Fig. 4 (back view). Upper part of range turned to show the position of dampers. A indicates removable soot doors through stove into flues; the doors are shown leaning against stove. B, Adjustable sides of hood to pull out when an open range is needed. C. Adjustable top of hood. F. The sliding shutter-like arrangement of the three dampers
Explanation of Some Parts of the Range
Flues are passages built in the back of the stove, behind the iron plates. They are often built of brick, as shown in Fig. 3, but are best of iron. Bricks loosen after a time, and the soot clings to their rough surface; also, unless built up by an experienced workman, they are often faulty, and do not correctly fit the range. Through these flues the heat, flame and smoke pass from the stove into the main chimney shaft. They are, as it were, three little chimneys leading into one large chimney. There are usually three flues - one behind the oven, one behind the boiler and fire space, and a third behind the second oven.
Dampers are flat iron shutters, which slide in and out when pulled or pushed from the front of the stove in an iron framework at the back of the range (see Fig. 4). They jut right out across the flue passages, so that when a damper is pushed in from the front, the flue is blocked, no draught is caused, nor can smoke, etc., escape; thus heat is cut off from the part of the stove nearest that damper. When a damper is pulled out the flue is left open, the draught is sharp, and the heat is drawn to that side. The dampers can, of course, be partly pushed in or pulled out as required. If all three dampers were pushed in, there would be no exit for the smoke, and it would all pour out into the kitchen through every crevice in the stove.
Soot Doors. - These are removable doors fitting into holes in the iron plating of the stove. They can be seen marked A in Figs. 1 and 2. In Fig. 1 some have been lifted out to show the openings into the flues, sides, and bottom of stove. There are usually three fixed in the back of the upper part of the range, one on each side above the ovens and one at the bottom of the stove under the oven, and another under the second oven or boiler. Through these openings the flue-brush is pushed and worked up and down and round and round, so that all the soot falls on to the bottom part under the ovens. Then the soot-rake, supplied with the range, is pushed through the small doors under the ovens, and the soot is raked out into a dustpan or paper.
Hints on Regulating the Damper
1. When lighting the fire, or when burning dry kitchen refuse after cooking is finished, pull out all three dampers.
4. To heat both ovens, pull out both side dampers, and push in middle one,
5. To keep in a low fire, push in dampers over ovens, pull middle damper half-out, and make up fire with cinders, slack, and dry kitchen refuse.
6. If the hot-plate gets red-hot, or the stove makes a roaring noise, or ovens are burning the food in them, the stove is drawing too fiercely, wasting fuel, and wearing out the iron. Push all dampers about half in, or one or more entirely.
The boiler is of iron, and should be "self-feeding," as cooks when busy are apt to forget to fill it. The boiler is best placed behind the firebricks of the grate (see Fig 3). This utilises space, and makes it possible to have two ovens. The "arch," or "saddleback," boiler is a usual shape, the heat being drawn from the grate under the arch, thus boiling the water as if in a kettle.
The Oven must have at least one movable shelf, and it is most desirable that the top and sides are lined with enamel, grey or white. Not only will it be more easily cleaned, but a light surface reflects heat instead of absorbing it. Some ovens nowadays are made so that the sides, with their shelf brackets, can be pulled right out. This is a delightfully simple arrangement for cleaning, and much to be advocated.
Two ventilators should be fixed to every oven, one an outlet - that is, a small windowlike arrangement which, when opened, lets the fumes, etc., of the food cooking in the oven escape into the flue passage - the second an inlet. This is a sliding ventilator fixed in the front of the oven door, which allows the cool outside air to be drawn into the oven to cool and freshen it. When either of these ventilators is open, the temperature of the oven will, of course, be lowered.
Why the Kitchen Range Will Not Act Properly
Faults of the Architect. - Insufficient height of the chimney shaft; this causes a down draught.
Faults of the Builder or Stove-setter. - Flues badly set, or leakage of air into them through loose bricks.
