Captain Grants Cooking Stove for Large Groups


A very useful and economical arrangement of cooking-apparatus, the invention of Captain Grant,
has been introduced, and is now in full operation at the Aldershot Camp, having been approved
and adopted by the Government. The accompanying engravings represent a sectional elevation
and plan of the apparatus employed, which comprises a long horizontal flue, B, opening at the
middle of its length into a chimney, E (one half only of the flue, B, being shown in the engraving,
as the parts on each side of the chimney are exactly similar.) This horizontal flue, B, is built
strongly of brickwork, and is covered with transverse iron plates, E, turned down at their ends so
as to clasp the exterior of the brickwork. At each end of the flue a fire-place, A, of fire-brick and
fire-clay, is built, the door, F,'of which is furnished with vertical openings for the admission
of air, and with a slide for shutting off the air when necessary. The fire is also supplied with air
from below, which creates so powerful a draught that any description of fuel will burn well. The
iron covering plates, E, have formed in them holes to receive cooking kettles or saucepans, D,
which descend some distance into the flue, so that the heated gases play round a large extent of
their surfaces.

Very great care and scientific skill has been shown by Captain Grant in so arranging the parts as
to provide for all the circumstances to which the action of the heat is likely to give rise, such as
the expansion of the metals, &c. Thus the fire-doors, F, are made slightly narrower than the space
between the brickwork enclosing them, the doors being fixed in their positions by means of studs
below and above taking respectively into recesses in mortise-bars, G, which sustain the doors, and
into the covering plates, E, which are over them. The intensity of the fires ia regulated by means
of balanced dampers suspended over pulleys placed one against each side of the chimney.
These dampers are somewhat narrower than the flues, so that the draught may never, by
mismanagement, be wholly stopped ; and, being balanced, may be raised or lowered aa
occasion requires. The saucepans, D, are fitted with handles, placed so as not to get heated, and
with moveable chambers for steaming, &c. Means are provided for removing the chimney of an
ordinary camp cooking-apparatus of this description, and for placing in its stead another having
space in it to receive a large portable oven for baking. In this arrangement the flues are arranged
so as to bring the heated gases into close and continuous contact with the oven, and the flue
above is contracted towards its lower part in order to prolong the time during which this contact
continues, and thus to abstract as much of the heat as possible from the gases before they pass off.
The saving in fuel effected by the employment of this invention is very considerable. At the
Aldershot Camp, where the cooking houses are all on this plan, the food for thirty thousand men
is prepared with a consumption of coal amounting only to half-a-pound per day for each man, the
cost being one-half penny per man a week.

As this system of cooking is likely to be extensively used in large private establishments, it may be
well to state that it is important that the brick-work in the fireplaces and flues should be well
constructed; the former should be carefully built with fire-brick and fire-clay, and the latter laid
correctly and level, in order that the iron plates which rover the work may have a true and equal
bearing, for where this is neglected, the operation of cooking is not only materially impeded, but
the intense heat of the fires soon deranges the imperfect brick-work. Before the fires are lighted
all the ventilators should be opened, and the dampers raised. Those of the kettles or saucepans
which are nearest the fires will, if the latter be properly lighted, boil in about half-an-hour from the
time of lighting them; those farthest from the fires should then exchange places with these, the
ventilators being at the same time closed and the dampers lowered, by which means the draft will
be checked, and the whole of the vessels kept simmering until the cooking is completed.


User:William Hatcher 4 March 2008

Last edited by Miriam Hansen .
Page last modified on Tuesday September 28, 2010 08:57:48 GMT.
  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.

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