Wood Stove Corner

Can you Cook on a Wood Stove?

   New wood stove owners often ask whether or not they can use their stove for cooking. A wood stove can do far more than just warming a home. It can bring water to boil, dry damp clothes and even cook an entire meal. In fact, the earliest form of cook stoves were wood burning.

Heartland Oval Wood Cook Stove
Two basic types of wood stoves exist in the market. The first is a wood burning cook stove. These stoves are designed for cooking and typically have a separate firebox.

Napoleon 1150P Cook Stove
Today, we'll offer a couple cooking tips and recommendations for the second type of wood stove. Designed primarily for heating your home, these wood stoves typically only have a single firebox and do not have a separate oven.

Imagine filling your home with the aroma of a pot of chili simmering throughout the day or waking up to the scent and sound of sizzling bacon. The top surface of these wood stoves can generate enough heat to cook a variety of foods. From burgers to french onion soup, these units bring a skillet to a high heat and liquids to a boil, creating endless culinary opportunities.

Vermont Bun Baker 750
Keep in mind, not all wood stoves put out the same amount of heat from the surface. If you are looking to frequently use your wood stove for cooking, select one constructed from cast iron or with a design that gives heat access, like the Napoleon 1150P EPA Wood Gourmet Cook Stove. Wood stoves that have a stone surround, like the Vermont Bun Baker 750 Wood Stove with Soapstone, also perform well for cooking. Keep in mind, stoves with a steel top surfaces take longer to heat up and will be less effective for cooking overall. 

To begin cooking, open the damper of your wood stove and get a good fire burning. Once you have established your fire and your stove surface temperature reaches approximately 500°, you can begin cooking. Place a cast iron skillet, a stock pot, or even a glass casserole dish directly on the surface of your stove and watch your soup begin to bubble. Some stoves even feature removable hot plates, providing you with direct access to the flame for even higher temperatures. 

When cooking on a wood stove, keep in mind you will not have as much control of the temperature as you would with an electric or gas range. If you find the temperature too hot or you need to let your chili simmer, raise your pot or skillet off the direct heat of the stove. In these cases, it remains essential to have a wood stove trivet to prevent excessive heat and burning. 

Having the ability to cook without the use of electricity is a priceless benefit. Many people experience power outages during the winter months due to snowfall or ice storms. Cooking on a wood stove will give you the peace of knowing you're prepared for everything from a power outage to a natural disaster. Wood stove owners understand the benefit of being able to cook and stay warm without power in a way that no one else does.

Woodland Direct not only has an great selection of wood stoves - they're also the premier source for information.  If you have any questions or want more information about cooking on a wood stove, contact one of our NFI-certified professionals at 800.919.1904.