Using an old Coleman oven

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kerrymartin
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Using an old Coleman oven

#1

Post by kerrymartin »

I’ve had some great answers to my questions here before and would appreciate a little more help if you have time (if you’re in multiple forums, you might see this post there as well). This is about Coleman ovens. I recently got the oven in the pictures below. I think this was Coleman’s first model. It’s beautiful and in pretty good condition. Here are my questions:

1. Does anyone know anything about the paint they used for these? Things were a little bit different in the 50s when thinking about toxins, and I’m wondering if anyone has given thought about whether these are really safe to use, given the high heat inside and things in the paint potentially aerosolizing. I don’t worry about old stoves because they’re in the open air. But anything that potentially off gases in this oven will stay in there with the food, for a good bit of time.

2. How do you overcome the urge to keep things pristine? This oven looks real nice, better than in these pictures. I think it’s been fired once, maybe twice. And if I end up using it, and I hope to use it a fair bit, it’s going to get beat up a bit, scorched, etc. There’s no way around it, unless I pamper and fret over it so much that I’m always a total stress case. Do y’all fire these oldies? Or do you leave them as is? On one hand, I buy these things to use them and I also think it’s a little sad when they don’t get used. On the other hand, there are only so many of these old models out there in the world in pristine condition, and there’s one fewer every time another one is fired. What are your thoughts on firing them up?

So, it seems that between question 1 & 2, the answer would be just not to use this and instead just use one of the new, unpainted, models. But I can’t get over how nice it would be to fire up this beauty in camp and make cinnamon rolls for family and friends. I mean, we’re all a little vain, right? Isn’t that why we like to use such beautiful and well-designed Colemans?
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Gunhippie
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#2

Post by Gunhippie »

That is a beauty and I'd be thinking the same as you. Use it or not, it's your call. You can expect the paint to scorch some around the bottom of the oven, otherwise, rely on aluminum foil to keep the inside clean.

The two things I do to make the oven work better are to put a big stone or steel plate on the bottom to even the heat out, and use a digital oven thermometer. The thermo on mine goes to 250 and stays there, so not real handy.

Remember:The only thing better than hot cinnamon rolls with your coffee is hot cinnamon rolls with melted sharp cheddar with your coffee!

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Kokanee (landlocked Sockeye salmon) poached in foil in a Coleman oven. Not big, but tasty!

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I like my oven, even if it's not as cool as yours!
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
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Majicwrench
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#3

Post by Majicwrench »

Very cool. I would be using it, but that is me. I am really hard on most of my camping gear, but when I have nice things (like your stove) I can see the error of my ways and treat them well.

Treated like a proper lady, it should maintain it's good looks.
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StanDahl
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#4

Post by StanDahl »

That's why I have a user oven and a display oven!
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Daryl22
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#5

Post by Daryl22 »

Very nice oven I did not know they came with bright polished door. Parents had the gold , I have a black one and sold a newer silver one. Have used them and still kicking! Things where a lot different in the 50's and thinking that in some smoke filled conference room hopefully a designer asked the same question , do we have a safe paint for our new oven??? I figure they used what they thought safe at the time. Might be thinking about the fumes from stove collecting in oven too. Never heard a peep about home ovens and natural gas fumes.
I consider myself a user not collector really try to use all my stoves and lantern: camping, backyard cooking or coffee at local car show. I take care when using them and give them thanks. One thing about using on suitcase stove is the windscreen can get it's paint scorched. Oven on 500 stove works great.
Daryl sunny SoCal
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Cajuncook1
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#6

Post by Cajuncook1 »

StanDahl wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 12:29 am That's why I have a user oven and a display oven!
I agree 😊
Cheers,

Cajuncook1
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wildhorsehans
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#7

Post by wildhorsehans »

Tough question. I'm more of a user than a collector so pristine does not matter much to me. I buy things, clean and fix them up, but not really restore them.

However that one is in very nice condition.

It would be easier if it had a dent or two in it, or a few scuffs and scratches.

I think I would use it, but try and keep it in the best condition I could.

Better yet, save that one and find one with a dent or two in it for use.
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Archie
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#8

Post by Archie »

I used mine every camping (I go atleast 10-20 camping trips per year)
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-  Archie  -
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Daryl22
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#9

Post by Daryl22 »

Posted this for ID couple weeks back. thanks Paul B CCS Milcor Midwest Steel Fabricators 1925-40's
This is not a 'user' oven for me. No.1 reason : It has double wall construction, which is great, but it's the white fuzzy sheet material inside those walls you can see through some vent holes that will keep me from using it. No. 2 Too cool 'barn find' look. Daryl sunny SoCal
PS I just edited this post, sold some canister type stuff to a guy on CL and he said a gal he knows just loves it so sounds like it has new home.
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Daryl sunny SoCal
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MartyJ
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#10

Post by MartyJ »

I would use it but that is me unless you have a display room for it then the beaters are not hard to find. If you aren’t going to display it and not going to use it, there isn’t much point. Doubt if you use it enough to off gas much but I also don’t have any inside knowledge on such things and readily admit it.

