Cooking And Heating With Wood

Discussion in 'Energy & Fuel' started by Yvonne Smith, May 8, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,835
    Likes Received:
    6,971
    I didn't want to drag @Ken Anderson's thread off-topic, where he has been telling us about his cabin that they are working on , at his property up north of his house.
    However, we were talking about wood cookstoves and also wood heat; so I though maybe a thread about heating and cooking with wood might be appropriate.

    For many years, when I was younger and raising the kids, wood heat was what we had for heat. We lived in a teeny-tiny cabin on property that belonged to my folks, and was located in north idaho, and it had both a small wood cookstove in the kitchen and we had an upright barrel stove for heat in the living room.
    The house had electricity; but it did not have 220 connections that were needed for an electric cooktove or dryer; so clothes were dried outside on the clothesline in the summer, and usually at the laundromat in the winter.
    When it was too hot for a cooking fire, we either used the electric frying pan, or sometimes just cooked over a small campfire outside in the yard.

    Barrel stoves are usually homemade, and I think that we bought ours from someone who had welded it together. There was a draft in the bottom, and then the top lid had a hinge where half of it opened up to put in the wood.
    This always allowed smoke and sometimes sparks of fire to come out when we were adding wood to the stove; but it could take just about any size of wood, and certainly kept the house plenty warm.

    Later, we got a Fisher wood stove, and that worked really good for both heating and cooking with. It had a two-level top, and I used our cast iron dutch-oven type of pot and made soups, stews, or a pot of beans on the stove while keeping the house warm.

    This is not our Fisher stove; but this is exactly what it looked like.
    image.jpeg
     
    #1
    Ken Anderson and Ike Willis like this.
  2. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,450
    Likes Received:
    5,948
    When I was a wee snot, we lived in a rented house near the railroad tracks. It had a coal/wood burning stove in the living room. Dad had an old Ford "A" model truck then. Dad and a neighbor, who also burned wood, would go out into the river bottoms and cut firewood from downed trees. They used two man saws and axes.
     
    #2
    Yvonne Smith likes this.
  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,835
    Likes Received:
    6,971
    We used to go out and get firewood, too, @Ike Willis . There was always some downed trees on the property where we lived; but the Forest Service also had areas that they would let people go into and cut up downed trees into firewood.
    Sometimes my ex cut it into firewood lengths when we were out in the woods and the kids and I helped load it onto the old Studebaker truck; and sometimes, we got longer pieces, took them home first and then sawed them into the right size for the woodstove.

    For a while, when he was out of work, we also sold firewood. The radio had a trader program and anyone could call in and say what they wanted to sell or trade, and I would advertise the firewood on the radio.
    Once I had enough buyers for the load of wood, then I would chart the areas where they lived, and plan a delivery route.
    Stacking the wood was extra cash, but also took a lot longer than just tossing it off of the back of the truck.

    By the time we figured in fuel for the truck, maintainence and repairs for the truck and chainsaws (not even counting the hours we spent getting the wood), we really didn't make much money selling the firewood; but it did keep a few groceries on the table, and helped to pay the rent.

    This was our old Studebaker (early 50's, I think ?), and one of the loads of firewood we brought home to saw up.
    image.jpeg
     
    #3
    Ike Willis likes this.
  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,467
    Likes Received:
    9,823
    This is the stove I'd like to get for our camp. Actually, this is their most basic heating/cooking stove. I'd rather have one of their fancier models but, realistically, if I were going to buy one, unless we won the lottery or something, I'd get this one since it's more affordable. This site shows all three of their stoves, including video. I wouldn't buy it from either of these places though, as the Amish colony store in Smyrna has them at much cheaper prices. I would get the water reservoir option as well, since that would give us a steady supply of hot water. It doesn't show it here but one of the Amish showed me how he had his hooked up to a rain collection barrel so that he didn't even have to haul water for it.

    bakers-choice.jpg
    The Baker's Choice is their no-nonsense, more basic model, and it will do just fine.

    pioneer-maid.jpg
    This one adds about a thousand dollars to the price.

    pioneer-princess.jpg
    Oddly enough, this one is only a few hundred more than the one above, so if I were willing to spend another thousand buck for fancy, I'd go with the fanciest. Actually, none of them are really fancy, the biggest difference being the amount of cooking and baking space, the number of BTUs they put out, etc.

