HEAT FOR COOKING
47. Inasmuch as heat is so important a factor in the cooking of foods, it is absolutely necessary that the person who is to prepare them be thoroughly familiar with the ways in which this heat is produced. The production of heat for cooking involves the use of fuels and stoves in which to burn them, as well as electricity, which serves the purpose of a fuel, and apparatus for using electricity. In order, therefore, that the best results may be obtained in cookery, these subjects are here taken up in detail.
48. Probably the first fuel to be used in the production of heat for cooking was wood, but later such fuels as peat, coal, charcoal, coke, and kerosene came into use. Of these fuels, coal, gas, and kerosene are used to the greatest extent in the United States. Wood, of course, is used considerably for kindling fires, and it serves as fuel in localities where it is abundant or less difficult to procure than other fuels. However, it is fast becoming too scarce and too expensive to burn. If it must be burned for cooking purposes, those who use it should remember that dry, hard wood gives off heat at a more even rate than soft wood, which is usually selected for kindling. Electricity is coming into favor for supplying heat for cooking, but only when it can be sold as cheaply as gas will its use in the home become general.
49. The selection of a stove to be used for cooking depends on the fuel that is to be used, and the fuel, in turn, depends on the locality in which a person lives. However, as the fuel that is the most convenient and easily obtained is usually the cheapest, it is the one to be selected, for the cost of the cooked dish may be greatly increased by the use of fuel that is too expensive. In cooking, every fuel should be made to do its maximum amount of work, because waste of fuel also adds materially to the cost of cooking and, besides, it often causes great inconvenience. For example, cooking on a red-hot stove with a fire that, instead of being held in the oven and the lids, overheats the kitchen and burns out the stove not only wastes fuel and material, but also taxes the temper of the person who is doing the work. From what has just been said, it will readily be seen that a knowledge of fuels and apparatus for producing heat will assist materially in the economical production of food, provided, of course, it is applied to the best advantage.
COAL AND COKE
50. VARIETIES OF COAL.--Possibly the most common fuel used for cooking is coal. This fuel comes in two varieties, namely, anthracite, or hard coal, and bituminous, or soft coal. Their relative cost depends on the locality, the kind of stove, and an intelligent use of both stove and fuel. Hard coal costs much more in some places than soft coal, but it burns more slowly and evenly and gives off very little smoke. Soft coal heats more rapidly than hard coal, but it produces considerable smoke and makes a fire that does not last so long. Unless a stove is especially constructed for soft coal, it should not be used for this purpose, because the burning of soft coal will wear it out in a short time. The best plan is to use each variety of coal in a stove especially constructed for it, but if a housewife finds that she must at times do otherwise, she should realize that a different method of management and care of the stove is demanded.
51. SIZES OF COAL.--As the effect of coal on the stove must be taken into consideration in the buying of fuel, so the different sizes of hard coal must be known before the right kind can be selected. The sizes known as stove and egg coal, which range from about 1-3/8 to 2-3/4 inches in diameter, are intended for a furnace and should not be used in the kitchen stove for cooking purposes. Some persons who know how to use the size of coal known as pea, which is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter, like that kind, whereas others prefer the size called chestnut, which is about 3/4 inch to 1-3/8 inches in diameter. In reality, a mixture of these two, if properly used, makes the best and most easily regulated kitchen coal fire.
52. QUALITY OF COAL.--In addition to knowing the names, prices, and uses of the different kinds of coal, the housewife should be able to distinguish poor coal from good coal. In fact, proper care should be exercised in all purchasing, for the person who understands the quality of the thing to be purchased will be more likely to get full value for the money paid than the one who does not. About coal, it should be understood that good hard coal has a glossy black color and a bright surface, whereas poor coal contains slaty pieces. The quality of coal can also be determined from the ash that remains after it is burned. Large chunks or great quantities of ash indicate a poor quality of coal, and fine, powdery ash a good quality. Of course, even if the coal is of the right kind, poor results are often brought about by the bad management of a fire, whether in a furnace or a stove. Large manufacturing companies, whose business depends considerably on the proper kind of fuel, buy coal by the heat units--that is, according to the quantity of heat it will give off--and at some future time this plan may have to be followed in the private home, unless some other fuel is provided in the meantime.
