Category Archives: Cookstove History

Cookstove history is unique in the heating industry. Each brand and line of cookstove has a colorful background of hard work and dedication, learn more about them all here.

Amish Cookstoves

When you think of the Amish, you probably imagine their plain clothing, traditional head coverings, long beards, and a simple life without television or modern technology. It’s a unique lifestyle that has become even more striking with the increasingly rapid pace of cultural trends over the past several decades, and much media attention has been devoted to the Amish people in recent years. On the surface, their lives seem entirely at odds with the ones that most of us live on a day to day basis, but the reality is that we all share some common ground. Some of that ground, in fact, is found in cookstoves.

Much of the appeal of a cookstove is in how it allows for self-sufficiency: After all, this is an appliance that can heat a home and cook a meal, without using a single ounce of electricity from start to finish. Given their lifestyle, it’s only natural that Amish cookstoves would become a reliable favorite of cookstove users across the world, and today there are at least four major cookstove manufacturers with roots in Amish communities. In a market with relatively few contenders, that’s an impressive number. But what is it that makes these cookstoves so special?

Montana Energy Queen - Cookstove Community

The Montana Energy Queen.

West Kootenai Amish - Cookstove Community

Amish in the West Kootenai.

When Obadiah’s first started out, the Chain family lived near a small Amish community in Libby, Montana. Few Amish settlements have ever existed in Montana, and this one in particular was founded by former members of the West Kootenai community near the town of Rexford, just an hour north of Libby. While working in Libby, the Chains eventually befriended a member of that community who had recently ventured into making cookstoves, and they struck up a partnership that led to the creation of the Montana Energy Queen. Unfortunately and despite years of success, production eventually stopped on the Energy Queen as a result of hard economic times in the Kootenai. We still have many fond memories of the Energy Queen, however, and its spirit lives on today. More on that later.

The Amish in Montana are far from the only ones to get into the cookstove business. In fact, they’re relatively new to it compared to the folks behind the Pioneer Maid Wood Cookstove. In 1979 in Ontario, Canada, two Amish brothers decided it was absurd that they were using two stoves in their home: One for heating, one for cooking. When you’re trying to endure the harsh Canadian winter you don’t want to have to find enough firewood to support more than one stove, and they had had enough of it, so they got to work on making a unit that could cook and heat efficiently. Eventually the Pioneer Maid was born, as was Suppertime Stoves, Ltd.

Pioneer Princess Installation - Cookstove Community

The Pioneer Princess

The Pioneer Maid wasn’t born in a lab after years of testing, it was the result of practical Amish thinking. Pioneer stoves were among the earliest to be airtight and to feature downdraft ventilation, due to their top-loading nature. To this day, the design quality of Pioneer stoves competes with that found in the cookstoves made by advanced robotic engineering, a true testament to the Amish way of life.

In 2006 the Pioneer line of cookstoves was taken over by the U.S. based Pioneer Stoves, founded by the son of one of the owners of Suppertime. While Suppertime Stoves still operates in Canada today, the two companies are built around two separate Amish communities, each with their own way of doing things. The result has been a fair bit of confusion for consumers as parts from one company are not always interchangeable with the other; so if you happen to own a Pioneer and need parts, make sure to check whether your stove was manufactured by Suppertime or Pioneer Stoves to save yourself a lot of hassle.

Canada and Montana are not unusual places to find the Amish, but it’s Pennsylvania that most associate with the culture and for good reason: Lancaster County hosts the largest population of Amish in the entire country. It’s not much of a leap to assume that such a place would also have its own take on Amish cookstoves, and they certainly do.

Amish Country - Lancaster County - Obadiah's Cookstove Community

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Based in Lancaster County, Heco is owned and operated by members of the Amish community, and they produce cookstoves with the same mindset that has kept their society strong for all these years. The focus is not on the bells and whistles often offered by manufacturers of other stoves, but on the core quality of the materials and design functionality. Heco believes that the bones of a cookstove must be strong above all else, using 18 gauge plate steel for their stove bodies and harnessing the power of secondary combustion inside the firebox. These Amish cookstoves burn clean enough to be EPA Exempt and Washington State approved (Washington having some of the strictest wood burning regulations in the country), which is quite a feat for a company that eschews using all the latest manufacturing technology.

