Cookin' with coal

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Sun May 04, 2014 2:55 pm

lsayre wrote:Not to expose my ignorance here, but can you safely keep a fire going in these old coal fired cook stoves year round, so you can cook on (and in) them year round?



Larry,
Here's more to give you an idea of how well these old ranges can run in warm weather.

Last Friday I baked a meatloaf in the range oven.

It was 60 degrees outside. A temp when I used to shut the stove down for the season. And, after resealing the oven this past winter, I don't have to have the range blazing to get the oven up to 350.

I was using about a 50/50 mix of nut and stove coal (see picture). In the pictures you can see there's plenty of heat in that firebox and the oven is staying right at 350 with the following damper settings.

To keep the oven down to 350 degrees (it wanted to run hotter with the stove/nut mix).
1. I had the primary damper open only a sliver at the two outer openings - closed for the middle three. I modified it many years ago so that the two outer air slots have been filed a few thousandths wider gap than the inner three slots. That gives me more of a progressive adjustment and finer air tuning to get lower, longer-lasting run times than having all five primary air slots the same width as the stove was built.

2. The MPD was fully closed - just using the holes in the MPD plate. Mano was reading .015.

3. The damper to the water reservoir was closed to reduce heat radiating surface area heating the kitchen. That also channeled a higher percentage of flue heat around the oven.

4. If I had been using all stove coal, instead of a mix, I would have needed to open the check damper at the base of the stack to help bleed in cool air and kill some of the strong draft - otherwise the stove/oven would have been running too hot.

A few weeks ago, I had no trouble keeping the range idling along during the day with just nut coal when it was in the 70's - 80 degrees outside.

With wood it is even easier to run it in hot weather.

Paul
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Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun May 04, 2014 4:53 pm

Thanks Paul! You've put a lot of thought and effort into this, and you are reaping the well deserved results of your efforts.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Pancho On: Mon May 05, 2014 9:21 am

Sunny Boy wrote:
With wood it is even easier to run it in hot weather.

Paul


That's interesting. Is it solely that wood burns 'cooler' so you have less temperature to manage?.
Pancho
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood No. 8
Coal Size/Type: Stove
Other Heating: Jotul Firelight

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Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Mon May 05, 2014 9:44 am

Pancho wrote:
Sunny Boy wrote:
With wood it is even easier to run it in hot weather.

Paul


That's interesting. Is it solely that wood burns 'cooler' so you have less temperature to manage?.


More like wood wants to burn faster, and to avoid creosote build up, needs to burn hotter.

My coal range will continue to idle along with stack temps at only about 20 - 25 degrees above room temp and a mano draft reading as low as .005, . . if it's not too windy. If it's windy I close the check draft damper more and bump it up to about 105 stack temp and .01 mano reading.

We had very strong wind gusts last night. When I damped down the range for the night, to play it safe, I left the check draft damper fully closed and the water reservoir damper closed too. And, since we didn't need as much heat in the kitchen over night, that sent a bit more heat to the stack gaving it stack temps of about 120-130 and mano reading of .015 - .02.

I couldn't run it that cool with wood under those same conditions.

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Photog200 On: Mon May 05, 2014 4:44 pm

I have the same situation with my stove when burning wood. I usually have to use the check damper on the stove to cool it off when burning wood in it. With all of the leaks around the lids, it sucks air in and even though I have the primary and secondary air shut off, it is still getting air in. The only way to cool it off is to use the check damper. This time of year I like burning wood in the cook stove better than coal because I can let the fire go out and not have the heat drive you out.

Randy
Photog200
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Colonial Clarion cook stove, & Kineo #15 base heater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Chestnut
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: BPatrick On: Tue May 06, 2014 9:36 am

I'd love to put a coal oven in at our house. Have the room for it but don't know if the misses wants to really learn how to work that stove to cook.
BPatrick
 
Baseburners & Antiques: 2 Crawford 40 Baseheaters
Coal Size/Type: Stove Coal
Other Heating: Herald Oak No. 18

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Tue May 06, 2014 9:47 am

BPatrick wrote:I'd love to put a coal oven in at our house. Have the room for it but don't know if the misses wants to really learn how to work that stove to cook.


Some of the stove shops will start one up and let her try cooking on it if it will help. It's not as tough as you may think. Certainly no tougher than your Crawford.

