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Choosing a stove

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  • Choosing a stove

    We recently purchased lakefront property that we are planning to build on in the next few years. The area is completely off grid and we are going to be purchasing a wood cookstove for our cooking needs, as well as a wood stove that we already have for additional heat. We have several options available in our area, but would like some insight as to which would best suit our needs.
    Our property is in Northwestern Ontario, just East of Atikokan, and North of Quetico Provincial Park, so the winters will be cold. We'll be using the camp seasonally for now, but eventually plan to retire there.
    Our camp will be a timberframe, 600 square feet with a loft area over each end (one loft will extend out to make a covered porch).
    Our requirements for the stove are:
    Warming oven
    Water tank
    Water jacket
    Front or side loading

    Our options are:
    Heartland Oval
    Pioneer Princess
    Margin Gem
    Margin Flameview
    JA Roby Cuisiniere (no water tank, but the option is being added next year apparently)
    Elmira Fireview (also no current water tank option)

    Since we're looking at purchasing a couple of years out, there is the chance some of the models will change a bit.

    For those with experience with any of the above stoves, which one would you recommend as the best for our set up?

  • #2
    Greetings Wiskeyjack and welcome to The Cookstove Community.

    Honestly, of the group mentioned, I would pick none of the stoves.
    They are too big and would cook you out, or are reproduction cookstoves with small fireboxes.
    The Flameview by Margin Stoves has serious design issues, and is too big.
    The JA Robys would cook you out.
    Princess is too big.
    Elmira Fireview does not have a water reservoir, but does have a water jacket option for Domestic Hot Water. It is a very nice modern air tight cookstove though and if I had to have something that looked old, would be my choice of what you listed. It is also expensive, but compared to what the competition is offering, it is worth it. This is a very well engineered cookstove and worth every penny. The BTU output is low enough to work, 30-40,000 BTUs is all you need to heat 600 sq ft of new construction.

    I'm curious why you did not pick the Kitchen Queen 380, as it would meet all your criteria.
    It is the smaller version of the famous cookstove power house, the Kitchen Queen 480, only scaled down for a cabin, hense we call it the "Cabin Queen".
    It has the ability to heat the place without cooking you in the process because it uses natural convection in its design to move the air in the structure, creating a more even heat, cooler in the kitchen, warmer in the back rooms. With a vaulted ceiling and a loft, this will be very important to your comfort. You want a stove that uses Thermodynamics is its design.
    The Kitchen Queen 380 has the warming oven, the water reservoir and a water jacket option.

    I ran a Kitchen Queen 380 in my 1200 sq ft main house and our 400 sq ft guest cabin for many years and it heated both comfortably. It has excellent reviews and is priced very reasonably at $2345 base as of todays date. I have included the specs and prices for the options below as well as link to our website where you will find photos and reviews for this stove.
    We have sold over a thousand Kitchen Queens and no one has more experience with this stove than Obadiah's as we have sold them since the company was first founded.
    Kitchen Queen 380 Specs 480 Specs
    Overall Dimensions 42" L x 29" W x 32" H 51" L x 32" W x 32" H
    Cooking Surface 35" x 19" 43" x 21"
    Warming Shelf 7" x 37" 9" x 45"
    Back 37" W x 21" H 45" W x 23" H
    Oven Dimensions 14" W x 11.25" H x 20" D 16" W x 13" H x 22" D
    Oven capacity 6 Loaves 8 loaves
    Firebox Dimensions 18" W x 16" H x 19" D 20" W x 18" H x 22" D
    Log Length 18" 21"
    Firebox Door 12" x 14" 14" x 16"
    Approx. Burn Time 10 to 14 hours 12 to 16 hours
    Approx. Heating Area 400 to 1,500 sq. ft. 1,500 to 2,400 sq. ft
    Output Up to 75,000 BTU/h Up to 100,000 BTU/h
    Flue Outlet Size 6" round 7" round
    Water Reservoir Capacity (sold separately) 17 gallons 25 gallons
    Weight 750 lbs. 850 lbs.
    Testing UL 1482 UL 1482
    Clearances To Combustibles
    Side 12" 12"
    Rear 12" 12"
    Corner 12" 12"
    Clearances To Protected Surfaces
    Side 6" 6"
    Rear 6" 6"
    Corner 6" 9"
    Chimney Connector
    Unprotected Surface 18" 18"
    Protected Surface 6" 6"
    Item Price U.S. Dollars
    Large Model 480 with Back Panel and Shelf in Black Porcelain Enamel Finish $2,445**
    Large Model 480 without Back Panel and Shelf in Black Porcelain Enamel Finish $2,000**
    Small Model 380 with Back Panel and Shelf in Black Porcelain Enamel Finish $2,345**
    Small Model 380 without Back Panel and Shelf in Black Porcelain Enamel Finish $2,095**
    Rear Heat Shield without Water Reservoir - Models 380 / 480 $485
    Rear Heat Shield with Water Reservoir [MUST specify with or without water reservoir - this will be fabricated to fit accordingly] - Models 380 / 480 $500
    Side Heat Shield [Must specify right (oven) or left (firebox)] - Models 380 / 480 $240
    Warming Oven - Models 380 / 480 $325
    Summer Grate - Models 380 / 480 $100
    Stainless Steel Water Reservoir* - Models 380 / 480 $305
    Stainless Steel Water Coil - Models 380 / 480 $85
    Stainless Steel Water Jacket Models 380 / 480 $250
    Stainless Steel Side Shelf - Models 380 / 480 $110
    Cream & Green Porcelain Enamel Finish (Only with Warming Oven) - Models 380 / 480 $775
    Glass Firebox Door - Stainless Steel or Black Porcelain Upgrade - Models 380 / 480 (If you have already purchased the stove and would like the upgrade +$100 to your order) $375
    Glass Oven Door - Stainless Steel or Black Porcelain Upgrade - Models 380 / 480 (If you have already purchased the stove and would like the upgrade +$100 to your order) $275
    Glass Firebox and Oven Door Set - Stainless Steel SET (customer will not receive solid black doors) - Models 380 / 480 $650
    Glass Firebox Door - Stainless Steel and Black Porcelain Door (customer retains original black solid door) - Models 380 / 480 $475
    Glass Oven Door -- Stainless Steel and Black Porcelain Door (customer retains original black solid door) - Models 380 / 480 $375
    Glass Firebox and Oven Door Set Stainless Steel SET (customer retains original black solid doors) $850
    Thermostat Control - Models 380 / 480 $190
    PLEASE NOTE: The supercharger was discontinued in the summer of 2015.

