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Steel or Porcelain?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Novice, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Novice

    Novice New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Toronto, ON
    Hi all,
    I'm looking to purchase a pacific energy wood burning stove, and I'm wondering if you would recommend the plain steel or the porcelain-coated finish? (I.e. the Super 27/ Super step-top vs. the Spectrum Classic). I want to be able to cook on the stove top, and I want a finish that is durable, rust-resistant and easy to clean...any suggestions? Also, anyone have any bad experiences with these models? Thanks!

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    49,873
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    If good looks and easy to clean are priorities then I would go for the porcelain finish. It cleans up quickly with just a wipe of a damp rag.
  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Then again, you can always repaint a steel stove. Porcelain, not so much. Scratches are permanent once you get them.
  4. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    767
    Loc:
    Western North Carolina
    We have a Jotul F600 in the Majolica brown porcelain finish and it is a very beautiful stove. I would not consider cooking on it, or even placing a pot of water for humidity due to the porcelain being able to chip and scratch. When I got the stove brand new it already had 3 or 4 chips on it that I had to use touch up paint on as soon as I got it home. After seeing that I would be afraid to be sliding pots and pans around on the finish. It would be fine if it was a used stove in your basement and you didn't particularly care that much about the finish, but if it's going to be a new stove like ours and a focal point of the room it's in, then I'd say don't risk it. Go with the flat black paint that will be easy to repaint every year or so.
  5. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,072
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    I went through the same thing last year. I really like the looks of the enamel finish but it isn't going to be as bullet proof as plain steel. You'll have to determine the degree of abuse it may get and go from there. If you don't mind a few chips or cracks on the surface, and strongly prefer the look of the enamel, you'll probably be fine with it. It would be easier to clean. But if you cook on it very often, it's bound to get roughed up sooner or later.

    OTOH, how much cooking will you really be doing on it? A lot of new owners including myself aspire to cook on the wood stove, but it usually ends up being a novelty that soon wears off because it's really not that easy or consistent.

    As far as those models, they are highly regarded here. No bad experiences that I can recall.

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