Farmer-designed and farm-built
The Pioneer Maid and Bakers Choice cookstoves were both built by Mark Stoll, an Amish machinist and farmer who has worked with wood-burning equipment all of his life. Through long experience with these types of stoves, he came to the conclusion that "traditional" wood-fired cookstoves were archaic and impractical. With large cooktops coupled to very small fireboxes, they required constant tending and frequent movement of pots or pans in order to get a consistent temperature, since the burn rate of the stove could not be effectively modulated with any other method than addition of wood or movement of the cooking vessel to a cooler area. If that wasn't enough, these old stoves were horribly inefficient and produced unacceptable amounts of particulate matter (PM) emissions. With the Pioneer Maid on the other hand, you get the ability to raise or lower the stove's combustion rate without significantly lowering the stove's efficiency. In fact, many people who use this stove as their primary heat source have found that they are able to reduce their wood-burning by up to 50% through the course of a full heating season. Because of the large oven, the stove serves as an excellent space heater with the door open. The Pioneer Maid is capable of approximately 175,000 BTU output, which is able to heat up to 2,000 square feet in even the coldest winter temperatures.
The Pioneer Maid's temperatures are controlled by way of the large wooden knobs on the side. Because of the composition of these knobs, they remain cool to the touch even at high baking temperatures in the oven. With an optional "warming closet" attachment, you can warm food or keep it warm several feet above the cooktop in a metal cupboard so that there is no danger of scorching. There is even a hot water coil, allowing the use of wood heat for domestic hot water.
The only drawback to the Pioneer Maid is its "farm-built" practicality. Although a very attractively constructed appliance, its primary purpose is practicality. As such, it can do very little to enhance the sophistication of a stylish and modern kitchen or household. This stove is designed to be an efficient and economical wood-fired cooking range for people who are more concerned with having tools that work rather than look good.
- Stove body is comprised of 50% stainless steel
- Includes oven thermometer
- Function over form for serious wood burners