IN remote places oil is the only means of cooking without using a coal fire.
Oil stoves have been brought to such perfection that the most elaborate cooking can be done quite as well in an oil cooker as in any other stove. Fitted with oil containers at both ends, these stoves have an oven, a hot plate, and boiling plate above, and the heat derived from the best oil is equal to gas or electricity.
There are wick lamps and wickless lamps for cooking. The Primus wickless stoves are very powerful. The burner is first heated with methylated spirit, and when hot the oil is pumped up to be ignited. The working of these stoves depends on their being kept clean. After use the nipple should be pierced with a very fine wire specially provided, and the stove is ready for use at any time.
When using stoves with wicks it is impor-tant to keep the wicks trimmed, and before this is done the burnt wick should be rubbed off, or pinched with the finger tips.
If the best oil is used and the burners kept clean, there should be really no odour to complain of. It is certainly not injurious to any kind of food. If, therefore, gas or electricity are not laid on to a house, the oil cooker and stoves are indispensable as means of cooking the daily meals. They are a convenient substitute for the coal fire range, which is sometimes most costly to maintain when coal has to be brought from a distance.
They are easy to light and take no longer to heat and cook than any other fuel, and have the advantage over a coal fire in that the heat can be regulated and the light extinguished immediately after the cooking is completed.
By choosing suitable cooking utensils, such as steamers and double saucepans, it is possible to cook several things over one small oil stove.