Mixed with poor coal are certain unburnable materials that melt and stick together as it burns and form what are known as clinkers. Clinkers are very troublesome because they often adhere to the stove grate or the lining of the firebox. They generally form during the burning of an extremely hot fire, but the usual temperature of a kitchen fire does not produce clinkers unless the coal is of a very poor quality. Mixing oyster shells with coal of this kind often helps to prevent their formation.
53. COKE.--Another fuel that is sometimes used for cooking is coke. Formerly, coke was a by-product in the manufacture of illuminating gas, but now it is manufactured from coal for use as a fuel. Because of the nature of its composition, coke produces a very hot fire and is therefore favorable for rapid cooking, such as broiling. However, it is used more extensively in hotels and institutions than in kitchens where cooking is done on a small scale.
GAS FOR COOKING
54. VALUE OF GAS AS FUEL.--As a fuel for cooking purposes, gas, both artificial and natural, is very effective, and in localities where the piping of gas into homes is possible it is used extensively. Of the two kinds, artificial gas produces the least heat; also, it is the most expensive, usually costing two or three times as much as natural gas. Both are very cheap, however, considering their convenience as a kitchen fuel. Heat from gas is obtained by merely turning it on and igniting it, as with a lighted match. Its consumption can be stopped at once by closing off the supply, or it can be regulated as desired and in this way made to give the exact amount of heat required for the method of cookery adopted. Neither smoke nor soot is produced in burning gas if the burners of the gas stove are adjusted to admit the right amount of air, and no ashes nor refuse remain to be disposed of after gas has been burned. Because gas is so easily handled, good results can be obtained by those who have had very little experience in using it, and with study and practice results become uniform and gas proves to be an economical fuel.
55. MEASUREMENT OF GAS.--Gas is measured by the cubic foot, and a definite price is charged for each 1,000 cubic feet. To determine the quantity used, it is passed through what is called a meter, which measures as the gas burns. It is important that each housewife be able to read the amount registered by the meter, so that she can compare her gas bill with the meter reading and thus determine whether the charges are correct. If only the usual amount of gas has been consumed and the bill does not seem to be correct or is much larger than it has been previously, the matter should be reported to the proper authorities, for the meter may be out of order and in need of repair.
56. READING A GAS METER.--To register the quantity of gas that is consumed, a gas meter, as is shown in Fig. 1, is provided with three large dials, each of which has ten spaces over which the hand, or indicator, passes to indicate the amount of gas consumed, and with one small dial, around which the hand makes one revolution every time 2 cubic feet of gas is consumed. This small dial serves to tell whether gas is leaking when the stoves and lights are not turned on. Above each large dial is an arrow that points out the direction in which to read, the two outside ones reading toward the right and the center one toward the left; also, above each dial is lettered the quantity of gas that each dial registers, that at the right registering 1,000 cubic feet, that in the center 10,000 cubic feet, and that at the left 100,000 cubic feet. To read the dials, begin at the left, or the 100,000 dial, and read toward the right. In each instance, read the number over which the hand has passed last. For instance, when, as in Fig. 1, the hand lies between 5 and 6 on the left dial, 5 is read; on the center dial, when the hand lies between 5 and 6, 5 is read also; and on the right dial, when the hand lies between 2 and 3, the 2, which is really 200, is read.
57. To compute the quantity of gas used, the dials are read from left to right and the three readings are added. Then, in order to determine the quantity burned since the previous reading, the amount registered at that time, which is always stated on the gas bill, must be subtracted from the new reading.
