The Fresh Loaf

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Heartland Appliances and their wood burning range

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Marni's picture
Marni

Heartland Appliances and their wood burning range

Is anyone familiar with Heartland appliances?  They have a very old fashioned retro look and are made by AGA.  Any thoughts from an owner or past owner would be appreciated.

Also, they make a wood burning stove.  California doesn't allow them as far as I know, but it sure looks fun!

Marni

www.heartlandapp.com

endinmaine's picture
endinmaine

//<a href=www.mealtimestoves.on.ca/margingem.html It is being installed in the next 2 weeks. Here is a picture I found on the web several years ago that encouraged me to buy one. It burns wood and coal" src="http://www.thefreshloaf.com/http://www.thefreshloaf.com/files/images/MarginGem_0.preview.jpg" width="640">Heartland Appliances and their wood burning range: No on the Heartland but I just bought the Margin Gem. http://www.mealtimestoves.on.ca/margingem.html It is being installed in the next 2 weeks. Here is a picture I found on the web several years ago that encouraged me to buy one. It burns wood and coalNo on the Heartland but I just bought the Margin Gem.

http://www.mealtimestoves.on.ca/margingem.html

It is being installed in the next 2 weeks.

It burns wood and coal.

Marni's picture
Marni

That's just beautiful!  Please write about it again when you've been using it and tell how it works out for you.

Marni

jasonla's picture
jasonla

I have to show my wife this, this is exactly what i'm thinking of for our cabin up in VT. We have an old cast iron wood stove there plus a regular fireplace but this is just amazing. I can only imagine though how hard it'd be to find appliance parts for it if something broke. But that's really unlikely.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I have to agree with Mary...the stove sounds like an awful lot of work....but it you look carefully you can see an indoor pizza/bread oven and chimney above the wood!  That would be very nice to have...but for year round in mild climates it is better built outside!


Sylvia

LindyD's picture
LindyD

It's beautiful.

Wood and coal. What do you do when you need to cook/bake during the summer?

amesti's picture
amesti

i like the style of these woodburning cookstoves

 they are very tradicional looking, but have some modern features.

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

I was brought up with a combination wood and bottled gas cooking range; other people in the farm community we lived in had just wood ranges. Marni, I wouldn't have a thing to do with one unless I could have the set-up Endinmaine shows in the post above. Cooking on a wood range would be fun as long as one didn't have to depend on it every day.

They are great for heating the kitchen -- in January and in July. They are messy; imagine storing wood full of bugs in the house, having the wind blow down the chimney to scatter a fine layer of ash all over, and having to empty out and carry out the ashes every day. Imagine having to cut wood, saw it into stove lengths and very often use an axe to split it into stove wood, then rack it up in a dry spot so that you don't have to scrape snow and ice off of it before you bring it in the house. Imagine going out in a three-day snowstorm and having to dig out the woodpile, before breakfast. No hot coffee until you get a fire going! And then there is cleaning the chimney every year or more often -- every year we have a dozen or more farm families around here who get burned out at the beginning of wood heating season.

Additionally, you can't regulate the oven nearly as well as you can on a gas or electric stove. You have to keep fussing with the fire when baking, opening the draft, closing the draft, adding more wood, raking the coals around, etc. To cook with pans you get to choose your area on the stove top to get a simmer or a boil, then move the pans as the fire changes. Cooking on a wood stove is a full-time job.

There are advantages. If you have a water reservoir as a part of the stove, you will always have hot water, as long as you pour the cold water into the reservoir to heat. Then you can drain off the hot water into a bucket, carry it over the the sink, and wash dishes. My mother used to do that. Another good point -- a wood stove is a great place to heat up your flat iron. My mother had 3 which she used in rotation when she ironed. The stoves also have warming ovens. Can't think of any disadvantage there, but it's a pretty small reward for all the rest of the nonsense. They were a good place to dry wet mittens, though.

Marni, if you want a real mental trip, go to Lehman's, at this Website and look at all the products available. Stoves galore. Churns, kerosene lamps, all sorts of good stuff. They even have flat irons, known as sad irons.

http://www.lehmans.com

They have lots and lots and lots of old fashioned farm and country gear. It's all great until you have to live with it. I look at the Mennonite and Amish people around here who don't use electricity, and I don't envy them one bit. I've lived through all of that, back during WW II, and that was enough.

