This Stove Will Kick Your Ass and Take Your Lunch Money

Or at least, that’s the impression I’m under after downloading the manual and specs sheet. Apparently, our stove has some demands or it will burn the house down. Good thing I looked up a manual before sparking up.

Like most of our larger household appliance purchases, the stove came from a Craigslist ad. It was love at first sight. I wanted a Wolf but I certainly don’t have the money for Wolf. This range had “the look” and the brand was one I recognized from Napa commercial kitchens. It was advertised as an American Range stove/oven combo with four burners and a two burner griddle. It’s former life was spent in a hippie commune where it was installed in a greenhouse turned mess hall. (Which is a brilliant way to use your greenhouse if you aren’t going to grow things.) The property had sold and was being turned into a meadery (a winery which produces meade.) I fell in love with the back story. If there’s anything I love more than bad ass appliances, it’s bad ass appliances with a story.

It was in Point Reyes which is a decent drive from here. Convinced I had found the perfect stove at the perfect price, I asked my beloved to clear his Saturday for a road trip, hooked up the motorcycle trailer and headed north. In the Dave/Marsha road trip tradition, the trip took three times longer than it should have due to inclement weather and navigational difficulties. By difficulties, I mean I get lost even with a nav system and I always take Dave down with me. However, if one is to be lost, there is no finer place to be lost than the area between Santa Cruz and Point Reyes. Long story short, we met the stove, fell in love, loaded it onto the trailer using a fork lift, then went to Napa to see Sarah where we pawned off an old couch we didn’t need and had amazing food. The stove came with a bottle of meade which  ended up getting poured down the sink because it tasted like someone drank paint thinner, vomited it back up and put it in a bottle. It’s only redeeming feature was it was a sparkling meade, so it bubble and fizzed its way down the sink. I hope the owner of the meadery never reads this but if he does, I hope he accepts this gift of feedback.I digress. Then I digressed again. Back the the stove.

Fast forward…The stove spent the last two years in the shipping container storage unit (also from Craiglist) and had to be moved inside by professional appliance movers. Turns, the stove was loaded in the trailer with a forklift because it weights 631 pounds. I would venture to say, a large portion of the weight has to do with this:

No, not the layer of dirt and schmutz which adds at least 10 pounds to the surface (cut me some slack, we live in a construction zone. Schmutz is our life.) I suspect a good bit of the weight comes from the cast iron burners and the half-inch thick piece of iron which is the griddle. *Excuse me while I swoon.* Like any girl, I am attracted to bad boys and this stove is the baddest of bad boys. I know this because I looked it up today.

We are ready to hook up the stove. (Yay for cooking inside and not having to use the grill as an oven, which can be done with some degree of difficulty.) Before we install the stove permanently, we need to fix a leg of the stove. We bought it knowing it had a minor issue:

Arg, sharkey! Ye weren’t expectin’ a pirate stove now were ye? That’s right the stove came with a peg leg.

I spent the morning online looking at the indecipherable parts catalogs, with no pictures, trying to find the damn leg. Finally, I gave up and called American Range. Parts rep says it’s company policy that they won’t release the parts numbers over the phone but they will send a parts diagram with the parts numbers to my email. Huh? Whatever, just send the list. (Which they did so immediately. Good customer service, parts guy.) The list also came with a specs sheet and the specs sheet made me weak in the knees. Then it made me concerned for my safety. This stove is from their commercial series. (Who knew?) Along with weighing enough that we need to reinforce our floor, it is also capable of pumping out 32,000 BTUs per burner. PER BURNER! To put it in perspective, your average kitchen stove runs about 7,000 BTU and some stoves have a special high heat burner for your pasta pot which runs at 12,000 BTU. The entire power of my last stove is contained in one single burner of the new stove. If Tim the Tool Man Taylor were here, there would be much grunting.

Then I get to the end of the specs sheet where it says this:

Clearances: For use only on non-combustible floors. Legs or casters are required, or 2” (51) overhang is required when curb mounted. Clearance from non-combustible
walls is 0”. When unit is placed next to combustible walls, clearances must exceed 12” (305) on sides, and 4” (102) from rear.

It’s a good thing I read that because the stove is going in the island. I could have burned the whole house down while trying to can tomato sauce (which by the way, I can hardly wait to do.) The island is to be made of wood, mostly reclaimed redwood paneling from the side of the house. Wood is combustible. Old wood is really combustible. I’m also a little bit unclear as to whether this means that the legs are enough that the stove won’t burn through the wood floor  or if we need a non combustible material under the entire unit. What I also don’t know, is how much non-combustible material is enough to keep the island from going up in flames.

All this pondering has really put a damper on my stove fantasies like the one where me and the stove are preparing dinner on a secluded beach in Belize. In my fantasy, the stove no longer has a peg leg and it’s not being used as storage for all of the kitchen utensils we have bothered to unpack.

My ultimate fantasy? This stove, installed in the island, right here, with walls and cabinets and all of those other kitchenly items surrounding it, while Dave and I cook for our family and friends. Is anyone else getting warm?

I guess I’ll start by ordering the leg and cleaning the cobwebs out of the inner workings. One of these days, we’re going to hook the gas and burn baby burn.

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