Aarow – Becton Bunny 5 Multi-fuel Stove – broken glass

A few weeks ago I decided that I needed to repair the rope around the door of my stove. A few weeks later and I still haven’t done anything about it. The stove still burns fine but I’m assuming that it would be more efficient if it was sealed properly. But now the glass is broken. I don’t know how it broke but there it is. One minute it was fine and now it’s not. Again, the stove still burns, but smoke leaks into the cabin occasionally. More importantly, there may be some issues with carbon-monoxide which is something that should be considered as a very serious health risk!

I had no trouble finding any of the replacement parts: heat resistant rope and glass and various products for fixing the glass in place. So everything is ordered and soon, all being well, my stove will once again be safe, efficient and attractive to look at.

Also, I now know that the stove is an Aarow – Becton Bunny 5 (Multi-fuel) and the glass panel-size is 240mm x 200mm.

I did some more baked potato in the stove the other day. Perfect. My stove-baked potato technique worked again.

Perfect stove-baked potatoes every time

I’m very surprised to find myself offering tips on cooking but thanks to Ray Mears I now know how to cook the perfect baked potato using my Arrow Solid Fuel Stove. I have to tell you, it works every time.

Although the stove isn’t designed for cooking I decided that since at this time of year it’s lit day and night, it would be fun and economical to see if it could be used as an alternative to the gas cooker and hob. Stews and the like cooked in a pan on top of the stove are straightforward. It’s difficult to go wrong (even for me) and the beauty of cooking stews and casseroles on the stove is that they can be left simmering for hours. Baking potatoes in the stove, however, is far more difficult. At least I thought it was until I took the advice of Ray Mears.

I’ve tried baking potatoes in the stove on several occasions over the past five years but I have never been confident that the results would be successful. The stove has to be hot, but not too hot or the potato very quickly becomes charred beyond recognition despite the protection provided by a layer of heavy duty tin foil. Although it’s usually just one half that gets petrified while the other half can usually be salvaged. My stove-baked potatoes were more often than not, far from perfect.

Then, a few weeks ago, I saw Ray Mears’ Wild Food programme in which he was preparing a meal as he often does, on a camp fire. I don’t remember what he was cooking as I was only half watching the programme but he was explaining, “the best way to bake something in the smoldering embers of a camp fire”, which, he says, “is to shovel a thick layer of ash over the embers.. protects the food from the intense heat.. avoids direct contact with the food…”. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that? I applied this method the next time I baked a potato in the stove and it worked: perfect baked potato. I applied it the next time and it worked perfectly again. It never fails.

Stove-baked potato tips:

  • Don’t cover all the embers with ash, as you’ll restrict the flow of oxygen and the fire will go it. Just cover an area large enough to sit the potato on. It needs to be about 1cm thick to be effective.
  • A large potato wrapped in heavy duty tin foil takes one hour. Turn the potato after 30 minutes.
  • Fill it with ‘Cheesy Beans’: place a pan of beans and grated cheese on top of the stove 5-10 minutes before the potato is cooked.
  • Remove the tin foil carefully and use it again.

I think my next post will be on the subject of why I strongly recommend showers rather than baths on narrowboats.