Cooking On A Wood Burning Stove

 

At one time in addition to providing heat for the home the fireplace was used as a stove by families. This is where they cooked most of their family meals.

Today fireplaces may be used for warmth and for adding atmosphere to the room. You can still use your fireplace or wood burning stove for more than providing ambiance for a romantic evening.

If you want to try using your fireplace or wood burning stove for cooking during the winter months here are some tips for you. The utensils you use to cook in your kitchen may not be appropriate for cooking on a wood burning stove or fireplace. You will need utensils with long handles. Some items you may need for cooking on your wood burning stove or fireplace may include: roasting fork, corn popper or chestnut toaster, pie irons for sandwich grilling, cast iron Dutch oven, tongs, and fireplace shovel. Items you may already have in your kitchen and can use may include aluminum foil, pot holders, and cast iron trivet to help regulate the amount of heat your Dutch oven gets.

Cooking on your wood stove or fireplace is not like cooking on your charcoal grill outside. To cook indoors you want a fire that has been burning for about 30 to 45 minutes before you start cooking. If the fire is in the earliest stages, the temperature is unpredictable. Leaping flames and burning embers may cause your food to either burn or leave parts undercooked. After the flames have died down and you have a nice bed of coals you have the perfect temperature for cooking on your wood stove or fireplace. Make a nice cooking surface by raking and distributing the coals. If you place a few coals on the lid of your Dutch oven it will make things cook faster. You want to have heat coming from all directions. Remember, you need to keep adding fuel to the fire to keep it burning hot.

It’s easy to cook thing such as potatoes (both white potatoes and sweet potatoes), onions and apples inside the box of your wood burning stove. Simply double wrap these items in aluminum foil and lay the box right on the coals. Pile some coals on top and close the box. Allow items to cook for half an hour and then turn then turn over. If one area of your box is hotter than another then rearrange things to give them a chance to all benefit from that heat.

It is possible to use the stove of your wood burning stove as a slow cooker. This is excellent for slow cooking stews, casseroles, soups and roasts. Place all of your ingredients into your Dutch oven and place this on the stove uncovered. Allow it to come to a boil and then place the trivet on the stove and move the Dutch oven on top of the trivet. Put the lid on top the Dutch oven and let your meal slow cook all day.

A roast may be done in 3 to 4 hours. Check each hour to be sure nothing is sticking and the fire is hot. If the fire should die down, just build it back up again. If the food cools, remove the Dutch oven from the trivet and allow it to heat up directly on the stove (uncovered). Once heated replace the Dutch oven back on the trivet and replace the lid.

This will give you some idea of how to cook on your wood burning stove or fireplace if you would like to experiment with a different method of cooking.