Have a wood cook stove? Love it or hate it and why

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by allenslabs, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

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    Hi I was just curious if any other people on here use a wood cook stove and what their thoughts are on it. I have a vogelzang and so far really like it but when I said I was gonna get a wood cook stove most people said I was crazy and would hate it and everything but so far I'm in love with it! HAAHA~ It has a warming oven on the top and an oven and just makes my kitchen feel so nice and cozy. It does a really good job keeping the kitchen and bathroom and utility room all nice and warm..... sometimes too warm! Anyway just wanted to see what everyone else thought! Thanks!
     
  2. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    i just got a used waterford stanley a few weeks ago. I took out my existing woodstove and replaced it with the waterford. i also have a conventional oven in the kitchen, so i can use either one. I was a bit dissapointed with its smoky-ness, but then AKhomesteader gave me some advice on cleaning it and i found a big pile of creosote blocking the flow of air. I also used stove cement to seal up places where the factory installed morter had cracked and fallen out.
    Now i basically love it. it is 15 minutes from when i'm crinkling up paper and kindling until the tea is boiling and the omelettes are ready, no kidding. It requires very dry firewood.
    One thing i did have to get used to was that the smaller firebox needs restoking more often and that the fire has gone out by morning, but i have found that it doesn't really bug me as much as i had anticipated it would. the stove weighs 750 lbs and gets so hot so fast and stay hot for so long that i'm thinking it is overall a better house heater and more efficient on wood than my old airtight stove. Plus, it's made me do more cooking and baking than i used to. Whenever i think about cooking something, i look over and think "well, the oven's already on...might as well cook something." Also, the warming oven keeps food and plates hot while i wait for the kids to come in. Water is always hot, so i grab some for tea or for washing dishes whenever i want. What else...i can make toast in about 10 seconds. Basically, i like everything about it
     

  3. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Herself has cooked on a wook cookstove nearly all of our 33+ years together. We raised our five children cooking on one, and it is the only kind of cookstove we have. Visitors most always ask, "Were is your regular cooking range?", but we just point to the little Sweetheart and say, "There it is; summer and winter."

    I can't imagine that Herself will ever give up her wood cookstove; well, as long as I'm willing to get dry wood for it.
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My mom has had a wood cookstove since I was seven...I'm 45 now. We all love it...food tastes better cooked on it, it warms the house, it's just cozy. I learned to cook on it and made my first solo meal on the wood stove when I was 11. My sister got one, but has never gotten it put up. She was talking about selling it recently and I think I'm going to buy it for her. Not sure where we would put it in this house, but I'll find a place...even if it's in the barn!

    Oh...my mom's wood stove is a Red Mountain T and dates back to the 1920-30s. It was in the house when they bought it and the only repairs ever done was to replace the grate a couple times. Now, who can say that about their gas or electric stove?
     
  5. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    The area I grew up in, everybody had wood cookstoves. About the only disadvantage I can think of, if you want to bake something for a long period and it required a very precise temperature, takes some monitoring and adjusting and it doesn't ever hold setpoint as well as a modern gas or electric.

    That and cooking when heat is a problem, like in the summer.

    The thing I remember the most about them was all the rituals involved in actually getting something to eat. No flip a knob and come back when it was ready. Plus the skill level involved in knowing where to put various things at the right time to either cook it or keep it warm. The one huge advantage over a modern stewburner is a wood stove can keep the entire meal hot at once, so it all gets to the table at peak condition. It can be done cooking and put in a "Hold" position until needed.

    Tough to put nuts on the stove and move them around with a little wooden stick to roast them in the shell with a modern stove too. :rolleyes: Spills just got incinerated the next time around. Any mess was quickly fine carbon.
     
  6. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    I have a Jewel wood cookstove that was built by the Detroit Stove Company. It has cracks and things as it is a antique. But I use it every day. I do have a gas stove as well. But my Jewel is the "Jewel" of my kitchen. I get stressed out making breakfast on a gas or electric stove - but on a wood cookstove it's just so relaxing. Like what was already said, you can keep your whole meal warm while you finish up the things that take longer. After you master the art of cooking on one, it's great. When you cook on a gas stove the pan heats up in the center - on a wood cookstove the whole pan heats up. We made our whole thanksgiving dinner in our's and when our company arrived our dinner was ready - no waiting for the turkey to get done! And the flavor!!!
     
  7. Senior

    Senior Active Member

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    Grew up with a wood cookstove in the house. There is not a finer tasting meal than one prepare on a wood cookstove, plus there was always something to eat in the warming oven on top, no matter what time of day, at least some home made biscuits. Would love to have one in my house.
     
  8. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Keep in mind while you juggle uncertain cooking times and temps on an American wood cookstove that this is a luxury cooking system in the UK. Radiant heat cooking is all the rich homemakers' rage in the UK- the two main companies now offer ELECTRIC and GAS/oil versions for the city dweller- and don't hardly offer the coal or wood fired ones anymore. Originally plumbed into country houses big or small for heat hot water AND cooking I would love one here where it would almost never be too hot to have it on all the time and if I ever settle somewhere similarly cold and damp in the US (unlikely). As the brigadier's nanny told me about their Aga (a 4 oven variant that takes up 8 feet of kitchen wallspace and heats their 3 story house), it's the only warm place in the house and you can hang the children's clothes on it to dry (most English still don't have clothes driers so for the miserable wet weeks clothes dry near such a stove or in a 'warming' closet after the best efforts out on the line.).

    They claim set temps (when running, which it would be full time) for the 2-4 diff ovens and the two or three top boilers- simmer and fast boil for two sides of the oven top with enough space for 4-6 pots on the burner surface.

    http://www.countrychoicecookers.com/aga.htm

    http://www.countrychoicecookers.com/rayburn.htm
     
  9. bulldinkie

    bulldinkie Well-Known Member

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    No but I want one for my 1700 farmhouse.
     