P.s. - Archie, really cool camping pics!
Marty
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JimL
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#11

Post by JimL »

Archie,

Those pics are awesome. The one with your daughter holding the pizza bites is priceless and worthy of framing.
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Archie
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#12

Post by Archie »

JimL wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 5:30 pm Archie,

Those pics are awesome. The one with your daughter holding the pizza bites is priceless and worthy of framing.
Thanks Jim! They really love it when I start baking stuff on the oven :)
-  Archie  -
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Hot_Diggity
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#13

Post by Hot_Diggity »

I can understand the concerns about bad stuff getting in your food from the paint, but I'd feel comfortable with it after one good heat cycle.
Put a paver in the bottom, fire it up and get baking. Imagine all the nasty stuff that burns off your brand new MIC frying pans and ovens.
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Heaterman1963
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#14

Post by Heaterman1963 »

Still use this as much as possible
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Nothing better in the morning :D
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Optimus45
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#15

Post by Optimus45 »

Use it once then find a silver one to use from then on..
Archie I want That stove dang it.
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kerrymartin
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#16

Post by kerrymartin »

Heaterman1963 wrote: Sat May 29, 2021 4:46 pm Still use this as much as possible

Nothing better in the morning :D
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. Heaterman, how do you keep that in such nice shape? I'd have no qualms using this one if I knew I could keep it as nice looking as yours!
12057dave
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#17

Post by 12057dave »

Tough call Kerry. That one is sure nice. But I’m like most on here and would probably go ahead and use it but give it the care it deserves. On the other hand like was mentioned. A display model and a user😎. And thanks to all for sharing their oven pictures👍.

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kerrymartin
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#18

Post by kerrymartin »

I'm convinced - what's the use of a display model if you don't have a way to display? But I am kind of concerned about taking it out of circulation for those that might want to display.
242 Burner
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#19

Post by 242 Burner »

(1.) I will start by saying, I am just a nobody, with an opinion. It is not worth a hill of beans.

I have been here long enough to know what happens. You keep a (fill in the blank), you pass to another hobby, it gets sold for basically scrap. No one person will love that (fill in the blank) more than you. So I say (see 1.) USE it!!! And don't feel guilty!

Big words? (see #1) I have several lanterns I have not fired that are NIB. I will give/sell those to an ICCC or CCF member before I give them to my kids. First and foremost, these things were tool, meant to be used and abused.

You, if you stay active, will come across a beater (fill in the blank) for like a buck somewhere, it will make a great display on a round tank, or a Gypsy, or an old iron grate Coleman!!! If it is truly unfired, then I would not.
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kerrymartin
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#20

Post by kerrymartin »

Thanks. Good advice. It is not TRULY unfired. It looks like it has been fired once, because the plate has seen some heat.

I think I'm using it. It's too beautiful not to use in a campsite with friends and family.
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Emorr123
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#21

Post by Emorr123 »

Use it and don’t abuse it!
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kerrymartin
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#22

Post by kerrymartin »

Wow! How do you keep it in such great shape?
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Stovie
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#23

Post by Stovie »

They don't abuse it
Never gonna lose it
I can't refuse it, hmm
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Heaterman1963
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#24

Post by Heaterman1963 »

Purchased it that way still in the box. Estate sale. Just used it again this past weekend a couple of times. Use and don't abuse. Love the old stuff lasts forever, keep it clean and wiped down. Did u notice the stove has a few scratches and dings also paint missing. #415D so 1947' and its cost me $5.
arryk
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#25

Post by arryk »

That model oven with the door that opens downward instead of from the side is the best of the designs imo.

You get full width with it, rather than being confined to food items/cookwear that will fit through the door frame on the newer models.

An inch cut off the edges and you can get a nice size frozen pizza in one, or a large pan with a roast or turkey or the like.

I passed on my newer model when i found a gently used older model like yours, and have never regretted it.
Arryk: Newbie but learning
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grob
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#26

Post by grob »

Here is my oven stand and case for use with a 500A stove. Gets the oven up to 430 deg. Rivet nuts with threaded rods for legs and everything fits in the case.
Gar

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Stovie
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Re: Using an old Coleman oven

#27

Post by Stovie »

I so want a Coleman oven now, thanks to you guys I might add. I must have one. Great "enablers" that way.
If you hear hoofbeats, first look for horses, not zebras
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