Having a woodstove for heat is an wonderful thing – being able to cook on it is even better. Our woodstove is not a cookstove, it’s a woodstove just for heating the house. We have electric heat as well, although we don’t even turn on the baseboard heaters unless it is -20C outside. Then we turn on a few heaters in the basement, just to keep things from freezing down there.
If you’re thinking of buying a woodstove for heating your home, good for you! Our stove, although small heats this almost 3000 square foot house, in part because of where it is situated. Located right in the middle of the main floor, with an open loft above it, we have no problem keeping the bedrooms upstairs warm enough, since the heat rises. We have a large ceiling fan that helps to push the warm air back down. The fellow who built this house was thinking smart when he did the construction.
The only better place for our stove to have been located would have been down in the basement – that way, we would likely never have to turn on the electric heat. But then, we would have to go up and down a lot to fill up the stove. I’m happy with where it is right now.
If you’re looking into wood stoves, strongly consider getting one with a flat top. That way you can use it for cooking, even though it is not a true cookstove. We are fortunate that ours does have a flat top and we do use it for making soups, stews, even bacon and eggs.
If you have a power outtage and you don’t have a wood stove, how is your family going to stay warm? What if the power outtage lasts for several days? Cold kills and sometimes it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in. If you’re fortunate enough to have a wood stove for heat to see you through power outtages, good for you. Wouldn’t it be even better to use it for cooking, as well as for heat? Of course it would. So, look for a stove with a flat top. Being able to do some cooking on the woodstove will help you take care of the two most important things in an emergency: warmth and food!
A couple of years ago, we pressure canned up chicken broth. When we butchered the meat birds, Graham had parted out 5 or 6 of them and so we had the carcasses sitting in the freezer. When we had time in the late Fall, we heated them up in water, then picked the meat off the carcasses and canned the broth and meat together. It’s a great way to use up as much of the chicken and possible and on the other end, being able to grab a canned quart of broth to make some soup is a time saver.
Last week, we grabbed a couple of quarts and started heating the broth on the woodstove. We cut up some celery and carrots and added them to the broth. Later we added broken spaghetti noodles as well as a bunch of dried parsley and lovage.
After simmering on the stove for a couple of hours, we were able to enjoy some wonderful healthy Homemade Chicken Noodle soup. We wouldn’t be able to do this if our stove did not have a flat top.
Do you have a woodstove? Can you use it for cooking? Leave a comment and let us know. If you’re starting to think of getting a woodstove, I hope this article helps you to narrow down your choices. Heating your home for free, if you have access to wood, is a great thing – being able to cook on it is even better!
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