The first thing I hear when I tell people I’m putting in a Metters Canberra wood stove is: won’t that be super hot in summer??? Well yeah. It would be. But if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “Man its hot in here with the oven going!”, I’d definitely have like $50. And guess what.. anyone saying that, is talking about my existing stock standard, run of the mill, electric under bench oven. Which was fairly expensive I might add, and you would expect it to be well insulated.
My current electric oven puts out enough heat to make my kitchen hot – and not very pleasant in Summer. Enough to make the kitchen hotter in Summer, but not enough heat to make any real dent in how cold the kitchen is in Winter. I hardly call that ideal, but it’s what we all know and accept as normal, so it’s what we all install.
What are the other options then?
Ideally, I would like a kitchen that is warm in Winter, and cool in Summer. Is that too much to ask? Ok maybe! This is where the small but mighty Metters Canberra Wood Stove comes in. This lovely little wood stove will sort out the cold Winter kitchen issue nicely – unfortunately it won’t help with the “keeping the kitchen cool in Summer” part. I still need to work out how we will be cooking in Summer, if we don’t want the kitchen heating up from the oven.
I am very proud to present…My Probably Workable three step plan!
- Move the electric oven out of the kitchen. Don’t think I didn’t consider moving it completely out of the kitchen area – I thought about moving it out to the office! But that’s crazy and even I know it. There’s no reason it can’t go into the new pantry though. As the pantry will sit under the back, enclosed verandah section of the house, I can run a vent/fan straight up through the ceiling and the roof, without worrying about cutting into any of our pressed metal ceilings. The oven will still be directly accessible from the kitchen, but with the placement in there I have much better options for heat management.
- Invest in a better outdoor cooking setup. We already love cooking outdoors in Summer. We currently have a gas barbeque that works really well, so we might not need to actually make any purchases. But I think we can definitely put some work into building some benches out there to make cooking on the barbeque really easy and more efficient.
- Install a glass top induction cooktop. This will serve as a cooktop in the warmer months, and I hope to design the kitchen such that the cooktop will blend invisibly into the benchtop. My benchtop material has actually been the hardest decision to make – and is one of the compromises I will make for the aesthetic of this new kitchen. But that’s for a future post!
I think this plan will give us exactly what we want:
- kitchen warmer in Winter,
- cooler in Summer.
Plus! We get the bonus of:
- a wood stove to cook on in cooler weather, and
- a nicer bbq setup for warmer weather.
I call that winning!
Ok so let’s get ourselves a metters canberra!
Once we decided to install a wood stove, we started asking around to find one. SO MANY old stoves are sitting in sheds and paddocks. We just needed to find the right one, in reasonable condition, that the owner was willing to part with. “No, no, not for sale – I’m turning it into a bbq at some point” became the phrase we dreaded the most. But, we kept looking, and we found ourselves a lovely stove, being stored in a friend’s shearing shed.
We have purchased a gorgeous old Metters Canberra wood stove. It’s the cream colour I love, and almost all the bits are there. It needs some restoration before we can install it in our kitchen, but nothing we cant handle (we think!) and we are so excited!!
So far we have discovered:
- The screws on the brackets that hold the top together have rusted out, and the two sections are sitting about 1cm apart from each other. The screws need to be replaced.
- The sealing cement that surrounds the oven box has almost completely crumbled away, and there is a 2cm gap between the walls and ceiling of the oven. Just needs new cement.
- The fire box has two holes in the rear wall, that once would’ve had pipes running through to heat hot water. We aren’t planning to heat our water with this stove, so they need to be covered, or the rear section of the firebox replaced.
- Overall, the iron has a lot of surface rust. We need to remove what parts we can and remove the rust.
- There is one small door missing – the “soot cleanout door” it is apparently called (thanks Metters Woodstoves Facebook Group!) so I need to source a replacement.
its already proving a real beauty!
We have lit it once, to make sure there were no cracks in the firebox. And we were so surprised how hot the oven got!
I really didn’t expect it to get hot at all, and our goal was really only to check the firebox. So when the temperature gauge on the front of the oven door started reaching 300f, I was gobsmacked! Ginger went racing inside to grab the dutch oven, threw a lamb leg in there and was back in quick time to put it in the oven. I was still sure at this point that 300f would be as high as it would go, but again, I was pleasantly surprised. Up she went to 400f, and cooked that lamb leg like it was 1970!
I have absolutely no doubt that once it is restored, it will go all the way up to the 650f on the dial. I’m already dreaming about the crunchy sourdough crusts that await us!!
OK Google: How do I restore a metters canberra?
We just need to get it back to its former glory first. I’m tempted to ask my favourite question here “cant be that hard can it?”, but I cant this time. Thanks to YouTube and the many amazing blogs out there, you can learn to do almost anything these days. And trust me – many of the jobs I need to do at the Apiary have been done this way! But this job is different. You can Google “how to restore a wood stove” and yes, you will get many pages and videos that give a lot of information. But if you Google “how to replace the top plate bracket screws on a Metters Canberra wood stove”….well basically you get zilch.
I did find some very lovely and helpful Metters wood stove enthusiasts on Facebook and Instagram though, and my goodness, they are lifesavers! Surely with their knowledge and generosity we will be cooking in no time! I hope. No – Im sure!!!
I have come to realise that the Australian wood stove community is very much just that – a community. There is a love there for the old stoves that is contagious, and we are very much hooked.
Let me know if you have ever restored a wood stove – or if you are planning to. I would love to hear any stories or tips! Meanwhile, stay tuned for my own stories about the renovation and restoration of our Metters Canberra wood stove.
Geoffrey Leon Baden says
Hi , just wondering where i can purchase some parts for my old Metters Canberra wood stove, not sure what model (if that matter?- same as above on this site),
Hi Geoffrey, I would highly recommend you do a search on Facebook for the Metters Wood Stoves Australia group. They are the most knowledgeable group of people I have found on this topic! They often buy and sell parts for stoves through the group as well.