To illustrate the manner in which the cost of gas consumed may be determined, assume that gas costs 90 cents per 1,000 cubic feet, that the previous reading of the gas meter, say on May 15, was 52,600 cubic feet, and that on June 15 the meter registered as shown in Fig. 1. As was just explained, the left dial of the meter reads 5, the center dial 5, and the right dial 200. Therefore, put these figures down so that they follow one another, as 5-5-200. This means then that the reading on June 15 is 55,200 cubic feet. With this amount ascertained, subtract from it the previous reading, or 52,600 cubic feet, which will give 2,600 cubic feet, or the quantity of gas burned from May 15 to June 15. Since gas costs 90 cents per 1,000 cubic feet, the cost of the amount burned, or 2,600 cubic feet, may be estimated by dividing 2,600 cubic feet by 1,000 and multiplying the result by 90; thus 2,600 ÷ 1,000 = 2.6, and 2.6 x .90 = 2.34
58. PREPAYMENT METERS.--In many places, gas concerns install what are called prepayment meters; that is, meters in which the money is deposited before the gas is burned. Such meters register the consumption of the gas in the same way as the meters just mentioned, but they contain a receptacle for money. A coin, generally a quarter, is dropped into a slot leading to this receptacle, and the amount of gas sold for this sum is then permitted to pass through as it is needed. When this amount of gas has been burned, another coin must be inserted in the meter before more gas will be liberated.
KEROSENE AS A COOKING FUEL
59. In communities where gas is not available, kerosene, which is produced by the refinement of petroleum, is used extensively as a fuel for cooking, especially in hot weather when the use of a coal or a wood stove adds materially to the discomfort of the person who does the cooking. Kerosene is burned in stoves especially designed for its use, and while it is a cheap fuel it is not always the same in quality. It contains water at all times, but sometimes the proportion of water is greater than at others. The greater the amount of water, the less fuel will be contained in each gallon of kerosene. The quality of kerosene can be determined by checking up the length of time the stove will burn on a specified quantity of each new purchase of it.
Another product of the refinement of petroleum is gasoline. However, it is not used so extensively for fuel as kerosene, because it is more dangerous and more expensive.
ELECTRICITY FOR COOKING
60. The use of electricity for supplying heat for cooking is very popular in some homes, especially those which are properly wired, because of its convenience and cleanliness and the fact that the heat it produces can be applied direct. The first electrical cooking apparatus was introduced at the time of the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1892, and since that time rapid advancement has been made in the production of suitable apparatus for cooking electrically. Electricity would undoubtedly be in more general use today if it were possible to store it in the same way as artificial gas, but as yet no such method has been devised and its cost is therefore greater. Electricity is generated in large power plants, and as it is consumed in the home for lighting and cooking it passes through a meter, which indicates the quantity used in much the same manner as a gas meter. It will be well, therefore, to understand the way in which an electric meter is read, so that the bills for electricity can be checked.
61. READING AN ELECTRIC METER.--An electric meter, which is similar in appearance to a gas meter, consists of three or four dials, which are placed side by side or in the shape of an arc. In the usual type, which is shown in Fig. 2 and which consists of four dials placed side by side, each one of the dials contains ten spaces and a hand, or indicator, that passes over numbers ranging from to 9 to show the amount of electricity used. The numbers on the dials represent kilowatt-hours, a term meaning the energy resulting from the activity of 1 kilowatt for 1 hour, or 1 watt, which is the practical unit of electrical power, for 1,000 hours. Since 1,000 hours equal 1 kilowatt, 1,000 watt-hours equal 1 kilowatt-hour. It will be observed from the accompanying illustration that the dial on the extreme right has the figures reading in a clockwise direction, that is, from right to left, the second one in a counter-clockwise direction, or from left to right, the third one in a clockwise direction, and the fourth one in a counter-clockwise direction; also that above each dial is indicated in figures the number of kilowatt-hours that one complete revolution of the hand of that dial registers.
To read the meter, begin at the right-hand dial and continue to the left until all the dials are read and set the numbers down just as they are read; that is, from right to left. In case the indicator does not point directly to a number, but is somewhere between two numbers, read the number that it is leaving. For example, in Fig. 2, the indicator in the right-hand dial points to figure 4; therefore, this number should be put down first. In the second dial, the hand lies between and 1, and as it is leaving 0, this number should be read and placed to the left of the first one read, which gives 04. The hand on the third dial points exactly to 6; so 6 should be read for this dial and placed directly before the numbers read for the first and second dials, thus, 604. On the fourth and last dial, the indicator is between 4 and 5; therefore 4, which is the number it is leaving should be read and used as the first figure in the entire reading, which is 4,604.