That craftsmanship is especially apparent in the Heco 420 and 520 models, two cookstoves that can best be described as workhorse cookers. These two stoves can make use of either wood or coal as fuel, and offer an optional water reservoir for creating your own hot water. That amount of flexibility in a unit makes Heco stand out amongst other Amish manufacturers, and the construction quality tells us that Heco cookstoves are here to stay.

Heco 420 520 Wood Cookstove - Cookstove Community

It was with Heco that Obadiah’s saw an opportunity. After two decades of involvement with the Amish community and dealing wood cookstoves ourselves, we wanted to put into practice what we’ve learned and hopefully re-capture some of what made the Energy Queen so special all those years ago. We reached out to Heco with our ideas, and after a lot of hard work from everyone, we came up with Obadiah’s 2000 Wood Cookstove.

Obadiah's 2000 Wood Cookstove

The 2000 Wood Cookstove.

The 2000 Wood Cookstove includes all of the things we love about Amish cookstoves and throws out all of the stuff that we have seen holding them back over the years. A massive firebox that offers up to sixteen hours of burn time so you don’t have to constantly manage your fire, a full featured oven with porcelain lining, and there’s even a front-facing cleanout, making it one of the easiest stoves on the market to maintain. We also made sure the 2000 offers glass doors, because whether you’re Amish or not, everyone enjoys watching a hot crackling fire.

Key to Amish communities is the rejection of pride and arrogance (“Hochmut”), and the devotion to a lack of self-centeredness while letting things be (“Gelassenheit”). There is strength in these traits, in putting community first while maintaining calmness in the face of an ever changing and increasingly chaotic world. You can feel that character in Amish cookstoves, forged into their robust bones and emanating from the heat of their fireboxes. Cookstoves, after all, are about bringing people together through warmth and family cuisine. Obadiah’s is proud to be a part of that tradition.

The following Amish cookstoves are available online from Obadiah’s Woodstoves:
The Pioneer Princess
The 2000 Wood Cookstove
Heco 420 Wood & Coal Cookstove
Heco 520 Wood & Coal Cookstove

Foodways in 1910

This article, written by the Montana Heritage Project, details the eating and cooking habits in early American Society. It’s a fascinating look into how stoves came into existence, and offers insight into why many people still prefer to use cookstoves.

When visiting cultures that are new to us, a close look at how people eat takes us directly into the core issues of who they are. The more we understand their eating habits and practices, the more we understand their political, religious, economic, and social systems. We can begin to understand them as people, seeing why they made many of the choices they made.

Foodways include all the details about what and how people eat, where their food comes from, who prepares it, what rituals and activities go along with getting it, preparing it, serving it, and eating it. As you come to understand a people’s foodways, you come to understand their world.

Though it’s natural to begin by comparing their foodways to our own, it’s important to remember that they could not see us. To see things as they saw them, we need to think about the realities they themselves compared their lives to. For the people who inhabited the America of 1910, two realities shaped their thinking: their own recent past and the world of the future. They were keenly aware that the world was changing rapidly, and the possibilities presented to them by new manufacturing and transportation systems were thrust before them constantly by advertisers in national magazines and mail order catalogs.

Hearth Cooking - Cookstove Community

Hearth cooking was messy and dangerous besides being hard work. It required cooks to work with heavy pans over open flames. Ashes and sparks often spilled out onto the floor. It was hard to cook food evenly over the flames, and stirring a pot required bending over the open fire. (From The Housewares Story)

Their Past: Most people in 1910 cooked on stoves, but for some the hearth was still a living memory. We still use the word “hearth” to refer to the warm center of a home. We might say that a mother who kept her home a welcoming place for a child gone away to school “kept the hearth fires burning.” But those of us who’ve grown up in houses with central heating need to use our imaginations to get a sense of how people in the past experienced their hearths.

Most American homes did not have stoves until well into the 19th century, so cooking was done in an open hearth, using heavy iron pots and pans suspended from iron hooks and bars or placed on three-legged trivets to lift them above the fires. Pots and pans were made mostly of heavy cast iron. Along with long-handled spatulas and spoons, most kitchens featured long-handled gridirons to broil meat and toasting forks to hold slices of bread.

Though some women used Dutch ovens and some had clay ovens built outside, until after the Civil War when stoves with ovens became more common, people ate pancakes more often than bread. Because bread was hard to bake at home, most towns had bakeries. Bread was often the only prepared food that could be bought in town.

To keep a hearth fire going required constant attention and lots of work. The cook knelt by open flames where cinders flew from unscreened fires, lifting and moving heavy pots, and reaching into the heat to stir or turn cooking food. Burns were common injuries, and women’s long dresses sometimes caught fire.

