The best type is a blue-flame stove with a wick. Kerosene stoves are made with no wick, the kerosene being vaporized just before it reaches the burner, but such a stove requires occasional pumping to force the kerosene into the vaporizing chamber, and on the whole is less satisfactory than the stove with the wick. The heat is intense from this blue flame, and the burner is economical of the fuel. The small kerosene stoves, burning with a yellow flame are always inclined to smoke, and difficult to keep clean. A three- or four-burner oil stove with a portable oven will do the cooking in summer for a family of five or six. One burner consumes a gallon of oil in 15 hours. Portable double ovens are furnished with such stoves.
The kerosene stove is cheaper to operate than a gas range, even with kerosene at fourteen cents a gallon, but the heat is not under such perfect control, and the stove requires more work to keep it clean.
The one important point in the management of this blue-flame wick stove is to keep the flame down by having the wick low, and where it belongs. The cylinder around the burner prevents the escape of heat and carries it to the utensil above. A careless person, by raising the wick too high, and producing a yellow smoky flame, makes much trouble for herself. It is important to fill the tank without spilling a drop of kerosene, and to keep every part of the stove well washed off with soap and water. The wick should be rubbed off occasionally, never cut, and if an odor becomes perceptible, the burner should be taken apart and boiled in a solution of washing soda and water. The wick will need to be renewed at intervals, depending upon the amount of use that it has. With care a stove of this kind is clean and odorless.