It is quite as important that the cook should understand the mechanism of her stove as that an engineer should understand his machine. Before undertaking to use the stove the covers should be removed, doors opened, and a thorough inspection made to discover where the dampers are located, how they operate, etc. The essential parts of a stove are, a fire-box, grate, ash-box, stove pipe, oven and dampers for drafts. The door below the fire-box is the opening for the admission of oxygen. There is also an oven damper, a damper in the stove pipe and a damper at the top of the fire-box opening into the fire. The greater the amount of oxygen admitted, the greater is the amount of heat produced, hence when starting a fire the oxygen draft or door below the fire-box is opened as well as the damper in the stove pipe, thus creating a direct draft. To quickly reduce the heat close the damper in the stove pipe, shut off the oxygen draft and open the check draft which is in front of the stove and just above the oxygen draft. It is also above the fire-box. For baking, close the oven damper which forces the heated air around the oven before it enters the pipe. The oven is a metal box surrounded by a space through which the heat travels. The metal is a good non-conductor and allows the heat to penetrate its walls, thus imparting it to the foods which it contains.
The steps in building a fire are as follows:
1—Clean out the stove.
2—Brush ashes from the top of the oven.
3—Place the materials for making the fire.
4—Begulate the dampers.
5—Brush the stove and the hearth.
6—Blacken the stove if necessary.
7—Apply the match.
8—Polish the stove if blackened.
9—Regulate the. drafts.