For a while now I have been a little concerned with posts I see on the Forum where people take the operating temp measurements on the front of an insert. Back when I burned in an insert it wasn't an issue since with mine I had access to place a thermo on the top center of the stove. I have always known that the front of the stove runs cooler than the top plate but didn't say anything since I didn't have an quantitative info. Today we had a mountain of cardboard from some stuff we received and since my old insert is sitting out by the woods in the back I decided it was time to stick a stack in the top of it and play. The long and short of it is that I fired Old Brownie, the 3/8" top plate, 1/4" side body insert, up to 846 degrees on the center of the top plate. At that temp the front of the stove above the doors measured 396 degrees. Something to think about before you go looking to get that insert up to 600 or 700 degrees on a thermo stuck to the front of it.