To get firewood, most people needed to saw down trees and then chop them up and haul the wood home. Carrying wood to fill the large woodboxes that customarily sat beside the hearth was an endless chore. And as the fire burned, ashes needed to be hauled back outside.

The hardest work, though, was keeping water in the house. People typically hauled buckets of water into the house 5 to 10 times a day. A lucky family had a well near the house, though such wells never seemed close enough. Others hauled water from creeks and springs, often a good distance from the house. In winter, they had to break ice or thaw hand pumps.

One woman whose well was 60 yards from her kitchen estimated that during the 41 years she lived in her house she hauled water up the hill to her kitchen over 6,000 miles. Of course, sinks did not have drains, so water also needed to be hauled out again when it was dirty. So did the contents of chamber pots, which were used before indoor toilets. Many poor people lived without indoor plumbing well into the 20th century.

Kitchen Stove - Cookstove Community

The kitchen stove was the center of the house. It was the “big ticket” and “high tech” dream of many young couples. Expensive models had many fancy attachments such as tanks to heat water and smaller ovens on top for heating pies.

By 1900, nearly all houses had cooking stoves. To people who remembered hearth cooking, these appliances were wonderful. They were easier to use and safer than hearth fires (though the amount of work they took may still seem astonishing to people like ourselves, accustomed to gas and electric ranges).

Coal became more and more popular through the 19th century as railroads brought it from distant mines and as forests near cities were cut down. By 1900 it had replaced wood as the main source of home energy. More and more, the household was becoming dependent on spending money in the market rather than upon family members’ labor. People switched to coal because it took less work than wood. It was a more concentrated energy source, so less of it needed to be hauled. Also, it burned longer and more evenly. Cooking was easier and tending the fire took less time.

Still, coal stoves were far from trouble-free. A study of coal stoves done in 1899 found that during a six-day period, “twenty minutes were spent in sifting ashes, fifteen minutes in carrying coal, and two hours and nine minutes on blacking the stove to keep it from rusting.” During those six days, “292 pounds of new coal were put in the stove…, 27 pounds sifted out of the ashes, and more than 14 pounds of kindling” were hauled. To keep one fire burning through the winter required 3-4 tons of coal. Needless to say, you wouldn’t fire up the stove simply to heat a cup of hot chocolate.

All day long women tended their stoves, adding fuel, adjusting dampers to control heat to the oven or water tank, stirring the pot of beans, or hauling water to keep the hot water tank full. Many houses only had one heated room, and during the winter much of the house went unused as people huddled near the the kitchen stove. People lived very close to each other, without much privacy.

At the beginning of the 20th century, only two appliances were common in the kitchen: the stove and the gear-driven egg beater. Although plenty of devices had been patented throughout the 19th century to make kitchen work easier and more convenient, nobody bothered to manufacture most of them until ways to mass produce and transport them to consumers were developed. The main way of marketing to households in the 19th century was the traveling saleman, with his pack or wagon of patent medicines and novelties.

Their Future: Though the drudgery of keeping house was commented on often by women from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was often a note of optimism about the miracles the future held. Things were getting better than they had been in the not-so-distant past, and people expected things to keep improving. The World’s Fair at St. Louis in 1904 featured several huge buildings dedicated to progress: the Palace of Electricity, the Palace of Varied Industry, Machinery Hall and others.

1904 World Fair - Cookstove Community

The Palace of Varied Industry at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

A newspaper calculated the total engine capacity at the Fair was “about 56,000 horse-power.” Furthermore, since “an engine horse-power is really one-fifth greater than the average power of the ordinary draught-horse, the total engine capacity can be made to equal the power of something more than sixty-seven thousand horses-or a line of horses one hundred and twenty-eight miles long.” It all seemed miraculous, and it was leading to a steady stream of better machines for the kitchen. Most people felt confident that railroads and factories would use the ingenuity of manufacturers and scientists to continue making life better.

In 1900, Americans had celebrated the nation’s centennial, occupied the entire continent, and become more important on the world stage by winning the Spanish-American War. People were optimistic. The railroad system had more miles of track than all the countries in Europe combined. Electricity was beginning to find its way into houses: light bulbs, water heaters, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, electric irons, and portable power tools. Almost a million households were connected to telephone lines.

