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Boiling water ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Robbie, Oct 5, 2006.

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  1. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    I know..........sounds silly, but I tried 3 times to boil water on my stove and can't seem to get it going. Let me explain.........my stove has a top over the top, designed for air to be blown over the "real" top and come out heated. I'm sure the experts on stove design know exactly what this is called.

    What I learned last year was when my blower was on, it kept the top of my stove to cool to boil water, but plenty hot enough. Now that I have a temp. gauge, as soon as it turns cold outside again I can check the temp. on top and see how much it will need to go up to boil water.

    I do realize my blower will most likely have to be off to get the secondary top hot enough to boil water. However, the other night when I made my first test fire of the season, I tried to boil and my new temp. gauge read 250 or a little more. I figured this would be hot enough, but I had a copper bottom pan on the stove for about 30 minutes and there was just bubbles in the bottom, and it steamed a little.

    Is there any tricks I need to know, I've never had a problem boiling over an open fire or on an electric stove, but this has me stumped.


    I want to be able to cook later on, but I must figure out how to boil water first........... :red:


    Robbie

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  2. RoosterBoy

    RoosterBoy New Member

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    i agree with george 100% are you starting out with hot-water or are you putting cold water on the stove. also have you been able to cook anything on it before. that is the only thing i did not like about the Avalon rainier. is that i was told you cant cook on it so i bought the next model up the Avalon Olympic.

    thanks
    Jason
  3. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    Dylan, I did not check temp. on pan, but it was steaming. I have never cooked on this stove.....yet. The magic is if I can boil, I know I can boil something on my stove.......... :)

    I'm sure it will boil water eventually, just not hit the right temp yet. I just thought there might be a trick or two.........my wife said I was too impatient, and I needed a lid...... :cheese:

    How can I see if my water is boiling if I have a lid..........and I'm not impatient. I just figured if my temp gauge was correct, and it was reading 250, then I should be able to boil water in a few minutes.

    It was hard to read the temp. gauge because sweat kept getting in my eyes from the intense heat standing in front of the stove when it was 80 degrees in the house.

    Maybe I need to wait until colder weather to boil water, it was 85 outside today............and I'll try a lid.


    Robbie
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Yep - there is the problem!

    Well, OK, on a more serious note...your problems are two-fold...mainly heat and thermal conductivity. Your 250F stove is pretty cold compared to fire at 1500F or a kitchen burner at 500-1000F+. Also, the top of the stove most likely has small bumps and ridges, likewise with the pot. So the pot is only really contacting the stove in a few places. Metal to metal contact is a pretty good conductor of heat, but metal-air-metal is not. So it is hard to get a lot of heat into the pan.

    What can you do? A lid would definitely help. Also a pot with a very nice flat bottom (or taking a good flat file to the one you have to help straighten it out) Maybe wrap some aluminum foil around the sides of the pot to help retain some additional heat. If you are really brave, take the file to the top of the stove and remove any paint and hight spots to help the pot set more flatly.

    FWIW, I have basically the same setup w/ the airspace enclosed around my insert. I have a roughly 6x10" slot through the outer layer of steel directly over the front/center of the firebox for venting. I have tried setting pans directly over this slot with the inner firebox surface (1/2" away) @ 650-700F but still can barely get a boil. So a 'rolling boil' may be out of reach unless you can directly contact the surface of the firebox. Although I have learned how to fashion an aluminum foil 'tent' on the stovetop that will cook a mean pizza, or grilled cheese. May try biscuits or pancakes this winter!

    Corey
  5. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    Dylan, the main reason for 212 and boiling is I always figured that if we needed water for some reason, and could not drink what comes out of the tap, then all I would need to do is get water out of my pond and boil it. :)

    Kind of a silly survival type thing I have had on my mind lately. It kind of goes along with my wood stove, heat without power in an emergency type thing.

    Ever since katrina etc., I have been in a slightly different mind set, not in a bad way, just a.......I want to be able to take care of my wife, family and grandkids type of mind set in an emergency type situation.

    Silly I know............


    Robbie
  6. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    I certainly agree. Most food raised to 160 degrees is considered cooked. I use convection heat to bake and broil. Air gets to 180 degrees, but it takes 25% less time and 20-30% lower cooking temps. I can cook a whole frozed chicken in an hour and a half. Temp never gets over 190 degrees. Boiling is not magic.
  7. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    East Tennessee- Great Smoky Mountains.
    I'm sure 199 would kill, but all the books say a rolling boil, I guess 212 would be that......... %-P

    Boy, I can't wait to try some of this cooking and boiling stuff..........when it get colder outside.

    I am going to boil me some chicken soup........... out of a can................. ;-)


    Robbie
  8. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    I haven't boiled water on top of my woodstove, either, but we usually keep a big pot on top with water in it to serve as a humidifier. We have to watch it because it needs water added a few times a day. Also, if I want to make soup or boil noodles, I preheat the water on top of the woodstove. Putting a lid on would probably help with the boiling, but am not that keen on carrying boiling water from the living room to the kitchen anyway, nice and warm is safer. I can tell what my water is doing, though, I have Visions pots. They are glass and see-through, I just love them. Alas I don't think they are made anymore. But that is how you can tell what is happening in your pot with the lid on . . .

    Marcia,
    Hearthstone Heritage
  9. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Slightly off-topic, but we bought a Le Creuset stove-top kettle (the Kone model) to use with our Owl, and my first cup of coffee made with the 'near-but-not-quite' boiling water tasted better than anything I've ever had from the electric kettle... I am convinced, though, that it's got a lot more to do with not scalding the milk than anything special about stove-top-heated water...

    Just thought I'd add that one in...
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    199 degree water is fine for killing nasties, just takes a little longer. Like 5 minutes vs 4. I'm well aware of this, as I did a LOT of hiking in my past and knowing how to avoid getting sick is very key. At 8000 feet, water will boil at like 200 degrees, so people think the same time is fine, but it's not.

    Just ask MSG...bet he has to adjust all his recipies to allow for the altitude.
  11. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    My insert will boil water in my steamer when the stove front temp (where my thermometer is) reaches 500 degrees or so. I understand about the top of the stove where the steamer sits, and the real top of the stove. I call it a double walled stove because of the space between the two sections for the blower's air to circulate. It will boil, you just have to get it cranking. Still too warm to do that though..
  12. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    I have a shelf in front of the higher wall (double wall where the vent for the air is) that just fits a steamer, kettle. It also boils the water in the steamer right around the 500 mark. whats a good, or should i say safe stove top temp? I found my manual, but nothing in there says anything about stove top temps. Its a steel stove -insert with double walls for the blower to circulate the air through.
  13. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    Regency told me that my insert is safe as long as it isn't glowing red! The stove is also steel. They told me that there isn't a specific max. temp it should be run at, just don't let it glow red.

    I would say that 500-600 degrees is safe for a steel stove temp. Those temps with a blower running produce alot of heat, at least on my stove they do.
  14. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    thanks Paul for the response, Yeah I figured that around 600 is ok, cause as I stated- the water in the steamer dosent even get going good till 500. The stove top thermometer I use is a condor, but I think it is made for the Stack temp, because 500 starts the overfire danger range, and at times I've had this up to 700 something, and I didnt see any glowing, but that condor was like screaming at me-too hot!!!!!!! I have it placed on the shelf of the real stove top, not the second wall above the air path.
  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    i have just the oppisit problem, water boils faster here and i have to use a trivit. Everything takes longer to cook at this altitude.
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