After the reading of the electric meter has been ascertained, it is a simple matter to determine the electricity consumed since the last reading and the amount of the bill. For instance, assume that a meter registers the number of kilowatt-hours shown in Fig. 2, or 4,604, and that at the previous reading it registered 4,559. Merely subtract the previous reading from the last one, which will give 45, or the number of kilowatt-hours from which the bill for electricity is computed. If electricity costs 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, which is the price charged in some localities, the bill should come to 45 X .03 or $1.35.
PRINCIPLE OF STOVES
62. Before stoves for cooking came into use in the home, food was cooked in open fireplaces. Even when wood was the only fuel known, a stove for burning it, called the Franklin stove, was invented by Benjamin Franklin, but not until coal came into use as fuel were iron stoves made. For a long time stoves were used mainly for heating purposes, as many housewives preferred to cook at the open fireplace. However, this method of cooking has practically disappeared and a stove of some kind is in use for cooking in every home.
63. For each fuel in common use there are many specially constructed stoves, each having some advantageous feature; yet all stoves constructed for the same fuel are practically the same in principle. In order that fuel will burn and produce heat, it must have air, because fuel, whether it is wood, coal, or gas, is composed largely of carbon and air largely of oxygen, and it is the rapid union of these two chemical elements that produces heat. Therefore, in order that each stove may work properly, some way in which to furnish air for the fire in the firebox must be provided. For this reason, every stove for cooking contains passageways for air and is connected with a chimney, which contains a flue, or passage, that leads to the outer air. When the air in a stove becomes heated, it rises, and as it ascends cold air rushes through the passageways of the stove to take its place. It is the flue, however, that permits of the necessary draft and carries off unburned gases. At times it is necessary to regulate the amount of air that enters, and in order that this may be done each stove is provided with dampers. These devices are located in the air passages and they are so designed as to close off the air or allow the desired amount to enter. By means of these dampers it is possible also to force the heat around the stove oven, against the top of the stove, or up the chimney flue. A knowledge of the ways in which to manipulate these dampers is absolutely necessary if correct results are to be obtained from a stove. The flue, however, should receive due consideration. If a stove is to give its best service, the flue, in addition to being well constructed, should be free from obstructions and kept in good condition. Indeed, the stove is often blamed for doing unsatisfactory work when the fault is really with the flue.
64. Probably one of the most important things considered in the construction of stoves is the economizing of fuel, for ever since the days of the fireplace there has been more or less of a tendency to save fuel for cooking, and as the various kinds grow scarcer, and consequently more expensive, the economical use of fuel becomes a necessity. While most stoves for cooking purposes are so constructed as to save fuel, many of them do not, especially if the method of caring for them is not understood. Any housewife, however, can economize in the use of fuel if she will learn how the stove she has must be operated; and this can be done by following closely the directions that come with the stove when it is purchased. Such directions are the best to follow, because they have been worked out by the manufacturer, who understands the right way in which his product should be operated.
COAL, STOVES AND THEIR OPERATION
65. GENERAL CONSTRUCTION.--In Fig. 3 is illustrated the general construction of the type of coal stove used for cooking. The principal parts of such a stove, which is commonly referred to as a cook stove, or range, are the firebox a; the grate b; the ash pit c, which usually contains an ash-pan d; the oven e; the dampers f, g, h, and i; the flue opening j and flue k; openings in the top and suitable lids, not shown, for kettles and pans; and the air space extending from the firebox around three sides of the oven, as shown by the arrows. To prevent the stove from wearing out rapidly, the firebox, in which the fuel is burned, is lined with a material, such as fireclay, that will withstand great heat. The fire in the firebox is supported by the grate, which is in the form of metal teeth or bars, so as to permit air to pass through the fuel from underneath. The grate is usually so constructed that when the fire is raked it permits burnt coal or ashes to fall into the ash-pan, by means of which they can be readily removed from the stove. The oven, which lies directly back of the firebox and is really an enclosed chamber in which food may be cooked, receives its heat from the hot air that passes around it. The dampers are devices that control the flow of air in and out of the stove. Those shown at f and g serve to admit fresh air into the stove or to keep it out, and those shown at h and i serve to keep heated air in the stove or to permit it to pass out through the flue.
