Butterfly Oven added feature

Some things you buy, they slowly disappoint. Others are fine at what they promised, nothing more. Then there are the ones that slowly grow on you. They under promised and over deliver. The Butterfly Oven is turning out to be one of those. (Other than the thermometer that is useless… but that’s a $3 fix).

So one of the ongoing PITA “issues” I have with my Modern Electronic Electric Oven, is that in a fit of what is most likely lawyer driven paranoia, they limit the lowest temperature to 176 F. Above the “bugs will grow” temperature so nobody can sue them for putting a pot roast in the oven at 140 F and dying from rampant bacterial growth. Except… My Mum had a gas oven. The pilot light kept it Just Warm Enough for things like rising bread or even making yogurt. There’s a host of DIY zymurgy in the home, broken by the removal of a ‘hold 100 F or so’ temperature. The old work around of an incandescent light bulb in a cardboard box is also being buggered by the light bulb ban. So I’ve been “dealing with” the GE Electric Oven by the expedient of turning it on for 5 to 7 seconds every 15 to 20 minutes (to some extent dependent on room temperature and also how often I remember ;-)

So I’ve got a loaf of bread ready to pan, and make a quick run to the Patio Kitchen to make a cup of coffee … and see the black Butterfly Oven sitting in the sun. Nice and warm… Well, one thing leads to another. It was a touch cool so I turned the window to face south. Sun on bricks under it, it’s a nice 90 F (and rising a little still). I have a “solar powered bread riser” ;-)

Now I get to sit on the patio sipping tea or coffee and reading the laptop… instead of checking my clock and fretting. Nice.

I will need to check that the temperature doesn’t get out of hand as the bricks warm, but the AEK Oven has had overshoot to 137 F some times as my “count” and guess about how long I’d missed and all resulted in too much energy in. (It has a min reading of 100 F so I have to put in just enough energy to barely overshoot to get my first reading…) With the occasional excursion to the 120 F to 130 F land the bread has still done OK. The Butterfly changes temps in the sun even more slowly so easy to watch. Besides, it is right in front of the patio easy chair. “Sorry dear, working, have to watch the bread you know!” ;-)

The design of the Butterfly has small holes in the inner skin at the top of the sides, then other little holes on the outside skin at the bottom sides. Heat must rise, then enter the outer wall and slowly sink, before exiting. This puts a warm blanket of air (exhaust) around the outside of the oven. A rather efficient idea. It also means that if set it on a flat brick floor, there isn’t much ‘exhaust’ and it is an air insulated box with a sun facing glass panel…

In summer, I may need to change when I rise the bread, as it is now doing about 95F so in August at Noon when the air is already that hot, well, maybe out of the sun will do ;-) It will still be a nice closed bug and dust proof place to rise the bread. (Well, maybe not strictly “proof”, an adventuresome bug could try to navigate the maze of exhaust ports… but I’m in a relatively low bug area). In winter with no sun, perhaps a tea candle or warming Sterno burner may be needed. The effect is the same regardless of heat source. I have a nice rack equipped somewhat insulated box with glass window and door through which I can read a thermometer that can be gently heated as a very nice warming oven. It is flexible enough on heat source that I can find something suitable. Indoors or out. Sunny or rain.

I like that.

Here’s a picture showing three thermometers in the oven. One is my trusty photography thermometer that is great for fermentation science work too. In the background is the oven thermometer (that I calibrate off of the Digital Electric Oven). In the foreground is the somewhat useless one that comes with the oven. You can see that the Voss is showing precise temperatures in the rising range while the other two are both pegged on the bottom. (Why thermometer makers think nobody ever makes yogurt nor rises bread is beyond me…)

A bit later I’ll be baking that bread using the added Oven Thermometer. I bought it at a local grocery store for about $3 or $4 and it was reading the same as the Digital Electric Oven out of the box. It’s not hard to get a decent oven thermometer and it can make all the difference in the world to results.