  10. mommykood

    mommykood Active Member

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    We have ordered the Kitchen Queen 480 directly from its Amish maker. It comes with a 24 gallon hot water reservior, heating coil, warming shelf, and 9" sideshelf. We have a 2000 sq. foot homestead to heat with it... I can't wait! :)

    It was $1975, total cost, including shipping to our door in WI. :) I have done tons of internet research on cookstoves, and there has never been one complaint I have seen about these (unlike *every* other cookstove I have researched).
     
  11. Lrose

    Lrose Well-Known Member

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    We have an Enterprise wood kitchen stove made in 1942. I love it! It has a warming oven and a hot water tank on one end. The tank holds five gallons of water. The firebox is big. Controlling the heat is easy for baking using good dry wood. On the cooking surface I move the pots around according to how fast I want things to cook.; closer to the fire box for a hotter fire. It also helps heat the house and I can bank a fire and there will be hot coals left in the morning. Linda
     
  12. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I have a wood cookstove and just love it. I bought it at a little antique store - I knew the owner and he was liquidating as he was getting on up in years and wanted to retire. It's older than dirt, and works fine, has it's quirks but has a water reservoir which comes in real handy when the power goes out here. A good book is Woodstove Cookery, it gives recipes and tells you how to clean your stove and take care of it. Maybe someone here has an extra copy that you could get or maybe you can find one on ebay. I use mine alot because I forget certain things about cleaning it out, and the pictures are very clear in the book.

    I can cook a whole meal on mine and keep the bread warm in the warming oven. It's not the fanciest stove, but service is better than lots of fancy stuff. Mine was made by Sears and is a 1926 enamel green and white stove. I wouldn't part with it for the world and if I ever get another house, you bet that stove is going with me.

    Wish it wasn't so hot down here in the summer as I can never use it except from Nov. through March, it just gets way too hot after then to enjoy it. My granny had two stoves, one in the house and one on the "back porch", she canned on the wood stove on the back porch. Guess I get a lot of my love for old things from her, my Mom was 100% modern all the way...but again, I do have my electric stove - it is newer than my last one (only 22 years old and works great)...my other one died but it was a 1964 GE stove. I like old stuff, it works better and lasts longer than the new stuff.

    Take care,
    Sidepasser
     
  13. homebodybev

    homebodybev New Member

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    Hi everyone ... we really need some advice. We are building a 900 sq ft straw bale home in SE Arizona. We are at 5000' so our winters can get quite cold. I really want a wood cookstove (in addition to a gas range for summer use) and I am looking at the Baker's Choice http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/pro...ODUCT&iMainCat=671&iSubCat=809&iProductID=484 (smaller version of the Pioneer Maid) or the Mora http://www.northdoorway.com/stoves/mora.htm . I would love a Waterford Stanley or the Esse but they are brutally expensive. The plan is this ... the wood cookstove would supply heat, hot water ... and of course lots of good cooking in the winter. My concern is that it would make our small, well-insulated home too hot ... even in the dead of winter.

    Is anyone in a similar position with advice to offer?

     
  14. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    Regarding Cookstoves,

    Nobody here mentioned the Pioneer Maid. Been using one in my kitchen for years. Best features are airtight, firebox is brick lined, holds heat very well, huge oven, easy to use and adjust. Stainless Steel in contact with flue gasses and the cook top. I have the water reservoir as well as heat exchanger coil in the firebox. No need for the reservoir as my hot water system is a passive thermosiphon system so, if stove is hot, it is making hot water.


    Homebody Bev, you are absolutely right about a cookstove overheating the house. As spring advances I often cook with windows open to moderate the temps. Summers here are HOT so when we reach the point of too hot I switch over to cooking on a gas stove. But my gas stove is an old Wedgewood with two burners wood and four burners gas.

    bearkiller
     
  15. Buggs

    Buggs Member

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    A wood cookstove is the heart of a home. A house without a wood cookstove has no heart and is a poor excuse of a home.
     
  16. homebodybev

    homebodybev New Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply, bearkiller. Your gas stove sounds intriguing! :)

    I planned to cook outdoors, or using a gas cooktop, or my solar oven in the heat of summer. However, I was concerned that the Pioneer Maid (or any wood cookstove actually) might be too much for a small house on any but the very coldest days. I sure hope not ...

    I guess I can open windows any time, right?
     
  17. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Does anyone out there have a Round Oak wood cookstove? I bought one at auction a few years ago. It's pretty small, with white enamel on it. Looks like it may be circa 1900-1930's? I haven't installed it, so I don't realy know how well it works. I'd planned to put it in my house, but I'm having enough trouble getting my wood heater in, much less the cookstove. Guess it'll be the electric range for the forseeable future (as long as I'm living in a manufactured home). When and if I move, I plan to build a "regular" house...and it will be wood heater, wood cookstove with a gas or electric range for summer canning!
     
  18. RenieB

    RenieB Well-Known Member

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    We had a Wood and Bishop wood cook stove for about 25 years. It was an oldie from 1910. It was big with a warming oven on top. I loved it for most of the years we had it. Cooking on a wood stove is so different than regular stoves as you have to move things around on the stove top and also in the oven. It served us well but in the last couple of years arthritis has just cut down on using wood. We sold the stove as I hated seeing it not being used for two years. We moved our Vermont Castings stove into the cook stoves place. So if we have an emergency we can use wood for heat. I have my times when I miss the cook stove but I know she has found a nice new home. I am sure you will get many years of enjoyment from your stove.

    RenieB