I do hope you don't take this as a criticism of you and your romantic view of the past, because I think it's great that you are so interested in making butter and all those other good things. IT's people like you who will keep our history a little bit alive, and I think that's very important. You just made me realize here how different things were when I was a child, and how much better off I have it now. But I sure would like to have the set up shown in the post above mine, with 2 stoves. THEN it would be fun.

Mary

 

Marni's picture
Marni

Don't worry, I'm not at all offended.  It's great fun to visit the past in thought and sometimes for a short while, try out the old ways, but I have no intention of staying for any length of time. 

I don't know if I would even want it as a second range.  Too much mess- I agree.  Thanks for the site, I'll check it out.

My favorite books as a girl were the "Little House books" and the Anne of Green Gables series among other old fashioned books.  I'd love to go back for a short while, but bring along indoor plumbing and medicines.  Since that's not possible, I try to bring some of the pleasant aspects of the period into our present.  I want my children to know that food doesn't magically appear in the house and on store shelves.  Although I live in the heart of Los Angeles (was born here, even), we visit county fairs and go to farms to pick produce.

Your childhood farm sounds like unceasing work for your mother and a great place to grow up.

Marni

endinmaine's picture
endinmaine

I will take pictures of mine when it is installed. I have been burning wood for 40 years. While I agree wood requires work cutting/splitting/stacking the clean part of it can be managed with a little common sense. When the price of oil was cheap people thought I was crazy , now that it is over $4/gallon they are driving me nuts asking all sorts of questions.
I began burning coal in a Harmon Mark III that also burns wood 3 years ago. I will continue to burn wood when I can get it free but coal is the way to go and the heat output is double that of wood and burns for 5x longer. I have an older cookstove , a glenwood , in my summer lake house and have cooked on it for 32+ years. My wife loves it for cooking and heating the house.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I heat soley with wood and have for well over 20 years. It is a wonderful and quite different type of heat when compared to any other and I wouldn't trade wood heat for any other form. Modern woodstoves have made great strides in efficiency and clean burning.

I also cook on the top of my woodstove - a great place for simmering stews. Large kettles of water are kept on the stove for humidity and a source of hot water. Wood heat is not really all that messy and the only wood stored inside is a day's supply (bug free). The wood supply is easily moved by placing it in a trash can on wheels (no mess on the floor), then placing it in your woodbox. Ash isn't a problem when you use a metal can with a lid, and in the fall I stack my wood supply inside my covered porch, so snow covered wood is never an issue.

More importantly, wood is a renewable energy source.

I've also used a wood cooking stove and have to admit regulating the heat is a pain in the neck. On the other hand, if I could figure out a way to bake my bread in my woodstove, I'd do it. But never in the summer.

Marni's picture
Marni

So, do you have two ranges?  Wood plus gas or electric?  I wouldn't have room.  We've been in this house for about four years and compared to our first house the kitchen is great, but it has no room for anything like another oven.  As it is the two I have are in the wall.

You seem to have the maintanence down cold, but it still seems to be a lot of work.  I can't do it anyway, it's not allowed in LA.  They've banned wood burning fireplaces here now too.  Houses with original woodburning fireplaces can keep them though.  Do you mind mentioning about where you live - are woodburning stoves common in your area?

Is your wood one a newer style, or an original?  Is cooking on top the part that is hard to regulate and why is it difficult to bake bread in it?

I hope you don't mind so many questions.  Thanks.

Marni

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

Hi, LindyD and Marni:

We too have heated with wood, back when we lived in eastern Oregon, which was fairly recently. It was all the heat there was in that house, and since it was a modern wood heating stove, it was quite efficient. I guess I'm not as tolerant as Lindy is with regard to the mess of bark and ashes, and I think she is really lucky to have a covered porch that will hold a winter's supply of wood. I would have given a lot for that, back then. Lindy, where do you get your wood? Do you buy it by the cord already split, or do you harvest it yourself? That was a big factor for us.

In an earlier post I was speaking specifically about a wood range for cooking. I agree that I could have made soup or stew on top of my heating stove, and I have a friend who does that today on her soapstone stove. Baked veggies in a iron pot might be another possibility. Humidification is a plus; I forgot that in my earlier post.

