This post is an illustrated pictorial review of the Ashland Deluxe amish wood cook stove. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you some of my first impressions of the Ashland Deluxe wood stove. By the end of this post, you will be armed with a cursory knowledge regarding the Ashland Deluxe.
I am NOT a dealer, nor am I in any way affiliated with Ashland or any of its dealers. I do not receive any monetary benefit from this post. I’m just a regular guy who took a chance on a stove that had almost no in-depth info available online.
No Info Available
Let’s start there. The Ashland Deluxe is sold by 2 or 3 dealers online. I pulled my hair out trying to find info about the Ashland Deluxe that didn’t come from a dealer. Aside from talking to a friend who has an Ashland Deluxe and random forum postings here or there about Ashland stoves, I couldn’t find ANY info. To this day, I remain the ONLY person who has bothered to put out a single YouTube video on the Ashland Deluxe–that’s just odd.
I took a leap of faith and bought this stove with almost all of the options. You might say I took a $4,000+ gamble that paid off. I think you deserve to know what you are buying. If you want to get a good idea of what you are in for if you choose to buy this stove, then this post is for YOU.
Build Quality and Design of the Ashland Deluxe
Overall, the Ashland Deluxe is well built, albeit with a few flaws here and there which we will address below.
The Ashland Deluxe is a plain-looking but very practical stove. That stove is like a country farm girl–she may not win any beauty pageants, but she’s a sweetheart and she sure can cook and she will keep you warm at night! The Ashland Deluxe is completely non-electric. There are no blowers or augers to worry about. Just good ol’ fashioned off-grid heating, cooking, baking, and water heating.
The Not-So-Great Design Flaws
First, the not-so-great-but-not-a-deal-breaker flaws of the Ashland Deluxe. The firebox door handle has significant play in it, the door sticks sometimes, and the screw-on handle on the firebox and ash pan gets too hot to touch sometimes. The draft door in the back of the stove will let smoke come out while refueling unless you open the ash pan door before opening the firebox door. I have just gotten in the habit of opening the ash pan door before refueling and then shutting it immediately after I close the firebox door.
Not UL Listed
The Ashland Deluxe is NOT UL listed so make sure you check with your homeowners insurance company first to make sure that this stove is acceptable so long as it is installed to the manufacturers standards. (Hint: Don’t tell them it isn’t UL listed. They will ask about the UL listing if it is important to them and bringing it up on your end will just lead to unwarranted suspicion). Some states and localities don’t care about the UL listing and some do. Other areas of the country won’t insure a home that has a wood stove–regardless of UL listing. My insurance company is fine with the Ashland Deluxe so long as it is installed correctly.
What I Like
Now for the good: The components themselves seem solid and I think this will be a very durable stove. The design itself seems to be well thought out. It is immediately apparent that this stove was made by people who rely on it for ever day use. I especially like how everything you need to run the stove is in the front of the stove. Some stoves have knobs or levers on the side and even more on the back–whereas the Ashland Deluxe keeps everything neatly out front.
The easy to ready temperature gauge mounted over the top of the oven door is also a great feature (see pic below). It gives you the temperature of the firebox when the knob on the right side of the stove is IN.
When the knob on the right side is pulled out, the temperature on the gauge is supposed to reflect the relative baking temperature inside the baking compartment. In reality, the oven will always stay within 50-75 degrees of the firebox temperature, even when the knob is pulled out. Pulling the knob out opens up a metal flap in between the firebox and the oven. This allows the air to more freely circulate around the oven.
The firebox in the Ashland Deluxe is large, but not the biggest available on the market. I find it to be just about the right size. Not too narrow, and also nice and tall. I like that the firebox drops down 8 or so inches below the firebox door. The firebox is lined with fire brick. In the top front of the firebox, you will notice that there is a lip that hangs down. Don’t let it fool you, the lip isn’t fixed, it pushes back easily. In the front and back on the left side, you will see some air baffles. These are adjustable so you can fit the fire brick in the firebox correctly.
In the bottom of the firebox you will see a heavy duty rocking crate–one crate for each side. You can select the wood grate or, if you want to burn coal, the coal grate option. The grates can be shaken by opening the ash pan door and sliding open the booster knobs. The included tool fits over the square knob at the end of each grate.
Draft control is one area where the Ashland Deluxe really shines. On the front of the stove, there is a draft knob.
Turn the knob clockwise if you want to increase the temperature, turn the knob to the counter-clockwise if you want to lower the temperature. The knob is connected to a thermostatic spring/lid in the back of the stove. Open the damper by turning to the right and the spring will open up to allow more air in. Turning the knob to the left closes down the draft air available and will result in a cooler fire. This is where the magic happens–the non-electric thermostatic spring opens and closes automatically.
For example, let’s say the stove is “cruising” at 350 degrees and the knob is set to “6”. And lets imagine the firebox cools down a bit while adding fuel. The stove senses the drop in temperature and the thermostatic spring will open to allow more air flow into the stove to get the stove back up to the right temperature (provided there is enough fuel in the firebox to do so).
