Cookin' With Coal

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
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Photog200
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Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 7:11 pm
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
Location: Fulton, NY

Post Tue. Apr. 08, 2014 9:09 pm

Sunny Boy wrote:Just don't use the olive oil one. Phew, it stinks when it gets hot !

I was wondering why it didn't smell that bad when Wilson showed us how he polishes his range. I forgot that they make two types of Pam - regular vegetable oil, and olive oil, and of course, . . I reached for the olive oil. :oops:

I didn't think Murphy's law applied to stove cleaning too. :D

Paul
Olive oil has a tendency to become sticky too, when used to season pans etc.

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Sixkids
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Post Tue. Apr. 08, 2014 10:58 pm

When we ordered our stove we had them mill the top then leave it unpainted for us. They coated it with vegetable oil and I do the same. I had read someplace that if you ever wanted to cook directly on the top you could, if it wasn't painted .. so that was my reasoning ..although I must admit I haven't cooked directly on it ...yet!! :)
Carole

Sunny Boy
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Posts: 12653
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
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
Location: Central NY

Post Wed. Apr. 09, 2014 5:23 am

I've heard of some folks cooking directly on the range top. I can't see what the advantage is.

I'm trying to think of what rather I'd cook there, verses in a pan, or on a griddle, and I can't think of anything. Especially when weighed against the risk of food getting down in all the seams of the top and burning. All those top plate seams are not as easy to get clean as pans and griddles.

Plus, possibly over time, burnt-on food causing the covers, I's and T's to not fit down in their recesses as well. That could cause air leaks over the fire that start reducing heat to the oven.

Paul
So many stoves - so few chimneys. I must be coal-stone crazy.

Sunny Boy
Member
Posts: 12653
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
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
Location: Central NY

Post Wed. Apr. 09, 2014 5:28 am

Photog200 wrote:
Sunny Boy wrote:Just don't use the olive oil one. Phew, it stinks when it gets hot !

I was wondering why it didn't smell that bad when Wilson showed us how he polishes his range. I forgot that they make two types of Pam - regular vegetable oil, and olive oil, and of course, . . I reached for the olive oil. :oops:

I didn't think Murphy's law applied to stove cleaning too. :D

Paul
Olive oil has a tendency to become sticky too, when used to season pans etc.
Yeah, l learned that one the hard way ! :roll: And, it starts to burn at lower cooking temperatures than just about any other type of cooking oil, or grease too.

So much for keeping my fry pans, "heart healthy" ! :oops:

Paul
So many stoves - so few chimneys. I must be coal-stone crazy.

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Photog200
Member
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 7:11 pm
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
Location: Fulton, NY

Post Wed. Apr. 09, 2014 8:49 am

Paul, years ago when I bought new cast iron cookware, they recommended Crisco to season it with. With the new Lodge cast iron they said they did not recommend Crisco but to just use cooking oil. I have been using coconut oil for cooking and I think I am going to see how that works for seasoning. It seems to have a high smoke temp, at least higher than olive oil and they say it is good for your heart. Peanut oil has a very high smoke temp but I would be afraid I would cook something for someone with peanut allergies.

Randy

Sixkids
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Post Wed. Apr. 09, 2014 12:01 pm

I had just wanted the option, plus I thought if I ever dropped anything ...say...a piece of bacon or something on the top of the stove I would have the option of eating it anyway without adding chemicals back into the pan that the meat could have picked up if stove black, or paint were on the top of the stove.
:)

wilsons woodstoves
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Posts: 316
Joined: Mon. Dec. 16, 2013 7:55 pm
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood, Crawford, Magee, Herald, Others

Post Wed. Apr. 09, 2014 8:20 pm

Sixkids wrote:I had just wanted the option, plus I thought if I ever dropped anything ...say...a piece of bacon or something on the top of the stove I would have the option of eating it anyway without adding chemicals back into the pan that the meat could have picked up if stove black, or paint were on the top of the stove.
:)
Good point, I have not yet found anything that will keep the top of a cook range black,the veg oil seems to last almost as long as stove black.

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Photog200
Member
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 7:11 pm
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
Location: Fulton, NY

Post Wed. Apr. 09, 2014 9:44 pm

wilsons woodstoves wrote:
Sixkids wrote:I had just wanted the option, plus I thought if I ever dropped anything ...say...a piece of bacon or something on the top of the stove I would have the option of eating it anyway without adding chemicals back into the pan that the meat could have picked up if stove black, or paint were on the top of the stove.
:)
Good point, I have not yet found anything that will keep the top of a cook range black,the veg oil seems to last almost as long as stove black.
My father told me that his mother used the waxed bread wrapper to shine up the stove after cleaning. I can imagine the smell that made when the wax burned off. Grandma use to have a Kalamazoo stove.

Randy

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dlj
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Posts: 1267
Joined: Thu. Nov. 27, 2008 6:38 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Baseheater #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove coal
Other Heating: Oil Furnace, electric space heaters
Location: Monroe, NY

Post Wed. Apr. 09, 2014 11:02 pm

Sunny Boy wrote:I've heard of some folks cooking directly on the range top. I can't see what the advantage is.

I'm trying to think of what rather I'd cook there, verses in a pan, or on a griddle, and I can't think of anything. Especially when weighed against the risk of food getting down in all the seams of the top and burning. All those top plate seams are not as easy to get clean as pans and griddles.

