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Cabin cooking


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#1 highchef

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:19 AM

I am currently trying to finish the interior of a rural hunting cabin. It has electricity, but no natural gas. I love cooking with gas, just tolerated the electric cooktop until I could afford to run a gas line and never looked back. I use propane on a limited basis at home with fish frys and crawfish boils etc. but that is high btu, outside cooking.

Can someone share with me the joys/sorrows of having a propane stove to cook on a regular basis? Are there tricks? Is it worth it for someone like me, i.e. is it going to behave the way my cooktop at home does? I have never used a gas oven either, but if I go with propane the unit will be a range, so I'll have to learn. I could suck up an electric range, but they've lost power up there twice this past winter (prime cabin time) and I would not have to worry about that if I went with the propane.

 

Thinking the same along the lines of a propane fridge too, something else all my googling has not helped with. Do they run super cold? I guess some high school chem. is kicking in here, that some gases can get super cold...I don't know.

 

Please share your experience with me, I just know if I resign myself to an electric cook top I will bitch every time I turn it on...



#2 lancastermike

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:09 PM

I doubt you will notice much if any difference in the propane range vs. the natural gas range.

 

A propane fridge works fine too.

 

I wonder how often you will be at this cabin?  If only a couple times a year I think you should learn to cook on the electric range. It is not as horrible thing as you seem to think it is.



#3 lochaven

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:35 PM

We've been enjoying our cabin for over 10 years and now that I'm retired have been spending up to 2 or 3 weeks at a time.  We had a propane tank installed for stove top cooking and works just fine and see no noticeable difference to electric stove tops.

 

The main reason we installed the propane was in case the electricity would go out for an extended period.


And I want a table for two and a chicken for eight o'clock.

#4 janeer

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:26 PM

I have electric in my little cottage, but my girlfriend has a huge commercial range hooked up to propane in her summer house;  I have cooked on it many times and it is fine; she thinks it is not quite as hot as her one at home (natural gas).



#5 gfweb

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:30 PM

We live in the country and cook on LP. Its fine.

#6 Emily_R

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:33 PM

I have a propane stove in my home, and it works great! I bought a Frigidaire range that I love, and with it bought the Frigidaire propane conversion kit to change it over from natural gas. What else can I say - it works wonderfully!



#7 Mofassah

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 11:55 PM

Gas stoves are great, no reason to hold back. :)



#8 pyrguy

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 06:27 AM

Had a propane stove in our old house. Didn't have the BTU output it would of had on natural gas. Really not enough to notice the difference.


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#9 highchef

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 06:39 AM


 

I wonder how often you will be at this cabin?  If only a couple times a year I think you should learn to cook on the electric range. It is not as horrible thing as you seem to think it is.




The cabin will be used for deer season, as well and for family vacations and holidays for extended family.
It will not be 365 days a year.
During holidays, I am prepared to sleep and feed 20 people....more if I have to.
I cooked with an electric range for 20 years before I ran the gas line. I know the ins and outs of both, and will choose gas hands down when I have a choice. I have cooked many a meal on my gas top post hurricanes, so I feel being able to use it in an outage is a serious consideration. I don't want to have to cook outside in an ice storm.
My concerns are identifying any quirks that are not obvious. What is high btu on my home top, is not the same as the burner I use outside for example. I wonder about control, and how different models compare...are there problems with using a converter with a gas range? I read via a google search that it will effect the btu output of the unit, and some people find it is better to buy a unit designed from the get go to handle propane.
And there's refrigeration...
If anyone has had any experience, I am hoping for some guidance! I do appreciate the responses.



#10 sparrowgrass

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 07:49 AM

I just bought a new range, a kinda mid-range Whirlpool, about $700.  I love it, plenty of BTUs for my cooking.  Self cleaning too, though I have not used that feature.  I love the fact that it has two big grates that cover the whole top, instead of 4 smaller grates--makes the surface much more usable for big canners and fry pans.

 

I did not have to buy a converter--according to the installer, the hookup has two positions--one for natural gas, one for propane, so it is easy to switch.