FWIW, the door fit is loose / adjustable enough that a thin wire digital electric probe could likely be put in the oven and the lead taken out the door without any problems. I just like the analog stuff is all ;-)

Butterfly Oven as Solar Warming Oven

Butterfly Oven as Solar Warming Oven

Here is a ‘perspective shot’:

Butterfly Oven Solar Warmer perspective view

Butterfly Oven Solar Warmer perspective view

Here you can see from a quartering angle what it looks like. The Pile Of Bricks are just in their ‘stowed’ configuration as a rectangular stack. (When they are not busy being a POB BBQ/ Grill or Rocket Stove. ) I’d just set the oven on them to be off of the Coleman Stove. Then discovered this “feature”. (Or invented it… I decided to see if it would work and oriented the oven while instrumenting it. Discovery? Invention? Stating the obvious? Hard to choose ;-) Any surface under it ought to work, with minor variation of heat storage and solar absorption. One can also add or remove shading if needed. The keen eye will notice it is presently located where the afternoon shadow slowly creeps up it. If I forget about it for a couple of hours, the sun will ‘self limit’ the heating. I may have to move it at 3 pm, but I won’t have killed the yeast…

You can also, barely, make out the holes at the bottom of the outside side. There are matching holes on the inside top side. The very top of the oven and the back look to be sealed air spaces. (The bottom is, obviously, open and the front is a single thickness of glass door in a double thickness facing). It would be very easy to duplicate this overall design in other materials and at other scales. So, say someone lived on a farm and wanted a family sized oven to cook a turkey. Has some sheet metal skills and a large stove. Well, making a “box in a box” with holes in two outside bottom edges and two inside top edges, then adding a door with glass in it, would not be all that hard.

Ok, that’s if for now. I think it’s time for me to get back to work in the easy chair watching bread rise and contemplating my next beverage of choice… It can be a lot of work leaving the “Cash Economy”, but worth it. Sure, I could have worked to make $10 to keep $6 of it (spending $4 on taxes and crap) to spend $3 of that keeping the car fueled insured and etc. to drive to the store to spend the rest on a $3 loaf of plain bread. But this takes about the same amount of time and work to just make the bread yourself, all told, and this is much more pleasant… Besides, after a couple of years of trying, I’m now a better baker than the commercial bulk outfits…

At this point, and with the thermometer upgrade, I think I’ve solved my electric oven problem. The Dutch Oven / American Camp Oven has fixed it too, for some class of meals. I’ll still be working out how to make bread in the Dutch Oven, but being able to see the bread in this Butterfly oven and the ease of use, will likely make this the “daily driver” of ovens for me. I’ll still be on the lookout for others, for better, for alternative ways; but the “need” is now met (in two ways… D.O. and Butterfly)

Now if only I didn’t have 2 weeks in spring where something outside makes my nose twitch and sneeze ;-)

Update A few hour later

Well, as some of my relatives say “The bread has done ris.” So the risen bread is now in the oven and cooking away. With the replacement thermometer, it is clear why on “First Fire” I burned the aluminum off of the deflector plate.

Butterfly Oven Baking Bread w 2 Thermometers

Butterfly Oven Baking Bread w 2 Thermometers

You ought to be able to see that the “built in” thermometer reads about 75 C while the replacement, a bit further back, is reading 375 F or about 190 C. Over 100 C error in the included thermometer.

There is absolutely no need to go to ‘blowtorch mode’ on the main burner to warm this oven to baking temperatures. I was trying to reach 200 C on that front temperature indicator thinking that was about normal bread baking temperature. In reality, it was at least 300 C (and possibly higher) headed up toward 600 F and “melting lead” temperatures. (a bit over 620 F or 328 C )

To warm the oven, I used a medium high setting. The oven started warming quickly per the added thermometer. Once it reached baking temperature (that was fairly quick- just a minute or two) the major issue that I had, was not realizing how efficient this oven would be. I didn’t “dial it back” enough, quickly enough. Eventually I got down to “a minimum simmer” setting on the Coleman, and the temperature started dropping from 400 F back to my more usual 350 F to 375 F. I’ve now cut it back to ‘as low a simmer as I usually ever do” in an effort to test getting to 300 F or 325 F; that I often use for very light color crusts. It is oh so slowly cooling to that temperature.