    Lehman's does have some fancy ones, such as the Elmira, if you're willing to put out five thousand dollars for a wood cooking stove.

    elmira.jpg
     
    #4
    Ike Willis likes this.
  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,467
    Likes Received:
    9,823
    We have a section of our house, at the back, that was two bedrooms when we bought the place as 3-unit apartment building. We took down the wall between the two bedrooms and made it into a large library. However, since it has ten windows and two exterior doors, just in that one room, it was very expensive to heat it. So, when our pipes froze one winter, we elected to cut the library off from the heating system rather than repair the pipes in that room. But, we would still like to be able to use it sometimes in the winter, otherwise it becomes more of a large storage space, which annoys me, so I am thinking about putting an inexpensive wood stove in there that we can use whenever we want to spend some time in the library. Since we have a hundred acres of woodlands up north, it would be no problem to haul a load of wood home in the fall.

    ts.jpg
    The Tractor Supply Company store carries this one seasonally. If you've ever shopped at the Tractor Supply, you'll know that much of what they carry is seasonal. Most of their gardening stuff will only be in the store for a month or so in the spring, and their stoves are only there in the winter. They list this stove at $150 but for the past two years, rather than shipping heavy items back to the warehouse in the spring, they discount them, and it's been on sale for $99. It's too late for me to get one this year unless I was willing to pay the $150 but, since there's no rush, I am thinking of buying one while it's on sale next spring. It's a nice looking stove, won't take up a lot of space, and it will easily heat that one room.
     
    #5
    Ike Willis and Yvonne Smith like this.
  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,835
    Likes Received:
    6,971
    Those are all nice stoves; but I don't see how they can hold heat all night with such a small firebox ? Plus, if you are baking, you have totally different fuel requirements than when you are just wanting to provide some heat for the whole cabin; and it is hard for me to see how one size of firebox would work for both.
    When I was baking with our woodstove, I used small pieces of firewood that I added as needed to keep the temperature just right for what I was baking.
    For the wood heating stove, once we had a good bed of coals, we used large chunks of wood, and then closed the draft down enough that it smoldered for hours and hours.

    Since you can cook on top of most wood stoves, the only real need for the cook stove would be for when you were baking, or if you needed a lot of cooking space.
    We only baked in the winter when we wanted to also be heating the house. Of course, we had electricity; so I could use one of those little electric countertop ovens if necessary.

    I enjoy sitting in front of a fireplace, or even a wood stove; but I am glad that I don't have to split and carry firewood anymore.
    For a while, I had a pellet stove, and it was designed to use a regular chimney, and I could put wood in with the pellets.
    For me, it was an ideal situation.
    I was living alone, worked long hours, and didn't want to come home late at night to a freezing cold house and have to build a fire.
    The bag of pellets would last about 24 hours when they were on low heat, and that kept the chill out of the house. When I came home at night, I would add a chunk of firewood on top of the pellet chamber, and it would soon be burning away.
    The forced air into the pellet stove helped to keep the wood burning, so even wood that was still a little green wouldl burn in that stove.
    It was shaped just like the Fisher wood stove was; so I also could cook soup and other easy foods on top of it.
    Most pellet stoves are not designed to burn both wood and pellets, so I don't know if anything like I had is even still available.
     
    #6
  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,467
    Likes Received:
    9,823
    Our cabin isn't so big, it's 12x34-feet, if I remember correctly, and we won't be including solid interior walls. A rock wall behind the stove will retain a lot of heat, as does the hot water reservoir. Plus we've been collecting cast iron wall hangings and antique appliances because they retain heat, as well.

    I hadn't considered a pellet stove because, like other produced things, such as diesel, once enough people have invested in pellet stoves, I'd worry that the price would go up. Since pellets are compressed wood, I hadn't considered that a pellet stove wouldn't be able to burn wood as well, and vice versa. You're probably right, though.

    We have wood available for the cutting but, of course, cutting and splitting wood isn't necessarily a relaxing activity. I would probably be more interested in a wood stove that could burn either wood or coal, since we certainly have enough space to store coal on our 100 acres so we could buy a large load of that, and I know they do make stoves that are intended to burn both wood or coal. Coal added to the stove before going to bed would be more likely to last the night than wood, also. Not having looked into it in any detail, I would guess that the concerns would be that the stove is made to withstand the heat of coal, and perhaps the technology, since coal needs to have air directed beneath the coal bed. I know that there are multi-fuel stoves available but I haven't looked into them yet.