 

I like the fact that I can use the range top even if the power is out--just have to have a box of matches.


Edited by sparrowgrass, 07 June 2013 - 07:50 AM.

sparrowgrass

#11 Porthos

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:05 PM

I cook using natural gas at home and using propane at the housekeeping cabin we rent each year.  I've never noticed any difference in cooking on these 2 different stoves. Also when I cook at my brother's house (propane) I've never noticed a difference.


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#12 boilsover

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 12:12 PM

Hi, Highchef:

 

  Have you considered a solid-fuel cook stove?  I installed one in my primary kitchen 18 months ago, and love it.  You have fuel and ash management to deal with, and you don't get instant heat, but it's really a joy to cook with.  I bought a vintage Monarch 3526N.  I've been running both wood and anthracite coal in it--very versatile, and has the advantage of a continuous cooking surface.  When you need to turn the heat down, you basically slide the pan right a few inches.  The oven is huge, because there're no elements. obviously, there're no utility bills or service interruptions, and the heat in the house is welcome in cold and temperate climes.

 

  Until I find the original Monarch Mod. 42 2-burner gas bolt-on shelf, I'm using a separate 2-burner LP setup for the rare occasions when I don't have time to fully fire the stove.

 

  Nothing like the smell of woodsmoke in the dark hours before and after the hunt...

 

Cheers!

 

PS:  You might want to check out Lehman's for LP-fired reefers, ranges and new woodstoves.  https://www.lehmans.com/


Edited by boilsover, 19 December 2013 - 12:21 PM.


#13 judiu

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 12:25 PM

Hichef, just a word to the wise; when you are doing a slow simmer on a gas stove, depending on your doors and windows, the flame can blow out. In winter, no problem, but in summer when cooler air ventilation is wanted, you want to keep an eye on the burners. Sometimes the pilot light, too will blow out!
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#14 highchef

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:50 PM

Wow, thanks for all the great info! Will do a search on the monarch, and no...I am totally unfamiliar with it. All options are open except natural gas (which I am using here) and electric, mostly because the winter time is when the juice goes out, and that is when we are up there the most...hunting season and all! I already have problems here with my gas range and open windows, even change the ac/heat vent away from it and still have it go out sometimes! So much for fresh air in the kitchen! I need to research the solid fuel stoves, thank you for the heads up. Merry Christmas to you all, and much thanks for the advice.

#15 boilsover

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 03:26 PM

Highchef:

 

  If sold fuel interests you and you have deep pockets, you might wish to check out Rayburn solid-fuel cookers from UK  (an affiliated company with AGA).  I nearly bought one of these; they're beautiful and very functional.  Fitted witha water jacket, they will heat a surprisingly large home.  Thoughtfully, Rayburn includes an extra-thick "Summer" set of firebrick, so your housestays cool in the warmer months.

 

Cheers.



#16 Smithy

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 05:01 PM

The refrigerator in our trailer runs on LP or electricity. It runs fine either way, but maintains a slightly cooler temperature (a couple of degrees F max) on electricity. Based on my experience, an LP refrigerator should do just fine for you.

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#17 teapot

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 08:19 PM

I used to rely on a two burner propane stovetop and a Monarch wood stove (we didn't have electricity). Loved cooking on/in a woodstove -- but the propane burners were great when you needed heat fast.

We're building a fishing cabin this spring and I bought a 1959 GE electric double oven range (for 100 bucks). I could have gone with gas but I love to bake hearth breads and gas just doesn't work as well as electric for breads imho.