The bread has been in the oven about 25 minutes, and looks great. With the very low power setting, a tank of fuel will last a very long time. What’s more, I don’t need to keep pumping it up or anything, really. The fuel burn is low enough that it’s more or less a “set and forget” operation. I like that.

Once the bread is out of the oven, I’ll put up a picture of the product so we can all see the result.

At this point, I have to give the oven a “Works fine, does great, very happy” rating.
The temperature indicator not so much…

Update 2

Here’s the product. I deliberately ran the temperature a bit low (since the prior two loaves, one in the D.O. and the one in this oven trusting the gauge, came out charred and ‘very well done’ respectively). The result is a very light blond / tan loaf. Which I like anyway. I’ll probably do the next loaf 25 F higher for just a bit more brown. That I can do exactly 25 F higher pleases me greatly ;-) Baking is all about control of conditions.

Butterfly Oven Loaf of Bread using good thermometer

Butterfly Oven Loaf of Bread using good thermometer

I’m quite pleased with the result and extremely pleased with the fuel efficiency.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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15 Responses to Butterfly Oven added feature

  1. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve added an “update” for the first baking operation.

  2. Gail Combs says:

    Darn, you are making me hunger and I don’t eat bread!

  3. Paul Hanlon says:

    Yes, making me hungry too. And jealous.

    I make a reasonably good soda bread, which uses Bicarbonate of Soda as the rising agent, the nice thing being, I just stick it straight in the oven after kneading, but it comes out a lot denser than yeast based breads.

    The reason I avoided them was because of the extra hassle of having to rise the bread first, but looking at the way this oven let’s you do both in such an elegant way makes me want to try it.

    Now, I wonder if there is a European distributor of these type of stoves?

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    Back again…

    Finally get to try a slice of the bread.. Tender crumb. Flavor is good. The aroma is largely just regular bread. No evidence at all that it was cooked over Coleman Fuel. Heck, I might even try it over unleaded gasoline… someday..

    So looks like my days of baking bread in the Electric Oven are over. (Well, maybe in the dead of winter when the heat from it is welcome, so I get a “two fer” usage of the electric costs… then again, I could use this oven over a gas burner on the kitchen stove. If I get that cook top installed this summer…) That will save about 29 cents / kW-hr in a roughly 4 kW oven. At 50% duty cycle (a guess) we’re talking about $0.60 / hour. Or $18 / month. Just for bread baking. As that is roughly 4+ gallons of gasoline, I think I’m going to be ‘well ahead’ on costs. If this used 4 ounces of fuel, I’d be very surprised. 128/4= 32 ‘uses’ per gallon, or back to that 128 ounces for the gasoline used in a month. $4. IMHO, at least $10 / month advantage. That’s $20 of income I don’t need. (Yes, between Fed and State the tax rate here is at or over 50% – then add about 10% sales tax if you spend what you got to keep… ) Call it $240 / year of “virtual income”.

    It may well be that the GE Electric Oven uses even more power. It takes a fair chunk of “full on” to reach working temperature. (About 5 minutes?). Also, the Butterfly Oven is very much physically smaller, and that alone adds some efficiency advantage. Though I doubt that I can get much better than 1 Gallon a month to get the baking done. That would be all of $3 to $4. So maybe as much as $14 / month advantage. Outside possible is $15 including the ‘rising’ heat avoided.

