After getting LDPosse's thread, "Oak" stoves vs modern "box" stoves, off track by throwing kitchen ranges into the "heating efficiency" mix, I'd like to first, apologize to LDPosse, . . and second, answer some more kitchen range questions that have been raised by as suggested, starting a new thread. Which I should have done before. Sorry LDPosse.
Questions from DePippo ;
Sunny Boy, I think it's awesome you actually cook on your stove. I have some questions if you don't mind. Feel free to start a new topic.
1) With a modern stove you can preheat the oven say 350 deg. Is it the same with the antique?
2) How do you regulate oven temperature.
3) Cooking times about the same as modern stoves?
4) Ease of operation?
5) Do you use it in the summer months too? Will it make the house/kitchen to hot?
Thanks for your insight. Matt
Matt, Thank you.
1). Yes, the oven temp is adjustable. But, it's already pre heated to an extent. The left side of the oven is the right side wall of the fire box. Even with the cast liner for coal use, the liner doesn't go down past the top of the grates so, there is always some heat getting through to the oven from that side. Plus, all but the right back corner of the top of the oven is exposed to some amount of heat from the fire box, even with the oven damper open in direct mode.
In indirect mode and just using for heat (oven damper closed), the flue gases have to travel across the top of the oven, when they are their hottest, then down the front half of the oven's right side, under the front bottom area of the oven, around the back bottom side, then up the rear half of the right side of the oven, then back across the top rear corner to a chamber under the opening to the stove pipe. That keeps the oven in the low 200 degree range all the time. My oven leaks air, or it would be hotter then that. (see the pictures below and on page two in the thread here. "Oak" stoves vs modern "box" stoves
Since I use the range to also heat the back part of my house, just as you would do with a base burner, the oven is always on when not loading, emptying ashes, or cleaning flues (oven damper closed). And, with the oven on, it's got eight feet of internal flue gas travel, were as with the oven damper open (direct mode) there is only about a foot of flue gas travel from the top of the fire box directly across the back left corner of the top of the oven to the base of the stove pipe.
2) Two ways. One, by changing the ash door damper setting to change fire box output. Two, on the front of the stove, down where the water tank casing meets the oven wall, there is a short lever. That lever is the end of a shaft that two damper doors are attached to. One door in each of the vertical flues between the oven and the water tank. When opened, they partially block flues gas travel under the oven sending some of it to the water tank casing. Lifting up on the lever closes those two doors to the water tank. That sends all of the flue gases around the outsides of the oven, rather than splitting the flue gas volume between the oven and the water tank casing.
Additionally there are two other dampers that I rarely use, but they can help to fine-tune the stove temps. Especially if using wood. There is the broiler door damper that controls air over the fire. I don't use it with coal, except to once in awhile look in to see the "blue ladies". The broiler door damper does help control burn times when burning wood and cleaning up smoke when first lighting a fire with wood.
Then there is a , "check damper" in the top plates of the stove at the base of the stove pipe. It is just a plate that slides horizontally making an opening to draw cooler air into the stove pipe base as it partially blocks off flue gas travel from the stove. Useful for killing some of the draft when the stove is running too hot.
When I first got the stove and noticed it has "CHECK DAMPER" in raised letters cast into it. I thought, "What idiot put that there as a viewing port to see what the stove pipe damper is doing ! ". After awhile , . . I realized that's an old-time use of the word "check", meaning to "keep in check", as in, to slow down the draft . Another "Oh Duh" moment strikes !
3) If the oven heat is the same, then yes , the cooking times are the same.
4) Like a modern stove, there's a bit of a learning curve. Counting the stove pipe damper, there are six dampers to control the stove. But, for day-to-day operation, only the ash door, oven damper and MPD are used. When I want to bake I turn the water tank damper lever up to start heating the oven even more if I need it, just as you would push a button, or turn a dial to pre-heat a modern oven. So, compared to a modern kitchen range, it's just dampers vs pushing buttons.
Plus, it's simpler in that I don't have to remember how to reset the clock everytime the power goes out, or day light savings rolls around. !
5) No, here in the hills of central NYS, by the end of May it's warm enough that I don't need the heat. Even throttled down to just barely able to keep burning, it puts out too much heat and would make the kitchen too hot.
BTW, it was not uncommon in the days when these stoves were new that houses had a "summer kitchen". The kitchen stove and wash tubs would be moved outdoors to a back porch, or the ground under a roof off the back of the house, much like our modern car ports. All the cooking and washing would be done outside for the warmer months. Then, the stove typically only had a few lengths of stove pipe - just enough to get the flue gases up away from the cook.
And you guys thought backyard BBQ-ing was a new thing ? Ha !
By September it's getting cold enough here that I start it up again and it runs 24/7 for the next nine months, unless I go away over night.
While we're on the subject, . . . .
For stove top cooking, the two left hand "burners" - the round plates - are the hottest. They typically are 500-700 degrees surface temperature when cooking. The middle two round plates run about 350-400, the right front about 250, and the back right about 150 for "simmering". The back right round plate is walled off from flue gases coming directly from the fire box. It gets it's heat after the gases have traveled down, under the oven and back up toward the stove pipe.
Cooking temps are usually maintained by moving whatever is being cooked to another "burner", more often than adjusting the burner temperatures with the use of damper settings.
The round plates are removable to get more direct heat when needed. It's interesting to note that many modern pots and pans are still made to the correct size to fit sitting centered on the stove top openings that the Glenwood's 8-1/2 inch round plates sit in.
Many ranges also came with a "ring plate", cast as three concentric rings, nesting in each other. When removed, the smallest ring opening fits many coffee mugs, the middle fits a lot of small sauce pans, and the outer ring is the same as all the other round plates. That larger opening not only fits a lot of old cast iron cook wear, it also fits many modern fry pans and stock pots. In fact, all of my modern Everwear stainless steel copper bottomed, or tri-ply bottomed pots and pans sit perfectly on these round, stove top openings just as if the Everwear designers had been working with Glenwood. Pretty cool that these old stoves very likely set the standards for what size pots/pans we still cook with today.
BTW, I'm not the only one cooking on an old range. Randy, (Photog200) posted a picture of his beautiful, Clarion range in that thread linked to above. He feels the same way I do about using these old ranges as they were meant to be. I have two friends that use their Kalamazoo wood ranges for cooking in the colder months.
And, hopefully there will be some others who chime in about their cooking/heating experiences with these old stoves.
Glad you enjoyed it.