What They Ate: At the beginning of the 20th century, not much food came in the small packages we are used to. Though large corporations had begun creating national brand names– Campbell’s soup, Borden’s canned milk, Quaker Oats, and Gold Medal flour– most of the food in general stores was shipped in bulk, usually packed in barrels weighing 200 pounds or more. A shopper handed a list to a clerk who then retrieved the items from behind the counter. The general store had bulk items such as flour, coffee, sugar, tea, and green coffee beans that needed to be roasted and ground at home.

If you wanted fresh butter, eggs or vegetables, you would try the farmers market where local farmers sold their excess. If you wanted bread you went to the bakery. If you wanted meat you went to the butcher. If you bought chickens, you might take them home unplucked or even still alive. Grocery shopping was slow and the customer had few choices.

For the most part, shopping had little to do with eating. Only a small percentage of most people’s food was bought. Mostly, they produced it or grew it themselves. Even people in town grew large gardens and kept chickens (and sometimes a cow).

The diet of many people tended toward things easily grown and preserved. Salted pork was a mainstay because pigs were easy to raise and the meat kept well. Many dishes featured corn: soaked and turned into hominy, ground and mixed with rye or wheat for bread, or served on the cob in season. Butter and cheese were easier to store than milk, and hand churns were a common kitchen utensil. Turnips, pumpkins, and beans were popular vegetables because they kept well. Green beans were sun dried into “leather britches.”

Mass produced glass jars were not available until after1900, so few households did home canning before then. Food was preserved either by drying or by storage in a cool root cellar. Before refrigeration or access to ice for ice boxes, most houses had cellars. Stoneware jars (with rocks placed on the lids to keep them closed) might be filled with pickles, molasses, apple butter and pickled meats. Carrots were packed in moist sand in the basement, and potatoes were buried under straw. The cellar was used to store butter and cheese, as well as eggs. Since animal fat was important–used for making soap, candles and shortening–after butchering cellars were often piled with stands of lard. Mass produced glass jars available in the early 1920s were much cheaper than hand-blown jars, and these, along with pressure cookers in the 1930s, led to wide-spread home canning. Industrious women filled their cellar shelves with jars of green beans, tomatoes, fruits, peas, corn, relishes and pickles.

Post Toasties - Cookstove Community

Brand names become an important part of the American way of eating: 1912 Advertisement for Post Toasties breakfast cereal, from American Magazine.

The creation of nationally marketed brand names accelerated quickly between 1900 and 1910, and such foods became staples rather than luxuries. Kelloggs and the National Biscuit Company began replacing tins with recently invented cardboard boxes, which provided a cheap container that could easily bear printed advertising. General stores began to stock more and more boxes, tins and cans, rather than barrels of bulk goods. Corporations eagerly sought ways to use new machines and a national railroad system to sell to the home market by taking on much of the work of growing and preparing food.

A Changing World: Changes rippled throughout society, with many small things contributing to much larger changes. Many 19th century women never handled money or were consulted on financial decisions. Though of course some did manage the household finances, others had their economic lives dominated by their husbands. Even their personal belongings, such as jewelry, legally belonged to their husbands.

As more products for the “women’s sphere”–not just for cooking but also for laundry, sewing, and cleaning–became available, women began making more financial decisions. This, along with their growing freedom from constant drudgery, helped change the way they thought about their possibilities in life. By 1910, the drive to give women the vote was well underway.

The changing food economy was also part of a larger change in the way people thought about money and buying things. As people got more and more of what they needed at stores rather than from near-subsistence farms, they began to think of themselves more and more as workers and consumers. Mail order houses, department stores, and chain stores made buying and selling more and more impersonal, and the advertising industry grew rapidly as businesses studied the arts of creating a desire for purchases. The creation of a distinctive American culture as a dizzying mix of media hype and nonstop consuming was underway.

The world of 1910 was a world in transition. Many people still lived as their ancestors had 200 years before in the colonies. Others, particularly the wealthy in cities, were living in a new world of technological miracles, with indoor plumbing, electricity, telephones, and automobiles.

For many who came to Montana, the urge to make progress in their personal lives was strong, even as they struggled to get the bare essentials of life. Homesteaders were taking a bold and frightening step to create better lives for themselves. They came from all over the world, and they were mostly poor.

Settlers on the Great Plains and in the Rocky Mountains in the 1910s often commented on the difficulty of getting enough food. They usually brought flour, sugar, salt, and jerky with them, but most also purchased canned goods and flour and salt at local stores, though few had any spare cash.

