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Happy Cooking With The Gas Turned OFF!




                                                                                                                                                 © Chambers Corporation

Updated 04/13/23

    Over the years, I've received hundreds of e-mail's, phone calls, and letters from people asking questions about their CHAMBERS range. A lot of them ask questions I've answered before, but I'm always happy to answer them again.
    There is one question, though, that keeps getting asked, but it is ME that asks it! When someone tells me they want to sell their CHAMBERS, I always ask them:
    "What's wrong with your CHAMBERS that could POSSIBLY persuade you to want to get rid of it?"
    I routinely post this question to people who are selling them on eBay and Craigslist, also!
The typical responses I get from my innocent little question cover the gamut. I've heard every response conceivable, such as -
*    "The oven is too small."
*    "Why doesn't it have electronic ignition?"
*    "I don't know how to use it."
*    "Is it safe? My local gas company red-tagged it, then told me it was dangerous and MUST be replaced!" (OR - "My local appliance repairman said that a new stove is much better than 'this old thing'.")
*    "Why does it only have three burners?"
*    "It's old - surely the new ones are better!"
*    "I want a modern kitchen!"
    Etc., etc., get the idea. Most people want to get rid of them because they don't understand WHY the CHAMBERS is so vastly superior to the modern stuff on the market today.
    So, for those who don't know, or haven't heard, I've written the following, which is what I typically send out to those who are thinking about selling their CHAMBERS and opting for an ordinary range:


You really should keep your CHAMBERS Range!
    Here's why:
1. IT'S BETTER BUILT AND OUTPERFORMS ANYTHING YOU CAN BUY TODAY! A CHAMBERS is, in essence, a wonderfully designed, wonderfully built stove. Nothing on the residential market today is built as well as as a vintage CHAMBERS. In fact, according to the world-famous kitchen designer, chef, lecturer on kitchen architecture, and 1949 Chambers Model 90C Range owner Angela Phelan, your CHAMBERS is BETTER than ALL of the modern ranges built for home use today in every way! Further, she states that it is BETTER than 80% of the professional stoves being manufactured today, and is JUST AS GOOD as the remaining 20%! I recently spoke with a fellow who is a professional chef and is the owner of several high-end restaurants in New York City - he has a 1950 Chambers Model 61C in his home, and he adamantly affirms Angela Phelan's comments.  How's THAT for an endorsement?
2. IT HAS FEATURES THAT ARE UNEQUALLED IN MODERN RANGES! Your CHAMBERS has features that no other range has, be it from the past or from the present. Nothing on the current market can do what your CHAMBERS can do! From the In-A-Top Griddle and Broiler (who wants to stoop to broil steaks, chops, and chicken, anyhow?), to the ingenious Thermowell, to the patented 9,000-BTU Daisy Burners on the top with their super-uniform heat distribution, all the way to the super-insulated Oven that cooks with the gas turned OFF on retained heat, NOTHING on the modern market today offers the features your CHAMBERS does!
3. MOST OF THESE VINTAGE CHAMBERS RANGES DON'T HAVE TO BE RESTORED BEFORE THEY CAN BE USED. Typically, all they need is some basic repairs (if any), and some TLC. That's all, unless they've been really abused or damaged, of course. Places for parts and service are plentiful, and can be found HERE.
4. MODERN STOVES CAN'T BE REPAIRED, NOR ARE THEY DESIGNED TO BE! All that they can do is have their broken parts "replaced".

Incidentally - after 18-24 months after manufacture, the common practice is to cease making all parts for it. That means in, say, 5 years, the few parts that might remain will be available only at sky-high prices, and, in 10, you won't be able to get them at all, in most cases!

Your CHAMBERS was designed to be REPAIRED if it ever breaks,
and will be for another 50 years!

    I know of a lady in New Jersey that bought a brand NEW Viking a some time ago for FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. It BROKE with A YEAR, and the repair estimate to fix it was ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS! She was SO MAD that she went out looking for a 50-year old CHAMBERS to replace the stupid thing. "At least I'll know I can get parts for it!", she said.
5. YOUR CHAMBERS IS AN INVESTMENT. Lastly, consider your CHAMBERS an investment - not only do you SAVE money at the outset (even semi-decent stoves today run about what it would cost you to repair a CHAMBERS with typical problems for it's age), it will SAVE YOU MONEY for the rest of your life.
Here's how:
    A.    Your Chambers SAVES GAS when it cooks. Whether you're cooking with the gas turned off, on retained heat, or use it like a simple, ordinary range, your CHAMBERS is SUPER-EFFICIENT with it's use of gas. Most users report as much as a 1/3 drop in gas consumption used for cooking when they switch to a CHAMBERS. With the high cost of energy these days, this is as important to us as it was to those who lived during the Great Depression, when the basic Chambers you have was designed.
B.    Keeping your CHAMBERS insures long-term savings as well. For example, if you go out and buy a Whirlpool range (blechhhhh!), you're going to spend around $600.00 for the cheap, crummy one - you know, the one that you get because "it's cheap", even though you KNOW it's JUNK. If you get a "good" range, plan on spending around $1,500 to $2,500 (nearly the price it would cost to have your CHAMBERS totally restored, by the way). Now, deep down, you KNOW that the Whirlpool is "junk", but you buy it because you can "trust" it to serve you well, but can you, really?

