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Q: How to turn on O'Keefe & Merritt oven?

I recently moved into a house with a gorgeous antique stove, but I can't figure out how to turn on the gas oven. The pilots are all on and I've tried many "gas on" and then temp setting combos with the knob (which appears to be pushable like a gas stove knob), but I think I'm missing something...hopefully someone out there has experience with one of these beaties and can provide some much needed guidance because I want to get roasting!
Thank you!

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  1. On both of mine (a smaller apartment sized one, and a big 4 burner / griddle one with an oven and a roaster thing), you just turn the temperature knob from "off" to the desired temperature. If that's not working, maybe there's a problem with the oven.

    1 Reply
    1. re: will47

      Thanks for the reply, Will. Do you have to wait for it to fire up or is it quick? Maybe I'm just being impatient?

    2. If there's no real answer here, i'd contact one of the antique stove places on the web. I'm sure at one or another there's a friendly person who'd be glad to help. And let us know the results. Thanks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mpalmer6c

        I already looked and couldn't find an antique stove BB. If you know of one, please do tell. Thanks.

      2. Is there gas flowing to the burner tube for the oven, you should be able to hear the flow. If you have flow you should be able to light it with a match. I grew up with an OKM and you had to light it with a match but it was from the early 40's. You can also check to see if the pilot for the oven is lit. There should be a heat diffusing plate in the bottom of the oven that is removable, take that plate out and the burner and pilot will be accessible.

        1. You should pull out the drawer on the lower left hand side, and you should see something on the right side of the inside wall that looks like an oval box. There should be a button in the middle of it. Push the button, and you will hear a rush of gas. You might need to turn on the oven while you push the button, or even light the broiler with a match, though that shouldn't be necessary. I think the thing is a safety shut off. If your oven pilot light is interrupted (easy to do if your putting a large beast in the broiler), it shuts off the gas. The button restarts it. Definitely not worth a service call...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Glencora

            Thanks so much for the guidance! I'll get more intimate with my oven when it's daylight and I can see these landmarks better and let you know how it pans out. Thanks again guys!

            1. re: Glencora

              Thank you so much for these clear instructions!! I just mized up a batch of banana bread at my boyfriend's house to surprise him, only to find that the old stove wouldn't work. I've used it before when it's had this issue but he's always been here to fix it and I didn't pay attention. Your clear instructions saved the day! (and the bread:)

            2. To turn on the stove, once the pilot is lit (which is accessed through the broiler area in the back) then lift the metal stove top off and look in the back for a mechanism with a large button on it. You must turn the temperature knob for the oven to the on position, maybe around 350 would be good, and then push the button in. It should start up right away. You can call the gas company as well and they will come out for free and start it for you. :) That's how I learned this!

              1. I happened to need this advice after my gas was turned off for a heater installation. I got the pilot lit but the oven burner still wouldn't catch. My stove has an oven on one side and a storage section on the other. After a few minutes thinking about the "button post" I found that the storage side contains a reset button. (Always wondered what that was.) I pushed the button, turned the oven knob and voila!

                1. I have the exact same stove and I was saved from going hungry by this thread, drunk as I was after moving, and with only a frozen pizza. However, the button is behind the top left of the stove. Reach around the back/over the top-left. It's an unmistakeable button on a metal fixture. Make sure, as other reviews noted, the oven is in the on position at a desired temperature before you press the button or the gas will only release temporarily.

                  1. Your question was definitely answered way back but I just wanted to add something I recently learned about my old O'Keefe and Merritt oven stove at my new apartment. If any of the burners don't turn on immediately and the pilots are lit (there are 4 pilots on mine: three under top range for left burners, griddle, and right burners, and one in oven), WHEN COOL you need to scrub the holes where the gas/flame comes out with a clean steel scrub pad, water, and NO soap or product. Use a new or dedicated steel scrub pad, then let dry before lighting. Gunk collects in the holes in the burner preventing the flame spreading out evenly. Also, a proper pipe cleaner in the connecters from the pilot. Helped my range immensely! I wasn't able to light my burners without a match before this.