Cookin' With Coal

 
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Sunny Boy
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Post by Sunny Boy » Sun. Dec. 07, 2014 6:54 pm

In looking for info for new range users, Qualified Range Cook Stove Advice Needed

I stumbled across this blog.
http://woodcookstovecooking.blogspot.com/2012/10/ ... stion.html

Please forgive me - the blog is about cooking with wood. :shock: However, there are some clever ideas that can also be used with a "proper" :D coal range.

And the recipes sound pretty good too. :)

Paul


 
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Sunny Boy
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Location: Central NY
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
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Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Post by Sunny Boy » Tue. Dec. 09, 2014 1:48 pm

Looking through the Blog I linked to above, there are some very good bits of info and tricks/tips for using a range. Most will work for coal as well as wood. For anyone interested in cooking on a range, or even a heating stove, I highly recommend taking the time to read through what's been posted on that Blog.

One I liked is the grilling on the range top.

We love to grill, but in winter the big problem is, what to do with the smoke indoors.

Well,. . he's solved that by putting a grill over a stove top round cover (he calls them lids) opening above the firebox and placing a large pan over that. The pan prevents a lot of room air being pushed in and cooling the fire too much. But, it allows just enough room air leakage around the edge of the pan so that higher pressure outside the stove forces the food smoke to be drawn up the chimney. It also keeps the coal fumes away from the food (not that coal that's glowing embers taints the food much).

Unlike grilling through the broiler door, as I showed earlier in this thread, the food is not inside the firebox, but sitting above it with room air being pushed in around it to keep fumes away from the food.

And, as long as the food stays over the opening grease drips fall into and gets burned up in the firebox.

Another plus is the food is about three inches away from the hot coals rather then about a half inch going in through the broiler door. Less chance to burn food.

I found a steel wire cooling rack that is the right size the cover the 8 inch holes in my range top. I also had a cheap, hand-me-down, 12 inch stainless steel frying pan that we we're not using because food seems to burn and stick to it too easily (probably why it was handed down :roll: ). However, it's rather deep and perfectly fit over the cooling rack and the range top opening with cover size to spare.

So, I grilled four Sabrett hot dogs for our lunch. Not thinking it would get as hot under the pan as it did, I burned them a bit at first until I figured out how often to turn them, but that's the price of experimenting. :D

They tasted just as good as if I had grilled them on the back yard gas grill. No coal tainting of the flavor.

And, no smoke like when I cook the hotdogs in a cast iron pan on a stove top. So, there's no need for an exhaust fan to take heat out of the kitchen (or need of electricity either). I could only get a faint whiff of the hotdogs cooking when I lifted the pan to turn them.

I can see this method of winter grilling will get a lot of use.

Enjoy,

Paul

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Photog200
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Baseburners & Antiques: Colonial Clarion cook stove, Kineo #15 base burner & 2 Geneva Oak Andes #517's
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Chestnut
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Post by Photog200 » Tue. Dec. 09, 2014 1:54 pm

Good idea Paul, like I said in my PM to you, I have done chicken that way but it was over a wood fire. I have some chicken to cook tonight, I just might try cooking them this way in my "cooks tennis racket" and cover it with my wok lid. I will let you know how it turns out and maybe even take photos.

Randy

 
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Sunny Boy
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Location: Central NY
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

Post by Sunny Boy » Tue. Dec. 09, 2014 2:26 pm

I was going to use your suggestion and try the cooks tennis rack next time also. It will make turning the food much easier and less time needing the pan off. But, I just checked and it's too big to fit even under the large diameter lobster pot we use for canning. The good news is, this size cooling rack fits nicely in the dish washer. :roll:

I used to wonder why range covers come 7, 8, 9 and 10 inch diameters. I can see the need of 7 inch covers on a small range, and most others have 8 inch. Recently, a member pm'ed me about a range for sale he was interested in. I noticed that it had large covers - at least 9 inch, if not bigger. They were big enough that the range top only fit four instead of the usual six. Had me wondering why so big ?

Well after seeing this, it hit me. So ya can grill a bigger steak ! :D

Paul

 
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Photog200
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Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Chestnut
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Post by Photog200 » Tue. Dec. 09, 2014 4:09 pm

Sunny Boy wrote:I was going to use your suggestion and try the cooks tennis rack next time also. It will make turning the food much easier and less time needing the pan off. But, I just checked and it's too big to fit even under the large diameter lobster pot we use for canning. The good news is, this size cooling rack fits nicely in the dish washer. :roll:

I used to wonder why range covers come 7, 8, 9 and 10 inch diameters. I can see the need of 7 inch covers on a small range, and most others have 8 inch. Recently, a member pm'ed me about a range for sale he was interested in. I noticed that it had large covers - at least 9 inch, if not bigger. They were big enough that the range top only fit four instead of the usual six. Had me wondering why so big ?

Well after seeing this, it hit me. So ya can grill a bigger steak ! :D

Paul
Keep your eye out at garage sales and second hand shops for a large wok cover. They are light weight, very big, work on large cast iron skillets and are quite high in the center of them. I think I got mine at a restaurant supply house. It would work great for covering the "cooks tennis racket".

 
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Sunny Boy
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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

Post by Sunny Boy » Wed. Dec. 17, 2014 1:00 pm

Thanks Randy we'll put the wok cover on our list of tag sale items to keep an eye out for.

Well, this is a new one for me.

Melissa admits that while she loves baking bread, she'd make it more often except that she doesn't like all the waiting involved with getting the dough to rise.

She found a recipe for "beer bread" that sounded like the cure for all that waiting.

Instead of adding yeast and letting the dough rise a couple of times, a can of beer is added to the dough instead. The yeast in the beer does the work. Once the dough is mixed, it's right into the oven.

