, and another meshed baking/grill pan. It has a thermocouple gas shutoff to prevent any gas leaking when the stove is not lit.

Easy Cleaning

What's great about the stove is how the burners are sealed and constructed of separate pieces that can lift off to be cleaned easily. There are very few cracks or places where dirt and grime can build up. I imagine that with some regular cleaning, the stove will continue to look nearly new for quite some time.

Performance

The stove and oven have both performed well. For someone who eats almost every meal at home, it's great to have a range that is very functional, even at such a small size (more on that later). The burners are quite hot -- plenty of heat for anything I've cooked so far. I'm not much of a baker, so can't comment on the subtleties of the oven and/or how it performs in every situation, but the temperature seems fairly accurate and it heats up quickly.

The only negative I can think of is that the burners actually burn too hot. You have to turn the knob almost all the way down to get the heat down to a medium or low setting -- and the lowest setting is a bit too hot for a simmer. But I think this is actually a problem with my propane supply, and my guess is that the stove requires a different pressure than I am giving it. I'll have to read through the installation instructions again to be sure, but I think I just need to get a different inline regulator to reduce the amount of propane going to the stove. Then I think I will have a better heat range, with a proper middle and low end.

I'll report more on this later, once I have time to tinker with it a bit.

Size

Those who are serious bakers or who want to cook an entire bird for Thanksgiving dinner will or course find fault with the size. But the small size is what makes this such a great option for tiny house dwellers who want the complete package without it taking up their entire kitchen. I would never have considered even the most compact traditional 4 burner ranges, as they would take up too much precious square footage. But Seaward (and the other major brands) also offer 3-burner stoves similar in size to my 2-burner, for those wanting that extra burner. I chose a bit more counter space instead.

The oven is small and fits what I think of as a half sized backing pan, or maybe even less than half size. But still, we make baked potatoes and things like that all the time, so it's great unless you want to make dozens of cookies or something like that. The stove top is perfect for 2 medium or smaller sized pots/pans at a time, but if you have a large 12 inch fry pan or wok on one side it leaves hardly any room to use the other burner. So it's not very practical for your really large size cookware. But perfect for 1 or 2 people cooking a simple dinner!

Conclusion

All-in-all I am very happy with the Seaward range so far. It is solid, simple, no-frills range that seems like it will last a long time. For those who do a lot of eating-in, I'd definitely recommend a stove with an oven as well. Living in a tiny house does mean making some sacrifices, but if you love cooking, you definitely do not need to give it up!

One thing to remember: because propane does not burn completely clean, you will need to have an exhaust fan near the stove to pull out some of the products of combustion -- or least always keep a window cracked. We have an exhaust fan in the bathroom that we leave running whenever we are cooking. It serves a double purpose; eliminating moisture from the air while showering and for venting the stove.


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21 comments on “Product Review: Seaward Princess 2-burner stainless steel range”

  1. Lehman's (and probably other retailers) sell simmer mats to put on your burners so that you can slow simmer pots without burning. You might want to see if that would help with making soups, etc.

  2. Lehman's (and probably other retailers) sell simmer mats to put on your burners so that you can slow simmer pots without burning. You might want to see if that would help with making soups, etc.

  3. Just to let you know All propane stoves and quite a few portable two burner electric grills seem to over heat even on low. We live in an RV and have a 3 burner propane and everything I cook in the over or on top the stove burns because it is too hot.. There is only one pressure you can have so there is no way to correct that. To my mind it is a design fault really. High is high but simmer or low should be low but is still too hot.. I bought a burner plate at my local dollar store which goes on the burner under my pot and now it cooks great as for the oven, lower the heat no matter what the recipe requires and shorten the time. No burned goods that way. Meanwhile enjoy.

  4. If your gas hose has a regulator on it, you can turn it to lesson the amount of propane feeding into the stove and reduce the flame size that way. Some propane appliances, like the Mr. buddy heater,come with a regulator built in and that is why you have to buy their "special" hoses. Check your propane hose to your stove. If there is a larger roundish device on it with a red knob, you have a regulator, but read about how to use it before trying it. My single stovetop burner has a regulator on the hose and a tiny screw on the stem of the on and off lever which also regulates the amount of air intake to the burner which also helps regulate the heat. You may have something like that,too.l just some thoughts. I am currently living in my second tiny house. Had to sell the first one because my car could not pull it safely. This one is only 6x6, but I am loving it, and I cook everyday, all day!

  5. Might see if adjusting the air/gas slidder could help out with simmer. I am in no way a propane guy and actually it scares the heck out of me. But I do know in our motorhome and pull camper I can adjust the flame by adding more air or propane. just a thought

  6. I have this range on our sailboat. When I cleaned it the graphic that indicated the knob settings for the temperature settings came off. Anyone know where I can find a new one?

  7. I'm curious what you mean by a half bake pan. A typical cake pan is 9x13 and a brownie pan is 8x8 - are you saying a brownie pan would fit but not a cake pan?

    I can live without roasting a 20 lb turkey, which I've only done a handful of times anyways, but not without the capability to roast a 6 lb chicken which I do at least monthly.

    I was thinking an apartment-sized gas stove, which is a 4-burner, and overall about 2/3 the size of a normal-house range/oven. I rarely use more than 2 burners though, so if this oven is large enough, it might be a better fit.

  8. FWIW, my Premier BAK1000 propane range was scorching on simmer. Somewhere on the internets, I found that a 3/16 flathead "cabinet" screwdriver could adjust a secret screw deep behind the burner knobs. (Not mentioned anywhere in the Premier instructions)

  9. Maybe a silly question because I'm new to tiny house planning, but does one have to use a propane stove/oven in a tiny house? I've just noticed that in all of the tiny houses I've seen online so far, everyone seems to be using propane. Would electric work, too? What are the advantages/disadvantages? Thank you!

    1. Both will work. It's a matter of preference. Personally (and I think most everyone would agree), I really like cooking on a gas flame as opposed to an electric burner. I also think Propane is a more efficient way of cooking compared to a normal electric stove. I like propane because it requires far less electricity overall, making it a much better way to go if you want to be off-grid and use solar power. An electric stove will use way too much electricity. I also use propane for my on-demand water heater, so it's nice just to have both major appliances use the same fuel.

  10. We have a princess mariner oven On our boat and can't get the oven to ignite. Any one have any suggestions?
    Burners work fine. Thanks

    1. I've never had an issue with the oven. Ive had ignition issues and may need to replace the igniter, but burners and oven have worked the same. Maybe it's just a loose wire?

    2. More than likely it's an electrical issue. Most common is the igniter. Could also be the electronic control, the temperature sensor, or even the gas valve, though none of these are especially common. If you are smelling gas and it's not lighting, it's likely you have more than one problem. Shut off the gas and electric supply in such a situation.

      You'll probably have to call a professional, as most of the checks require someone with training in live voltage diagnosis. Good luck!

  11. Hi Alek,
    Thanks for posting this review of the stove, it looks like just the one I would want in my future tiny home. One question though. I tried to find a site with the measurements on it, but found I was unable to. Could you post the measurements (width, height, and depth) so that I may see if it would fit? Thanks in advance
    Jess

      1. Thanks! I hope it is still for sale... Awesome website you've got here! Will definitely be frequenting it a lot for planning my (hopefully!) future tiny house!