Monday, May 5, 2014

When Bigger Is Better

Each and every year we concoct a different Kitchen Rig.  Each and every year since 2010, the Kitchen Rig has been centered around a Coleman 425F stove.  The 425F is the small two burner, lightweight model.

We started out yesterday thinking that the 425F was once again going to be the foundation of our Kitchen Rig.  Some strange twists and turns took place yesterday and, as of May 5, we've completely upended redesigned and restocked our Kitchen Rig.

It all started when we decided to get rid of our Coleman 426D 3-burner stove.  We list it on eBay and also our local Craigs List and spent most of the day lamenting no one bid on the 1978 behemoth.  We have about 18 photos in this blog post and the story is best told with captions beneath each picture.
Here's the Coleman 426D that we fully intended to sell on May 4th.  We bought it perhaps 3-4 years ago and it's just been sitting in the Cook Shack taking up space and getting in the way.  Yes, it needs a good cleanup but we figured we'd price it low and just get it OUTTA HERE!
Later in the evening May 4th, we decided to take a good close look at our Coleman stove inventory.  The stove at left is the 425F.  The 462D is in the foreground and the 413D is at right.
Here's our venerable, yeoman 425F.  The large burner measures 60 millimeters in diameter.  The 413D's burner measures 62.5 millimeters but burns MUCH hotter than the 425F.  The 426D's main burner is also 60 mm and the two side burners are smaller.
Here's what really tipped the scales to a new Kitchen Rig this season--our discovery that the 426D 3-burner would fit perfectly in the back right rear area of Marvie--our camping truck.  The 426D fist so well there it's incredible.  It snaps into place and I can drive around town without the stove flying all over the back of the truck bed.
As you can see, this is how we stowed the 425F last season.  It takes up "most" of the same space but unfortunately, there's really nothing much we can do with the remaining space.  When we realized the 426D would make maximum, optimal usage of that space, we were hooked.  We immediately ran in the house and ended our eBay auction and deleted the Craigs List ad.
We also knew right away that we'd finally have some elbow room in the 426D.  Above is how cramped it has been packing the 425F.  It's always a "trick" to make everything fit.  Also, the spare fuel canister has to be stowed in a place that's difficult to access.
This morning we were very happy to see hoe much room we had in the 426D.  TONS of space!
So much space we can now carry two of our favorite spatulas.  Our normal "UTES" box for kitchen utensils is a 30 caliber ammo can.  No way can a decent spatula fit in a 30 caliber ammo can.
Not only that, but we also immediately realized we can once again start carrying a griddle that will fit the 426D perfectly and still ahve room to use another burner.
And not only that but the griddle fits INSIDE the stove!  YEA!

Our "go to" bacon cooking rig just won't fit well on the 425F and doesn't fit all that well on the 413D either.  However, it fits GREAT on the 426D.
Both the griddle and the big Lodge cast iron skillet look like a match made in Heaven on this stove.
We swapped out our small coffee pot for a much larger version.
The surface area of the 426D is so large the possibilities seem endless.
Here's a small wok, a stainless skillet and a griddle, too.
We began to see endless permutations and combinations of various cookware that we had never considered possible or practical before.  We're still working on which pots, pans and skillets we intend to pack for this season's Kitchen Rig.  We will post up a final inventory once we know what it is.

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