66. Building a Coal Fire.--To build a coal fire is a simple matter. So that the draft will be right for rapid combustion, it is first necessary to close the dampers f and h and to open the bottom damper g and the chimney damper i. With these dampers arranged, place crushed paper or shavings on the grate; then on top of the paper or shavings place kindling, and on top of the kindling put a small quantity of coal. Be careful to place the fuel on the grate loosely enough to permit currents of air to pass through it, because it will not burn readily if it is closely packed. Light the fire by inserting a flame from below. When this is done, the flame will rise and ignite the kindling, and this, in turn, will cause the coal to take fire. When the fire is burning well, close the dampers g and i so that the fuel will not burn too rapidly and the heat will surround the oven instead of passing up the chimney; also, before too much of the first supply of coal is burned out, add a new supply, but be sure that the coal is sufficiently ignited before the new supply is added so as not to smother the fire. If only a thin layer is added each time, this danger will be removed. Experience has proved that the best results are secured if the fire is built only 4 inches high. When hot coals come near the top of the stove, the lids are likely to warp and crack from the heat and the cooking will not be done any more effectively. Another thing to avoid in connection with a fire is the accumulation of ashes. The ash-pan should be kept as nearly empty as possible, for a full ash-pan will check the draft and cause the grate in the firebox to burn out.
67. ADJUSTING THE DAMPERS.--To get the best results from a cook stove, and at the same time overcome the wasting of fuel, the ways in which to adjust the dampers should be fully known. If it is desired to heat the oven for baking, close dampers f and i and open dampers g and h. With the dampers so arranged, the heated air above the fire is forced around the oven and up the flue, as is clearly shown by the arrows in Fig. 3. A study of this diagram will readily show that the lower left-hand corner of the oven is its coolest part, since the heated air does not reach this place directly, and that the top center is the hottest part, because the hottest air passes directly over this portion of the oven and the heated air in the oven rises to it.
If it is desired to heat the surface of the stove, so that cooking may be done on top of it, close dampers f, h, and i and open damper g. With the dampers so arranged, the heated air does not pass around the oven, but is confined in the space above it and the firebox, as shown in Fig. 4. While the damper i in the flue is closed in order to confine the heated air as much as possible to the space under the top of the stove, it contains openings that allow just enough air to pass up the flue to maintain the draft necessary for combustion. When the dampers are arranged as mentioned, the hottest place on the surface of the stove is between the firebox and the stovepipe, and the coolest place is behind the damper h.
68. BANKING A COAL FIRE.--To economize in the use of fuel, as well as to save the labor involved in building a new fire, it is advisable to keep a fire burning low from one meal to another and from one day to the next. As the nature of hard coal is such that it will hold fire for a long time, this can be done by what is called banking the fire. To achieve this, after the fire has served to cook a meal, shake the ashes out of the grate so that the glowing coals are left. Then put fresh coal on this bed of coals, and, with the dampers arranged as for building a new fire, allow the coal to burn well for a short time. Finally, cover the fire with a layer of fine coal and adjust the dampers properly; that is, close dampers g and h and open dampers f and i. If the banking is carefully done the fire should last 8 or 10 hours without further attention. Care should be taken, however, to use sufficient coal in banking the fire, so that when it is to be used again the coal will not be completely burned, but enough burning coals will remain to ignite a fresh supply. When the fire is to be used again, rake it slightly, put a thin layer of coal over the top, and arrange the dampers as for starting a fire. As soon as this layer of coal has begun to burn, add more until the fire is in good condition.