    Call it $120 / year to $180. $240 to $360 of “virtual income”. “I can live with that”. Having “break even” in well under 1 year. Then again, with the $1/2 tariff “in the works”, I could be even more ahead of the game faster than expected ;-)

    Furthermore, it looks like I can make a POB ‘charcoal base’ and set this on top of it fairly easily. That means I can use charcoal (at about the same cost as gasoline, but without the need to fool around with the Coleman Stove) or even “yard waste” (well, the better bits of it… like the wood from my “flowering pear” that is dropping small limbs from time to time). I’ll need to “size things” on the fuel needed. (That is, calibrate size of charcoal) and “give it a try” sometime. (I’m more likely to start with a Mac & Cheese casserole than a loaf of bread. It won’t care if the temperature is a bit off the first time or two and it takes 25 to 30 minutes that is about the same as the life of a few charcoals…) Essentially, a small variation on the POB Grill ought to work fine.

    In short: “Take THAT, PG&E and all you high electric price solar green nazis…” Isn’t gonna happen. I’ve “moved on” from your product.

    At the next opportunity, the kitchen cook top “goes gas”. The Electric Oven will remain in place for things too large for this oven; and for the spouse who sometimes makes cookies. And maybe for me on frozen December days when going outside involves frost and wind… but that’s not very often. I get the feeling that I’m reaching the end of this process. Likely to be more “result of cooking” and fewer “trying to pick an oven” postings from here on out. On the “maybe someday” list would go “something big enough for a turkey”, but I think a small turkey will fit in the large Dutch Oven / American Camp Oven, and if not, it will fit in the Big Smoker… I’d not mind some smoke on the turkey. (Smoke on the bread interests me, and I’d thought of using the smoker as an oven, but the high gas consumption AND the fact that the spouse is unlikely to enjoy “smokey bread” for all uses, convinced me to look elsewhere…)

    When my Kerosene Stove gets here, I’m going to try this oven on it, indoors, and see how it does. I expect it will be fine (given family and ancestors in the Amish community cook indoors over kerosene all the time). Then again, the spouse has her sensitivities to smells… so we will see. I’d be happy to set it up and ‘bake bread’ at midnight when everyone else is asleep and have it all back out in a December Frozen Garage before anyone knew ;-)

    At this point, I’ve settle in on a general layout and setup for the Patio Kitchen, so I’ll be doing more “final set up” and less “experimental fast prototype”. It’s time to cut back the “explorational expending” and do more “production construction and installation”. I’ve pretty much got: Smoking up to 50 lbs of meat at once (though I’ve mostly just done a couple of chickens at a time), baking two loaves at once (usually just one needed, but sometimes I do two), casserole & small roasts, grilling (all that’s needed for the family), pan frying and boil / simmering. Can’t think of much more than that which I need. (The spouse needs ‘cookie sheet’ but I don’t) Oh, and canning. I’m set up to run a medium large canner.

    I’ve also got a very nice very “smell polite” alcohol “stove” for boiling one cup of water indoors. Fooling around with the Coleman Stove just to get one cup of boiling water is more trouble than it is worth. The ‘preheat’ it takes wastes more fuel than is used for one cup. I’ll report on it in a few days. A nice little Trangia that takes about 40 grams of alcohol to heat a large cup to boiling. I may use it only until I’ve swapped the cook top out for gas, but until then, I’ve sworn off electricity for my cuppa… (Have I mentioned lately “It’s a very bad idea to annoy the Geek -E.M.Smith” and the price of electricity has Annoyed The Geek… )

    So that just leaves lighting (that’s already about as efficient as I can go), entertainment center (that may get a power improving upgrade, if I find the money), Fridge (that is also very efficient – I can run it WITH lighting and entertainment center off a 1 kW generator…) and the sporadic washer / dryer / furnace fan. Next step (probably a year away) is to move lighting and entertainment “stuff” onto an inverter / battery box UPS set up, charged either from “mains” or from the Diesel, or from a generator. Then I can “choose my fuel” based on costs and availability. Most of the time, it will likely be the Diesel. The efficiency doesn’t change much with load. Heck, I might even add a 1 or 2 kW generator to it (there are commercial ones for vehicles available). Then again, when I “do the math”, I may well find that a natural gas kit on the Honda will be most cost effective. (There’s a company that does them as an ‘add on’) But that’s a ways down the road.