Plus, the kitchen becomes a nice warm place to be during winter. :)

And, you can tell her, there's no more need to scrub/clean the oven either ! ;)

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Photog200 On: Tue May 06, 2014 10:45 am

Sunny Boy wrote:
BPatrick wrote:I'd love to put a coal oven in at our house. Have the room for it but don't know if the misses wants to really learn how to work that stove to cook.


Some of the stove shops will start one up and let her try cooking on it if it will help. It's not as tough as you may think. Certainly no tougher than your Crawford.

Plus, the kitchen becomes a nice warm place to be during winter. :)

And, you can tell her, there's no more need to scrub/clean the oven either ! ;)

Paul

No need to wait for the oven to heat up either if you already have it going on coal. I would rather cook on the old cook stove than the new $2,000.00 glass top electric stove I just put in the kitchen. The old cook stove oven is the only part that took me some getting use to.

Randy
Photog200
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Colonial Clarion cook stove, & Kineo #15 base heater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Chestnut
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Tue May 06, 2014 1:07 pm

Good point Randy,

A few more things that might sway the wife toward a coal range.

Unlike modern kitchen ranges, unless it also has a French cook top, you have lots more cooking area. At least 50% more than the average kitchen range. In fact, the entire stove top is one big cooking surface of various temperatures. My range is on the small side with 5 square feet of cooking surface. Most have about the same cooking area as diner grills.

Just using the usual 6 cover plates (some call them burners) that most coal/wood ranges have, that gives two high temp "burners" over the firebox (usually the left end) that get hot enough to cook bacon nice and crisp and deep fry with a large pan/pot. Then there's two in the middle that are mid temp burners that are hot enough to just keep a large tea kettle, or pot a couple degrees below boiling, fry eggs, cook stews, and one on the right front for low heat for big pot simmer and one on the right back for small pot simmer, or just keeping food warm. Those temps can all be changed quite a bit by just opening, or closing dampers.

Also, the coal/wood ranges have a cooking surface that is 4-5 inches lower than modern stoves. That's often a much better height for many women to work at, especially with tall stock pots and Dutch ovens. The modern stoves are higher in part for child safety reasons.

Then there are swing-out trivets, and/or back shelves, or warming closets above that can range from a couple hundred degrees to about one hundred. Great for keeping food hot, or just warm. Plus the shelves work well for drying gloves, hats, just-washed pots/pans, etc.. Mine and Wilson's have swing-out trivets and shelves , Randy's has trivets and warming closet. Carole's has two shelves. Lots of combos to suit your preference.

And many ranges have a dish towel drying rod, or two, off the back left corner near the fire box. Dries dish towels in minutes without getting in the way of cooking, or operating the range.

And lots of space around the stove base for drying and/or warming up winter shoes and boots. Speaking of warm floor space around the range, . . . if you have pets, guess where they'll be spending a lot of time sleeping during the winter ? :D

Don't forget, millions of women (a few of us guys too :roll: ) have been, and still are, successfully cooking on these type ranges for over 130 years.

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: DePippo79 On: Fri May 09, 2014 12:35 am

I see the Victorian Kitchen and Garden youtube video's mentioned a couple pages back. Another good Victorian youtube show/series (BBC) is the 1900 house. Another glimpse into Victorian times. Matt
DePippo79
 
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Oak 40, Stanley Argand No. 30, Stanley Argand No. 20 missing parts.
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite. Stove and nut size.
Other Heating: Oil hot water.

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Fri May 09, 2014 8:23 am

DePippo79 wrote:I see the Victorian Kitchen and Garden youtube video's mentioned a couple pages back. Another good Victorian youtube show/series (BBC) is the 1900 house. Another glimpse into Victorian times. Matt



Thanks Matt Sounds interesting, I'll have to check that out.

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Fri May 09, 2014 9:13 am

Well, the weather here is finally warming up. Not just the days, but the nights too. So, I let the range burn out last night. :(

As much as I like the end of winter, letting the range go out is like the loss of a good friend. For the past seven months we've been spoiled by having that warm feeling everytime we walk into the kitchen. We're spoiled having to wait for the tea kettle hot water to heat up on the gas stove. And, we're also spoiled by having to reheat our coffee mugs in the microwave because we don't have a hot stove top to leave the mugs sitting on that keeps the coffee at the perfect temperature.