GAS STOVES AND THEIR OPERATION
69. GAS RANGES.--A gas stove for cooking, or gas range, as it is frequently called, consists of an oven, a broiler, and several burners over which are plates to hold pans, pots, and kettles in which food is to be cooked. As is true of a coal range, a gas range also requires a flue to carry off the products of unburned gas. Gas stoves, or ranges, are of many makes, but in principle all of them are practically the same; in fact, the chief difference lies in the location or arrangement of the oven, broiler, and burners. In Fig. 5 is illustrated a simple type of gas range. The oven a of this stove is located above the top of the stove, instead of below it, as in some stoves. An oven so located is of advantage in that it saves stooping or bending over. The door of this oven contains a glass, which makes it possible to observe the food baking inside without opening the door and thereby losing heat. The broiler b, which may also be used as a toaster, is located directly beneath the oven, and to the right are the burners c for cooking. The gas for these parts is contained in the pipe d, which is connected to a pipe joined to the gas main in the street. To get heat for cooking it is simply necessary to turn on the stop-cocks and light the gas. The four burners are controlled by the stop-cocks e, and the oven and the broiler by the stop-cock f. The stove is also equipped with a simmering burner for the slow methods of cooking on top of the stove, gas to this burner being controlled by the stop-cock g. To catch anything that may be spilled in cooking, there is a removable metal or enamel sheet h. Such a sheet is a great advantage, as it aids considerably in keeping the stove clean.
70. Some gas stoves are provided with a pilot, which is a tiny flame of gas that is controlled by a button on the gas pipe to which the stop-cocks are attached. The pilot is kept lighted, and when it is desired to light a burner, pressing the button causes the flame to shoot near enough to each burner to ignite the gas. However, whether the burners are lighted in this way or by applying a lighted match, they should never be lighted until heat is required; likewise, in order to save gas, they should be turned off as soon as the cooking is completed.
To produce the best results, the flame given off by gas should be blue. A flame that is yellow and a burner that makes a noise when lighted, indicate that the gas flame has caught in the pipe, and to remedy this the gas must be turned out and relighted. When the gas flame coming from a new burner is yellow, it may be taken for granted that not enough air is being admitted to make the proper mixture. To permit of the proper mixture, each gas pipe extending from the stop-cock and terminating in the burner is provided with what is called a mixer. This device, as shown in Fig. 6, consists of several slots that may be opened or closed by turning part a, thus making it a simple matter to admit the right amount of air to produce the desired blue flame. If burners that have been in use for some time give off a yellow flame, it is probable that the trouble is caused by a deposit of soot or burned material. Such burners should be removed, boiled in a solution of washing soda or lye until the holes in the top are thoroughly cleaned, and then replaced and adjusted. As long as the flame remains yellow, the gas is not giving off as much heat as it should produce and is liable to smoke cooking utensils black. Therefore, to get the best results the burners should be thoroughly cleaned every now and then in the manner mentioned. Likewise, the pan beneath the burners, which may be removed, should be cleaned very frequently, and the entire stove should be wiped each time it is used, for the better such a stove is taken care of, the better will it continue to do its work.
71. FIRELESS-COOKING GAS STOVES.--A style of gas stove that meets with favor in many homes is the so-called fireless-cooking gas stove, one style of which is shown in Fig. 7. Such a stove has the combined advantages of a fireless cooker, which is explained later, and a gas stove, for it permits of quick cooking with direct heat, as well as slow cooking with heat that is retained in an insulated chamber, that is, one that is sufficiently covered to prevent heat from escaping. In construction, this type of stove is similar to any other gas stove, except that its oven is insulated and it is provided with one or more compartments for fireless cooking, as at a and b. Each of these compartments is so arranged that it may be moved up and down on an upright rod, near the base of which, resting on a solid plate c, is a gas burner d, over which the insulated hood of the compartment fits. When it is desired to cook food in one of these compartments, the hood is raised, as at b, and the gas burner is lighted. The food in the cooker is allowed to cook over the lighted burner until sufficient heat has been retained or the process has been carried sufficiently far to permit the cooking to continue without fire. Then the insulated hood is lowered until the compartment is in the position of the one shown at a. It is not necessary to turn off the gas, as this is done automatically when the hood is lowered.