Marni -- for range top cooking, you just move the pan to where you have the temperature you want. Some areas of a fire are hotter than others. If need be, you adjust the placement of the coals in the firebox with a poker. That's what I mean about having to be with the stove -- you personally are responsible for getting wood in there at the right time, in the right quantity and in the right place. Otherwise there is no adjustment -- no turning a burner up or down. If you want a hot fire to fry it will be different from a low fire to simmer soup and you plan accordingly.

The problem when it comes to baking is that when you build a fire it takes time to get it going. The oven takes time to warm up, then, of course the mass of the cast iron stove helps smooth out heat fluctuations to quite an extent. Additionally, the oven is always "on" in the sense that if there is a fire in the firebox you have at least a warm oven. It may not be hot enough for bread, but you are started on the required heat, you just have to build it up, which takes time. Your goal is to maintain a nice even heat by manipulating the fire, and the only way to do that is to add wood, shake down the ashes to make it burn hotter or let it cover over with ash if it is too hot, open or close the drafts to regulate the fire, add more wood at the right time, etc. It also makes a difference as to what wood you have to put in the fire box. Nicely seasoned hardwood (maple, etc.) when it is dry burns hot. Evergreens burn cooler, and wet wood burns slow and cooler still. Our neighbors here used to burn cottonwood. It's a stinky slow fire.

What do you do in the summer? Well, that's why my mother had the dual range with bottled gas and wood. she could do her canning on the gas, no matter how hot it was. Folks who did not have a dual range used the wood stove, no matter how hot it was. I remember visiting in Virginia one summer when it was up in the high 90s and the folks we visited had just a wood-burning range.

I'm sorry I don't remember whether the oven on my mother's stove could also be heated with gas; I suspect it was. Certainly it should have been.

What you have here, Marni, is two points of view, and that's healthy. There are advantages and disadvantages either way. I just know I am not at all interested in going back.

Mary

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

40cm wide and right next to my electric range. I love to remove a lid and wok on it. Now in summer, I just set a camping burner inside it. Works great!

That's a beautiful stove.  Good you've got back up too.   

Mini O

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

For baking, I would (and have) built an outdoor wood oven.  If you use the Kiko Denzer method, you can build a good wood-burning oven quickly and inexpensively.  The benefit to an outdoor oven is that you can not only do Pizza and other very high temp bakes YEAR ROUND but you can do the Holiday goose without a trace of smokey fat in the house. And for bread ... can't beat the wood-fired oven.

 

If it is basically for heat ... get a good woodburner.

 

You seem to be captivated by the aestetics and there is no rational analysis for that ... so, if you can afford it, just do it! 

 

Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

endinmaine's picture
endinmaine

When our new house is completed next month I will rely on the gas stove/oven for cooking/baking. The wood/coal stove would be way too hot to use during the summer months. As I said in the previous post now that the cost of energy continuing to increase , more and more people will return to wood and coal stoves. Our builder estimated that to cook and heat our 2500 sqft house in southern Maine with propane would be about $4000/per year. The cost of the Margin Gem will be paid for in less than 1.5 years. All my wood is free from my 9.5 acres of land and I presently have 25 cords cut/split/stacked in a large quonset shed. I have baked bread in my other cook stove and there is something special about it. Cooking during Thanksgiving with our large family gathered around the stove bring special meaning to the holidays.
I would have it no other way.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Marni, my woodstove is for heating the house. While it does have a flat top so I can use it to heat water, cook stews, and keep food/liquids heated, it is not a wood cook stove. Think big black steel box with two front doors. I have cooked on it using my cast iron cookware - it just takes longer. I have a Whirlpool natural gas range for cooking and baking. I haven't yet figured out how to bake bread in or on the woodstove, though I'd love to try just for the sake of doing it (multitasking). Maybe I'll set up some firebrick on top of it this coming winter and try a small boule.

I live in the snowbelt of Northern Michigan. Over 200 inches of snow in the winter and temps can fall to -30F. We have snow on the ground from November through April. Our last frost was May 28. Thus, wood heat is pretty common up here for folks who know what the winters are like. The latest rage is outdoor woodburning furnaces, which are set outside the home and work off a thermostat inside the house. Others use pellet stoves, but those require an electric fan to run so you're out of luck if the power goes out. I do have a small natural gas furnace as a backup when I'm gone for more than 24 hours.

Northern Michigan is heavily forested and wood is a renewable energy source. I should note the air is very clear and we've never seen smog. Our population density is pretty low, so that's a big factor in keeping our air clean along with being primarily a tourist area (golf, watersports, and snow skiing).

