It is imperative to strip and clean, if you want a safe, sanitary and inoffensive stove. It took two people, two days to get to this point. Two people and two days of working with lye and leaving a grease spot in the driveway that needed to be pressurewashed. Perhaps you purchased a refurbished stove but the insulation was not replaced. I am not going to say you have a bad stove, because I don't trash other peoples rides. You may have a disgustingly dirty stove, but not a bad stove.