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Old 03-07-2009, 22:35   #1
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Cooking on Diesel Stove / Oven

I have never used a diesel range. I grew up with propane and natural gas, and can cook fairly well. However, the logistics of using the same fuel for the engine/stove interests me. Also, many of the diesel units include heat exchangers for heating up water, very intersting.

Exactly how hard is it to cook on a diesel stove/oven?

The stove would seem to be mostly OK, as once the cooking surface is hot, it would stay hot. However, is there a way to adjust the tempreture of one section of the surface vs another. Say, to put a sauce on a low simmer, while boiling water for pasta?

The next question is how hard is it to cook with the oven? It would seem that all of the radient heat in the oven would come from the side/top. That would seem to result in very uneven cooking of say a cake, or bread and make it very difficult to "broil" something.

Do I understand these units work correctly?
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Old 03-07-2009, 23:57   #2
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Diesel cooking is great if you live in a cold area, not recommended is the tropics, there is the Wallas diesel stove that doesn't have the same problems with a large heated area, but it is considerably more complicated that the Dickinson type, and the purchase price is up there.
Google "Wallas" and it should show up.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:35   #3
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When I cook on my diesel stove, the stuff I want hotter, I put next to where the chimney comes out of the stove and put the stuff I want warm over on the stove top where the carburetor is located. I don't know how much that really matters. I have never baked in the oven part, I have used it to warm up garlic bread, and to slow cook meat. Usually we keep it pretty simple, fry up some sausage and break some eggs in on top after the sausage has been pretty well cooked, and stir it around call it brekkie ect... We try to just cook one pan main courses, things like rice, and meat you start cooking first. Ramen noodles are easy just add boiling water from the teapot.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:46   #4
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Check out this thread
Throw it Overboard
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Old 05-07-2009, 14:23   #5
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So what? You suggest that a person throw all diesel fired stoves overboard?

Seems a bit strange, since many many people seem to swear by them...
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Old 05-07-2009, 16:26   #6
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So what? You suggest that a person throw all diesel fired stoves overboard?
Seems a bit strange, since many many people seem to swear by them...
I suppose that's what makes for a discussion. Some swear BY them, some swear AT them. I'm in the latter camp; but what do I know...
No offense intended - just a humerous observation of dubious merit.
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Old 05-07-2009, 16:37   #7
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Fair enough.

Why do you swear at them?
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Old 05-07-2009, 17:00   #8
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Because they soot up and make a real mess when you have to clean them out. They can be balky starting. They can be balky shutting down. They can be a real fire hazard. The tops get rusty and you have to put some real elbow grease into the top to clean it. Most of the problems lie with the fuel delivery to the stove itself. You really need to have a shutoff right at the source so if things get out of hand you can shut it down. Let's not forget the soot that comes out of the stack and lands on the deck/sails everywhere.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:50   #9
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Because they soot up and make a real mess when you have to clean them out. They can be balky starting. They can be balky shutting down. They can be a real fire hazard. The tops get rusty and you have to put some real elbow grease into the top to clean it. Most of the problems lie with the fuel delivery to the stove itself. You really need to have a shutoff right at the source so if things get out of hand you can shut it down. Let's not forget the soot that comes out of the stack and lands on the deck/sails everywhere.

... and they stink (smell).


In an article first published at the Good Old Boat magazine (Volume 3, Number 2, March/April 2000) and posted at the Boatus.com website, writer Theresa Fort details the pros and cons of the main fuels for galley stoves. These are her opinions, for your consideration:
Good Old Boat: A clean look at the "dirty" half dozen by Theresa Fort
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Old 06-07-2009, 14:21   #10
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It would seem that the dip pan stoves would suck something crazy. They do look like REALLY old school design. (I'm stitting here thinking of having a big pan of burning diesel on a boat. YIKES!

I kinda like the idea of a pressurized diesel stove. But DAMN what a price!

Thanks
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Old 06-07-2009, 17:18   #11
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First off, I grew up with a Dickinson diesel stove, and for the right cruising area, they can't be beat. There is a reason they are found in 90% of small commercial fishing boats--even if they are old.

A couple of considerations, however:
1. They should only be considered for a boat that will not be used in warm climates as they are not something you want to light/extinguish all the time, and they function as a cabin heater in addition to a stove. It is perfect up here in Alaska as they keep the cabin warm, and produce a dry heat to drive out the humidity.
2. Cooking on them is a practiced art. Heat control is not fast acting, or extremely precise, so they take some practice to use. Generally ours would be set at the same heat setting all summer, and then changed in the fall/winter as we needed more heat in the boat to keep it warm. They do have different heat zones, with a very hot spot right over the firebox, and a much cooler section over the oven. The trick is to learn to move the pan from warm to hot as needed to regulate temperature.
3. The inch thick solid cast iron top can't be beat. My grandmother used to clean hers up and cook pancakes directly on the stove top.
4. They only stink if you're not using them right. The only times I can remember a smell is when the stove carburetor developed a diesel leak and when the top of the chimney blew off in a storm, causing the wind to blow down the stack and make a mess.
5. Ours worked without complaint for over 20 years heating a 47' fishing boat summer and winter in Alaska & providing an oven and stove--that's reliable service.
6. I have seen many successful installations for fuel delivery either using a diaphragm pump (makes it sound like the boat has a heartbeat), or using a day tank you fill whenever needed from your main tank and gravity feed to the stove).
6. We never had a problem with soot. It helps that we burned it all the time, and kept it hot. This is one of the main reasons to only use one in a cooler climate.

Just my experiences. I lived with one (live aboard) for 15 years growing up.
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Old 06-07-2009, 17:45   #12
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I have lived with them too, and if you can keep them turned up to where they don't generate soot, the heat will boil you out of the cabin. I have two, one on each of my boats and they are the cat's pajamas, when they are working right, it is just hard to do sometimes. I haven't had the stink problem. Mind you the one stove was built in 1961, and the other in 1977. You do need to keep an eye on them and they can be fickle.
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Old 06-07-2009, 17:54   #13
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Captain58-

You are definitely right, they can boil you out of the cabin. I remember many days with the windows all open to keep the inside of the boat from heating up too much. And yep, they can be a bit tricky to get working perfectly sometimes, but they are hard to beat.
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Old 06-07-2009, 18:04   #14
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No argument there, and when you are coming off the deck chilled to the bone, there is nothing better. It just seems like when I am trying to get the old girl warmed up so I can get some sleep, there is always a hassle of some sort.
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