Sunday, July 4, 2010

Flame Tender & Stove Cleaner

One thing that's real important for any campstove is what's called The Flame Tender.  These are mostly antiques.  They may still sell them new but I've never seen a new one.  You find them in antique stores.
Their purpose is obvious and basic.  they can tame a tall flame and render it a simmer.  A lot of camp stoves don't simmer well, their flame is far too hot to simmer or "keep warm," as the case may be.  The flame tender is your bridge between a really HOT flame and a perfect simmer.  Sometimes even the left burner won't simmer well.  That's when the vaunted flame tender really shines.  A low flame on the left burner underneath a flame tender becomes the perfect "keep warm" temperature without scorching and ruining your meal.  There are many variations of the flame tender.  Try to get one or more that have a handle.  The ones without a handle are a real hassle and you will eventually get burned.  I guarantee it.

There's really only one chemical we use for keeping the stoves cleaned--it's called Awesome cleaner and it's found almost entirely in "dollar stores."  I once saw it in a regular grocery but I can't remember where or when.  When we run low, we just go to the nearest dollar store, pay a buck and restock on Awesome.  It's the perfect stove grease cutter.  A few paper towels or a rag and some awesome and you're good to go.

Do carry a pair of pretty good gloves to use to move around hot skillets on your stove top.  Also, have at least one decent trivet handy.  Anything can be a trivit, from a flat piece of wood to a ceramic floor tile to a piece of iron cast specifically to be a trivet.  We recently found some great 12 x 12 marble tiles at Lowe's for 50 cents each.  They will make a real nice trivet and are large enough to handle anything.

Typically, we keep all the shims, teflon tape and stove clutter in a stout fabric bag.  Wrap up the bag and stow it in your Coleman.  In our 413D there's now plenty of room for everything with space to spare.  If you just throw the clutter in the stove body, it will bang around and get real annoying.  Also, it's a pain to pull out each piece and the stuff usually makes an unsightly chunk of clutter on the picnic table.  Keep is wrapped up in a stout bag and the cook area looks a lot better.  Also, if you have children, it's less likely they will be attracted to the gadgets and stove widget that you use.  In addition, all those little things can easily get lost.  By keeping them in a bag all is well.

I think that pretty well covers all of our ideas on stoves and related topics.  It's now time to move onto some other topic.  We've pretty well discussed all there is to mention about stoves.  If there's something we missed, please call it to our attention in the forms of a comment on this blog.  Thanks  & Cheers, jm

No comments:

Post a Comment