A homesteader in Saskatchewan noted that “We did not have very much to eat. In fact I believe we would have starved to death had it not been for the neighbors… [who] gave us rutabagas and a trap so that we could catch rabbits at night. Mother took the fat off the rabbits to fry our potatoes in and rabbit was our only meat since we did not have a gun to shoot anything with. I used to get so hungry I would eat grass.”

The main trend in American foodways through the 19th century and early 20th century was for more and more of the work of growing and preparing food to be exported from the household to large corporations. This led to far less work for ordinary people, as well as a better selection of food and better nutrition. It also led to less time spent together in family and community settings preparing food.

Some people feel that today the trend of putting corporations rather than families in charge of our foodways has continued too far, with many people not only bringing mass-produced foods into their homes, but leaving their homes to take most of their meals in corporate-created settings at fast food restaurants. A recent book, Fast Food Nation, focuses on this trend.

– By Michael Umphrey

Courtesy of The Montana Heritage Project, 2004.

The History of Kitchen Queen Stoves

kitchen queen 1As for the history of the Kitchen Queen stove: In the early 90’s Freeman Troyer, his brother Orlie, and their parents all lived on the West Kootenai in Montana (his Dad, Amzie was Bishop there, but has since passed away).

While living in Montana, Freeman built a few prototype stoves, which were somewhat plainer than the current KQ, but a couple of which are still around. Around 1996 Freeman, his family, and parents moved to Michigan where he began to get serious about the stove business, and became very successful with what we now know as the Kitchen Queen Stove Company. By the way, Freeman Troyer sold the Kitchen Queen Co. to another Amish fella some years ago.

In 1998, Dennis and Viola Bontrager started producing wood cookstoves as well. The Montana Energy Queen (MEQ) was very similar in design to the Kitchen Queens (KQ). The firebox and oven doors opened from the outside and were hinged in the center post between the firebox and oven, so they open the opposite way as the Queen. The Combustion Air Intake was also below the firebox door on the Energy Queen, unlike the Kitchen Queen, which has an air cooled firebox door which is cooler to cook in front of. Dennis did refine his cookstoves and built many to supply the Y2K demand at the time, which launched Amish cookstoves into the business it is now. There are many Montana Energy Queens all over North America, as they were also sold online by Obadiah’s Woodstoves, and many hands were involved in producing the MEQ, which were built at the Amish Community in Libby, Montana. Dennis built some of the stoves and sub-contracted some of the fabrication out to Montana Machine and the Mast Family which was operating a fabrication shop at the time. Dennis and Viola left the Amish when they moved to the West Kootenai. They sold the business to Robert Mast who produced the stove line for a few more years. Due to a tragic loss in their family, kitchen queen 2they moved away from fabrication as a business and focused more on their construction and log home building operations. Ownership of the Montana Energy Queen Company now belongs to Obadiah’s Woodstoves.

In 1999, my family and I (Obadiah’s) moved to Montana from Michigan and lived in the Libby Amish Community for a year before moving to our new homestead in the Yaak. We have had many Anabaptist friends over the years in Michigan as I admired and studied certain aspects of their lifestyles. When we moved to Libby and lived amongst the Amish we learned from each other during our stay there, trading knowledge and services. Although we are not Amish, Mennonite, or Anabaptist, we have had strong fellowship with many of them. We are not Plain Folks, we did not dress like them or use buggy’s, we drove them around and used our skills to design Hydro Electrical Systems and fix their diesel generators, cranes, and other equipment needed for day to day operations of the farming community and log home operations in Libby. We believe that technology, when used properly, can enhance life and reduce effort; we use engineering to make life better. We live as sustainably as possible and we feel that simple is better in most cases. We also believe in shinning the LIGHT by serving others. Our business, Obadiah’s Woodstove’s, brings warmth to their homes and hearths. With Wildfire Fighters, we use our engineering abilities to mitigate disasters such as wildfires, bringing peace of mind. We work with various government agencies under agreement to provide these services all over the country.

If you have a Montana Energy Queen and need parts or service for your stove, please call us, we will be happy to help you. Even though the MEQ cookstove is currently out of production, we still fabricate, repair, and can build them. As always: If Obadiah’s sold it, we stand behind it and count on it, even if we have to make the part ourselves. That is why our motto is “Extinguishing Mediocrity”.

– Montana Mountainman.