Plus, possibly over time, burnt-on food causing the covers, I's and T's to not fit down in their recesses as well. That could cause air leaks over the fire that start reducing heat to the oven.

Paul
Cooking flat breads like nan, or rotie is great to do on the top of the stove. The pans that are used in the regions these are made are actually just completely flat pans with no sides. Nothing gets down in the cracks. Cook stove tops are great for cooking these....

dj

Sunny Boy
Member
Posts: 12653
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
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
Location: Central NY

Post Thu. Apr. 10, 2014 5:36 am

So far, . .
Even though I used the olive oil version of Pam, and it smoked up the house a bit - cough, cough - it has kept a nice shine on the surface quite well, and has not turned sticky in the not-so-hot areas like some types of cooking grease I've tried. Even when used over areas of existing stove polish and what little black paint is left on the top.

As for the stove polish holding up. One thing that shows up very quickly is that it looks unsightly with all the shiny grease and oil spatters that happen as a normal part of cooking. And, no amount of rubbing with paper towels, or clothes, will make them disappear.

With the vegetable oil, any oil spatters during cooking don't show. They just blend in with the shine that the vegetable oil already put on the surface. Any excessive spatters are easily blended in with just a quick wipe from a paper towel, . . that then gets disposed of in the fire. So, even after cooking bacon in an open pan, the stove top doesn't have unsightly spatters that make it look like it needs a good scrubbing.

And, over the hottest part, the firebox area - at this point both the Williams, or the Meeco - burns off the carbon black pigment and turns the graphite a patchy, dusty ash-white surface that has the look of lead oxide, but it is not easily wire brushed off.

Another plus for the vegetable oil, water drops bead up on the surface better than with the stove polish.

So, just from the first trial, I agree that the vegetable oil is looking like the best choice. It is certainly the easiest to apply. Just wipe on and done. No need to go back after it dries to buff it to a shine like the stove polishes need to have done.

Now, I'm curious to see how long regular vegetable oil holds up. And, will it smoke as much as the olive oil did ?

Paul
So many stoves - so few chimneys. I must be coal-stone crazy.

Sixkids
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Posts: 107
Joined: Sat. Feb. 08, 2014 2:24 pm

Post Thu. Apr. 10, 2014 7:16 am

I haven't noticed any smoking using vegetable oil. I do notice a sort of smell that reminds me of cooking pancakes!! It really doesn't take long to 'coat ' the stove top. I did have the rest of our stove painted with stove paint to protect it.
Carole

Sunny Boy
Member
Posts: 12653
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
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
Location: Central NY

Post Thu. Apr. 10, 2014 9:07 am

Sixkids wrote:I haven't noticed any smoking using vegetable oil. I do notice a sort of smell that reminds me of cooking pancakes!! It really doesn't take long to 'coat ' the stove top. I did have the rest of our stove painted with stove paint to protect it.
Carole
Carole,

I think the amount of smoke was only because I used the olive oil version. Even when I use the extra virgin olive oil from a bottle, I noticed it smokes more easily than other oils. And when it burns, not as pleasant a smell either.

Now, thanks to Wilson, I'm getting the parts that I've needed to finally be able to start to restore this range.

Like your range, vegetable oil top and high temp black paint for the rest of the exterior, is looking more like the route I'll take when I do the restoration.

Mostly my experiments now are to see how hot of a stove I can get away with oiling. I hate to have to wait until the rare times the stove is shut down to be able to clean and recoat the top.

Even if I have to have spare covers, I's and T's to recoat while cooler, then swap them with the ones needing cleaning and re-oiling.

Paul
So many stoves - so few chimneys. I must be coal-stone crazy.

User avatar
Photog200
Member
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 7:11 pm
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
Location: Fulton, NY

Post Thu. Apr. 10, 2014 9:10 am

I made Chinese chicken stir fry on mine last night and just like Paul mentioned, oil spots all over my nice clean stove. I am going to try the Pam on the stove top and see how it does...it makes sense that the grease spots would blend in better.

Carol, I used the new Lodge steel skillet for the stir fry last night and I really am liking this pan. It gets screaming hot fast and cools off fast. Food did not stick on it. Light enough to pick up and flip the food in the pan...try that with a 12" cast iron skillet. This pan will obviously not replace my cast iron pans, but if you want to pack light for a camping trip, I would not hesitate to take this along. It is heavy enough of gauge to cook evenly and not burn food.

Randy

User avatar
Photog200
Member
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 7:11 pm
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
Location: Fulton, NY

Post Thu. Apr. 10, 2014 9:20 am

On another quick note, Pam also comes in a formula for BBQ grills. I has an even higher temp smoking point. I think I will give that one a try.

Randy

Sunny Boy
Member
Posts: 12653
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
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
Location: Central NY

Post Thu. Apr. 10, 2014 9:38 am

Randy,

Sounds like you've got a winner with that new steel pan.

My large cast iron pieces hang on the walls right near the stove. That's about as far as I want to have to carry them ! :D

Melissa has one of what I call, a window screen on a stick. It's one of those metal screen pan covers for pan frying fish, or bacon. They work great for stopping grease spatters, . . except when you have to remove it to turn the food over ! :shock:

No matter what we use, or how careful we are, it's just a matter of time before a nice stove polished stove top gets oil spattered. :(

Paul
So many stoves - so few chimneys. I must be coal-stone crazy.

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