On the flip-side, this is an AWESOME safety feature as the Ashland Deluxe will slowly begin to close the draft lid as it senses that the fire is getting hotter than where it is set on the draft knob. This makes it pretty difficult for your stove to “run away” on you. I’m not saying the stove can’t get too hot, but the draft automatically closing itself down makes the operation of this stove so much safer than manually controlling the draft. The stove can more effectively control the draft automatically then you can by doing it manually.
The automatic draft spring coupled with the temperature gauge takes a LOT of guess work out of the operation of the stove. No more stove top thermometers necessary!
Many times it is the case that when starting a fire we will some under draft. The Ashland Deluxe gives us two easy options to get that under draft:
- Open the ash pan door. This allows a large amount of under draft. Be careful though! You don’t want to leave the stove unattended when opening the ash pan door. The reason for this is that the stove is not able to shut itself down because it cannot stop the air flow.
- Open the booster knobs located inside the ash pan door. These will pull air underneath the grates and into the firebox even when the ash pan door is closed. The same warning applies as in option #1. Yet it should be noted that the draft is not nearly as strong when using this option but it can still be dangerous for the same reasons listed above.
The Ashland Deluxe puts out LOTS of heat. I can easily heat our 1800 square foot home to whatever temperature I desire. Even in -15 degree weather it still works great. Our house design is such that the heat from the Ashland Deluxe penetrates throughout our home. If the temperature is 70 degrees in the main part of the house, then the bedrooms on the far end of the home (and down a 15 foot hallway) show 65 degrees. That’s perfect for sleeping. I didn’t have to do anything fancy to heat the whole house. Again, I’m quite pleased with the heating capacity of this stove.
Baking in the Ashland Deluxe is easy and intuitive. On my first try, I made blueberry muffins and they turned out great. I have also baked pizza and it turned out fantastic as well. Not much to say here except that it works! One complaint I had about the oven racks is that the slots they slide into are only a few inches apart from each other. I wish there were more slots to choose from. Not a deal breaker though and I’m sure something could be fabricated to this end.
I haven’t cooked anything on the stove top of the Ashland Deluxe yet. I’ll post an update when I do cook on it. I did do a water boil test with about 9 quarts of water. It took a whopping 45 minutes to get it to boil, however, there is an easy workaround for this. Simply leave a pot filled with water on the stove top at all times (put it on the oven side of the stove to keep the water from boiling over). The same principle applies to your cast iron pans–leave them on there and they will be ready to go even faster than an electric oven using this method!
The reservoir holds 11.5 gallons. The lid that slides over the top of the reservoir has 2 holes in it which means the Ashland Deluxe will humidify your air 24 hours a day. The back of the reservoir should be placed about 2 inches behind the back of the stove top. If you set the whole reservoir directly on the stove top it can cause the reservoir to boil too vigorously. The spigot is nice. It lets the water come out at a nice speed.
The Ashland Deluxe offers an optional water jacket which plumbs in to the pre-threaded slots in the back of the stove. This can be hooked into a range boiler (a very heavy duty off-grid water heater). I don’t know how fast the Ashland can heat the water, but I have heard one report of a different stove heating 40 gallons of hot water in a couple of hours! I have not yet tried out this feature, but will update this post if I try it out.
The Ashland Deluxe is not an EPA certified stove, it doesn’t have a catalytic converter, and it doesn’t have an efficiency rating that I am aware of. That being said, I find the Ashland to be very efficient. It produces precious little ash and you can go for days and days without emptying out the ash pan. The Ashland will typically leave several inches of ash in the bottom of the firebox but no more. This is good because the ash acts as an insulative layer according to the manual. The ash pan is nice–it goes all the way to the back of the stove.
Logs always burn down into ashes and are never partially burned and then left to smolder. Even when I put in very large logs, they always burn completely.
When the temperature is in the low to mid 20’s outside, I can get by with using only 5 medium to medium-large logs per day. In lower temps (but still above zero) I would say that I burn 8-10 medium or medium-large logs per day.
While I’m sure there are other more efficient stoves out there, I have been impressed with how efficient the Ashland Deluxe is with fuel. The Ashland can also burn coal–more on that in another post.
The Ashland Deluxe is an excellent choice for an all-purpose cook stove. It can do it all–heat, cook, bake, hot water heating along with both the range boiler and reservoir options, and it does all of this without guzzling wood. In my opinion, the Ashland Deluxe does many tasks very well, even if it isn’t THE best at any one thing. I would put its draft control and baking capabilities up against any other stove out there and it heats very well, too. While there is definitely room for improvement with some of the little annoyances, I feel like you are going to have a few of those things with any stove you buy out there.
There are prettier stoves out there, there are more efficient stoves out there, but when you take the Ashland Deluxe as a whole, I would say it has to be one of the best all-around stoves on the market today. Its versatility in the sense that it performs many tasks well (and is also multi-fuel ready for coal) is a testament to the thought that went into it. The Amish don’t mess around when it comes to their wood stoves, and the Ashland Deluxe is no exception.
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