Faults of the Cook. - Sooty flues, the commonest cause of all. As often as not, the three little chimneys - i.e., flues - are blocked with soot, all the way up and all the way down. Also, it is allowed to accumulate over and round ovens and boiler, preventing the heat penetrating to them or air entering the stove, without which it cannot burn. Soot is a most excellent wow-heat conductor, therefore its presence in a cooking range is to be highly deplored.
How Often to Clean the Range
Daily. - Brush and rake soot from under the boiler and from over and under ovens every morning.
Weekly. - Thoroughly brush the flues at least once a week, or twice, if much cooking is being done, or a very soft, gaseous coal used. Wash the shelves, sides, etc., of the oven with a stiff brush and hot soda-water. Scrape off all burnt particles with an old knife. The fumes given off from a dirty, greasy oven are most unpleasant; they will penetrate all over the house, and ruin the flavour of foods cooked in it.
Half-yearly. - Have the main chimney shaft swept by the chimney-sweep. Many people have it done quarterly, and this is really the wisest plan.
How to Clean the Kitchen Range
1. Cover the dresser and table with a dust sheet.
2. Close doors and windows, or the soot will fly about.
3. Put on a coarse apron and a pair of housemaid's gloves.
4. Collect brushes and all necessary appliances.
5. Remove any rug, the fender and fireirons, and lay down a hearth cloth, or at least sheets of newspaper.
6. Lift off all movable parts, such as boiling-rings, etc., and brush any soot from them into the ashbox or a piece of paper.
7. Remove the bars in front of the grate by pulling them up and out. Rake out all cinders and dust, particularly from the back, under the boiler.
8. Take out all the soot doors, and brush the backs of them.
9. Put the flue-brush - it resembles a large bottle-brush - up and down each flue as far as it will reach.
10. Brush all soot from over the ovens down the space at the side of each.
11. Lift off the soot doors under ovens, push in the soot-rake, and rake out all soot on to some paper.
12. Replace all the parts. Wash any greasy parts with hot soda-water or cloth dipped in turpentine, and blacklead the stove. Wash tiles with hot soapy water.
13. Polish steel parts with fine emery paper, brickdust, or even fine a ashes
14. Lay the fire.
15. Brush and wash the hearth, using hearthstone if it is to be whitened.
16. Polish fender and fireirons, and replace them.
17. Remove soot, hearth cloth, etc. Open doors and windows.
18. Do not forget to sift and save all cinders, merely rejecting the ashes.
What Fuel to Use
If possible, use a hard steam coal, as not only is it moderate in price, but also it makes less soot and smoke than the soft, gaseous varieties used in open grates in sitting-rooms, and burns slowly with a good, powerful heat.
To economise fuel, use the small coal simultaneously with the large pieces, otherwise the coal-cellar will soon be half-full of slack, or coal-dust. Coal-dust cannot be used to light a fire by itself, but it is most useful for keeping up the fire if shaken over and mixed with larger bits; or the fine dust can be mixed with a little water, and used to bank up a fire when only a low one is needed.
Coke is much cheaper than coal, and produces, when mixed with the latter, a clear, smokeless, very hot fire. Cinders also make a splendid fire, and soon kindle, being porous. Dried potato parings, dried orange rinds, and similar substances, all burn readily and help to save coal. Pine cones, owing to the amount of turpentine they contain, make splendid fire-lighters.
Avoid constantly poking the fire, as it causes much waste of coal; but it should be of a second oven made up frequently, adding a little at a time.
Fig. 5 (back view). Lower part of range turned round to show A. back of boiler, and B, back of oven, the boiler being, in this instance, on one side, in place
The foregoing are general rules which may be safely followed with all cooking ranges. Before making the actual purchase of a new range, it is advisable to obtain particulars of several makes, and compare the advantages offered by each in relation to the require-ments of the family.
Improvements are constantly made in the direction of supplying every possible facility for the different kinds of cooking.