    You must specify with or without water reservoir, since the optional rear heat shield must be fabricated to fit accordingly. Also specify right (oven) or left (firebox) for side heat shields, since they are customized for each side.

    *The Water Reservoir does not come with a Water Coil.

    *Cream & Green color option (+$500) ONLY available with Warming Oven upgrade (+$275) = $775 Total

    ** Shipping is additional. For a shipping quote please call or email our office with the preferred model, accessories and your zip code and one of our sales consultants will return your inquiry during our business hours. We do our best to coordinate the lowest shipping available based on your delivery needs. Click here to see Obadiah's Shipping Terms.

    As I always like to through folks a curve ball, I'd also suggest taking a long hard look at the SOPKA Magnum in Soapstone as it is one heck of a beautiful European stove much like the La Nordica's. I love Soapstone Stoves as they absorb the heat and release it slowly long after the fire has died down. If you had to have a warming oven, we could order you one from Waterford which would bolt right on. However no water reservoir. I am not sure why you would want one if you have a water jacket and have it connected to your domestic hot water system.

    We can discuss all this when your ready to purchase, including the chimney system you'll need to make it all work properly.
    The Kitchen Queen features a revolutionary classic design that relies on physics for heat, along with a spacious oven and optional water reservoir. Highly recommended by Obadiah's!
    Last edited by Woodstove Woody; 02-01-2017, 01:24 AM.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Woody.
      The reason for the stoves listed is that they are all available locally and in Canadian dollars. Once you tack on 30% for the exchange, tax at the border ans shipping, a stove from the US gets really expensive. I'm going to have another look at the Kitchen queen.
      Our cabin will have a loft at each end, with the one end extending out over the porch, so the upper area will have 800 square feet of space to heat. I'm not sure how this would affect the stove selection.
      As for a water tank and jacket, initially, the camp will be used seasonally and occasionally in the winter, so we want the water tank. Eventually, we plan to move out there, and will then want to plumb into it for hot water via the water jacket.


      • #4
        We purchased the JA Roby Cuisinere less than a year ago. We are very disappointed with the performance of the Cuisinere. We cannot get the oven above 300 degrees, takes over 1/2 an hour to get fire going in morning, smoke everytime you open the door. I wouldn't be afraid to leave it wide open and leave my house - it just doesn't heat very well at all. This unit was manufactured AFTER the changes were made to make the oven more efficient. I would not recommend this stove for heating OR cooking.. HELP!!!


        • #5
          I bought a Kitchen Queen 480 from Woody about 4 years ago. I knew nothing about wood stoves before, except what I had seen at my friend's houses. The Kitchen Queen design is worth every penny. It heats the whole house and cooks well. I can't say enough good things about it. The firebox is huge, so I like to load it up, burn a load, then wait for all the heat to dissipate. If I have to do another load later, I do.

          Kitchen Queens are worth the money and I'm glad I listened to Woody. I can't help with any of the other brands as this is the only wood stove I have owned.

          Good luck.