Mary, I had an oak come down two summers ago and have about four face cords left. Also have ironwood and maple left from last year's burn. Wood is sold here for about $50 a face cord (2 feet by 4 feet by the width of the cut, usually 24 inches). That wood is split hardwood with no bark. Six face cord will keep my house between 70F and 80F all winter for about $300. Given the increased cost of gasoline, I imagine the cost of wood will go up this fall, but when compared to electricity, natural gas, or propane, it is still cheaper. I do have a chainsaw, but use it only on saplings because I want to keep all my body parts intact.

I love wood heat because it is so warming and comforting. Yes, it is more work than turning up a thermostat, but there's a wonderful sense of self-sufficiency that comes with it. My home is always warm during power outtages, no matter how strong the blizzard. I really don't have any problems with flying ash and in the spring, the wood ash goes into the garden. The Rubbermaid container on wheels makes it clean and easy to bring a day's wood supply indoors. I actually enjoy stacking wood in the fall. The air is crisp and has a tangy autumn perfume. When the leaves are down, I can watch the Bald Eagles flying overhead. They are Zen moments and while it may sound silly, I've looked at the wood in my hands and thanked the tree for its warmth. Plus, the exercise is good.

I should add that I use only dried hardwoods and would never burn pine or wet wood, as they are dangerous (producing pine tar and creosote) and don't produce many BTUs. I also clean my stove pipe and chimney every year, keep a smoke alarm next to the stove, and am always aware there's a fire burning in that stove.

All of this said, I'm a creature who enjoys her comforts so having a wood cookstove our even an outdoor oven is of no interest to me. I prefer to use my wood to keep me warm and use my gas range for cooking and baking.

Endinmaine, I am envious of your 25 cords of wood! You will reap the benefits of your hard work in the winters to come and I know you will love your warm and cozy new home.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I could be completely wrong on this, and I know the dangers of creosote from burning 'green' wood, but I thought wood smoke was bad for the environment.  After our ice storm 10 years ago, we were told that burning wood in our fireplaces, though a necessity to keep us alive, was not really encouraged when we had electricity.  As for coal, I'm always surprised to see the ads on American TV pushing coal as an alternative for oil or gas.  Forgive me if I've got all this wrong, it's just what I've heard.  I have such wonderful memories of toast made on the wood stove in a summer place where we stayed in the mountains when we were children; I've also got memories of my mother's trying to get the stove going in the mornings and clouds of smoke billowing out into the kitchen when there were downdrafts!

sphealey's picture
sphealey

When it comes to global warming, burning wood should in theory be net-carbon-neutral since the carbon that goes into the atmosphere came out of the atmosphere while the tree was growing.  Of course if we burned _every_ tree in a short period...

The local effect of wood smoke and the tars therefrom of course can still be considered pollution.  Some modern wood stoves have catalytic converters in the exhaust to help reduce this; I think those are mandated in Colorado.  But it can still be a problem.

Coal is another story.  It is clearly not net-carbon-neutral.  Modern coal plants scrub out a very high percentage of the particulate emissions and the next generation are targeted at 0% particulates (100% scrubbing).  That doesn't stop the CO2 though, and carbon capture technologies are in their infancy.  The problem being that there is no substitute at this point: nuclear has its own +/-, we are just getting started with wind and solar, etc.  The upcoming energy transition will be very difficult.

sPh 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I have down draft reburners in both my wood ovens. There is a gas released by burning that escapes normally but this is recaptured and brought back to the flames to "reburn." It is a passive system that amazes me everytime I watch it and much cleaner than before. It is tested regularly to make sure it's working. (Done by the fire department and the chimney sweep... We are very strict here in Austria.)

 

The smoky downdraft that leads to a smoky kitchen can also be avoided. Understand the physics of your chimney and this will rarely happen. There are plates or vents that can be mounted on top of the chimney to always point the smoke to run with the wind. Too short a chimney, shorter than the top of the house, can also cause constant downdrafts. Also a chimney that has been heated up by the sun will create a "plug" and temporarily prevent smoke from passing. It is much easier to start a fire in the mornings after the chimney has cooled. If the kitchen is cool, and the temp outside is warm, look out! Leave the oven (and it's baffles) closed, go straight to the chimney portal at the base of the chimney and start a very hot quick fire there, with paper to heat up the inside chimney air and blow the airplug out. I also have a chimney sweep, and it is important that the flue remain clean. (Cause for the warnings from the fire department during an ice storm, a dirty chimney can cause all kinds of problems esp. if it has nests or is covered.)  When starting a fire, put in burning material and start burning at the top and let it burn downward (toward the fresh air) with air vents open.

