A discussion ensued with a call from a potential client. She stated that I had so many items on my website that are all Amish, why did I not have any wood cook stoves that the Amish currently use and a lot of people will want. The striking blow to me came from her was the promise to purchase one when I found which wood cook stove I considered the best. So I made sure that I had her name, address, telephone number and of course her email address before I would embark upon this journey.
I figured that this could be a wonderful item for the site and my extensive background in steel manufacturing, welding, manufacturing and business knowledge from being in corporate business for over 40 years would serve me well for finding the best wood cook stoves on the market. I set forth a list of requirements as to the type of refractories utilized and its composition, thickness of the steel, length of being in business, location of manufacturing was limited to the United States and Canada, their customer service and how they treat their representatives and customers. There was a lot more technical details that we need not dwell on at this time.
The journey begins and I get a listing of the cook stoves manufacturers in the USA and Canada and started contacting them. One company I contacted, I was called back by a representative who was one of the rudest persons I have ever met. So, off the list they came. Others suffered similar fates for various reasons but if they were not the best of the best, I wanted no part of them.
I have heard through my Amish channels of several Amish and Mennonite manufactures and I contacted them or tried to contact. The Mennonite manufacturers of which there are two are located in western Canada and I have not been able to contact them, so if I could not find them, how could you work with them. But I do understand that some people like them and they seem to be popular only in western Canada and that is a long way for parts if needed and some parts to wear out.
There was a final four that I had agreements with to sell their stoves and I thought that I had the best until one of these four broke his word without any given reason and the real strange part is that I spent monies advertising his stove and he broke his word and the agreement and he is Amish. I work with a lot of Amish builders and some are no different than us and break their word and that tells me to stay away from them because if he did it to me, he would do it to my clients so I do not nor ever will carry his product. He is not the original manufacturer anyway but both the business from the innovator whose shop was located in Montana and this person resides in Indiana.
The three I have selected are for different reasons and all of them have been in business for a long time
The Mealmaster was introduced in 1944 and has been continually produced since then. It was based on the Model L-LB which was first produced in the early 1930’s. This is a well recognized name in the industry and they have a superior product at I consider a very reasonable cost to the buyer. I is available with a 30 gallon hot water reservoir and for those that are thinking of Hydronic heating for your home, this large capacity heater is a great benefit. Its other feature is the many styles that are available and one of the few cook stove left with a warming oven.
The Torridiare line was purchased from Tennessee Stove Works in 1967. It was introduced in the 1950’s. They have several models for coal heating of a home or cabin.
And I cannot forget my favorite part of the line is the pot belly stove. Here is history still available for those that want this heater. I have plans in the future for this to be a featured part of my upcoming new Design Showroom that is designed for Interior designers. This would be great for that barn or very large roon just for its décor value alone without ever using it for its intended purpose of heating.
This is a truly 100% Amish cook stove and the way I found him was through my Amish friends and he makes an excellent stove also at a very reasonable price and he has the biggest oven on the market with his new Deluxe model. He has another model called the new Decade. He has been making these cook stoves for over 40 plus years and his sons are getting ready to take over the business and that is a marvelous thing. He has some great new innovations in the new Deluxe stove and the way the firebox is built, that you bank the fire at night and in the morning spread out the hot ashes, throw on a bit of kindling and within a few minutes you will be adding some larger wood for the fire box to really come alive. This cook stove is also a very affordable addition to your home.
I have worked with some people on using this stove and using the Hydronic water system heat their home with this stove of over 1600 sq ft and with an added hot water tank heat another 1400 sq ft and they are doing this with the temperature outside well below freezing. This is now another tool in the box for those people that want to go off line, but you will need some power to move the water through the lines and that can be done by battery which is charged during the daylight hours or through wind power. It does not require a lot of power to run the small pump, but it must run all of the time or disconnect the system when not in use
This is the top end of cook stoves and worth every penny. Extra heavy gauge steel, nickel styling with the old Victorian styling. It is just pure art with grand functioning for a marvelous cook stove. It is just beautiful.
If I was ever to have a really large home with a chef’s kitchen, I would have one of these in the kitchen to use on the rare occasion of cooking a special meal on it but for also for the accent it would lend to the whole kitchen area. I would design the kitchen around this cool stove and there is several to choose from.
This cook stove is made in New Brunswick Canada and has an outstanding and wonderful customer service. They do not run production but only a couple of months out of the year, so proper ordering is essential. These people are so wonderful from answering any questions to even assisting with freight. One interesting side note is that the time zone they are in is an hour earlier than Eastern Time and it is way up north in a beautiful area with short summers and long winters.
I enjoyed my venture into wood cook stoves and have worked on some innovative projects and am working towards methodology for people to live “off the grid” and I would love to join them and this is one of the first steps.
If you are looking for a wood cook stove, do your research, talk to people and a bit of a secret is if you know an Amish, talk to them, especially the Old Order Amish because they are still using a wood cook stove and it is more than likely an Ashland or even a MealMaster. But if you want class, you must go to the Enterprise Fawcett cook stove.
By David Nowak
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