If you love the vintage look of the Victorian era, consider adding a wood burning kitchen stove to your home. It's a big investment, but these classy stoves add old fashioned charm and warmth to any kitchen.
Get a Stove That Fits Your Kitchen
If you're considering a wood burning stove for your kitchen, make sure you get one that fits the rest of the kitchen's style and decor. While many stoves evoke the Victorian era, there are many more that will fit into country style and transitional homes as well.
Consider any of these options while you shop:
The Fireview is a custom-built wood burning stove that can heat your home while you cook dinner. Its looks will fit right in with any Victorian decor, while its energy efficiency helps it fit in with modern day life. Pricing starts around $4500 for a 36-inch stove with nickel legs and accents. All stoves come with overhead warmers and have the option of nickel Victorian trivets for detail.
The Kitchen Queen
Are you looking for a stove that will fit in with country or transitional design? Look no further than The Kitchen Queen. These Amish-built stoves are extremely energy efficient with a firebox that will heat up to 2,500 square feet. They have the largest fireboxes of any wood burning stove on the market, which means they will burn longer and hotter than many other stoves out there. The stove is also meant to heat your water, eliminating your water heater bills as well. Best of all, The Kitchen Queen is reasonably priced with small models starting at around $2,300.
The Flame View is a Victorian style cook stove that would not be out of place in a Steam Punk kitchen. These high-efficiency stoves use an air-jet reburn design to get the most use, heat and longevity out of the wood you burn, so you get even cooking times and temperatures. The Flame View comes with a variety of options and sizes, as well as in both white and black to fit in with a number of different kitchen decors. Pricing for a basic model starts around $2,300. Backsplashes, warming drawers and feet are offered at additional costs.
Ashland Cook Stoves are simple, classic wood burning stoves that will fit in with country and farmhouse style kitchens. They have a porcelain finish with a stainless steel reservoir on top. They have an optional waterfront for hot water applications, and an easy to use stove top with thermostat. The design is sleek and plain with stainless accents. Pricing for the basic models begins around $2,400.
Cooking with a Wood Burning Kitchen Stove
Cooking with a wood burning stove is much slower and more complicated than cooking with a modern gas or electric stove. If you decide to add a wood burning stove to your kitchen, you should research and learn the basics of how to cook with one first.
You might also want to consider having a modern stove in your kitchen as well. This way you have the option of being able to cook and prepare meals quickly when you don't have the extra time that is required to successfully cook with a wood burning stove.
These elements will give you an idea of how cooking is done using wood burning stoves.
- You need split pieces of very dry hardwood such as oak or hickory for fuel.
- It can take up to an hour and a half to get a cold oven hot enough to bake food.
- It takes practice and patience to start the fire. Kerosene and lighter fluid are not recommended.
- Cast iron or steel pots and pans work best.
- The entire surface of the stove is used for cooking, and you control the temperature by moving pots to different areas of the stove top.
- You control the temperature of the fire and oven by opening and closing the vents on the stove.
- The round lids on the stove top enable you to access the inside so that you can clean away the ash that builds up.
It takes practice and a lot of trial and error to learn to cook with a wood burning stove. However, if your electricity goes out, you will still be able to cook with a stove like this.
There are very important safety issues you need to be aware of when using a stove that burns wood. The type of wood and condition of the wood you use as the fuel is very important. Wet wood or wood with a lot of pitch like pine will pop when burning. This can cause an explosion of hot coals that can easily catch fire if they come into contact with clothing, paper, wood and items like kitchen towels or oven mitts.
It is important to keep flammable materials away from the stove. The area around the stove should be fire resistant, such as tile. Wood stoves put out a tremendous amount of heat. This is great for keeping your kitchen warm but could cause a can of fuel to heat to the point of bursting open. The fumes would then ignite and your entire home could go up in flames.
Caring for Your Stove
Read the instruction manual for your stove cover to cover before attempting to install or use the stove.
It's important to keep your stove clean; grease accumulation is a common reason for kitchen fires. Clean the oven compartment and stove top regularly to avoid grease build-up. You can use hot water and a steel wool scrubbing pad to clean the top, however, you should avoid using cleaning products with harsh abrasives. You can also season the stove's cooking surface the same way you would season cast iron cookware to prevent it from rusting.
Ashes must be removed on a regular basis. The stove will have an ash cavity directly below the fire box. You will need to remove ashes from the ash pan before they overflow into the ash cavity.
At least once a week, you should check and clean the channel around the oven for soot and creosote build-up. Creosote can cause a chimney fire. To help avoid a build-up of creosote, burn the fire hot once every 16 to 24 hours of use. Have the chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.
Enjoy the Ambiance
Wood burning stoves are a lot of work, but most stove owners feel it's a labor of love. Pull up some chairs with family or friends to enjoy the warmth of the stove and exchange stories while you savor the smells of slow home cooked meals.