So, enough said.

Mini O

endinmaine's picture
endinmaine

Temperatures in southern Maine can get into the -20* or lower. My Harman Mark III coal/wood stove will go into a partially finished basement. It has a 93k btu capacity when run full but I rarely run it wide open. The Margin Gem cookstove has the capacity to heat up to 2000 sqft but that is also wide open. My living space is 2500 sqft and my basement is 1500 sqft so both stoves idling along will have no problems keeping the house comfortable. Both stoves are hand feed and require no electricity to run so if/when power is lost , no problem. The propane/gas FHW furnace will just be a backup. The Harman came with a coil to also heat the hot water. Once we move it that will also be connected so our reliance on fossil fuels will be minimal.

LindyD: $50/cord for wood ,, in our area it is presently at $250/cord and I have seen it during the winter at $550/cord. I always cut/split my own so no cost there plus it is good exercise.

PaddyL: Your question - Don’t wood and coal pollute ? They do but the output is a tiny fraction to what the power plants produce. Dry wood pollutes far less than green wood and anthracite coal, which I only burn , if far less polluting than bituminous coal that all the power plants burn. The wood ash is good for use in the garden and the coal ash is used to fill in low spots and on gravel driveways.
I chuckled at your smoke and down draft comment. I too remember those days when I was younger. Today’s stoves and fireplaces are much more efficient and less polluting. As the cost of energy continues to escalate we home owners will have to find alternative ways to heat/cook. People I work with complained last winter that their oil bills were up to $700 per month and next winter that will be even higher.

EndinMaine/Eric

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Lindy was quoting the price for a "face cord?" a term I'm not familiar with. The sizes aren't the same.  Face cord 2 x 2 X 4? (I think) vs a Cord 4 x 4 x 8

LindyD's picture
LindyD

You're correct, Paddsycake, that a full cord of wood is four feet wide by four feet tall by eight feet long. A face cord is the width (generally 24") by four feet tall by eight feet long. I miswrote in my post and goofed up the numbers. Glad you caught it.

From a legal standpoint, in Michigan the law requires that all wood sold must be in full cord measurements, but it's a law most woodsellers ignore.

 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

A face cord is a half cord..$50 vs $250.

Comparing costs..gas, wheat, flour..we pay about $180 a cord in the Willamette Valley, OR.

edh's picture
edh

We heat primarily with wood here in Downeast Maine. Being on the coast it doesn't get quite as cold as where endinmaine is; -10* is more likely to be our coldest. We do have an old clunker of an oil furnace for when we have to leave the house for more than a day, but for the last two winters we've made it through on just one tank of fuel for the year.

On the other hand, we burn at least 6-7 cords of wood in our excessively drafty old house. Some people dream of owning fancy cars, I dream of insulation and a brick oven...

We buy our wood as a truck load of tree-length logs (no wood lot of our own, sadly) which is sold by weight rather than cordage, but it usually works out to about 8 1/2 cords, for which we paid $867 this year, so that's a touch over $100 per cord, green. Of course, it still needs to be sawed and split, but that's why they say wood heats you three times...

If we had the space and finances for it, I'd run right out and buy one of the beautiful ranges pictured earlier in the post. What a treat to be able to bake beans in a real oven while steaming brown bread on the top (not that I'd want to give up my gas range...)!

Endinmaine, it sounds like you have the perfect set up down there; enjoy!

From fog-bound Downeast,

edh

cougmantx's picture
cougmantx

While I don't have a lot to contribute to this discussion. Here in Texas a wood burning stove in spring, summer, fall and some winter would be unbearable. I was reminded though of my trips as a child to my grandparents farm in northern Minnesota and the wonderful Swedish Meatballs and Cinniamin Rolls cooked on a old wood burning stove. She could make some of the best baked items with that old oven and it always seemed like magic to a young boy. I'm glad that these options are still available and people are able to carry on a tradition of self sufenciancy that many of us have lost. Thanks for the memories.