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Wood Stove Baking

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  • Wood Stove Baking

    Anybody have good recipes and tips for baking on a woodstove top? I was hoping to get one with a side load firebox and oven, but no luck. I could try to put a box oven on the stovepipe above our barrel stove...
    This summer I'm definately going to build an outdoor brick oven for summer baking.

  • #2
    Boy I got lots of tips for you, but time and experience is the best learning tool for baking on a wood stove. I have been cooking exculsively on a woodstove year around for 30 some years (although I do a lot of campfire cooking in the summer) Each stove is very different and also depends on the wood you are burning, so it could take a little playing around to get it all just right.

    I have an old (1930's) cast iron, 6 eye (yeah, it's big), wood burning cookstove. It's old and has a lot of cracks, wouldn't use it to hold an over night fire, but it sure can put out some heat and make a mean loaf of bread, and a lovely rib roast. I can bake 7 loaves of bread in the enormous oven if I want to, or a huge turkey if I take the tray out.

    The thing about a wood burning cookstove is to start the fire well before baking so it has time to really heat up. My firebox is on the side (aren't they all?) so you will probably have to turn your pans around at least once half way during the cooking time. Oh and cooking time? Don't just rely on your recipe, you have to check it occasionally, and probably stoke the stove every so often to make sure the fire stay hot, so the time will vary.

    I've never had to opportunity to use a stove pipe oven, but I hear they work pretty well. Just small is all.

    Good luck with it.
    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley


    • #3
      Thank you Lori! Unfortunately tho, my barrel stove has no oven so I'm looking at baking on the top of the stove. I've heard putting the dough in a coffee can covered with tin foil up on a trivet is supposed to work but haven't tried it yet. Just makin a lot of fry bread, hehehe.


      • #4
        You should have a series of drafts adjustable from both the front of the fire box, as well as behind the stove, to the rear of the fire box. These should be in addition to the damper that's likely built into the stove, which is typically a slide on the top pf the stove, toward the middle, near the stack, but extending over toward the fire box, as well.

        By properly positioning the front and rear drafts (assuming you have both), and closing the stove-top damper just enough to maximize heat retention (though not so much as to smoke you out) you should be able to better spread the heat/flames more evenly under your burner plates, as well as better covering the side of the oven adjacent to the fire box, and above the oven, but beneath the burner plates. (I'm hoping that was clear, and didn't sound 'circular' in its description...).

        As Lori said, getting the oven pre-heated is a biggie, then, even assuming you have an accurate oven thermometer, I typically assume there'll be -some- degree of fluctuation in the temperature in the oven, ranging both higher than, and lower than, the desired temps; obviously due to a lack of more precise heat adjustment as might be found in a conventional stove/oven.

        You can continue to use the drafts and damper to adjust heat as needed.

        Also, I think it's a given that there'll be a lot more observation involved in assessing when something's done, as opposed to setting the timer for 'X' amount of time, then setting the oven for 'Y' degrees, and just popping it out on a given/set schedule.

        The more air leaks there are in a wood-fired oven, the more variance there's going to be to the highs and lows, temperature-wise. Bear that in mind, as well, to avoid those potential moments of sadness, when you might otherwise find your delectible delights burnt to a crisp..

        When I was in my adolescence, on the homestead farm, we were heating or cooking almost everything on a wood cook stove; from 4:30 A.M. or 5:00 A.M. coffee, to the snacks and desserts consumed at night by kerosene lamp, after the sun went down.

        These days, when I travel to see friends in the Yukon Territory for our annual ice fishing get-togethers, the sole source of heat in the cabin at that site is an old, drafty, mid-sized, wood-fired cook stove. Waking up at night to tend the fire box is the job of the person sleeping closest to the stove, as a rule.. My bunk, being the futon sofa in the living area of the cabin, means that I get that duty more often than not. It's no barrel stove, to be sure. I've wished for years that it was tighter, had a larger fire box, and that the penetration at the ceiling made me feel mroe .. comfortable with the safety of the thing.. (It predates metal-bestos by a long shot...) It has both the damper built into the stove itself, as well as one on the stack. The one on the stack is never closed more than half way, or the place becomes worse than a old Saturday night bar room, as far as smoke is concerned. But we've cooked many a deluxe meal both on and in it...


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