#18 highchef

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:23 PM

I have never had a gas range, and I bake a lot....will need to delve into that aspect.
It gets hot up there too, so I am going to put in some "hotel" units for the bedrooms, and we have plenty of wood for the fireplace to heat the house if elect. Goes out. That said, a kitchen stove that will warm the house as well could be very useful.
I camp cook a lot, so propane burners with a wood stove may be feasible.
I was thinking of the AGA, my cousins have one the rescued from a convent and it's wonderful in Ireland, but I worry about heat it generates ongoing. Ireland is cool all year, so not an issue there, but Arkansas can be extreme cold or extreme heat so I am not sure about using it in the summer. We arn't going to rent it out, so there are some summer weeks involved. I actually use a wood stove here when it's really cold, but haven't tried cooking with it, has a griddle top so it's useful as a burner, but have no idea how I would bake with it. It is a yotul, and not designed for cooking I think.
When installing a propane tank, do you think it should be buried? It would take a backhoe, but if it is safer buried, then it would be best to have in done when we install the tank. Maybe I have seen too many blow em up movies where someone shoots at the gas tank, and no one up there worries about stuff like that, but deer huntin next door makes me nervous of Strauss bullets.
I know we will have some propane, if just for the fridge and a a cooktop, but worry about an actual oven. Was also thinking if we go propane heat/cooling we would have a large tank and a need to have some sort of barrier for it (like underground)! I'll check out the Rayburn stoves, thanks for allo the help!

#19 teapot

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:49 PM

My sister has an AGA and, while charming, is a PITA to cook with. I don't mean to damn the whole line, but hers has tiny ovens and you have to maneuver around the burner covers. Plus it really warms up the kitchen in the summer. A wood stove is much more accommodating.

The problem with gas ranges is that they are constantly venting the combusted gasses -- that makes it challenging for creating the optimal steamy environment for hearth breads. Wood or electric don't have the same issue. You can do a work-around with gas but having spent two years trying to create the kind of breads that were a breeze to bake in an old electric range, I would not choose a gas oven again (though I love the stovetop).

#20 gfweb

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:00 PM

I have never had a gas range, and I bake a lot....will need to delve into that aspect.
It gets hot up there too, so I am going to put in some "hotel" units for the bedrooms, and we have plenty of wood for the fireplace to heat the house if elect. Goes out. That said, a kitchen stove that will warm the house as well could be very useful.
I camp cook a lot, so propane burners with a wood stove may be feasible.
I was thinking of the AGA, my cousins have one the rescued from a convent and it's wonderful in Ireland, but I worry about heat it generates ongoing. Ireland is cool all year, so not an issue there, but Arkansas can be extreme cold or extreme heat so I am not sure about using it in the summer. We arn't going to rent it out, so there are some summer weeks involved. I actually use a wood stove here when it's really cold, but haven't tried cooking with it, has a griddle top so it's useful as a burner, but have no idea how I would bake with it. It is a yotul, and not designed for cooking I think.
When installing a propane tank, do you think it should be buried? It would take a backhoe, but if it is safer buried, then it would be best to have in done when we install the tank. Maybe I have seen too many blow em up movies where someone shoots at the gas tank, and no one up there worries about stuff like that, but deer huntin next door makes me nervous of Strauss bullets.
I know we will have some propane, if just for the fridge and a a cooktop, but worry about an actual oven. Was also thinking if we go propane heat/cooling we would have a large tank and a need to have some sort of barrier for it (like underground)! I'll check out the Rayburn stoves, thanks for allo the help!

The standard is to have propane tanks above ground in the US.  I don't know if this is code or just the way things are done. A buried tank would be hard to check for leaks and would have to be more corrosion resistant than the usual type. I live in the land of tank propane and have never heard of an explosion. If the hunters were firing incendiary rounds...perhaps. The biggest danger to a tank is a nick from a snowplow, but this is easily prevented by proper placement.



#21 highchef

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:17 PM

Thank you. I doubt any plows will come down our road, but I worry about the blowing up issue. And yes, Sometimes I think some people around will have exactly what they need to blow up the place. I love the ideal of self sufficiency, but some of those guys up there are well armed to the point that you need to keep it in mind.

#22 gfweb

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:38 PM

I really wouldn't worry about blowing-up. Doesn't happen.



#23 gfweb

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:47 PM

I cook daily on a propane stove  x 20 years . So long as the stove is adjusted/designed for propane there is no discernible difference between LP and natural gas. The only real issue is whether the propane people keep the tank filled.