    At a cost of around $500, this would be a cute little stove. I don't know that I need four cooking spaces for my library, or if it would put out enough BTUs to heat the cabin.

    vogelzang-cast-iron-rancher-wood-stove-with-large-flare-top-cooking-surface-sr57e-47.jpg
     
    #7
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  8. Kate Ellery

    Kate Ellery Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Messages:
    10,470
    Likes Received:
    1,589
    image.jpeg I grew up in an isolated town/ city in New South Wales ( Aust) We didn't have the luxury of gas or electric stoves for cooking ,we used wood burning stove like this one summer and winter ..summers were over 100f so how we survived ,stinking hot days having a wood stove burning to cook food ..( fire was let go out after food was cooked )
    I never used anything other than a wood stove ,and an electric frypan to cook food right up until I was in my mid 20's
    My mouth still waters thinking of the crusty top bread and butter puddings we cooked in the wood stove oven
     
    #8
  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,849
    Likes Received:
    3,439
    Here is the model Elmira we bought new in Show Low, AZ, when we moved up into the woods out of necessity, no jobs, no income. We bought it at Boyd's Self Sufficiency Center, suggested price was $2200, he gave it to us for $1800.

    [​IMG]

    We started building the cabin in January, 1983, on 40 acres we had bought two years earlier as a getaway place. No water or electric power, no telephone service, plenty of Cedar and Pinon Pine, though. My wife mastered use of the stove very quickly. On Thanksgiving she roasted a big turkey just perfectly in that oven! Thing about a stove like this is, there are an almost infinite number of temperatures available across the top surface; just move the cookpot around until you find the temp. ya want!
    Frank
     
    #9
    Ike Willis and Ken Anderson like this.
  10. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    1,443
    Likes Received:
    1,374
    Well that looks like a nice fancy little stove. I use my gas grill when I need an alternate heating source, that or the toaster oven or microwave. I also have a fire pit if need be. I usually just use that to roast marshmellows on though. It works good for that! I know wood stoves can really produce a lot of heat, and I really wish I had one, because I am surrounded by woods. It would be amazing to be able to use it.
     
    #10
    Frank Sanoica likes this.
  11. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,849
    Likes Received:
    3,439
    Well. Seeing you were born on my ex-wife's birthday, Apr. 23, there must be good "karma" here! Please keep in mind, if heating using firewood is the name, the game involves work, lots of it. Even if the firewood is bought, rather than cut and prepared by the user. Still, it was wonderful to get away from the mainstream "buy everything needed". Depending on actual winter location, wood heating can be very demanding. If parameters are "slim" given the stove's ability, middle-of-the-night "feeding" can be essential. My Dad, 16 while living in Wisconsin with his folks and 4 siblings, recalled awakening in the morning on the second floor of the farmhouse, where the bedrooms were located, with a glass of water on the nightstand having a band of ice on top of it's contents! The sole heating source was my Grandma's old Majestic Cookstove downstairs in the kitchen. That stove was moved about the Midwest numerous times, heavy as it was. Dad recalled over 12 moves! Frank
     
    #11
  12. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,835
    Likes Received:
    6,971
    When I lived in Missouri, one of the things that they used for heating in some houses , was an outside wood furnace. These could be anything from a professionally made and installed furnace, to one that someone had just made themselves out of bricks or concrete blocks, and then stuck a pipe into their wall to bring the heat inside.
    The idea of having the furnace outside was not only to give you more space inside of the house; but also the fact that you didn't have all of the soot and debris that comes with having a wood stove inside the house.
    Usually, the main woodpile is outside, but when you carry in wood for the fire, it often has bugs hiding under the bark, and then you have them crawling around your house.
    When the furnace is outside, then no wood has to be brought indoors. However, you do have to go outside in whatever freezing weather you are experiencing , in order to put more wood on the fire and keep your house warm.
    Overall, I like the idea of having the woodstove outside, although probably not so much if I had to traipse outside in the snow at two in the morning to put more wood on the fire.
     
    #12
    Frank Sanoica and Ike Willis like this.
  13. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,849
    Likes Received:
    3,439
    @Yvonne Smith There is an additional "plus" with the outdoors located wooid-burning furnaces: Indoor burning exhausts lots of air up the chimney, necessarily, to remove smoke. All that volume of air gone up the chimney is replaced by cold, outside air, which must be warmed by the latent heat within the building. Outside furnace eliminates that, but introduces need to go outdoors to "feed" it.
    Frank
     
    #13
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
    Yvonne Smith likes this.
  14. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    2,906
    Likes Received:
    2,419
    Firewood for cooking is great when you are in the rural area. I have seen it many times where the kitchen is covered by nipa roofing with bamboo posts. The stove is concrete with grills where you can place the pot. And the fuel is firewood. When we ate the fish cooked in tamarind soup, I couldn't help but say it was the most delicious tamarind soup dish I had tasted. My husband said it was because of the firewood, the odor of the smoke had conditioned our minds to the food that was on the pot. Even the rice seemed to taste better than our rice. It was a good culinary experience that's why we always go to the province whenever we would get an invitation.
     
    #14
    Frank Sanoica likes this.

Share This Page