Tile stove or traditional open fire - Germany

Which is the better option?

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Just sank my sunset Jagertee by my Austrian tile stove and put the little one to sleep on the couch.

Mine has a somewhat open design, in that you can put the wood in at the front, and sit on a stool and watch the fire.

Having owned a cottage in Wales which has a stove which I now believe was badly welded together as it smoked me out of the house (I have old albums and books which stiull reek of that smoke 5 years on!) , I am now a fan of these traditional Bavarian-Austrian styles, however not of those which you load with wood at the back in the hall or something stupid like that. Cleaner and less smoky I find.

Anyone else have experiences of these German stoves?

Bugger it...I am off for a second Jagertee now!
I have a kacheloffen too. I load it from the side and have found out that it actually warms the whole house and shuts the radiators off so it saves me burning the oil. You cant see the flames but it has vents that you can open up to let the warm air out. It actually heats up the whole house (except the cellar) and will stay alight all night if you chuck some of the compressed coal bricks in it that you can buy from OBI or Practiker etc and close all the vents. I love the heat it throws out which seems to be different from the central heating!!!
Actually, I think I will have a gluhwein and sit on the old wooden chest in front it. Enjoy your gluhwein!!!
Depends on the flue & draw, and whether you want heat. My house in the US had a very shallow opening, and too much downdraft in the wide flue.

The wood stove insert I put in the opening hardly let any smoke out if you kept the door closed, and with a giant piece of glass in the front, it was freakin' beautiful (and great sound too) when that thing got going. Plus, you get all that heat instead of sending it up the flue...
I've got a glass fronted, front loading fireplace and it is the business in the winter. It's so good to come home when it's freezing outside, get the fire going and keep throwing the odd log on to keep it going. Because it's got the glass front you can go to bed while it's still burning, without the danger of burning the house down!
We have a tile oven in our apartment -- the only one in the building -- but no glass front, so we can't see anything at all, which is always half the fun. Stupidly the thermostat is 6 feet away from the oven, so if there's anything burning in it, the thermostat gets nice and toasty and the rest of the apt gets no heat. Workaround: set the thermostat at 30.
Aga...'nuff said!
My Kachelofen is very nice to look at but I hardly use it due to being too lazy to lug 15kg bags of wood up 4 floors of Altbau. No glass front (it's from 1919, as is the building) and is a bit wee for the room (the living room was 2 rooms now knocked together so asking one wee Kachelofen plus two tiny radiators to heat 45sqm is a bit much so I have nice jumpers instead).
a good friend of mine has been using an Ofen. he absolutely loves it and his favourite hobby is to put more wood on the fire. from his experience i think an Ofen is a good idea. it gives you warmth and a nice atmosphere during the cold months. open fire is too much work i think. if i had the chance, i would put an ofen in my flat...
I have an old Kachelofen in my flat, too, but have never used it.
The chimneysweep gives me a hard time every year when he comes to check it as it is apparently in perfect condition.

The reason I never use it is that the little tray for collecting ash in the grate is missing. Also, I don't know where to go to get fuel (could never be bothered to do the research and am not sure I want all the faff).

So, here are my questions for those who have a Kachelofen and use it: any idea where I could get the necessary tray/where to get one made? Does a Kachelofen produce a lot of ash, i.e. do you have to clean it out every day like you would a normal open fire? And how do you get it up and running (do you have to "set" it like you would an open fire)?
we have a camine (glass fronted, front loader!) and we love it. sadly, we're moving in 5 days, so no more sitting in front of the fire roasting our toes. i like the fact that you can eff off to bed and leave it to die down as allershausen said and still enjoy staring into the flames...
Johnny English
Watched some cack on telly last night about happiness. Open fire is of course a kinda primeval thingie that makes us happy. I guess when you had to go out killing mammoth for dinner in -20c it was good news if the wifie had got the fire going.
Anemone, I have no answers for your questions, but there is a shop on Rosenheimer Strasse, near the corner with Orleansstrasse, that sells ovens. It's called Der Gute Ofen, I think. I'm sure they'd be able to help you out.

Since our front room is unheated (!), I often look longingly in the windows of that shop in winter. I guess that as renters, we can't really go installing one ourselves.
Can somebody please help? I recently moved into a new flat, and the front room has a beautiful tiled coal-burning stove. Attempts to light the thing up last night didn't go so well, though - lots of thick black smoke, not much heat. Here are my major questions:

1) What's the best way to get the thing initially lit? I've got those compressed coal bricks, some pressed word/paper block thingies, and those white sticks that you initially use to get the party started. Just not sure in which order to put those things into the stove and light them.

2) Once lit, is there a way to ensure it stays burning and doesn't go out? Yes I know fire needs oxygen, but I can't quite tell which lever needs to go which way to make sure air is getting to the right place.

Any other tricks or tips with dealing with these stoves would be much appreciated. If my living room isn't heated this winter, that's really going to cut down on my 'walking around the apartment stark naked' time.
Firelighters are your friend.
Can you take a picture of the stove? I have one too and might be able to help - I use logs rather than compressed coal or paper block (paper blocks burn too quickly).
Newspaper, bills, old love letters, etc. at the bottom, add kindling and a block of firelighter, light it, all vents open until it gets going. Cardboard burns well too, goes on top of the kindling. Then add some wood, then inner door closed, vents open. Be careful not too add too much as once as you could smother the fire. When it is properly burning, shut the bottom door and then when it is really buring, the top door.
Is your wood dry enough?
Best thing is if someone shows you how. Surely someone will help?
And check with your landlord when the chimney has been last cleaned.
You need screwed up bits of newspaper covered with sticks. The big logs or those compressed bicket thingys need to go on top of that but not too many at first. The important thing is to get air coming in from underneath, so you get an updraught. Once it's blazing you can put on the big stuff. Don't start off with a huge pile of stuff, it will just go out.
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