Early Spring Sunrise Snow on the Silo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just another reason I love my wood stove

There is nothing warmer then wood heat, at least not in my opinion. It is very drying, so I keep a pot of water simmering thus giving me a handy bottle warmer for the goat kids.

Cooking on a wood heating stove can be a challenge, but given my frugal nature I want to make use of every opportunity I have to save money. Since I am already dealing with a big old ugly wood heater in my dining room then damn it, I am going to use that heat to cook! To start, I put a grate across the top to give me a flat surface to work with.
Obvious candidates are soups and stews which like a nice long simmer, but I've done roasts, prime rib and even a whole turkey using a large roasting pan I picked up at auction.
I own a number of the 'Turbo Cooker' pans and really like the way they work. Yup, the ones from the info-mercial, but I have found them on ebay, at garage sales and even had one sent to me for free after I mentioned how much I liked the on the Homesteading Today forum. They are really just a big, deep skillet with a dome lid and steaming rack and have a pretty good non stick coating. And yes, I actually do use them to 'bake' cakes and they come out great! I also like cast iron, though it does take longer to heat.

While it does take some time, my absolute favorite way to cook bacon is on the wood stove. The fat drains away and the bacon gets nice and crispy without burning or splatter.

I place a rack on a large baking sheet and lay out the bacon in a single layer, placing the cookie sheet on the hottest part of the stove top. I turn the pans as necessary and how long the whole process takes depends on stove temperature and thickness of the bacon.

I also use a camping box oven for some baking, however I am still looking forward to installing my vintage wood cook stove so I can do some real wood stove baking. I only have a small camp oven, which limits what baking I can do. I've been kicking myself all winter for passing on a large vintage wood cook box oven last summer because I didn't want to pay their asking price.

The next project that I am really looking forward to is building a solar oven.
If anyone has built or used a solar oven I would love any insight as far as design and tips and recipes for cooking.

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