Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Blog Reader's Cookstove - VI


One of the things I really enjoy about maintaining this blog is the opportunities to converse with other wood cookstove cooks.  One such cook is Nancy from west central Missouri.  I feel I have a special bond with her because her wood cookstove is a Qualified Range, the same make as the first cookstove that I purchased back in January of 1997.  The only differences are that hers is black instead of white, and her stove is equipped with a water reservoir.

I asked Nancy if she would be willing to have a Reader's Cookstove Post written about her Qualified, and she has generously agreed.  I sent her my standard questions, and her replies are below with nice pictures of her stove.

Nancy's Qualified range in west central Missouri.  The handles on the
front of the stove appear to have been replaced at some point.  Certainly
those on the oven and storage drawer are not original, but the rest of the
stove appears to be in great shape.

1. What was the reason you purchased this particular make and model of cookstove?

"I’ve wanted a wood cookstove ever since I first laid eyes on one many years ago. I’d always been interested in things that were old-fashioned and in time came to feel that it made sense to have one. 

"We made many moves over the years, so I wasn’t able to pursue finding one. About ten years ago we moved to a place where we felt we would be staying for a while so I began thinking about one again. The house we lived in was small but we planned to build a summer kitchen and put it in there. Our budget was small, too, so I looked for a used one. 

"One day, we were with some friends at an Amish general store. Our friends knew the owner and knew I’d been looking for one, so they suggested that I ask if he knew of a stove for sale. He said, yes, he had one in the storage shed behind his house. We took a look, asked the price, and said we’d get back to him. It was a Qualified range. They had purchased a new airtight stove to replace it. We went home and thought about it for a while and decided to go ahead and get it even though we didn’t have a place for it yet. It sat in our brooder house for a while until we moved to a different farm where the house had two chimneys with the opening going into one of them in the kitchen. We were finally able to set it up!"

The heat shield that protects the wall behind the stove is cool!

I asked Nancy how long "a while" was that the stove sat in the brooder house.  She said that they had the stove for two years, and then they moved to their present home where the stove sat in the kitchen for another couple of years before they were able to complete their installation.  God has blessed Nancy with amazing patience!

2. Nancy's favorite feature of her range is its spacious cooktop with four lids and a blank plate.  I would have to agree with her there.  The cooktops on Qualified Ranges have more depth than many other models, so they accommodate large pots and pans easily.

3. When asked what she might change about her stove, Nancy mentioned the oven size.  

"Even though the oven is good-sized, when I first saw it, it appeared small. I was used to large conventional ovens [like in a modern 30-inch range]. When I thought about it, I realized that it would be a rare occasion when the space in a conventional oven would be filled up. (Like when our home-raised turkeys dress out at 36 lbs.πŸ˜€) Its usually just more area to have to heat."

Nancy's assessment of the oven situation is correct.  As the ovens on more recent models of wood cookstoves go, the Qualified's oven is not small.  Before purchasing mine, I measured all of my largest baking pans and roasters, and everything I had would fit.  When considering a wood cookstove, it is also important to remember that much of the size of a modern oven is in its height.  This is actually the least important dimension; width and depth are what really make an oven have more usable space.

4. How much of your home heating does your wood cookstove do?

"Other than when the power has gone out, we have only supplemented our forced-air heat with it. (How great it was when the power was out!) Because of our floor plan we are unable to heat the whole house with it. It does heat the large kitchen area very well, and we so appreciate the good warmth it gives when we come in from doing chores. It really warms you in a way that other heat just can’t."




Nancy went on to say the following:

"Not knowing a lot about the different stoves, and nothing about Qualifieds, I wasn’t sure what we had. It seems to be a well-made stove and I’ve read favorable comments about them. While I always envisioned a more ornate old-fashioned looking stove, my husband really likes the looks of it."

I second Nancy's comment about the workmanship on the Qualified ranges.  Mine was purchased from Lehman Hardware via mail order in 1997.  I had not had a chance to look at any new cookstoves in person before it arrived.  In the fall of 2000, I took a short vacation to visit Lehman Hardware in person and spent hours in the stove department very thoroughly examining all of the ranges that I had only read about, and the more I saw, the more pleased I was with the Qualified at home.

I hope Nancy and her husband get to enjoy their Qualified range for many years to come and that she will feel free to comment frequently on this blog.  She finished her e-mail with the words below, which echo the sentiments of so many wood cookstove users!

"It has been a big blessing for us and a long-time dream come true. Wood cook stoves really are the 'Queens of the Kitchen.'"


7 comments:

  1. Maybe it's just me but the links to the photos aren't working.

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  2. Thanks for the heads up, Carol and Tim! I think I just got the problem solved.

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  3. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about the stove! I really enjoyed it.
    There is a spring on the back of the stove to the right of the oven flue and I’m wondering if you know what it’s for?

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    1. Yes, that is connected to the oven door to counterbalance it and pull it closed. When you open the oven door, there should be two metal bars which are connected to the left side of the door--one that holds the door from dropping down to the floor by hitting a bracket and one that extends back to that spring.

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  4. Thankyou! I don’t think I would have guessed that! πŸ˜€
    I’m glad you included checking the flue at the bottom of the oven when I asked about the stove smoking when the oven is turned on. I had cleaned out below the oven but had never looked back in there at the flue. I was able to clean out a lot of ashes and soot. I’m wondering if they burned coal in the stove as it has a grate to use either. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do a good test to see if it was better that day because it was rainy and windy. It has been too warm since to fire it up but I’m hoping to soon.

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