Wood burning cooking and heating

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Quielo

Member
Mar 18, 2019
31
Northern Cal
I've always gotten good advice from this forum so I am back for more. I have a farm house we will retire to in a few years. We have lots of good wood there so we want to use this because we like it and we are out where the power is a little unreliable.

My wife wants to be able to cook on the fire and maybe bake as well though cooking is the priority. I had been looking at inserts though not many are approved and I would likely need to extend the hearth to get enough clearance even if I could find an approved insert that stuck out enough to provide a cooking surface. I think it's 12" inches in front of the insert for the local code. The other issue is that there is a garage below and there is no structural support for the fireplace so I need to be careful about weight. The fireplace is just a big box with brick facing.

I'm not thinking I should just rip out the fireplace as it takes a lot of room and run the stove pipe up to the ceiling which is a good 12' or so. It would also make it easier to supply power if I wanted a blower and likely I would want some light directly above if she is planning to cook. Since we have very high ceilings we may want some type of blower and/or ceiling fan. The wife is also enamored or perhaps enameled of cast iron though that is not a real deal breaker.

I am looking for cooking and heat. I could get a large flat or step top steel stove and cook on it but the wife would complain it was ugly. There are all sorts of cooking ovens but I’m not sure if any of them would provide enough heat.

Drolet Bistro - looks like it’s more for baking than stovetop cooking
"America" Wood Cook Stove by La Nordica - Looks like it might need structural support.
Vermont Bun Baker XL - never met anyone who has used this. The soapstone ones are 850Lbs!!!
down there to in a few years.

fireplace.jpgIMG_3868.JPG
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
101,006
South Puget Sound, WA
Look at the Jotul F45 and Pacific Energy T5 stoves for a good compromise and cooking surface.

What does the wife want to be able to cook on the stovetop?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
101,006
South Puget Sound, WA
Ideally she would like to wok but a frying pan will be fine.
Just so that she knows, frying on a stove makes a mess of the finish due to oil spatters. Slow cooking on a trivet or trivet top is better. A lot can be done with a good Dutch oven.
 

cahaak

Burning Hunk
Feb 12, 2012
139
MN Twin Cities
If you are going to rip out and open up, then you have lots of options for a good top cooking surface. I have a drolet myriad and there is a dead flat area of 16" x 24" on the top you could cook on. Would highly agree with discouraging frying, asking for a mess. Slow cook, boil, and you can bake also if you are creative about a top cover.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,876
SE North Carolina
I’ve given this some thought. A good heating stove is more important to me than cooking. If I wanted to a wood cookstove it would be because I was trying to live off grid. I don’t want to compromise in the heating aspect of a stove just for the few times a year i would cook on it.

when power is out I don’t need a professional kitchen. A propane camp stove, my grill, real Dutch oven, a fire pit and bag of charcoal could get me by for 2 weeks.

Honestly my kamado grill has satisfied any live fire cooking wants I have. I’d rather have a great heater and an induction cooktop before cooking on my wood stove.

One stove to do it all I might consider the really big Drolet cookstove. But I have a huge family.
 

Quielo

Member
Mar 18, 2019
31
Northern Cal
Just so that she knows, frying on a stove makes a mess of the finish due to oil spatters. Slow cooking on a trivet or trivet top is better. A lot can be done with a good Dutch oven.Thanks but there is no

I’ve given this some thought. A good heating stove is more important to me than cooking. If I wanted to a wood cookstove it would be because I was trying to live off grid. I don’t want to compromise in the heating aspect of a stove just for the few times a year i would cook on it.

when power is out I don’t need a professional kitchen. A propane camp stove, my grill, real Dutch oven, a fire pit and bag of charcoal could get me by for 2 weeks.

Honestly my kamado grill has satisfied any live fire cooking wants I have. I’d rather have a great heater and an induction cooktop before cooking on my wood stove.

One stove to do it all I might consider the really big Drolet cookstove. But I have a huge family.
For her it is more about cooking some snack or light dinner while sitting in front of the fire. Of course there is also the power out issue but that is secondary. Right now she roasts purple yams in the firebox until they are good and black on the outside and eats them with a spoon.
 

TomMcDonald

Feeling the Heat
Nov 18, 2022
361
Australia
The Vermont bakers ovens are fantastic. They are made here in Australia by Nectre so lots of people use them here.
I was just visiting a friend for Easter who heats his small house (probably 1200sqf) with the small version and has done so for 30 years.
He cooks every meal on it in winter.
He is off grid and also heats his water with the water jacket that sits at the back of the firebox.
In mid winter he has it glowing and in 30 years it's never let him down.
The drawbacks are that the oven and firebox are small. The XL would do a better job of heating but I'm not sure how big your house is.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
8,301
Northern NH
Start a conversation with Space Bus (a hearth.com member), he will have some good input.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
101,006
South Puget Sound, WA
@Quielo, are you looking for a full cookstove in the living room, or one that is handy to occasionally cook on the top of?