Three Kinds of Ranges - Their Advantages and Disadvantages Compared - How to Choose a New Range - Parts of a Range Explained - Regulation of the Damp»rs - The Boiler and Oven - Why the Kitchen Range will not Act properly - How to Clean the Kitchen Range - Best Fuel to Burn
The careful study of this article, and its accompanying photographs, will smooth away many of the difficulties so often connected with that mystery of mysteries - the kitchen range. It is an extraordinary fact that very many housewives and cooks will attempt quite elaborate cooking without first learning the mechanism of their stove; then, when the results are unsatisfactory, they blame maker, builder, coal - everything except their own ignorance.
There are three kinds of coal ranges in ordinary everyday use:
1. A closed range.
2. An open range.
3. The convertible stove, which can be used open or shut as desired, and this is a most excellent type of stove.
Fig 1. A closed range. A. Removable doors into flue passages through which the flues are swept. B. Boiler. C. Oven. D. Adjustable hood folded down to close range. E. Boiling ring in hot-plate. F. Sliding dampers into flue passages. G. Ash-pan
What is a Closed Range? - A closed range has the top of the fire space enclosed under iron plates, in which are at least three removable lids, called boiling-rings. The flame under the iron plates, or " hot-plate," as it is called, is conducted round and under, or over the ovens, before it escapes out through one of the three flues into the chimney shaft. Through which flue the smoke and flame make their exit will depend on the arrangement of the dampers. These will be explained later.
What is an Open Range? - In an open range the fire space is not enclosed, so that a considerable portion of the flame, heat, etc., passes directly into the chimney.
Fig. 2. A convertible range. A. Removable soot doors into flue passages and at the side and bottom of range. B. Boiler, or if this is placed at the back of the fire space, it would be a second oven. C. Oven. D. Adjust' able hood pulled up to open range. E. Hot-plate pushed back to throw range open. F. Dampers to regulate draught through flue passages. G. Ash-pan
What is a Convertible Range? - A convertible range is the one shown in the illustration. By a simple adjustment, the back of the stove nearest the fire is thrown open, the hot-plate over the fire is pushed back, and the flames and smoke pass directly into the centre flue.
Open and Closed Ranges Compared
The Advantages of a Closed Range. - Cleanliness; utensils are easily kept clean and last longer, heat quickly obtained and easily regulated, fuel economised if dampers are carefully regulated, refuse quickly and pleasantly burnt, more heat obtained, and cooking possible, with the same amount of fuel as used in an open range, hotplate convenient for the cleanly heating of irons.
The Advantages of an Open Range - Burns slowly, as the draught is less strong; this reduces amount of fuel used; aids in ventilating the kitchen, a vital point where it has also to be the living-room of the family; gives out a cheerful heat and light; convenient for airing clothes.
The Disadvantages of a Closed Range. - Dries the air, and does not aid ventilation; expensive if dampers are not understood and carefully regulated; cheerless in appearance when required for purposes other than cooking.
The Disadvantages of an Open Range. - Dirty and dusty; blackens and quickly wears out utensils; liable to smoke; often irregular in action; extravagant, as heat wasted by radiation into the kitchen; causes unnecessary discomfort and heat to the cook.
How to Choose a New Range
Select a range that is simply constructed, so that the different parts
'and their uses can be easily under-stood. Avoid a stove with a very ornamental finish, as this often means more time and labour has to be spent in (leaning. If the sides and back of the upper part are lined with tiles.
So much the better, a light glazed surface reflecting, instead of absorbing, light and heat, and the tiles are very easily cleaned. Give full considera-tion to the probable durability and efficient working of any ranges under inspection, noting if the doors are thick and heavy, dampers easily regulated, ovens ventilated suitable arrangement made for toasting and grilling, and provision made for heat -ing plates, etc.
If possible, secure: 1. A convertible stove, as already explained.
2. An adjustable grate, in which, by a lever-like arrangement at the side, the bottom of the grate can be raised when only a small fire is required. This enables the fire always to be kept on a level with the top of the ovens, instead of a low fire more than half-way down them. The latter plan allows the air drawn into the stove to pass in unheated, thus chilling the entire stove.
3. Reversible Dampers. - By these the heat and flame can be directed so as to give the greatest heat either to the bottom or top of the oven. All foods do not require top-heat when baking, nor yet bottom heat. Meat requires top heat; bread, cakes, pastry, bottom heat.
Fig. 3. Range removed to show the construction of flues and the boiler. A. Flue passages behind the oven boiler,and second oven. B. The arch-boiler, also called saddle-back boiler from its shape. C. Passage for fire under boiler into centre flue passage. X. Iron grating on which the fire rests