Monday, December 6, 2010

First Adventure in Wood Stove Cookery

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.


  1. watch Jamie at Home on cooking channel if u get it..he's an awesome chef that uses his English Cottage's wood burning outside stove often. YUM. Seems cast iron skillets would work out great and they are CHEAP and healthy..give off natural iron. Love cooking!
    For your pickled Brussels..did u have to sanitize the jar, or not? Thats the step that stops me from canning/etc..but I love pickles and brussel sprouts so may have to try this out!

  2. I boiled the jars for a bit, but I'm also apprehensive about canning because of the sanitation issues so my first two jars of pickles are refrigerator pickles.