Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Woodburning Stoves And Cooking

Learn control the temperature of your stove before attempting to cook on it.

Don't wait for your power to go out to try cooking on your wood burning stove. Wood stove cooking is a skill that requires specific cookware and adjustments to temperatures within the stove during the cooking process. Experiment with wood stove recipes now, to ensure you will be proficient at cooking on your wood stove if needed. Does this Spark an idea?


Wood cook stoves are designed specifically for cooking, whereas woodburning stoves are predominantly used for heat. Wood stoves provide either radiant heat or convection heat. Radiant wood stoves heat objects directly near the stove, making them ideal for cooking. Convection stoves heat and circulate air around the room. They keep foods warm, but their surface area does not reach reach the high temperatures necessary for cooking. Arrange cookware on the stovetop to ensure you have sufficient surface area for cooking.

Stovetop Temperature

Regulate the temperature of your woodburning stove with a stovetop thermometer or a stovepipe thermometer. These magnetic thermometers reflect the temperature atop the stove or inside the flue and display the ideal burn temperature. Add one piece of dry, well-seasoned wood at a time to maintain the ideal temperature range. Firewood with a moisture content exceeding 20 percent will burn inefficiently, causing excessive smoking. Soft woods, such as pine, poplar and cedar, supply less heat to the fire, while hard woods, such as oak, elm and hickory are denser and provide a hotter fire. Stoke the fire with soft wood to raise the temperature slightly and with hard wood to raise it considerably. Avoid a chimney fire -- never exceed the ideal temperature range on your wood stove.


Use long handled cast iron cookware on your wood stove cooktop. Dutch oven cookware can be used on the surface of the stove or set on coals in the firebox. Direct contact between the cookware and stovetop is necessary for food to reach the boiling point, but to reduce boiling temperatures or to keep food warm, use a cast iron trivet between the cookware and stovetop. Use long handled wooden spoons to stir food on the wood stove -- wood does not conduct heat and prevents burns to your skin. To grill or bake within the firebox, allow the fire to go out and place foil-wrapped corn, potatoes, zucchini or meat on hot coals. Prepare bread and cake recipes inside your Dutch oven and place atop hot coals. Cook meals, such as hobo dinners or slow cooker recipes, in a coffee can inside the firebox. Remove the plastic lid and replace it securely with foil, and set the coffee can upright, nestled in the hot coals. For meals, allow an hour of cook time before checking for doneness. Check individual items, such as corn or potatoes, after 30 to 45 minutes. Experiment with traditional recipes and adapt cooking times to the temperatures of your wood stove. Look at websites and magazines on self-sufficiency for recipes related to wood stove cooking.


Burning unseasoned "green" wood causes excessive creosote buildup within the fireplace chimney, which can ignite and cause house fires. Have your chimney cleaned yearly by a certified chimney sweep or do it yourself to protect yourself and your family.

Tags: wood stove, your wood, your wood stove, cookware stovetop, between cookware, between cookware stovetop