If I can get my hands on some bitt. coal, I intend to try it in the insert for a couple days or so this winter.
My main source is anthracite, but last winter I tried coke, destined for the steel yards, with good results for three or four days.
I've known a few people around here that burn bitt coal in wood stoves, they just don't load it full like you would load a coal stove.
the way I understand it Bitt. coal burns best in a unit that has the ability to feed the fire with a secondary, or above the fire air source to burn off the volitals and maybe that is why it does well in a wood stove? So I'm figuring that the Baker, being a coal stove, with shaker grates, and getting its main source of air from under the fire, with the added benefit of having secondary air inlets on the loading door, leftover from the days before EPA regulation of wood stoves, when the unit was a wood and coal stove, may have the ability to burn a full load of bitt. coal better than a wood insert. It also burns wood well. With the inside dimensions of the firebox being 22 1/2 in. wide and 15 3/4 deep you can load it full of decent size logs.
My Vermont Castings Vigilant is designated as a Anthracite and Bituminous coal stove. Like the baker, although not EPA approved the VC will also burn wood. Maybe that would look good sitting on the hearth in front of the fireplace, It can be ordered with short legs and set up with the flue coming out the back and into the fireplace then up.