Crow Horse wrote:Would a non contact IR thermometer be acceptable to use?
Yes, an IR thermometer is fine and lets you take quick measurements at many locations. Magnetic thermometers are more convenient because they are always active and you can check them at a glance.
Most people use two magnetic thermometers, one on the stovepipe and one at some representative spot on the stove surface. You will quickly learn what stove temperature relative to outside temperature gives you a comfortable house. Stovepipe temperature is interesting and you will probably find it is much lower burning coal than burning wood. Ignore the "too cold", "too hot", "just right" zones on the stovepipe thermometer -- they are for wood burning where you have to worry about creosote, but there's no such issue with anthracite.