One day I will have a Chambers stove. Do you have one? If so, tell me about it. The good the bad and the ugly...
- iL Divo Oct 2, 2010 08:51 AM
I want a Chambers stove/oven/broiler and one day I will own one.
A couple of years ago a man had one on Ebay that I didn't buy because I'm a nitwit.
It was copper, the pix were beautiful, in his kitchen which he was redoing, and working perfectly and $800.
Someone beat me to it, duh, and I just wonder if anyone has one.
If you do would you please comment on liking it or not.
If you don't have one but you have another favorite old type stove, please tell me about that too.
O'Keefe&Merrit, Gaffers and Sattler, Wedgewood, etc.
We used to be in a rental house years ago and it had a Wedgewood that I now wish I'd have asked to buy. It was gorgeous, worked perfectly, had the drop down lid which covered everything, salt and pepper shaker, clock worked, griddle in middle for my tortilla making or flat bread making or lefse making, and we bought a house out of the area and I never gave it a thought until I started realizing these masterpieces are part of Americana.
We have a Chambers Stove, and would NOT have anything ELSE!!! They weigh around 465 lbs, and used to be advertised that they sold for a dollar a pound--and that was in the 20's - 40's!!!
We have a 1948 Model B that I tore down to the frame & COMPLETELY restored, to include a safety pilot on the oven. We paid $92 for it in Lawrence, KS...
How you can cook on/in them is UNBELIEVABLE!!! Put your meat in the oven, follow the instructions, then turn the gas OFF---and the oven continues to cook--due to the rockwool insulation--same with the thermowell...
SHOULD you be blessed to come across another, do NOT let it slip past!!!
Do we love our Chambers......... We have the counter top with 4 burners and the griddle that
levitates to become a broiler...... It is the exact stove that is in Julia's TV studio in Boston.
It must be a late model as it has electronic ignition.
We had had experience with Chambers which were very popular in Texas about fifty years
ago. When we ran into ours in a recycling center here in Boulder Co. we snapped it up for
$250. I was delighted when I found that the gas supply to the burners was adjustable so
it was easy to convert to LP. Didn't have to buy a thing. Never had the slightest problem
with it other than having to clean the spider webs out of the venturi once in a while. A pipe
cleaner is the real deal for this chore.
The burners work well and one can really turn them down for a perfect simmer.
we are now keeping our eyes out for a matching wall oven which I suppose they made
to go with this countertop.
Good Luck in your quest
Pablito el gordito
wow, I had a Wedgewood like that in SF in the early 90's, loved that thing, also had the built in griddle panel in the middle and the warming oven off to the side. IIRC I could replace a burner with a drop in soup kettle, but that may be another place (I moved a lot between 1983 and 1999)
that thing was a frickin' workhorse and totally reliable (bit grubby by that point, but for a rental with careless, apathetic roommates what are you you gonna do?) catered a multi-hour brunch for the gallery downstairs on it once.
My parents were given one as a wedding present back in 1958. It wasn't new, it was given to them by a patient of the doctors that my mom worked for. It looks exactly like the one on Rachel Ray's "30 Minute Meals". It has the oven that cooks on retained heat, and it has a well on the right side. That is stil the stove/oven that my mom cooks every single meal on today.
I go into antique stores on occasion and check out the sections where they have old old stoves. I love looking at the O'Keefe and Merritt/Gaffers and Sattler. Loved my grandparents Wedgewood with the griddle in the middle. These Chambers stoves represent old Americana to me. Being a collector of all kitchen stuff, maybe that's why someday I hope to own one of my very own.
My parents had a Chambers range. Features included baking well, griddle with broiler underneath, and thermostat controlled burner. 36" wide, and I believe former poster who said 465 lbs.
My recall (prior to 1973) Griddle was never used, no thermostat, bitch to clean. Broiler used daily, never quite hot enough to sear, but handy for all things meat. Oven was fantastic for roasting due to insulation and super even heat distribution. Cooks with the fuel turned off is true. Thermostat burner never worked well, electric ignition was hit or miss when thermostat called for more heat. 3 burners, seem low power 8,000 BTU? Took a while to boil water. With all that said, I miss the Chambers range, but I think more for nostalgic reasons than culinary.
re: iL Divo
iL Divo - by all means get a Chambers range if that is what you want. I ate hundreds of superb meals prepared on our family stove. It is another example of the magnificent engineering or the mid 20th century, on a par with a '57 Chevy, I wonder if the analogy would hold if one compared an AGA with a '55 Mercedes coupe?
"Never quite hot enough to sear"---both the oven and the griddle/broiler have a 21000 BTU burner. I don't know what modern ovens have in them, but our oven can go from pilot temp (120 degrees) to 500 degrees in just about 10 minutes. Your oven thermostat may have just needed adjustment--something ANY Chambers owner with a manual can do on their own. Lastly, Chambers invented the 'bypass' burner on the oven--when temp is satisfied, the burner never goes completely out, but drops down to a VERY low flame--just visible inside the burner holes. This keeps the oven temperature within 5 degrees or so of the set temp.
Always wondered if the Chambers circa 1950s was better than the Wedgewood from the same era. Grew up with the Wedgewood and am sad we threw it away when we did a remodel of my Dad's home. That stove has some peculiarities and decades later I still catch myself jostling the knobs just so on my electric stove.
I've got a version of the Chambers cooktop branded as Kitchenaid that I bought in the 80's. It has the top broiler. The only problem is that someone broke a part in one of the burner handles and they don't make the part anymore, so I've only got 3 working burners. Great stove. I also have the oven that you can cook with turned off. Frankly, I don't use the drop in broiler anymore since I tend to grill in a ridged pan. It's faster.
we have an original chambers wall oven from about 1950 at my parents' house. It was in the wall, with a solid brick surround, for many years. finally, my mom (for some reason..no one remembers why) decided to upgrade and got a new GE in the 70's. when they took the chambers out of the wall, they found the wires had been sitting DIRECTLY on top of it for all those years!!!!! the installer said he had no idea why the house hadn't burned down: i think the cast iron just absorbed the extra heat!
My mom was either forward thinking or cheap: she kept the chambers, putting it on a rolling cart. she always thought we needed a "second oven" for big events. we used it only once: as a precocious teenage baker, I made a loaf of sourdough bread for a party. we cooked it in the Chambers, according to time directions. when we opened the oven, the loaf was almost black and hard as a rock! MAN! WHAT A CRUST!!! we had an incredible doorstop that day ;)