    * Not only will you NEVER be able to get the oven to cook "right" (because it doesn't have the cast iron oven floor yours does which makes your CHAMBERS bake
SO evenly, thoroughly, and rapidly), in about 3-5 years, at best 7 or so, it IS going to start having problems. The cheap parts and construction methods (as seen on the popular TV show, "How It's Made") are all going to start taking their toll on the life of your "superior, modern range." Pretty soon, things are going to start to go wrong, and when the electronics that control it go bad, forget it!
        * The flimsy burners it comes with will begin to flake and corrode.
        * The electronic ignition (which, by the way, WON'T let you light ANYTHING during a power outage on most models), will start to get finicky, before it gets to where it won't work at all.
        * The oven igniter will go out (they cost about $125.00, PLUS labor to install around here!). Your CHAMBERS, which works WITHOUT electricity, will work for years and years and years - because it is NON-electronic. Instead, it's mechanical, which means greater reliability over the long term, and repairs, should it break, are relatively inexpensive.
        * The racks can start to warp. Your CHAMBERS racks haven't, and never will. They may be bent, but that was caused by abuse, not by faulty design or materials. Besides, they can be repaired or replaced.
         In Other Words, that modern "thing" you bought just flat wears out - the gas valves don't turn like they should and many can't be re-greased (like a CHAMBERS can), so you've got to get ANOTHER one. Now, you're back to the "replacement experts" - there are few bona fide REPAIRMEN left anymore.
        * NOW - after no more than 10 years (if you're REALLY fortunate), you're going to have to replace it, and, allowing for inflation, you're probably going to spend somewhere between $1,000 and $4,000 to replace the unit that you bought to replace your CHAMBERS, while the lucky person who got YOUR Chambers, unless they've died, will still be using it!
    Of course, the process I've just outlined will occur more rapidly the second time around, because, by then, NO ONE will be making gas ranges in the USA, so your then-new Chinese or Slobbovian-made range will probably only last 2 to 5 years, at best, rather than 10 years the ones today get to, if you're lucky!
    SO - over the next 25 years, if you get rid of your CHAMBERS, you're going to spend AT LEAST $4,000 for inferior gas ranges that DO NOT work as well as what you have, not including repairs, and that is MORE than it would have cost to have your CHAMBERS totally restored by a professional today, AND you'll keep using your CHAMBERS for the next FIFTY years!


    In a word, NO. 

    The Chambers Oven
looks deceptively small, but it is large enough to cook a 25-pound turkey. We do this a lot in ours with no problems. It will also cook 40 pounds of ribs.

    How big do  you want it to
be, anyhow?
    The problem is it LOOKS small from the outside, but it really isn't.
    The other thing is that it was designed to be used with the most popular roasters ever made, those produced by the LISK Manufacturing Company. LISK made millions of these roasters, which, by the way, also outperform anything you can buy today, and CHAMBERS designed their Oven to accommodate them. If you use the LISK roasters, you can cook huge meals in a CHAMBERS Oven, no problem. They're available at flea markets, garage sales, and eBay. Click HERE to download an original LISK sales brochure.

        Actually, the oven IS capable of doing large meals, you just have to know HOW. We cook 25-pound turkeys in ours all the will cook up to 40 pounds of ribs, etc. - how much bigger do you need it to be, anyway?


Idle Hour Cookbook     Years ago, "ladies" wouldn't read an "Operation Manual", so Alma Chambers conviced her father, John, to disguise theirs as a cookbook.
    Called the "Idle Hour" Cookbook, it contained all of the information found in a standard Operational Manual - how to care for, clean, and operate the Chambers range. It also had detailed instructions on how to cook with the gas turned OFF on retained heat in the super-insulated Oven and Thermowell.
    Coupled with all of this valuable information was a large number of excellent recipes that demonstrated how versatile and easy it is to cook "The CHAMBERS way."
        Chambers produced a large variety of literature for their products. To see what is available for your use today, simply click HERE
to peruse the list (NOTE: Link is under construction).

         I hear this a lot. Because their Chambers is designed to be lit manually, many people think it is unsafe. When properly installed, calibrated, and operated, it really isn't. However, some people "feel" safer if it has an Oven Pilot Light and Automatic Gas Supply Shutoff System installed. This is a simple DIY project, or you can have it done professionally. Contact me if you need more information.
         Well, yes, it is. Once you learn to cook "The CHAMBERS Way", you'll never miss that fourth burner. In fact, the Thermowell takes the place of THREE burners all by itself! Add to that the versatility of the Griddle/Broiler, and you'll find that a CHAMBERS cooks PLENTY of food - enough for a LARGE family.

    Thusfar, I've answered all of the typical complaints/concerns about keeping and using a vintage CHAMBERS range -
* The CHAMBERS is built better than modern ranges (they warranteed their porcelain for 25 years! Look and see how long modern range manufacturers warrant THEIR products!).
* The cost of replacing the CHAMBERS is more than it would take to repair what you have.
* I've demonstrated the the longevity and SAVINGS keeping your CHAMBERS will bring to you.
* I've outlined the fact that a CHAMBERS has features you can't get today, and it does what a modern range will do faster, more efficiently, and more economically.
There's nothing wrong with it that cannot be fixed at a reasonable price, PLUS you get the FINEST range ever built for the home!

    NOW -  you tell me: what in the Earth would make you want to get rid of your CHAMBERS?

    Are you SURE you REALLY want to cook on an inferior product after all these years of cooking on a CHAMBERS with the gas turned off?

    Think about it...that's all I ask.

    And - feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your CHAMBERS, or why you should KEEP IT!

Happy Cooking With The Gas Turned OFF!

                                                                     - Todd W. White

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