Cooking inside firebox?

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Jan 12, 2022
Bralorne, BC
Does anybody cook with a dutch oven inside their firebox?

We installed a BlazeKing BX24 in our little cabin this season, and to my dismay I immediately learned there is a substantial air gap between the top of the firebox and the top surface of the stove assembly (cook surface). This makes it perfect for warming soups/cooked food, but it’s nearly impossible to cook/bake on - we have a kettle on the stove at all times and it has never been hot enough to boil water!

I’ve read about folks throwing foil wrapped potatoes and apples inside the firebox to cook, but does anyone place a full dutch oven inside on hot coals? Is there any reason this should be avoided?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Cooking inside firebox?
The inside of the stove is too hot if it is used as intended. Maybe you could have a low heat smoldering fire, but this would not heat your space. A baked potato in foil is sort of a low risk, who cares how it turns out thing. No way to control temperature. You'd end up burning yourself no matter how careful you are. I'm sure there's other reasons not to do this.
I think it comes down, are you hungry enough to go without significant heat? When I used to use a dutch over for Boy Scouts we counted the number of charcoal briquets on top and underneath or just dia keyhole fireput and dragged coals out of the fire to the pot. A stove running for heat is going to be way too hot.

I do the baked potatoes after the fire on my boiler is out on occasion.
I have not done this, yet, in my Summit. With the old All Nighter it was very easy to cook with a Dutch oven. It was so deep that, once I had a good pile of coals I could push them to the back, and put the Dutch oven in the front of the stove. I would have to spin the Dutch oven it occasionally. I could cook on top of that one and I had two big 8 gallon kettles I left on top, and they would both boil when it was really roaring. Only the front (lower) one would boil during everyday operation.

I have also used Pudgy Pie irons and cooked brats on forks with the door open on the All Nighter, but again only when it was in the coaling stage.

I think cooking is possible inside the Summit, but it would need to be planned. Half load of hardwood, burned down to the coaling stage would be right. Then push the coals aside to set the Dutch oven in the stove. Then rake the coals back around it and shut the primary air down all the way. Probably more of a pain in the butt than it is worth, unless it is your only option.
Once had a Franklin fireplace that had a grill on a swivel. It was fun to cook steaks on.
You can do it with coals easy. We’ve made things in a small dutch oven, set on coal bed, put more coals on the lid. Stews, peach cobbler.
We also foil wrap veggies and leftovers, just have to turn them.
When the stove is running hot baked potatoes are cooked inside all the time. Put them right against the glass on the little ledge.
I’ve never done it, but I’d think it’s doable. Either as a traditional Dutch oven with the coals, or if your worried about the temps/heat I’ve always thought of trying to shove all the coals to a back corner and waiting for the stove to cool off a bit to the temps I want etc
Off topic but we made S'mores on the outside of the stove the other day.
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Have done burgers.

Cooking inside firebox?
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Growing up we had a Baron (I suspect it was a Fisher clone... maybe Papa Bear-sized). Dad would stick a dutch oven in towards the front, with the coals/fire towards the back. I fondly remember a lot of Irish Soda Bread as that always seemed to turn out well.

No way could I fit my 7 qt. dutch oven in my Aspen C3 unless the coals had really burnt down to nothing, ha. I am curious to see how well using it up top works. I guess I could get a small one for sticking inside the firebox.

I think you should go for it. You might do some looking around to figure out the smallest dutch oven that would make the amount of food you want, so it's easier to fit it in there with a large amount of coals towards the back and the dutch oven towards the front.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes in foil work fine in the wood stove for my wife. They take less time than one would expect. She put a covered iron pot with marinated chicken in the furnace, but it was too hot. I like to put persian kebabs on metal skewers (sort of like swords) and suspend them over the coals.
Cooking inside the firebox while making btu's is impossible in our stove. Everything glows when it's pounding away, even the fire brick. We get clinkers on a regular basis because the ash melts. Temps inside the firebox can be 3,000* F when there are blue/white flames. If we put a dutch oven in there, it would come out glowing with a bit of ash in the bottom.

The side oven is a much better option at ~425*. The biggest problem with the oven is the steam that comes out when we open the door. It's invisible and I have been burned by it a few times when I have been used to the regular electric oven that's vented.
There are many past threads on this topic. Search is your friend.