Stove/insert recommendation - hot enough to cook

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New Member
Sep 17, 2023
North America
Looking for a stove recommendation. Its primary use will be as a secondary heater/backup cooking appliance. I have a Spartherm 700 as a primary. While it’s a great stove, its main shortcoming is that the outer steel convection jacket doesn’t get hot enough to be able to cook on in the event of a power outage. I have an open fireplace that I’d like to use for a second stove. I plan to fabricate a flue block off plate and rest the stove on the floor of the firebox to allow enough space to access the top of the stove for a pot or pan as needed. Looking for recommendations on either:

A) inserts that don’t look bad without their surrounds installed

B)freestanders that can be installed without a pedestal or legs and still leave top room in the firebox

Obviously the top would need be flat enough to accommodate a dutch oven or frying pan and get hot enough to boil water. Secondary wishlist item would be ability to overnight burn, but a backup cooker/heater is my primary goal.

Height to the lintel is ~30”. Firebox is ~ 32” wide at the front, ~23 ¼“ wide at the back and ~20.5“ deep, so I’m not working with a ton of space. Appreciate any recommendations. Thanks.
The Drolet Escape 1800i is a popular insert that can be run without the surround. It's still going to have a convective lid though so boiling water could take a while. The problem with many freestanders is that they are not meant to run without the legs. Often the air controls and/or air intake are at the underside of the stove. You might be able to cut down the legs to 3" to get around this issue if the stove sits entirely on the fireplace hearth and there are no combustibles like a mantel within the stove's clearance requirements.
Im no expert but was hoping i could do the same (free stander without legs or a short one), but ultimately went insert. I had other wants then you . However , while looking did find Jotul F35 and F45 can run short legs and would fit. I dont know if they meet you cooking needs but they are a free standing that would fit.