Every homestead needs a good range, right? I have to admit that while looking through my homesteading resources I often day dream of owning a cook stove rather than a wood stove, one with a range and an oven, and maybe even one of those steamer racks on top. I also admit that until yesterday I had figured our wood stove was not fit for cooking on. It isn't the sort built with a range at all, and has a simple flat surface on top without a designated spot for cooking. The advert claims that the flat spot on top is a "Raised Griddle for cooking" but really it's just a flat area with not a lot of heat conductivity. It's a Dutchwest 2461, which is I believe distributed through Vermont Castings: built for heating, and not so much for cooking (or so I believed). The best part about it though is that it's got a catalytic combuster which allows it to burn cleaner and hotter.
It occured to me yesterday that really with the right cookware you can cook on anything that produces enough heat. I put an enamelware (I couldn't find our iron cookware) pan on the wood stove and set a bit of water in it. A few minute later the water was nearly gone, so I figured it must be getting some heat. I let it sit another few minutes and then splashed water into the pan and it Sssssssssssizzled away! Hooray! Hot enough for eggs at least! I managed to scrounge up some eggs and a few scraggly slices of bacon and I cooked my first meal on the wood stove. I'm going to poke around on the forums today a bit to see if I can come up with some tips for what I can and cannot cook on a stove like this. The griddle obviously gets hot enough to stew on, and would do better with iron cookware since it would distribute heat more thoroughly, but I wonder about it's ability to fry. The eggs took quite a long time to cook through.
I'm hoping by the end of winter to be cooking on the wood stove any opportunity I can! It was very satisfying.