Boredom recuperating on the couch got the better of her so, she ignored Nurse Paul's advice and mixed up a batch. Not easy since she's stuck using a walker after having her replacement hip joint rebuilt.

First time experiment, but we noticed some differences. The bread looked normal, but it doesn't rise as light as a regular yeast dough. It's dense and chewy. And, we used a light beer. :roll: Maybe I should have let her use the Heinekens after all ? :D

And it stayed rather wet inside making it seem a strange consistency that would make for soggy sandwiches. But. that may not be the fault of the recipe. It being extra wet may be my fault because the oven temps became a bit lower than ideal. I'm still learning how much Kimmel's to mix with the Blaschak bulk per the outside air temps. Thought I had it set, but by the time the bread got into the oven, the day warmed up. As the bread was baking, the draft slowed a bit dropping the oven temp and I didn't keep an eye on it. Trying to be the nurse to a nurse hates being a patient can be distracting. :roll:

Anyway, being done on the outside, but a bit wetter inside, it turns out that it makes wonderful toast for breakfast. It takes two times through the toaster to drive off just the right amount of water without letting the thick slices burn on the outside before the inside is done.

The other part was it's a bit more done on one side then the other. Should have been rotated more often. Better yet, I should get some sheet aluminum and make a heat shield/defuser for the firebox side of the oven like Randy did for his oven,..... and that modern gas ovens have in the bottom.

Taste was good. I thought there would at least be a hint of beer flavor, but I couldn't detect it. Maybe with a heavier flavored beer ? Tasted even better as toast.

So far, I still like bread done the old, let-the-yeast-rise way. But this deserves more testing.

Enjoy

Paul

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michaelanthony
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Post by michaelanthony » Mon. Dec. 29, 2014 5:00 pm

A little stir fry on the Vigilant mmm mmm good! Thinking of buying or making a camping oven for breads :)
The wife thinks I'm nuts and I think the dam electric co. is nuts!

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Post by windyhill4.2 » Mon. Dec. 29, 2014 8:41 pm

Looks & sounds good MA, my wife & I have been talking about how to bake on top of our Crane,she also mentioned a camping oven. We keep going like this & we won't need the regular range at all during the heating season. :)

 
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Post by michaelanthony » Mon. Dec. 29, 2014 8:51 pm

windyhill4.2 wrote:Looks & sounds good MA, my wife & I have been talking about how to bake on top of our Crane,she also mentioned a camping oven. We keep going like this & we won't need the regular range at all during the heating season. :)
I'm sure we can make an oven with a metal box with some inlets near the bottom and adjustable vent on the top to hold a desired temp! :) ...if I was single the 30 inch space between the cabinets would be a cooler! 8-)

 
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Post by windyhill4.2 » Mon. Dec. 29, 2014 9:06 pm

We don't have those impressive 6 burner units with lots of room to spare & a real oven too, but we can do some of our cookin on what we got ! Thanks for posting MA, hopefully it will help encourage others to try doing at least some cooking on their coal stoves. :D

 
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Post by Photog200 » Tue. Dec. 30, 2014 1:53 pm

It is possible to cook and bake in a Dutch oven on top of the stoves, it just takes some getting use to. I use to cook on top of my Fisher wood stove in a Dutch oven all the time. I have even baked biscuits in it, you just have to flip them over half way through the baking process. I am sure you would be able to do the same on your stoves.

Randy

 
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Sunny Boy
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Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Post by Sunny Boy » Tue. Dec. 30, 2014 2:29 pm

And as you well know Randy, there's quite a bit of camping cookware that will make cooking on a heating stove easier.

Plus, the one thing Melissa won't go camping without is a roll of heavy duty aluminum foil. She loves to cook over a wood camp fire. She always amazes me with what she can cook, or bake, with just a few simple items of cookware and a little ingenuity with a roll of aluminum foil.

Paul

 
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Sunny Boy
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Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Post by Sunny Boy » Tue. Dec. 30, 2014 2:41 pm

Randy,

I finally got around to trying out a heat shield for the firebox side of the oven, like you showed me.

Melissa wanted to make another Irish soda bread. With her only able to get around with the walker for now, all the back and forth to the range to keep checking and turning the bread is tough for her. So, this time I bent up a heat shield out of some scrap aluminum sheet I had.

We only had to turn the bread once throughout the whole baking time. And, even when it came time to turn it, it didn't look like it was getting more heat on one side than the others, but I turned it anyway.

After that, we did a batch of bacon and never had to turn the rack and pan at all.

Now that I know the shield works, I'll make a more permanent one, plus a wide, shorter one to fit over the pie shelf.

Thanks once again for the tip about the shield.

Here's a pic of the soda bread ready to come out of the oven, with the prototype aluminum shield on the left.

Paul

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Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Chestnut
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Post by Photog200 » Tue. Dec. 30, 2014 2:44 pm

Sunny Boy wrote:And as you well know Randy, there's quite a bit of camping cookware that will make cooking on a heating stove easier.

Plus, the one thing Melissa won't go camping without is a roll of heavy duty aluminum foil. She loves to cook over a wood camp fire. She always amazes me with what she can cook, or bake, with just a few simple items of cookware and a little ingenuity with a roll of aluminum foil.

Paul
Yes, and I won't go camping without at least one Dutch oven and a large cast iron skillet. You are correct about the aluminum foil, you can cook a lot of things in that over open fire and the clean up is a lot easier! It also works for a lid on the skillet if you don't have one.

Randy

 
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michaelanthony
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Post by michaelanthony » Tue. Dec. 30, 2014 3:03 pm

Sunny Boy wrote:And as you well know Randy, there's quite a bit of camping cookware that will make cooking on a heating stove easier...........Paul
I'm thinking of getting a coleman camping oven for the Vigilant, have you ever tried one on a heating stove?


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