Sunday, February 01, 2009

My New Cookstove

I let slip in the last post that I am indeed getting a new cook stove this season. Yay! It's my anniversary/ mother's day/ birthday gift for 2009, and I promised to lay off the quest for solar until at least 2010. Basically, I called in a lot of favors for this one, and it's the most expensive "appliance" I've ever owned. It's not in the house yet, but it is on order.

I went back and forth on what exactly I wanted to get. I had considered a refurbished cook stove and was scouring nearby Craigslists for one when I ran across a like-new, 2 year old Waterford Stanley up in PA. While it was half the price of a new one, Jim didn't like the green or the Victorian design.



It did, however, get me thinking that if I could find one at a reasonable price, a new stove made more sense than an old one from the standpoint of efficiency as well as longevity. Jim was moving in the direction of a wood stove, so it wasn't too hard to convince him to go with a stove that offered more than just heat.

So I found this stove: the Baker's Oven, which seemed an ideal solution. It would fit in the space nicely, offered more than just heat, yet wasn't too much of a stretch beyond just a typical wood stove. Nothing froo-froo or out of time. I also loved the idea of being able to see the fire. Plus, it was a much better price than any of the true cook stoves, and so a better sell to my other half.



Out of Australia and out of stock. I continued my search, which soon brought me to the stove I ended up ordering and the company that so far has been a joy to deal with. AntiqueStoves.com offered a great price, so I decided to explore a little further. The owner of the company spent quite a bit of time on the phone with me, helping to assess my needs against the stoves that might best fulfill those needs. After asking several questions and listening carefully to my answers, he strongly recommended against the Baker's Oven on the grounds that it would likely disappoint and frustrate me in the long run.

Its strengths—size and hybrid nature—were also its weaknesses, he argued, in terms of serving as a true cook stove. If all I really wanted was a wood stove for ambiance and space heating with the ability to cook in the event of a power outage, then the Baker's Oven was just the ticket. But if I really wanted a cook stove to do the majority of my cool-season cooking, then he recommended I check out the Gem Pac, which was a lot more stove for the same money.


I absolutely love it, and it promises to be a real workhorse. While the next model up would have been lovely for a number of reasons, Ed didn't think it would suit the layout of our house, which is not set up at all for cross ventilation or circulation. (*sigh* It was built on the electric heating/ cooling plan for the duration.) He believed we'd quickly heat ourselves out of the space without being able to benefit from the Flame View's increased heating capabilities. While it had a couple of nice features, specifically the view of the flame as well as the larger, side-load firebox, it was also significantly more expensive.

Ultimately, I opted for the Gem Pac from Margin Stoves, a small Amish company out of Canada that uses Antique Stoves as a distributor. I was also able to get a rear mount 20 gallon hot water reservoir, which Jim plans to plumb directly into our hot water heater. Very cool. Of course, I could have done this with the Flame View as well, but this feature wasn't offered at other stove companies I investigated. Both stoves have an optional integrated side water reservoir that's made out of copper, but only holds 5 gallons and runs about $100 more, but that didn't seem nearly as appealing.

The stove should be delivered some time in March or April, giving us the whole summer to get the stove set up and plumbed. It will go in the corner of my kitchen directly opposite my electric ovens, displacing the coat tree and a small side table. Here's its spot: in the corner just behind and to the left of Em; we'll just slide the table and sideboard to the right a bit. It'll feel like such a real farmhouse kitchen! I'll be sure to post pictures once it arrives.

16 comments:

Country Girl said...

Very nice! I cannot wait to see it and hear more about it!

Stephany said...

How exciting. I am sure that you will enjoy using it very much.

annetteinalaska said...

Wow, it does look perfect. I know you'll use it tons.

Woody said...

Cool...

Happy Birthday,Anniversary, Mother's Day....

Carolyn said...

very cool!!

MargaretWV said...

I'm jealous!

Will this require much retrofitting, like putting in fire-resistant flooring and walls around the stove, reinforcing the floor underneath, etc.?

Christy said...

How cool! I can't wait to see it in it's spot.

Sarah said...

How exciting! What a cool thing to look forward to for next fall and winter.

Danielle said...

Thanks all—I am very much looking forward to it. Cook stoves were known as the heart of a home. I remember watching The 1900 house and what a big deal it was when they finally got the water heater working!

Margaret, I hope not. Based on the setbacks in the specs, we should be fine, but Jim's job will be to research the local code before installing it.

Robin said...

I have a Margin Gem and am in my 2nd year using it. I love the heat and the cooking. Cooking in the oven produces noticeable improvements in cookies, breads, roasts, etc. I know you will enjoy. I would use it year round, if I had a summer kitchen!

Danielle said...

Oooh, yay, Robin! Thank you so much for letting me know.

Anonymous said...

not to burst your bubble but the info you received about the bakers oven is not accurate, i think the gentleman was just wanting to talk it down cuz he was not able to sell one. they are very much a capable oven and room for 4 pans on top. i do believe if you would have seen one in person you would have realized it for your self and also a very will made stove as well. but i do wish you well on your stove.

Danielle said...

Thanks Anonymous, but he actually sold both and would happily have sold me the Baker's Oven if I'd chosen it, and I wouldn't have had nearly the wait for that one.

Ed seemed quite knowledgeable on both ovens and had used them both in his showroom.

Layla said...

Ahh!! Those look lovely!!

Love even the green Victorian one, with pretty though-rather-uneconomical legs!! :)

Do tell how it goes when you get it!! :))

Anonymous said...

My husband wants to purchase the flameview heater for our newly built cottage.

Question for all: In terms of 'cottage decor' would you put this in the 'fireplace' (livingroom) seating area?

Personally i think it looks too much like a cookstove (i'd rarely cook on it) I would rather an old fashioned woodstove/fireplace. Any opions would be welcome?? Does hubby win this one?? :D (crayon@persona.ca)

Anonymous said...

Luv your site, by the way! - crayon