    I’ll leave the GE Electric Oven and the Washer / Dryer / Furnace on mains in any case. They are “high surge low frequency of use” devices so let PG&E deal with that sporadic Big Draw and I’ll take the small persistent base load for myself… Makes my system much smaller, cheaper, and easier to do. ( I already have a 1 kW inverter and battery box from the Gov. Grey “out” Davis days of irregular power… just need to buy a battery and assemble…) I’d much rather be doing things more “valuable to society with my life”, but the Democrats and Greens have decided I will be doing “DIY Power Company” and “Camping at home burning stuff kitchen construction” instead. Oh Well…

    At least y’all will get some fun watching me “cope” and maybe get some ideas of use in your own situations. For example, this oven. Now that you know it works, needs a cheap thermometer upgrade, and makes decent baked goods, it’s a $100 (less than that, IIRC) solution that has decent payback. Saves the “search costs” for others. It also means that the “upgrade ovens”, such as the larger Perfection brand, will also work fine (and might even take a cookie sheet ;-) Essentially, it ratifies “this entry point or better as good solutions.

    FWIW, in looking up “oven specs” on GE ovens, I was reminded again just how horrifically expensive they can be. Many of them over $2000 (at the one site I visited) little under $900. At this point, I’m not seeing why I’d ever again pay $1000 for an oven. So “Kiss Off GE” as well. I don’t need them anymore…

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @Paul Hanlon:

    John of St. Paul told me they ship to the UK (at least, maybe the rest of the EU). Shipping is expensive. They oven is $69 as a kit, $79 assembled plus shipping. Shipping to the UK is something like $70. So you are up at about $140 delivered. But you can get it. Don’t know if anyone in the EU imports them in bulk, but they you would get hit with VAT anyway…

    Oh, and to rise the bread like I did, you need sun and warmth. Good in the south of France or Spain, Scotland not so much ;-)

    @Gail Combs:

    Don’t eat bread? Why on earth… (I know, anything from a high protein weight loss diet – I’ve been on it while ‘helping a friend’ stick to it – to needing Gluten Free [ that another friend needs ] BTW, if you do need gluten free, we have a LOT of gluten free recipes created and collected over the years… )

  6. Gail Combs says:

    @Gail Combs:

    Don’t eat bread? Why on earth…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I normally eat low carb. I quit breads rice, potatoes, corn and my nightly reflux problem went away. Yesterday at a birthday I indulged in some pita and Hummus (a real weakness of mine) and paid for it by having to get out of bed and vertical by 2:00 PM.

    Oh to have the digestive system of my youth again. I had a bad bout of food poisoning (Salmonella from eggs?) on a Cass Mtn caving trip in 1980 and the gut has never been the same.

  7. Jerry says:

    “The old work around of an incandescent light bulb in a cardboard box is also being buggered by the light bulb ban.”

    A new work around of an incandescent light bulb (or two) under a Butterfly should make a nice warm bread womb for those days when outside just won’t work. No, it is not fire but some days you just gotta make do. :)

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jerry:

    Yes, it would, for me. I’ve saved a batch of bulbs. But for folks who haven’t bought a stash, options are more limited. However, as you can still get high wattage bulbs like 200 W or more, one of those on a ‘dimmer’ would work well. It would give more control too…

    @Gail Combs:

    You might consider trying a bacteria ‘eradication’ regime. For persistent bacteria, like H. Pylori that causes ulcers and facial rosacea, it can take a ‘cocktail’ of a couple of antibiotics over a fairly long period of time to get rid of them. It is possible you have a sub-acute infection still that is fed by starches and causes you to become ill. Given the starch aspect, it might be a yeast.

    It might not be about you, so much as what is using you as a hotel…

    FWIW I’ve had sporadic reflux / indigestion / heartburn problems in the past. Pretty much fixed by moving the offending foods to lunch, not for dinner… So it is long gone by the time ‘laying flat’ comes along…

  9. Gail Combs says:

    Gail Combs:

    You might consider trying a bacteria ‘eradication’ regime….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    At this point no insurance and little income however I am eyeballing my stash of puffballs aka Calvatia Craniiformis that have antimicrobial action. Laboratory tests indicate that extracts of the puffball have antimicrobial and antifungal activities.

