When we first got our woodburning stove I did not really think about cooking on it because, well because it's a woodburning stove not a woodburning cook stove. I know silly me!
It wasn't until I had placed the cast iron kettle on top of the woodburning stove to put some humidity in our dry house and very shortly after placing it there I heard water boiling. DING, DING, DING! If water can boil well then I can cook right?
Right! I started slowly with warming up some jars of frozen soup in a pot of water. That worked great. Then I got really ambitious and decided to try to make a soup from scratch on it. What soup would be better than 7 bean. Success again!
By this time I was in love with the warm, leisurely means of woodstove cooking. I just got a little braver every day and kept trying different recipes from homemade pizza rolls to enchilada casserole.
I used the basic principals of dutch oven cooking for cooking on the wood stove. I found that my cast iron cookware works best of all my cookware on the wood stove.
A few tips I will pass to you that I learned through trial and error-
- It helps if you warm up you cast iron before putting your food in it to cook or bake. -
- If you are going to bake breads or cakes heat the dutch oven and the lid first
- When I baked cakes I added a few hot embers from inside the stove to the top of the dutch oven - basically like cooking on a camp fire.
- Give it a little extra time - I found it was always on the times when I was pushing the dinner schedule that I was doing a lousy job of keeping the temp up on the wood stove.
- It is a great way to get large pots of beans and chili etc cooked enough to can and use the stove only for your canner.
- Keep a long pronged camp fork near by to use to lift the lid on the dutch oven to check your food.
- I found that most of the time just the smell of the food was the best sign of when it was done. Especially when baking. When I was baking cakes you could literally smell that the cake was done. You will know what I mean after just a few times.
- Enjoy the slow cooking and the wonderful foods you will get from the slow cooked goodness of wood stove cooking.
I really enjoy the feeling of knowing that I can not only keep the house heated when the electric goes out (and even when it doesn't) but also keep the tables ladden with warm food.
With one purchase we were able to make two steps towards self-sufficiency. If you include the fact that I can also heat water for washing of dishes and bodies you could say that we are three steps closer to self-sufficiency.