KEROSENE STOVES AND THEIR OPERATION
72. As has been mentioned, kerosene is used considerably as a fuel in localities where gas cannot be obtained. Kerosene stoves are not unlike gas stoves, but, as a rule, instead of having built-in ovens, they are provided with portable ovens, which are heated by placing them on top of the stove, over the burners. Such stoves are of two types, those in which cotton wicks are used, as in oil lamps, and those which are wickless, the former being generally considered more convenient and satisfactory than the latter. In Fig. 8 is shown a three-burner kerosene stove of the first type mentioned. Oil for the burners, or lamps, a is stored in the container b, which may be of glass or metal, and it is supplied to the reservoir of each burner by the pipe c. Each burner is provided with a door d, which is opened when it is desired to light the wick. The flame of each burner is controlled by the screw e, which serves to raise or lower the wick, and the heat passes up to the opening f in the top of the stove through the cylindrical pipe above the burner. The arrangement of a wickless kerosene stove is much the same as the one just described, but it is so constructed that the oil, which is also stored in a tank at the side, flows into what is called a burner bowl and burns from this bowl up through a perforated chimney, the quantity of oil used being regulated by a valve attached to each bowl.
73. The burners of kerosene stoves are lighted by applying a match, just as the burners of a gas stove are lighted. In some stoves, especially those of the wickless type, the burners are so constructed that the flame can rise to only a certain height. This is a good feature, as it prevents the flame from gradually creeping up and smoking, a common occurrence in an oil stove. The kerosene-stove flame that gives the most heat, consumes the least fuel, and produces the least soot and odor is blue in color. A yellow flame, which is given off in some stoves, produces more or less soot and consequently makes it harder to keep the stove clean. Glass containers are better than metal containers, because the water that is always present in small quantities in kerosene is apt to rust the metal container and cause it to leak. To prevent the accumulation of dirt, as well as the disagreeable odor usually present when an oil stove is used, the burners should be removed frequently and boiled in a solution of washing soda; also, if a wick is used, the charred portion should be rubbed from it, but not cut, as cutting is liable to make it give off an uneven flame.
ELECTRIC STOVES AND UTENSILS
74. ELECTRIC STOVES. Electric stoves for cooking have been perfected to such an extent that they are a great convenience, and in places where the cost of electricity does not greatly exceed that of gas they are used considerably. In appearance, electric stoves are very similar to gas stoves, as is shown in Fig. 9, which illustrates an electric stove of the usual type. The oven a is located at one side and contains a broiler pan b. On top of this stove are openings for cooking, into which fit lids c that have the appearance of ordinary stove lids, but are in reality electrical heating units, called hotplates. Heat for cooking is supplied by a current of electricity that passes through the hotplates, as well as through similar devices in the oven, the stove being connected to the supply of electricity at the connection-box d, which is here shown with the cover removed. The heat of the different hotplates and the oven is controlled by several switches e at the front of the stove. Each of these switches provides three degrees of heat--high, medium, and low--and just the amount of heat required for cooking can be supplied by turning the switch to the right point. Below the switches are several fuse plugs f that contain the fuses, which are devices used in electrical apparatus to avoid injury to it in case the current of electricity becomes too great.
It is not absolutely necessary to have flue connections for an electric stove, as such a stove does not require a draft and gives off no products of combustion to be carried away. In fact, one of the favorable points about an electric stove is that it produces no dirt and causes no inconvenience. When the cooking is done, the electricity can be turned off, after which the stove quickly cools. When electricity is used for cooking, cooking utensils, methods, and recipes can be applied in the same ways as when other means of producing heat are employed.
75. SMALL ELECTRIC UTENSILS.--In addition to electric stoves, there are a number of smaller electrical cooking utensils that can be attached to an electric-light socket or a wall socket. Among these are percolators, toasters, hotplates, or grills, chafing dishes, egg poachers, and similar devices. An idea of such utensils for cooking may be formed by referring to Fig. 10, which shows an electric toaster, and Fig. 11, which shows a hotplate, or grill. The toaster is arranged so that bread to be toasted may be placed on each side, as well as on top, of an upright part that gives off heat when the current of electricity is turned on. The grill is so constructed that a pan for cooking may be placed under and on top of the part that gives off heat.
Source: Woman's Institute Library of Cookery 1924
Other Chapters: The Problem of Food | Selection of Food | Food Substances | Food Value | Digestion and Absorption of Food | Preparation of Food | Methods of Cooking | Heat for Cooking | Utensils for Cooking | Preparing Foods for Cooking | Order of Work | Cooking Time Table | Care of Food | Menus and Recipes | Terms Used in Cookery