There is a 10 inch lip on the top that can be used to cook or just heat water if need be. By turning the blower off the top of the stove gets really hot fast. This could be a life saver in an emergency situation. We keep this old iron pot filled with water during heating season to put a little moisture into the air. Another thing to consider when purchasing a stove is the blower. Ours has one and it is wonderful to sit in front of the stove on those cold nights and mornings. The hot air warms your bones and the room too. A stove without a blower is not as bad as you may think though. You can just set a floor fan in front of the stove and it helps to pull the warm air through the house. Another thing to keep in mind is the draft control, this ofcourse controls the amount of air that the stove takes in through a vent somewhere on the stove. Ours is on the sides near the bottom. The more you open them, the more air goes into the fire box. And we all know that a fire needs air to burn, more air, more fire. Once your fire box gets good and hot it will pull air (draw) into the fire. At this point you can close your draft a little so your fire dosen't get too hot or just burn up fast. At night I load my stove with good dry hardwood, let it catch up and get good and hot and then close the draft almost completly. This allows the fire to just sit and smolder all through the night. The next morning, open the draft, poke it a few times and your back in the heat. Keep in mind that all stoves operate differently, even 2 of the same exact stoves will have their own personalities. If you're purchasing one for the first time, like my friend Marie and her family, just keep a close eye on the fire and the stove and you will soon learn how to use your stove to keep your home and most importantly your family nice and warm this winter. Always use CAUTION!!!!
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