The History Of The Montana Energy Queen Cookstove

About 1997 or so a fella from Michigan named Dennis Bontrager. Dennis and his wife Viola had left the Amish in Michigan looking for religious liberty and landed in Libby Montana at an Amish community that was experiencing a move of the HOLY SPIRIT. Being an industrious fella with a welder and having some experience building cookstoves back east with the founder of Kitchen Queen, he set about building cookstoves for the Amish communities out west.

The Amish aren’t like us English folks (non-Amish folk), they follow the bible and the bible says don’t take your friend, brother, or nephew to court for swiping yer idea. Dennis did make a couple minor changes to his stove just to keep the peace with Freeman. He made his doors open the opposite way like the suicide doors on an old 4 door Lincoln continental. The hinges were in the middle of the stove and the doors swung out from the center and latched at the outside edges. He also moved the combustion air intake off the stove door on the firebox and lowered it so it was below the door closer to the grate in the bottom of the firebox. This energy queen 1made the door on the firebox hotter to stand in front of. Some of the lady folk had to be real careful not to catch their knickers on fire while standing in front of the firebox, but other than that, the stoves were pretty much identical.

As word spread about the Montana Energy Queen so did the popularity and the orders started coming in. Pretty soon the English folk were asking Dennis to build them a stove too. Ole Dennis found himself pretty busy keeping up with demand. Then ole Obadiah moved out to Montana in 1999 and things really took off as Obadiah was selling cookstoves like hotcakes. He liked Dennis and his stove, so he sold them right alongside the Kitchen Queen.

energy queen 2Wasn’t very long before Dennis had to farm out building parts of his Energy Queen to some of the locals. He teamed up with the Mast family who were part of the same Amish community and could also help with welding up the stoves. It was 1999 and the English folk thought their newfangled computer systems would go haywire when they rolled over to 2000 as no one thought that far ahead when they wrote the confounded code. As it is all zeros and ones no one could be sure what would happen for sure. Some folks, including ole Uncle Sam, thought we could all end up livin’ just like the Amish folk, which might not be all that bad when ya take a look at the mess the world is in now, but that’s another story. Don’t want to git off on that bunny trail. So to make the English folk happy, Dennis added colors to his stoves; you could even git ’em in blue, and this gave him a competitive edge over old Uncle Freeman who was not as liberal. Ole Freeman was like Henry Ford and the Model T, “Ya can have any color ya want, so long as it’s black.”

energy queen 3Before you knew it Dennis was backlogged with orders, so he went outside of the Amish community and hired ole Leroy Thom from Montana Machine to help him build his stoves. Ole Obadiah was really pouring the coals to cookstove sales as he has one of them fancy websites where English folk can buy stoves from all over the world right from their living rooms without even havin’ to load up and head down to the store. Unfortunately ole Leroy’s shop caught on fire and one of the mast boys got really sick and passed away, this made it really hard for Dennis to fill all the orders, so Obadiah filled ’em with kitchen queens instead.

After 2000 came and no one got y2k’d and the world kept on goin’ crazy, Dennis decided that God had a callin’ on his life to do more than build stoves, so he sold out to the Mast family and moved his family up to the west Kootenai where there was another Amish community that was more to his likin’. Dennis got involved with a church in Eureka and ended up leavin’ the Amish lifestyle all together and living for God without having to worry about what clothes he had on, or if his buggy was too fancy. His whole family has a real fire for God now and is involved in ministry.

The Mast family built the Energy Queen for a few more years but never could bring back the demand for their stoves like there was when Dennis owned the company, so they went back to building log homes like that had been doing for a long time. Eventually Mr. Mast turned over the name Montana Energy Queen to Obadiah’s as he sold more Energy Queens than anyone else, and they are still selling the Kitchen Queen along with many other brands. energy queen 4Maybe someday Obadiah’s will decide to resurrect the name with a stove of their own. Ole Obadiah is still kickin’ around the idea, but for now he is content with working together with Kitchen Queen stoves and helping make the Queen even better with a heat shield for the back and glass doors for the firebox and oven. Someday he says he wants to build a cookstove that will burn clean enough to meet EPA specs. Right now wood cookstoves are exempt, but that does not mean they can’t burn cleaner. Obadiah’s has introduced the Cuisinier from JA Roby which is rated at less than 2 grams particulate per hour! That already gives them a large cookstove that can meet the EPA standard along with the rest of the JA Roby Cookstove line, which is EPA certified.

For me, and many of my fellow Yaaksters, we all love our Montana Energy Queens; they keep us toasty warm!

– Montana Mountainman.