    I pick them fry them in olive oil and then freeze them. I love mushrooms and found if I eat too much they will kill off the gut bacteria. (A known and documented problem so yogurt to the rescue) Freezing does not hurt them and does not kill off the antimicrobial action. I have to be careful just how much I add to the commercial mushrooms in my soups.

    More on the medical value of mushrooms: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1193547/

    As usual I can’t find the original article I read a few years ago.

    If I add vinegar and oil dressing on salads and yogurt I should be able to ‘adjust’ the bugs. If it doesn’t work there is alway the Doctor.

    It is not quite as nuts as it sounds since calvatic acid targets Helicobacter pylori of peptic ulcer fame. Besides now I have an excuse to eat mushrooms every day – YUM!

    ….According to Gasco et al. (1974) and Viterbo et al. (1975) calvatic acid displays antibacterial as well as anti-fungal activity, but Umezawa et al. (1975) were unable to support those claims, detecting no activity against most yeast and other fungi. More recently, however, Sorba et al. (2001) reported strong antibiotic activity by calvatic acid and some of its analogues and derivatives against Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium implicated in a number of gastric pathologies such as peptic ulcers and gastric cancers. Calvatic acid has also been demonstrated to have a definite antitumour effect, significantly inhibiting the growth of Yoshida sarcoma in cell culture, as well as increasing the survival time of mice with Leukaemia 1210 (Umezawa et al., 1975). Subsequent investigations have therefore also focussed on the antitumour properties of calvatic acid, which, according to Antonini et al. (1997), may represent a model for the synthesis of more specific glutathione transferase-P1-1 inhibitors with possible therapeutic relevance.
    http://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajb/article/download/66089/53804

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  11. Jerry says:

    Monday I ordered a combo stove (2487 16 wick) and oven (2421) and on Thursday afternoon late UPS delivered. Friday afternoon I assembled the oven. The web site plainly states that the ‘oven is rather difficult to assemble’ and they are not kidding. Opt for the $10 assembly or get ready for some hard labor and maybe some bloodshed. It can be done solo but not without clamps and some tape to hold things together temporarily. E. M. mentioned using the oven as a warm place to let bread rise and I suggested putting a light bulb in as a heat source. So that is what I did first. I used a 25 watt bulb and the temp stabilized at around 95. That is in the house with the oven sitting on the washing machine. I don’t intend to use it as an EZ Bake :) so I will be doing a first burn with the stove soon. Stove and oven both look good and I am looking forward to getting some fire going.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jerry:

    Only 25 Watts, eh? I think those stay available as appliance light bulbs… Heck, 2 x 15 Watt bulbs would do it too and I know they stay available. I can live with that… Guess I’ll be using it indoors in winter as a warming oven too ;-)

    Let me know how the stove works out. I’ve been playing with the Pressure Stove outdoors and it REALLY doesn’t like winds, even small drafts make it hard to preheat and light. It’s more an indoor stove. So I’m hoping the wick stove is easier to use in a light breeze…

    I’ve reverted to using my Coleman Gasoline stoves outdoors rather than the pressure stove. ( I tend to have a consistent light breeze past the cooking area, which is nice for BBQ and smoking where it takes smoke away, but makes the alcohol preheat flame flicker and billow and not warm the burner so much as the area next to it ;-) The Coleman just lights and goes in the breeze.

    I’m hoping the wick stove works well in a light breeze, or I’m going to need to rethink my kerosene conversion strategy. Perhaps making a large wind screen for the pressure stove.