I find myself almost wishing for cold weather again, . . . almost. :D

But this also gives me time to catch up on some long awaited repairs and hopefully start the old girl's restoration.

With Wilson's generous help, I've been able to get the bits and pieces that I've needed and been looking for, for many years. He has the molds used to make new firebricks for many models of these old ranges. He sent me some prototype mixes of refractory cement and now I can start checking the fit. He's testing the various mixes of firebrick material to see which will work best for removable bricks that are formed by mold.

Just as the range was designed, being able to have duplicates of the original, removable bricks will make it easier to do any maintenance or repairs. And make it easier to switch over from coal to using wood in the shoulder months than the formed-in-place refractory liners that most stove restoration shops do.

He also informed me that he just received the sets of new re-cast grates that no other stove shop could find for me in eight years of searching. Wilson was the only one able to find a NOS grate for my early model Sunny Glenwood 208 to use as a pattern.

The inner most grates in this Sunny was warped upward at a 45 degree angle by a previous owner allowing ash to build up too high. It's warped so much that it not only prevents rotating the grates as they were designed to do, it makes a gap with either the other grate or the teeth along the side of the firebox. That gap occasionally drops still burning coal while shaking the grates. And because the grate also warps upward, the firebox doesn't hold as much coal as it should.

Now, I'll be able to use the triangular coal grates the way they were designed to work. As they daily get rotated 120 degrees toward each other, the grate's triangular teeth move any clinkers away from the firebox sides and grind them into small pieces as they move the bits down into the ash pan. No more reaching in through the ash drawer door and poking/raking through the grates to break up any clinkers. So life with the range will be as it should, easier to operate and better use of coal.

If I get the time this summer, I can proceed with restoring the old girl. If all goes well, she'll be almost like new next heating season.

On another note, back in Nov 20, 2013, I started this thread to show the merits of using a coal range for more than just heat. I had no idea it would turn out to be this long running. Wow, 50 pages, 745 replies, and over 12,272 views.

I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this thread to make it such an in-depth look at what coal ranges can do, and do that with equal the efficiency of some of the top designed stoves of their day.

I know I learned a lot from all this. It has made mine and Melissa's appreciation for this wonderful gift that she bought me nine years ago, plus all our Cookin' with coal, so much better.

Thank you all, from Paul & Melissa
Last edited by Sunny Boy on Fri May 09, 2014 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Fri May 09, 2014 11:49 am

One cooking item I forgot to report back on was a recipe for lemon apricot scones that michealanthony pm'd to me.

Took a while to get the dried apricots, but it was well worth it. As he said, they are quick to make and quick to bake. Even a kitchen goof like me can make them. :roll:

Where I grew up it was always bagels, or croissants in deli's, diners, and coffee shops. I'd never had scones until these. Now they are my favorite. But, beware. These scones are deceptively addicting !!!! The lemon and apricot flavors work well together, yet they don't overpower each other ,or the flavor of the dough and sugar topping.

This is one of those foods that someone says, "I bet you can't eat just one ! " I couldn't. :D

We baked the first batch while dinner was cooking, planning to have them as dessert. But, hot out of the oven, with melted butter on them, they came darned close to completely displacing dinner ! :D

Thank you michealanthony for yet another addition to our cooking favorites list.

Paul
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Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: ddahlgren On: Fri May 09, 2014 10:48 pm

This needs to be a sticky at the top at all times in my opinion a true reference work. Hopefully an ongoing one but something to not end up as an obscure post in 2 years. The other possibility a sub group to hand fired coal stoves maybe? Your board just my opinion and only given as one mans opinion that might make the forum even more valuable than it already is. I find this forum an endless supply of information and practical ideas and methods to take advantage of burning coal effectively. While I hate the winter I suspect next year I will hate it much less when the Crane 404 is keeping me warm. When I finally find that cabin in the sticks that is a clean palate a coal cook stove will no doubt be there with a used gas stove for the summer.
ddahlgren
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Cookin' with coal

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Sat May 10, 2014 7:32 am

^^^ I'll second that opinion,i have followed this thread from its beginning,very informative,very educational, but unfortunately, a few posts were weight gain threats :) :lol: Paul,you really should not be posting pics of those scones :mad3: (i can't have sugar) i drolled over those !! I will have to see if my wife can make something close with maple syrup for sweetener or will those scones only come out right done in a coal range?
windyhill4.2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Other Heating: Oaktree OWB 600K

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