Help me make the most of this old stove
August 15, 2010 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Old stove with two mystery components

I'm moving into an apartment that has a beautiful old Royal Rose gas range. Can anyone tell me what the sliders below the burner controls do, and what and the compartments on the left-hand side are designed for?

Any related tips / tricks / lore would also be appreciated.
posted by ryanshepard to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Best answer: Those are crumb catchers. Stray bits of rice, chopped onion, etc fall through the burner and into the little tray. I empty mine every month or so. If you have a boilover (why does the pasta always wait to boil until my back is turned?!), this will catch some of it and it's a good idea to clean that out right away.

Beautiful stove!
posted by annaramma at 10:46 AM on August 15, 2010

I'm not in any way sure I'm right but I've seen and had stoves similar to that at various locations during my life and I always simply assumed the compartments on the side were for warming. You know, getting plates warm and keeping food warm while you finished cooking other parts of the meal.
posted by Decani at 10:49 AM on August 15, 2010

Best answer: Oh and the compartment on the left is for storage. If the oven is on it could be used as a warming drawer, but I think it's most useful for storing pans.
posted by annaramma at 10:50 AM on August 15, 2010

Best answer: Seconding the crumb-catcher (I wish modern stoves had 'em), and storage compartments. My mom's oven has these. If the oven is well insulated, the storage compartments won't get too hot but I'd still keep only heat-proof stuff in there. I guess if you wanted to warm plates in there, you could, but you'd have to give up some useful storage space.

The most ridiculous space-saving appliance combo I've ever seen was in some student digs, where the 1950s-era stove had an oven and a refrigerator underneath. That's right, side-by-side oven and fridge. Needless to say, they only used the oven as a storage compartment.
posted by Quietgal at 11:16 AM on August 15, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone!
posted by ryanshepard at 11:20 AM on August 15, 2010

That layout to me looks a bit like an Aga - in which case those two would be the warming ovens (the top will be hotter than the bottom, and googling finds that the top one is a simmering oven and the bottom is a warming oven). Before condemning it to storage space, I'd get an oven thermometer and find out what the temperature is in there with the oven on - see if it runs to a useful temperature.

Also, line crumb trays with tinfoil. That way you never have to clean them, just change the tinfoil.
posted by Coobeastie at 11:51 AM on August 15, 2010

I cleaned my old O'Keefe and Merritt stove yesterday and sort of accidentally discovered the crumb catchers. Benefit from my recently found knowledge -- you want to clean these things out more than once a decade.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:43 PM on August 16, 2010

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