  13. Jerry says:

    First and second burn of 2487 16 wick Butterfly. First thing to keep in mind is that it is not a Coleman, (gasoline or propane under pressure) stove; different niche, different characteristics. Lit it up yesterday afternoon in bright sun / bright mostly cloudy, but always bright. It is Very important to get the wicks adjusted so they are all the same height. The stove dial that raises and lowers the wicks does all of them together. If not all the same height the taller wicks will burn with a yellow flame and the shorter wicks will burn with a blue flame or will go out. In bright sun I could not see the blue flame at the bottom of the burner. All I could see was the tall wicks burning yellow, and it looked like the rest of the wicks were out. Because of the amount of heat I knew they were not out but could not really do any fine tuning of the adjustment. So I just let it burn for a few hours and got the wicks broken in. Boiled a 2 quart pot of water in about 10 minutes – also a spider that decided to drop in unobserved. Then turned the wicks down and tried a simmer – hard to do when you cannot see the blue flame in the burner but just played it by ear and kept an eye on the water in the pot so I could tell when the fire had actually gone out. Next day, second burn, today some thunder storms coming thru so it is nice and dark in the garage. I know the stove is not likely to flame up and go berserk so I put is on a table and lit it. Ah Ha, there is a blue flame at the bottom of the burner just like it says at the dealer website. And there are some tall wicks burning yellow. Now I am getting somewhere with flame control. On my stove there is a little gear/sprocket that meshes with notches in a flat bar to raise/lower the wicks. If you look closely it is possible to count the notches in the bar and determine a relative setting for the wicks. This is just something that will come with time and use. With the wicks all the way up there is blue flame covering the entire burner and coming out the top (very Hot) and some soot and odor. (could not see that blue flame yesterday) So turn down the wicks and the blue flame (of the fuel vapor) slowly decreases in height on the side of the burner. The burner is a thin metal cylinder about 5+ inches in dia. with two perforated metal cylinders pinned within it as concentric circles. This is where the kerosene vapor (blue flame) burns. Well, two burns – I like it. It will take some getting used to – OK not a problem. It is not burning gasoline (whatever that is today – and how well does gasoline age these days). Oh, one thing – do not over fill the tank. I did this and leaked an ounce or so of fuel – website says to transport the stove Empty – believe it. Wind – at a fairly high setting like bringing something to boil the wind is not going to be a problem other than a bit of odor from displaced vapor in a hard breeze. At low settings it will be best to have a wind break. Lighting not a problem if it is possible to keep a match/lighter lit – just turn up the wicks and light. To turn off turn the wicks down all the way which will bring them down into their guides – be sure they are all out. If there is a tall wick it could remain lit even if pulled down all the way. So take care adjusting the wicks in the first place – it is important.

    I did put a 60 watt bulb in the oven and that brought the temp up to 110. have not tried the oven on the stove yet. I want to get past the sooting and other break in stuff.

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    Thanks, Jerry!

    All good stuff. (Now I know to be careful with even wick height and not do my usual “fast prototype and adjust” behaviour ;-)

    Since the stove puts out way more heat at full tilt than I need for most everything, keeping it turned down just a bit for low odor / soot will be easy.

    We also get frequent small breezes, but only very infrequent big winds (and I don’t want to be out in them anyway). So it sounds like “enough” wind resistance for what I have 95% of the time. Nice to know.

    The present “test area” is more exposed then the eventual “stove space” which is near a wall of bricks and under an awning, so gets much less breeze. So it all ought to work out well, even if the open area is a bit too breezy some times.

    Now all I need to do is “wait, then assemble” ;-) Oh, and buy some kerosene…

    So 25 W gave about 80 F and 60 W gives 110 F. As I want about 90 F to 100 F, that makes it about 45 W. I have a few bulb dimmers, so I’ll try a 60 W on a dimmer. (Control Freak? Who’s a control freak? This is cooking, cooking NEEDS control! ;-)

    The 110 F Max is high but ‘in range’ and good for yogurt. Yet I can then ‘dial it back’ to anything desired (or crank it up on colder days…)

  15. Jerry says:

    Since I now know how to put a photo in a comment here are a couple I took while installing the wicks. I used the pliers to pull the wick tool (wire) thru the hole.
    bottom view

    top view

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