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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/77

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51
THE KITCHEN.
  1. Saucepans and other vessels last double the time when used on the hot-plate of a closed stove.
  2. Saucepans and other vessels may be kept as clean outside as inside; there is consequently an immense saving of labour.
  3. The fact of the entire range being covered by a hot-plate and the fire not being exposed lessens the probability of having food smoked.
  4. The hot-plate is well adapted for an ironing stove when not in use for cookery purposes.
  5. Close ranges are usually provided with some simple contrivance which enables them to be converted into slow combustion stoves, whereby the fire may be kept burning all night with a very small consumption of fuel, an inestimable advantage when it is necessary to keep the water in the boiler hot.
  6. The best types may be easily converted into an open range when a cheerful fire is desired.
  7. The heat is easily regulated, and when provided with an adjustable fire-box may be directed by a simple movement to the upper or lower part of the oven as required.

How to clean a Close Range.—The oven door should be closed to keep out the soot, and the kitchen door and window closed to prevent the soot flying about, and then all the ashes and cinders should be removed. All the little knobs on a range not attached to dampers indicate the position of the flues, and each of the small doors must be opened ONE AT A TIME, and the soot swept down with a brush constructed for the purpose, with a long flexible handle and a head like a bottle-brush. The highest flue-door is located in the breast of the chimney, and the sweeping should commence there. Usually a considerable amount of soot is found lodged at the side of the oven; all this must be swept down and removed from the lowest soot door. After clearing away all the soot the ovens must be swept out and thoroughly washed with hot water and soda, to remove the grease; and when necessary, the grease should be removed by the same means from the top and front of the stove. The stove must be perfectly dry before applying the blacklead which will produce a more brilliant polish if moistened with turpentine instead of water. The steel mouldings should be cleaned with paraffin and emery powder, or when badly stained, with vinegar and bathbrick.

Construction of a Good Stove.—Both cooking-ranges and cooking-stoves are constructed of steel, malleable iron, wrought-iron and cast-iron. Of these, the cast-iron stoves are the least expensive; but they cannot be recommended, because they are liable to crack; they usually waste fuel, owing to imperfect construction, frequently smoke, and are frequently out of order. Well-constructed stoves made of malleable iron, wrought-iron or steel are usually air-tight, give more evenly-regulated heat, and are altogether better in many respects. Good stoves do not allow the gases and fumes of the coal, or the soot