#24 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:53 PM

I've lived rural almost all of my life...around lots of LP....around lots of guns...lots and lots of guns. I've never heard of a propane explosion...natural gas, yes, several explosions but never an LP explosion.

LP is just like natural gas cooking wise.
Having said that...I hate LP.....it's expensive...the LP companies are known to be crooks....there are often delivery issues in bad weather....any cylinder that isn't fairly big is subject to theft...I just hate dealing with it.
I would seriously look at a wood cookstove.....I recommend the no frills Amish built models....Baker's Choice and Pioneer Princess are popular.


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#25 highchef

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:40 PM

I am looking into all of the above, thank you for all of you expert advice, and please keep me in mind if you see a stove I could use, never hurts to have another resource.

#26 boilsover

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 09:58 AM

Hi, highchef:

 

  For your perusal:  http://www.ebay.com/...cat=0&_from=R40

 

Cheers



#27 highchef

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 07:47 AM

Hi, highchef:
 
  For your perusal:  http://www.ebay.com/...cat=0&_from=R40
 
Cheers

Wow! I had no idea there were so many multi fueled options out there. There is one that uses wood, pellets and propane! Very, very interesting. And I thank you!

#28 HungryChris

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:40 AM

Here's my two cents:

I moved out to the country many years ago. I was concerned about losing power and opted for an all gas (propane) range. I loved the stove top cooking aspect, but hated the oven because it was uneven heat and not a dry heat, as teapot stated above. When the thing finally needed replacement, I opted for a double electric oven with a gas cooktop and aside from having to keep the black glossy top clean, I could not be happier. One aspect that I had not anticipated was that the smaller top oven heats up extremely fast (550 C in five min) and is where I do most of the common small items. It makes killer pizza! I don't know if the expense can be justified in a hunting cabin, but felt the insight might prove useful.

 

HC



#29 highchef

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 10:56 AM

Here's my two cents:

I moved out to the country many years ago. I was concerned about losing power and opted for an all gas (propane) range. I loved the stove top cooking aspect, but hated the oven because it was uneven heat and not a dry heat, as teapot stated above. When the thing finally needed replacement, I opted for a double electric oven with a gas cooktop and aside from having to keep the black glossy top clean, I could not be happier. One aspect that I had not anticipated was that the smaller top oven heats up extremely fast (550 C in five min) and is where I do most of the common small items. It makes killer pizza! I don't know if the expense can be justified in a hunting cabin, but felt the insight might prove useful.

 

HC

I have a duel fuel in a rent house, it has a down vent as well. that might be a good alternative IF I can make it work on propane, and compared to the wood/pellet/propane stove I was looking at, may well be cheaper when I put shipping cost from Maine in there...those I can order and have shipped to pick up. At first I didn't look at that as an alternative because they are not cheap, but now they are looking cheaper all the time. I may give whirlpool a call and check up on that. I can always bake in the fireplace I guess...I can bake on a campfire so the cast iron needs to come out again and get to the cabin. Mine does not have a double oven, as I said it is a Whirlpool...what brand is yours? a small oven for when it's just us could be really useful. Thanks.

you did not worry about refrigeration? or did you go propane with that too? I suspect the cabin will be used more for vacations in a few years if we are ever able to retire, but right now it functions mostly for the hunters. I am ok with the "atmosphere", but to spend any real quality time up there I need an oven, fridge and cook top (or range). enough with ice chest and campstoves outside! Thanks!



#30 HungryChris

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 05:40 AM

highchef, it's a Jenn-Air. I realize after it's too late to edit that I said 550C, when I meant 550F. The small oven is a real good idea if you can do it. When I bake no knead bread in the larger oven (the dutch oven will not fit in the smaller one) it takes almost a half hout to get up to 500F so I know it uses a lot more electricity. 

As far as gas refrigeration, what was available then was not really what I wanted. Twice now in 28 years, I have had to empty the fridge and freezer into the trash because of an extended power failure, which isn't bad, I guess. I just think in a cabin things would be in there for shorter duration stays and not be a problem.

 

HC